Let’s go on a little story time adventure. Back in my beginner days of snowboarding, I went to the hill (yes, I said hill…I am from Minnesota where elevation changes are in the low hundreds) and was working on my riding.
When I started riding, I like most of you, wanted to work on my park riding skills. Jumps, boxes, and rails. I wanted to master them all. From watching snowboard videos on YouTube, I was just dangerous enough to know what some of the moves were, but not nearly skilled enough to pull them off.
But, I wanted to try anyways!
So…I jump off the lift, glide down to the park and gear up to slide down a half buried, plastic, ribbed tube. And I didn’t want to just slide down it facing forward, I wanted to do a frontside boardslide on my board so I was sliding backwards while most of my body was facing up the hill…. It didn’t end well to say the least.
I caught an edge, fell backwards right on my hand with my palm down and thought I had broken my wrist. From that moment on, I made the decision that I needed to purchase wrist guards for snowboarding.
Don’t worry about it
Now you may be thinking that it would be nerdy or wussy to strap on a pair of wrist guards to protect your wrists from harm while riding.
I’m here to say, don’t worry about it! I’m here to also ask which is worse…having wrist guards under your gloves that no one can see, or have your wrist in a cast after you’ve broken it?
There was a time when wearing a helmet was considered not cool, and now its almost considered not cool not to be wearing one…so don’t worry about it. Start a wrist safety trend with all your friends. You’ll all be glad you did!
Don’t believe me?
Compared to skiing, snowboarders have a much higher risk of getting a wrist injury. It’s about 23% chance…from all the falls…when your starting out.
And just for more stats to throw your way, of the 59% of upper extremity injuries sustained by snowboarders, 61% of those were to the wrist, hand, or thumb.
Some of the most painful and lingering injuries can be with the hand, so it just makes sense to have some wrist protection especially when you are just starting out.
My choice of wrist guards
My go to from that day on the slopes until now, has been Burton’s Red wrist guards. They are small and fit under my gloves easily. They fit snug and make my wrists and hands feel completely safe and comfortable.
These guards me piece of mind as well to know that if I take a fall (and I always do), I don’t have to worry about my wrists snapping into a position they were not intended to be in:)
Burton knows their stuff with gear so I wouldn’t go with a no-name brand on these either!
Combos work great
Just as in your riding where you can combo your tricks, you can combo up your glove and wrist guards together. There are gloves that have the guards built in so you don’t have to make two different purchases! How great is that?! I’ll probably do the combo thing in the future, myself!
Brands like Dakine (which is a really good snowboard brand) or Level combine the two of them together. The plastic guards are even removable in the Dakine set so when you feel comfortable going without them, you can without having to buy another set of gloves! There is also a mitten option from Level.
Levels are a little more expensive, but they will keep your hands safe and warmer than the Dakine version here. These are also not the only brands out their. Check out all your options, here!
To wrap it up,
You don’t need to get wrist guards for snowboarding…but why would you want to potentially lose a whole season of riding over a wrist sprain or even break? My advice is to get yourself a pair of guards or gloves that include the guards…. At least while you are learning.
Then when you are killing it in the park and can make it down the mountain without falling, you can remove them and still ride with confidence!
Your wrists will thank you and you will thank you…and me:)
As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, please leave them below and I will respond. Otherwise, I’ll see you out on the hill!
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