What Protective Ski Gear Do I Need?
There are many items designed to protect you on the slopes in the event of it all going wrong. The dangers are many, you might crash into someone, get into trouble off piste or simply have a ski lift accident. The risk of injury exists to some degree at all times when you’re out on a mountain but judging the degree of risk and the type of risk you’ll face is vital to ensuring you do so with the right protective ski gear. While travel insurance is a must for winter sports holidays, it’s not going to save you from injury, for that, you’ll need some gear.
It certainly isn’t the case that protective gear is for beginners, or just the experts. You can’t be too good to use a helmet in a high speed or high risk environment. In fact, real experts have respect for the conditions and how much of their safety relies on that tentative mixture of skill and luck. Even Olympians crash but they always do so wearing a helmet and are commonly strapped up and armoured to suit their discipline.
Protective gear isn’t only for experts and speed-demons. Not only can it prevent and reduce injuries when you’re up in the mountains but in a busy resort like Courchevel travelling the piste, it can increase your confidence when a potential collision with someone can seem moments away. We don’t mean that in a ‘let’s see how many times we can fall over’ way, we mean it as in if you do happen to take a tumble, protective gear is there to soften the blow and help you get up pain free, ready to tackle the slopes again. It can be nice to know it’s there.
There’s a range of effective and affordable protective gear out there for you to take with you on your ski and snowboard trips. So with the right items, you can develop your skills while being safe and protected. Take a look at our selection of protective ski gear below!
Ski Gear Products
Ski helmetsAlthough for most ski resorts it’s not a requirement to wear a helmet while skiing or boarding, a helmet is the most vital piece of protective equipment and the first we’d recommend getting.
A proper helmet shields your head from impacts that otherwise could leave you with the most serious of injuries. Where the risk of impact is high, you’d be mad not to wear one. This means beginners, freestyle/park riders, racers or off piste riders, in fact anyone who is pushing it on their skis or board.
Accidents happen to the best of us and most parents taking kids to the mountains opt for a helmet at all times just to make sure.
Where to buy ski helmetsThere are a range of affordable and high quality ski helmets available online for young children. There are different fittings, styles and even features like GoPro mount pads to consider. The kids are usually going to go for the coolest design but comfort is an important factor too.
Salomon are a good place to start, they provide an awesome selection of kids ski helmets which are lightweight, comfortable and most of all, ensure optimum safety and protection. Trying them out in person can be helpful but it’s best to bring your goggles, wear your coat and give your head a really good shake to make sure it fits nicely and your goggles stay on too.
Airbag helmetsAirbag helmets are a thing, and the innovative concept came from Hövding, a Swedish company that focuses on safety and protection. The helmet is a collar which you wear around your neck and in the event of an accident, it will inflate, thereby providing you with the protection you need.
The helmet is currently for cyclists, but in the future it’s entirely possible an airbag helmet for skiers and snowboarders will be introduced. How to stop it going off when your friends push you over? That may be the crucial problem.
We hope this kind of helmet is available for skiers soon!
Inflatable avalanche backpacksAvalanche backpacks feature a smart airbag system which is incorporated directly into the backpack. There is a range of avalanche safety equipment that can help increase your chances of survival and the airbag backpack has become a regular piece of equipment for skiers and snowboarders during their off piste excursions. During a snow slide, the avalanche air bag kicks off the “Brazil nut Effect”, meaning smaller objects sink to the bottom while large objects rise. With your body strapped to the airbag, it will give you more buoyancy.
Although these backpacks do offer increased safety and protection in the event of an avalanche, it does not replace common sense and it is strongly advised that you participate in avalanche risk management training.
Where to buy inflatable avalanche backpacksMany brands now specialise in the design of avalanche backpacks. Before you buy one, it’s important to consider what type of skiing or snowboarding you’ll be taking part in during your trip.
For example, your backpack needs to fit well and be comfortable, so with some models you will need to see which ones fit best before heading to the mountains.
Mammut offer an exceptional, value for money avalanche backpack with many features, including compression straps, removable hip belts and more. Be sure to check them out for a well protected ski trip!
Inflatable avalanche jacketsWe’ve just seen some of the avalanche backpacks available, but now there is a smart avalanche jacket that includes an ABS airbag system! In the event of an avalanche, the jacket will inflate and increase the chances of survival.
SubQ Designs announced the “first ever” avalanche jacket with an integrated ABS airbag system – definitely worth the investment in the event of an avalanche.
It’s lighter than a specialist backpack but is designed to be part of a range of their mountain products, including a harness and an optional avalanche rucksack that works in tandem with the coat.
Wrist guardsWrist guards are ideal for vulnerable wrists that require protection. Despite being so vital our wrists are quite fragile and can easily break if we take a tumble on the slopes.
