Having been anti-armour for quite some time, I'm beginning to think it might actually be a good investment after all. This came from a recent holiday to Tignes where some friends and I decided to spend some proper time in the board park. They had armour and I didn't, and I think it made them more ballsy on the jumps. Well, that's my excuse anyway!
So what do people think - is armour a wise investment? What is the most essential armour? Where is good to buy? My mates body armour tended to get very smelly very quickly - is some armour better in this respect? Any advice would be good.
Incidentally, I knocked up a video of our Tignes boarding trip if you're interested:
I spend a lot of my time learning new tricks and going big, so I wear helmet, wrist gaurds and butt pads, all of which help me immensely. If you're going to be in the park a lot and hitting the jumps, it can't hurt to be protected.
I never bother with rails any more - I don't think the rewards balance out the risks. basically I get far more of a rush off the jumps, but the falls are potentially so much worse on the rails!
All I am wanting armour for is we have been trying to get better at hitting the bigger jumps in the park (see video in my first post to see how we are getting on!) and the landings in the park are inevitably fairly hard. Wrist guards are an interesting proposition; I hadn't thought of those before but it makes sense. Also do you think then that chest and back guards aren't really necessary for park jumps?
Helmet is an awkward one for me - I have a pretty large lump in the back of my head from where I got quite a bad beating many years ago. Even pushing it lightly with my hand makes me cringe cos it's very delicate even now, so I basically can't wear a helmet.
Which is a total pain in the ass cos it just gives me that bit of subconscious fear eg when off-pisting when the powder isn't quite deep enough to be sure there's no rocks around
I bet you could cut out the padding stuff where the bump is. I took a really hard hit to my head last year and was dizzy for 1/2 hour to the point where I got sea sick. <--no helmet. I took another really hard hit this year with a helmet and forgot about it 30 seconds later. If you're going to go big in the park, a helmet is really important, imo.
The full-time Kiwi's, Aussie's, and Brit's who teach freestyle in our school tend to wear the Skeletools shin & knee guards Skeletools. For back armor they use some like Pro-Tec's IPS Back spine protector PRO-TEC 2008 There is something similar over in Europe that is alot more intense and expensive. Back protection is more important when doing jumps. A Scottish doctor devoted a whole area of his website on spinal injuries in snowboarding. Snowboarding Injuries - www.ski-injury.com
I've liked 'em so far, they're comfy and seem to protect pretty well. BTW, the trick I found to actually getting myself to wear a helmet is having two helmets. I have one with minimal vents for cold days and one with tons of vents for the spring. I'm with snowolf on suiting your protection to the occasion, If I'm just goin' up and doing some kickers or teaching friends or something, I don't really wear any of it. If I'm doing lots of trees or any cliffs, I'll wear it for sure. Let's face - the stuff isn't the most comfortable things to wear, so just plan ahead and bring what you need.
Even if its just a psychological boost, I'd say get them. Anything that gets you out there doing what you want to do is worth the investment. Some people don't feel the need, others do, so just do whats right for you. No one is going to notice that you're wearing an asspad when you're floating a 540 off a big jump.