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Protective Gear For Snowboarding

Posted by Nev Lapwood on

                            Protective Snowboard Gear

We get a lot customers asking us about protective gear so I decided to write a blog on this topic.

Question asked by our customer:

“I have a question for you, as professional snowboarders, do you have any suggestions for purchasing protective gear for doing park features? I mean for knee, chest, elbow, wrist, etc. Because there are tons of products out there and am having a difficulty of making my choices. I want to know, you as the most experienced person, what are your preferences and choices.”

I have personally been through many injuries from broken ribs and wrists, to concussions and a separated shoulder. I still feel lucky compared to the many friends who I’ve seen get taken to the hospital with all sorts of horrible injuries.

Snowboarding has progressed very rapidly over the past couple of years and the rails and jumps are always increasing in size. Consequently the falls are much harder.

To avoid unnecessary injuries it is not only important to wear your safety gear, but also slowly progress your way into bigger features and better tricks. Get comfortable with the motions, practice a lot and your confidence will increase. You need to be comfortable with every feature you hit. If you’re not comfortable, back off until you are.

By wearing protective gear not only do you increase your confidence on rails and jumps you save yourself from sitting out a whole season.

I personally wear a helmet, especially when learning new stuff in the park. If I’m just cruzing then I sometimes don’t wear one, but I would recommend for all beginners to wear one at all times. I also wear kneepads to protect and keep my knees warm. Knees are a very common injury in professional snowboarders and I feel lucky that I haven’t had any major knee injuries.


The following list will show you the common protective gear you’ll find on the market:


A helmet is essential for most sports, and snowboarding is no exception. Helmets keep you safe from crashing on hard snow, icy conditions, rocks or trees, or objects in parks. Always wear a helmet to prevent serious head injuries.


 Wrist Guards:

During a fall the first natural movement is usually to brace yourself with your hands, especially beginners. Even smaller wrist injuries can take about eight weeks to heal. So buying a good pair of wrist guards is never a bad idea when you’re new to snowboarding. As you become experienced, you’ll learn how to fall safely and slide with your falls making wrist guards not as necessary.



Knee pads, elbow pads, hip pads and butt pads are all designed to keep you from seriously injuring or bruising yourself on the slopes. So for whatever area you prefer to be protected, get yourself a pad. They also make falls while learning new tricks a lot more comfortable. One of the newest technologies on for these pads is D30, soft lightweight pads that goes ridged on impact. I have used the chest and back protector plus the shorts and find it to be the lightest of protection gear on the market.


 Back protectors:

Back injuries are uncommon for snowboarders, but when they do occur, they can be severe and long lasting. Back protectors sometimes also come with shoulder padding as well, however they do restrict your upper-body movement.


Safety Gear Conclusion:

As safe as you want to snowboard, there’s always a downside, even on safety gear. It is important to know that the more protective gear you wear the more it will restrict your movement and affect your riding. So take the time to find the protective gear that fits best for you and your riding style.

For protective gear commonly used for snowboarding check out these companies:

If you have any specific questions on safety gear, please reply in the comments to this blog and we’ll do our best to follow up with an answer.

If you have a question that you would like us to answer please send it to us info@SnowboardAddiction.com


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  • Hey All. I am looking for recommendations for the best crash shorts and spine protectors. Last season I suffered a compression fracture to my Thoracic vertebrae and am a bit scared to get back on the mountain. I would like the best padding possible. Thoughts?

    Lisa on
  • Hi Nev,

    Thanks for the great post! I’ve been snowboarding for about 15 years, and just moved to the Rockies so that I could ride more (goal for this season is 50 days). Park is a more recent development for me, so I only started wearing a helmet this season. I love it, surprisingly. I’m much more confident on jumps and in the trees. Plus, Bluetooth headphones are the best thing ever.

    Of course, with more confidence comes more ambition. Now that I don’t have to worry about a concussion, I’m trying to get stronger locking on rails and throwing 3s and 1s off of bigger features. Unfortunately, I’m also closing in on 30 years old, and when I fall on my knees, it can rob the rest of my day. Do you have any recommendations for flexible, light-weight women’s knee pads?

    Thank you!

    Erin on
  • Hey Mark. Yes all helmets are different but in saying that they all do the same job. Like anything if you’re pay more money then you’re going to get a better helmet that protects you better. I think the most important thing is how it fits you’re head. Style is also important in snowboarding. It should look good. Black goes with everything so if my favourite colour when choosing a helmet. If you’re helmet is 3 years old, then it’s probably a good time to replace it with a new one, especially if you’ve fell a lot and hit that helmet a lot. If it’s only been lightly used then it’s probably ok to keep going with it. Hope this helps. Cheers – Nev

    Nev on
  • Is there a difference in helmets? I’ve had the same helmet for each of the last 3 seasons (a cheap-o/entry level RED brand helmet). Now, I ride much better, but also much faster and am starting to try more difficult snowboarding stuff.

    I’m wondering how I can tell when my helmet needs to be retired, and if I should be looking for something specific in a new helmet.

    Mark on

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