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Old 01-22-2009, 08:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for Padding Advice for a Beginner

So it starts out like this, im 29 and have never snowboarded before in my life. Avid skier, looking to try something different, and hell, it looks like fun. So im planning on going out for a lesson or two with my cousin, and everywhere i read and everyone i talk to says as a beginner "make sure to get padding," because as im starting to understand, having the padding is not so much to avoid getting hurt, as it is to limiting the hurt to non-major injuries. I have a pair of wrist braces that ill be wearing under my gloves and i know i should probably have some sort of knee protection as well and something for my tailbone. My question is thus, since i am starting out learning to see if i enjoy the sport, what would be the best way to have the padding without making a huge investment in something that (in worse case scenario) i might not use again? Ive read about people using the walmart gel seats for bicycles to mouse pads to camping mat foam.

What do the experts suggest to use for padding for a beginner who is trying the sport to see if they like it without going out and buying the any of the specialized padding/armor? Anyone created any DIY snowboard armor/padding tutorials? Is it possible to make something using an old pair of biking shorts?

Thanks for the input!

Last edited by KnownBeginner; 01-22-2009 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As you said, its not a matter of getting hurt, because it'll be inevitable that you will be in some way, but limiting how badly you do get hurt.

As a beginner, your biggest concerns will be the instant edge-catch and the slamyourselfintonextweek fall. And depending on your falling background (whether you have experience in how to fall) you'll likely be most concerned with protecting your wrists and head/face. That said, look to invest most of the value of your money in a good pair of low-profile wrist guards and a helmet. Once you've gotten the hang of things and start to learn your tendencies of falling (ie. do you fall forward mostly or back? Do you fall to your knees or butt first or do you instinctively put your wrists out no matter the direction), then you can go and invest in specific protection for those areas.

But to answer your question a bit more directly, the best 'cheap' protection I've ever bought, and still use to this day, were some $5 volleyball kneepads. The lower profile, the better. They've saved me a few times from some nasty rashes and not to mention are great if I have my knees buried in snow waiting for my wife to get the f down the hill!

Last edited by Um...?; 01-22-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wrist guards, tailbone protection, and a helmet is all you really require unless you're a walking disaster area. I use the demon hardtail shorts from sportstop.com (I remove the thigh plates), and a run of the mill audio helmet. I don't use wrist guards, which I'm sure will catch up to me one day.

As for cheap stuff, you can always get used football gear or something along those lines. If you can find cheap biking shorts, more power to you.

Last edited by MunkySpunk; 01-22-2009 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I just put 5 or 6 pairs of underwear on and that was about it because I was short on money haha
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The RED impact shorts (the ones that look like armoured boxer briefs, not the ones that look like board shorts) are great. They help a lot with falling on your butt or hips.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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there's been a number of topics regarding padding. make use of the search function.
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I was first learning I stuffed a folded up towel in my boxer-briefs to protect my tailbone.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think that wrist braces are necessary. I would wear a
-Back protector (snowboard or motorcycle back pad should be fine)
-Pad your buttocks
-light elbow pads

Your worst falls once you can stay up for more than a few seconds will be on hardpack... especially hardpack with little/no slope where you unexpectedly catch an edge (my worst falls were on catwalks).

The combination of a helmet, back-pad and butt pad will keep your muscles from bruising or getting sore from hitting some fairly hard ground.

While you can get away with using towels for your butt... a specialized back pad is really the only way to go if you want something that will give you good protection *and* mobility+comfort.

I wore an Icon Field Armor vest for back protection. It is designed for motorcyclists (which I am), but fits very nicely and comfortably over a base layer, and under a mid-layer. Retail is $100, but they can be found used for $50.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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best form of back protection i've found is my Rome Park Pack. the thing is padded to hell and back, looks cool, and holds essentials. i usually stuff spare gloves and a jacket in it for changing weather conditions which just add to the padding. i've fallen on it a few times and it's always like falling on a mattress, lol.

i use a helmet as well. can't count how many times i've slammed my head into ice and i've experienced no head trauma yet.

wrist guards... don't really need them after you learn to ride because when you're falling at speed, you tend to just ragdoll your way down. it's when you're going very slow or at a stop when you should worry about it.

impact shorts have saved my ass (pun intended) countless times.

i'm gonna invest in knee/shin guards soon i suppose since i'm just starting to hit the rails.
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GrapeDrink View Post
there's been a number of topics regarding padding. make use of the search function.
Yep, i know, i did search before, believe it or not.... What i was asking about was cheap/inexpensive ways to pad and protect myself without buying specialized gear - which most of the padding search results responses were discussing.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions!
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