Trends Watch: Safer slopes |

Trends Watch: Safer slopes

Sarah L. Stewart
Special to The Vail TrailFlexmeter Snowboard Wrist Guards and Gloves

Not everyone was born a professional snowboarder. In fact, no one was. Even once you’ve become a master of the slopes, there’s a good chance the memory of what it took to get there still stings a little.

But thanks to a variety of safety products, it turns out that learning to ride doesn’t have to be painful ” or at least not as painful as it used to be. Something to remember: these items might help you avoid injury, but they won’t protect against the day-after pain of using muscles that you didn’t realize you had.

Flexmeter Snowboard Wrist Guards and Gloves give your wrists support for the many times you’ll land on them. Designed by doctors, they claim to reduce the risk of wrist fractures by 67 percent or more. Wrist guards are $59 at, and gloves with built-in guards are $99.

Having trouble sitting after a day on the hill? Azzpadz, the anatomically correct tailbone protection harness, will help make falling more cushy on your tushy. It features an impact diversion zone (a flexible plastic shell that distributes the impact), three layers of foam cushion and adjustable waist and leg bands, all for about $50. See for more information.

The Triple Eight Bumsaver Snowboard Padded Short gives both your thighs and your behind some crash protection. And besides, they look super cool. Also known as a girdle, the Bumsaver ($45) and similar products are available at the Sports Authority and local ski shops.

The Pro-Tec IPS back guard gives your back “anatomical, injection-molded, hinged spine cap protection.” We’re not sure what that is, but it sure sounds safer. Available at Sports Authority for about $50.


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