Snowboard Protective Gear: the board is just the beginning. Gear up with good quality snowboard protective gear, including a helmet, wrist guards, padded shorts, and more
Whether you're new to snowboarding, an intermediate rider, or an experienced shredder, it pays to invest in quality snowboarding safety gear. If you're new to boarding, protective gear will keep you safe as you learn proper stance on the snowboard and how to side slip, edge, and carve. As you gain experience, good snowboarding protective gear will help protect your head, wrists, and tailbone from injury while you learn new tricks or go into the park and pipe. Learn more about protective gear for snowboarding below.
In less than three decades, snowboarding has exploded in popularity to become one of the most popular winter sports. It’s a fast, thrilling sport that also carries a high risk of injury. Whether it’s a little slip or a high impact crash, outfitting yourself with good quality snowboard protective gear is a must. Nearly 25% of all snowboarding injuries happen during the snowboarder’s first experience; nearly half happen during the first season of snowboarding. That means if you're just starting out, it's really important to gear up early to prevent an injury.
Beginning snowboarders need to align their head, torso, and hips over the feet in order to balance, as well as learn how to equally distribute their weight over both legs depending upon the pitch of the slope. Because both of your feet are attached to the snowboard, you will almost always fall forward or backward (i.e., flat on your face or on your backside), not to the side. Without ski poles to help hold you up or balance, it’s likely to be a violent fall, not a gentle tumble. Snowboarding protective gear can help prevent or minimize injuries caused by a hard fall.
A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine determined that the most common snowboarding injuries were wrist injuries, shoulder soft tissue injuries, ankle injuries, concussions, and clavicle fractures. In terms of snowboard protective gear, this means that you need to protect several key areas of your body in order to prevent or minimize injury.
What’s the most important piece of snowboard protective gear?
The first piece of snowboarding impact gear we recommend to our customers is - without question - a high quality snowboard helmet. This probably isn’t surprising, as concussions and other head trauma are serious business. However, you might be surprised by our second snowboard protection recommendation.
According to the snowboarding injury data, wrist injuries are the most common snowboarding injury. In fact, nearly 40% of snowboard injuries are wrist-related. After you’ve ordered a quality snowboarding helmet, we strongly recommend a pair of Level protective snowboard gloves or other snowboard wrist protection. If you already have a pair of gloves that you love, turn them into snowboard protective gear with snowboard wrist guards that can be worn underneath your gloves.
After a snowboard helmet and snowboard wrist protection, if you're in the terrain park, we recommend:
Snowboard body armor: As noted above, shoulder soft tissue and clavicle injuries are common in snowboarding. If you’re in the park, halfpipe, or doing tricks in the air, consider a piece of snowboard body armor to protect your shoulders, spine, arms, chest, and ribs.
Snowboard padded shorts or pants: You’re going to fall. Sometimes you’re going to fall on your backside. And while boarding, falling hard onto your tailbone can happen a lot. Falling on your tailbone hurts. A lot. Do yourself a favor, and wear a pair of snowboard padded shorts. They are low profile, subtle, but awesome to have.
Snowboard goggles: Good quality goggles provide protection from the sun (UV rays and glare), driving snow, and the miscellaneous tree branch, making your runs more enjoyable!
Beyond snowboard protective gear: How can you stay safe while snowboarding?
If you’re a beginning snowboarder, take a few lessons with a qualified snowboarding instructor to make sure you learn how to control your speed and how to stop
What could be worse than falling and injuring yourself getting on or off the lift and not even getting on the mountain that day? Navigating the chair lift is part of the snowboarding experience too.
The buddy system isn’t just for elementary school. Snowboarding alone could turn a minor tumble into a major accident if you don’t have anyone nearby to help you.
Most snowboarding injuries happen on the first or last runs of the day—when you either aren’t warmed up or are getting fatigued. Make sure you’re taking breaks and drinking or eating when necessary so you don’t bonk. In addition to preventing snowboard injuries, keeping yourself hydrated, well-fueled, and rested also lowers your risk of hypothermia, altitude sickness, and dehydration.
Make sure you know basic snowboard/ski etiquette and safety rules—the rider in front or below has the right of way, stay off trails that are marked as closed, never stop in the middle of the trail, look up before you merge onto a new trail.
Challenge yourself, but do so wisely. If you know you aren’t ready for an advanced trail, save it for another day.
Still have questions about what snowboard protective gear you need?