I agree that learning how to fall properly is key, but I still wear wrist guards for those "just in case moments". I'd really recommend buying legitimate snowboarding wrist guards. They usually have some give to ,them(both Burton and Level gloves have very good wrist guards built in to them), as opposed to the hard plastic snowboarding wrist guards, which could probably cause some weird arm breaks if you fell hard on them. I didn't wear wrist guards for my first 5 or so years of snowboarding, then one year I caught my edge going off of a kicker and had to choose between my neck and my wrists. Well my natural instincts kicked in and and I chose to put my hands down, sprained one wrist, and broke the other in a very strange way requiring a surgery and a screw to be put in. 5 years of falling on my ass the correct way(fists clenched, hands up and in front of me), and I STILL managed to break my wrist snowboarding . I decided that I was going to use wrist guards just in case, and haven't looked back since.
I remember reading about some wrist guards on these forums last year that were highly recommended. They were made of a softer material that actually had some give, not just a rigid piece of plastic. I will see if I can find them.
Are you talking about the Flexmeters? I had some regular wrist guards, got the Flexmeters, and they feel much better. I'd highly recommend them.
I wear wrist guards too. I know you're supposed to fall correctly and not put your hands down. Sometimes it just happens so fast you forget. I'm glad I wear wrist guards because I've landed pretty hard a few times and I'm sure they've saved me some broken wrists.
Once again, the problem with older style wrist guards is they take the impact of the force and allow it to be concentrated higher on the arm which usually causing your arm to break rather than your wrist.