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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi
was recently diagnosed with a herniated disc in my lower back (L4-L5)
my doctor suggested that i snowboard with some sort of lower back belt(not a must, but it might help)

since i don't REALLY need it i am aiming for something affordable.

it comes down to these three (can't post any links for some reasons so sorry about that)

hard spine protector - icetools Back Belt STD

soft spine protector - POC Spine VPD 2.0

soft back vest (i.e the protection is sown into a vest instead of just straps) - icetools Evo Shield Man

anybody have any experience with any of the 3 types?
which one will suit my purpose the best?
in terms of skill i mostly do reds with the occasional black , no parks.

thanks!
and sorry for my grammar , English is not my first language
 

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The Swiss Miss
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Was he talking about impact protection or compression belts? If not sure, ask him. When I had lower back issues I wore compression belts.
Been thinking the same question.

Most back protectors you find in shops will be impact protectors (they distribute the impact over their rigid surface and thus milden the impact, but won't support).
When I had ruptured discs in the neck I was wearing a neck splint to avoid sudden movements and compression of the spines. I'd assume, that for back discs, a compression belt would give a comparable support, rather than an off the shelf impact back protector.
 

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Hard spine protectors are for when you land on something like asphalt or rocks and need to be able to "skid" in order to keep force dispersed. Imagine hitting asphalt with a soft protector.. the friction would cause you to stop MUCH sooner (so more force), probably cause you to roll, and it would tear right through the pad. With a hard pad you'd just skid.

In snow sports, you're going to be landing on snow... or, at the very least, something that you would slide on with a soft pad. I'd go with soft pad - they're much more flexible (D30 is amazing). There are a bunch of good backpacks out there with them built in.
 

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Hard spine protectors are for when you land on something like asphalt or rocks and need to be able to "skid"....

In snow sports, you're going to be landing on snow... or, at the very least, something that you would slide on with a soft pad. I'd go with soft pad - they're much more flexible (D30 is amazing). There are a bunch of good backpacks out there with them built in.
Uhmmmm,.. No! In snowboarding you got the park! Lots of box edges, corners, and rails to fall on. All manner of Jib Meat to crash on & into! Then there's the Trees!! Plenty in there to biff not to mention, little pointy stumps hidden under the pow to crack yer spine & puncture a lung!

Even something like catching a heelside edge, and slamming hard on your back while wearing a pack...!! :blink:

Situations, All of which could probably benefit from wearing sum sort of hard protection. :shrug:
 

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Uhmmmm,.. No! In snowboarding you got the park! Lots of box edges, corners, and rails to fall on. All manner of Jib Meat to crash on & into! Then there's the Trees!! Plenty in there to biff not to mention, little pointy stumps hidden under the pow to crack yer spine & puncture a lung!

Even something like catching a heelside edge, and slamming hard on your back while wearing a pack...!! :blink:

Situations, All of which could probably benefit from wearing sum sort of hard protection. :shrug:
The high end "soft" pads like what OP is mentioning are still quite hard. The major difference is in the friction. Rails and boxes are pretty low friction. Trees have high friction, but you wouldn't slide along one anyway... slamming hard on your back would affect you the same either way.

Let me put it like this: if you're wearing something over the hard pads, you might as well not be wearing hard pads at all. Assuming that hard pads keep you safer than soft pads for reasons other than their low friction is a bad idea. And if you're actually going fast enough for the difference between high end hard pads and high end soft pads to matter, then I really hope you're wearing a full face helmet and a neck brace because your brains will be turned to mush anyway. And all your bones will be broken anyway because hard pads don't do as good of a job at dispersing direct impacts.

Are there soft pads out there that don't have enough padding? Sure. But you can get more than enough hardcore soft padding. Most POC stuff, for instance, is more than enough. Same with Demon (if you don't want to drop the money on POC).
 

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Sorry, but I disagree with your explanation of hard vs soft. Hard padding dissipates the energy through distributing it over a wide area, soft absorbs. Hard will reduce following the inverse square law, soft is fairly linear.

For something with the area like your back you're probably better off with hard from a pure impact standpoint. Of course most are hybrids anyway, so it becomes a trade off of comfort, flexibility.
 
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