Finding safety equipment for snowboarding

Snowboarding is a thrilling sport, but you want to be able to relax afterwards around a warm hearth, not in a hospital emergency room. Here's a quick guide to safety equipment you should bring along. 

Finding safety equipment for snowboarding

1. Make sure your helmet makes the grade

  • As medical science gains more insight into the long-term problems associated with concussions, snow sports enthusiasts are getting interested. Helmets are now required for participants at all World Snowboard Tour events, and the Canadian Ski Council urges consumers to look for helmets that meet one of three international standards (ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell RS-98).
  • They further suggest bringing your goggles with you when you shop for a helmet, so you can ensure that the helmet you select will fit securely over them.

2. Wear goggles because it's rough out there

  • Out on the slopes, your eyes are vulnerable to UV rays from the sun reflecting off all the white surfaces. Snow and ice can also blow into your eyes at top speed, while steady wind causes unhealthy drying. Furthermore, if your run involves dodging low-hanging tree branches, goggles will protect your eyesight from a momentary loss of balance.
  • Be certain to choose goggles with an anti-fog system, so that moisture won't build up on the lenses and cloud your vision.

3. Padded gear leaves you free to experiment

  • Trying out some new moves in that pipe or park? You'll feel freer to take risks if you know your knees, wrists, and tailbone have some protection from impact.
  • Wrist injuries are actually the most common of all snowboarding injuries, and a pair of protective wrist guards can be worn under your regular gloves.
  • Snowboard body armour protects against injuries to the clavicle and soft shoulder tissue, and it also protects your ribs and spine against the wilder moves.

Leash up for the sake of others

  • When you're getting off the lift at the top of the mountain, you don't want your board to disconnect from its bindings and go flying downhill in the direction of someone's head.
  • Many mountains have a rule that all snowboards must be secured with a leash, and while it may seem like an irritating "beginner issue" to the experienced snowboarder, the folks that run the snowboard areas can't test each person to see who's likely to lose track of their board. Even if you're an expert, you should have a leash along with you so that you can follow the rules where they exist.

Snowboarding is still growing in popularity, and the rails and jumps are getting higher and higher. Many long-time riders have laundry lists of injuries they've suffered over the years, and safety equipment just makes a lot of sense. Protect your body so that you can have a long, successful snowboarding career.

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