One of the most common questions I get from first-time snowboarders is, "Do I need to wear wrist guards?"Snowboarding Wrist Guards may be a good idea to protect your hands, wrists and forearms from damage
-- especially when the snowpack is very hard. When first learning, you can expect to have numerous falls; slams where you place your palm down to catch yourself. Although this is not the correct way to fall down, it's hard not to react like this due to human nature.
Popular with beginners (who fall down a lot more than experienced riders) those with weak structures or prior injuries to the lower extremities of the arms find wrist guards helpful as well.
Some people claim that wrist guards can be dangerous in other ways, exposing fingers in unnatural ways. Other critics say that wrist guards promote bad habits like not falling properly.
On the flip-side, although it seems to me that not many snowboarders do wear wrist guards, those who do swear by them. Just check out some of these quotes from riders:
"I always wear wrist guards and they have saved me from breaking my wrists countless times."
"I'm glad I wear wrist guards because I've landed pretty hard a few times and I'm sure they've saved me some broken wrists."
"I didn't wear wrist guards for my first 5 or so years of snowboarding, then one year I caught my edge going off of a kicker and had to choose between my neck and my wrists."
One good thing about wrist guards is that as far as protective gear goes, they are relatively cheap. You can find some from manufacturers like DaKine
. Personally I like the looks of the Bern
ones since they are softer and built in to the snowboard gloves -- but they are quite a bit more expensive.
In conclusion, snowboarding wrist guards are certainly a superb option for beginners, those with prior injuries, or anyone who feels more confident using them "just in case". And since the most common snowboarding injury by far is to the wrist, I can see why many would want to go with them.
Compare pricing on snowboarding wristguards.