Especially when it comes to snowboarders and beginners, catching an edge and being thrown on your front is quite a common injury we face and most of all, it’s very painful so if we can avoid that, the better!
It’s been estimated that 95,000 wrist fractures occur every year in ski resorts worldwide when snowboarding, so it’s well worth taking the time to protect yourself and your child from potential painful injuries.
Where to buy wrist guardsDemon are a popular brand known for their ski and snowboard accessories – they have a great selection of ski and snowboard wrist guards to provide you with much needed safety and protection.
So if you do end up taking a stumble on the slopes and land face down using your hands and arms for protection, the wrist guards will prevent and reduce injuries that could occur.
You can even get yourself a 2 in 1 deal with ski gloves that are also wristguards, so that saves you one other purchase ahead of your ski trip!
Thank yourself in advance!
Back protectionProtective ski gear has evolved in recent years, with new designs and styles weaving their way into the industry. And thanks to body moulding materials that effectively absorb impact, it’s no surprise more and more skiers and snowboarders are wearing back protectors in the mountains.
Back protectors are padded protectors that help protect your backbone and vertebra if you were to suffer a hard fall. Ultimately, they save us quite a bit of pain!
Off piste riders, park jumpers and speedsters are common users of pack protection as they have an increased risk of hard impacts to the spine.
Where to buy back protectionWith any kind of protective ski gear, you need to ensure it provides you with maximum protection and support. Many back protectors are designed to be lightweight and they are optimised to achieve quality performance all the while you’re wearing it!
Amplifi body armour is a ski and outdoor specialist, with a body armour range featuring high quality and durable back protective gear perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Get your shop on for a back protector that’s ideal for you.
Make sure your shopping list for protective ski gear includes back padding – especially for beginners, back protectors can come in incredibly handy.
Shoulder paddingShoulder padding is most often used to protect an injured joint or to help support recovery but it can add extra protection to those expecting some hard knocks.
With shoulder protection, you have the choice of shoulder braces or body armour tops which include shoulder padding, as well as protection for the whole upper body – so the choice is really yours.
We can’t wrap ourselves up in bubble wrap on the slopes, but with high quality ski protection gear, we can keep our shoulders protected when we feel we need to. Head on over to the next slide for shoulder padding protection.
Where to buy shoulder paddingGravity Protection specialise in ski equipment and protection for all types of skiing. Their body armour and shoulder protection range is versatile and flexible, featuring well known brands such as Demon, Dakine and POC.
Most shoulder injuries occur due to falls, so it’s important that you find the most appropriate and suitable ski wear if you plan on shredding the slopes and performing a few stunts here and there.
For full protection, head on over to their site in preparation for your ski holiday and feel free to snap a few pics of your choice in your ski resort!
Impact shortsImpact shorts offer protection in some of the most important areas. They use shock absorbing, high density foam padding over the hips, thighs and buttocks.
Snowboarders are big users of impact shorts as if you take on the rails and perform tricks and stunts, it’s a possibility that you can go over backwards and land on your buttocks right on a metal rail which hurts badly at the best of times and causes spinal injury at worst.
There’s only so much falling on our bums we can take before buying some impact shorts starts to make good sense.
Where to buy impact shortsYou can grab a pair of impact shorts to soften the blow if and when you fall on the slopes. They are most commonly used among skiers and snowboarders who race and perform tricks and stunts.
Many impact shorts also come in stylish and fashionable designs, which you can use for all of your future skiing trips as well as other extreme sports.
Demon Flexforce Pro padded shorts boasts many features, and we’re not surprised how these impact shorts are some of the most popular for skiing – with an utra low profile and lightweight design, all sorted!
Ski impact jacketsSki impact jackets offer all round protection like a combined shoulder protector, back protector and with added chest armour.
Ski impact jackets are able to reduce the risk of injuries when you’re up in the mountains and feature protection for the chest, back, shoulders, stomach and elbows – so it’s really a 5 in 1 jacket!
Impact jackets are ideal if you’re one to take on challenges and ski at very fast speeds on the slopes. Popular with off piste dare devils and some big air park riders, impact jackets are the ultimate upper body protection.
Where to buy ski impact jacketsSki impact jackets provide additional protection when out on the slopes, and Amplifi are an established ski brand which offer premium protection without leaving a huge dent in your bank account.
The Amplifi MK II jacket is ideal for skiers and snowboarders in order to reduce potential injuries to the rib cage, kidneys and back.
Impact jackets ensure optimum shock absorption while avoiding bulky, unecessary plastic shields. In addition to the Amplifi impact jacket, it includes a 3D back protector with Armourgel technology – this is a gel which immediately hardens when it meets impact!