Here are my top 3 snowboarding protection items that you need as a beginner snowboarder. As a beginner you want to be as protected as possible from falls and injury’s to make sure your trip is an enjoyable one, and not one full of pain!
In my opinion as a beginner, there are 3 main items that I would highly recommend.
Protection 1 – Protective Impact Shorts
As a beginner, you will be spending a lot of time on your bum. It will take some time for you to find your balance and technique, which ultimately will result in a lot of falling.
Therefore investing in a good pair or protective impact shorts will ensure that your tailbone, bum cheeks and hips will survive the duration of your trip, without being in excruciating pain.
You tend to strap into your bindings whilst sitting on the snow, therefore an added bonus as a snowboarder, means a pair of impact shorts will help insulate your bum from the cold of the snow.
Here are some if my recommendations for impact shorts.
Trespass Mens Impact Shorts (unisex)
These are fairly low cost impact shorts and the ones I first wore my very first time I went snowboarding. All I can say, they saved my bum, literally!
These are great if you’re on a budget, as they are low cost. Currently on Amazon.co.uk for £23.50 – £33.99 depending on size (correct as of 04 Mar 2020).
They’re comfortable to wear with the a velcro waist that can adjust to your size. They sit high on the waist above the belly button. As I have a small waist and big hips, I’ve found having the adjustable velcros means I can make adjustment so these don’t fall like some others do for my body safe.
The only down side is the material isn’t as wicking as others on the market so you can feel a bit sweaty and the foam pads are a bit bulky so make sure you try it with your trousers to make sure they fit underneath.
Benken Impact Shorts
These Benken impact shorts I would say are mid range. On Amazon.co.uk they are prices at £39.99 (correct as of 04 Mar 2020). I like these because they are similar to the trespass ones but without the bulk.
These also have the adjustable waist just like the Trespass ones. The other plus is that there are no major gaps between the panels. With some of the other shorts I’ve tried, the panels are spread out leaving gaps. This means if you don’t land on the pad correctly (i.e. the edge or the gap) when you fall it can feel uncomfortable.
Demon Flex Force Impact Shorts
These Demon impact shorts come in a mens and womens fit. These fit into the high price bracket. On Amazon.co.uk the womens fit ranges from £56.00 – £78.00 and the mens from £64.00 to £85.00 depending on size (correct as of 04 Mar 2020).
The reason I liked these is due to the technology used to make the protective parts. The orange parts on the bum and tailbone use a material called D30. This protects you from hard impacts so you don’t feel it (if you type D30 into YouTube you’ll find many video demos on how it works).
These have a simple elastic waist, and I felt they sit much lower on the hip than the trespass ones. These felt less secure as though they easily could fall down (possibly due to my body shape).
When I fell on the side I didn’t feel a thing, no pain at all. However when falling straight on my tailbone it felt more uncomfortable than the trespass shorts as the middle part is bulkier thus I guess more pressure near the tail bone but its 100% protected. I don’t know whether it was due to my body shape again, as there are so many positive reviews on these shorts.
Protection 2 – Wrist Guard / Wrist Protection
The second go to item for snowboarding is a wrist guard. I missed out on this one on my first snowboarding trip and regretted it.
Its natural instinct to put your hand out in front/behind you to stop you from falling. However by doing this you ultimately can hurt your wrist. I didn’t break my wrist (luckily) however they became very sore, achy and weak. It got to a point I dreaded falling which knocked my confidence and didn’t progress much after.
To avoid any broken or sprained wrists, you can look into two types of wrist protection. A wrist support to go under your gloves, or gloves with built in wrist guard. With each style, you can have support on just one side of your wrist or both.
From my research, for snowboarding, you only really need protection on one side, however I like to be safe so I looked for protection on both sides.
Burton Wrist Guards
These are an additional accessory to wear under your gloves. They feel like your typical support item that you’d wear after a wrist injury. This is the type of wrist protection I have purchased for use this year. You can buy the Burton Adult Wrist guard from Amazon.co.uk, depending on size they range from £25.46 – £29.99 (correct as of 05 Mar 2020)
These are priced mid to high range but are great, as they give you a bit of flex rather than their rigid counter parts. They don’t fully stop your wrist bending, but gives your wrist enough support to stop potential injury.
Top tip would be to ensure your gloves are a size little bigger than you normally have, to ensure you can get your hand in and out of the glove easily.
Andux Wrist Protectors
If the Burton is out of your price range then, I have recently seen a low cost alternative to the Burton wrist protectors on Amazon.co.uk for the Andux wrist protectors selling at £14.99 (correct as of 05 Mar 2020)
They appear to look exactly the same as the Burton ones but perhaps a little bit bulkier on the wrist.
Dakine Wristguard Gloves
Before ordering the Burton wristguards, I purchased these Dakine Gloves with built in wrist guards. Reason being it is easier to take you gloves on an off etc. The Dakine gloves with the wrist guard also are reasonable price being 2 in 1 (glove plus wrist guard). On Amazon.co.uk the Dakine wrist guard gloves are selling between £32.99 – £40.00 depending on size (correct as of 05 Mar 2020).
The gloves were warm and comfortable, however for me the removable wrist guard inside felt too rigid. So when I fell back on my wrists, I felt the top of the wrist guard dig into my forearm and the bottom dig into the back of my hand, making it uncomfortable. There are many reviews giving positive experiences with these gloves but for it was a pass.
Level Fly Snow Gloves
From my research, Level gloves have the best technology (BIOMEX) for wrist protection. With this “best” tech, it means a much higher price. The price range of Level gloves can range from anything from £75.00 – £110.00 on Amazon.co.uk.
Protection 3 – Knee pads
The third item of protection that I would recommend as a beginner, is some form of knee protection. Its more natural for us to fall forward than on our back. As beginners when we pick up speed our natural instinct is to slow down and stop, but for some reason to do this we lean towards the snow with our hands out. Thus falling forward onto our knees. The other reason is getting up from the snow is easier when pushing up on your knees (than your bum), so you’ll be on your knees a lot.
So to protect your knees from getting sore from kneeling on the snow and getting cold, I’d recommend any form of knee pads.
Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads
These are a low cost option from Amazon.co.uk for £12.99 (correct as of 06 Mar 2020). These gave the form protection on the knee cap to give you some light protection. I think these would give you some general protection when getting up from the snow to a standing position. However if you were to fall hard on your knees, probably not the best option.
Lixada Knee Pads
These are a step up from the standard foam protection with a hard casing over your knee. I personally prefer this type in case of a high impact fall, they will give you more protection due to the hard casing. As you feel more protected, I believe it give you a lot more confidence too.
Fox Launch Knee Guards
Fox knee pads is what I own. I find these extremely comfortable and breathable. They have a hard protective cap built in and some good cushioning that your knee sits on. This combination makes it very comfortable and completely pain free when falling on your knees. These do cost a little more, on Amazon.co.uk they are selling for £44.95 (correct as of 06 Mar 2020).
For me they are not only used for snowboarding, but I primarily use them for mountain biking too so I am getting more for the money spent.
I believe these 3 items are key to giving you the confidence and protection as a beginner snowboarder. You’ll also be in less pain by the end of the day/week.
If you only choose one of the three items, I would recommend you pick the impact shorts. You’re butt will be extremely thankful. It means it won’t hurt when you sit down at the end of the day.
Good luck snowboarding!