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Winter Safety Equipment for Winter Kiting & Ice Sailing with Wind Power

Winter Safety Equipment allows us to maximize our fun on the ice or snow and avoid or minimize serious injury.  When I was a child there were no bike helmets, we didn’t wear ski or snowboard helmets.  But times have changed and for the good of those who desire to enjoy winter sports.  Following is a list of winter safety equipment we use.

The helmet is the most important safety tool.  I prefer a BMX full-face helmet.  It’s lighter and cost less than a snowmobile or motorcycle helmet.  Bicycle, hockey, snowboard or skiing helmets work also.  It depends on the level of protection you desire.  The padding in the helmet also helps keep your head warm.

If you kite and are using a snowboard, kneepads and padded shorts really help. You either fall back on your butt or forward on your knees.  If you use skis, padded shorts and elbow pads are best.  These are minimum pads, adding more padding never hurts.

Winterboards are very stable but knee and elbow pads are good to use.  Freeskates (the shortboard of winter) can cause unorthodox falls therefore they require the most padding.  The serious Freeskaters wear knee pads, padded shorts and a chest protector that includes elbow, forearm, shoulder, back and spine padding with plastic covering the soft padding.

In 1985 I started sailing in the winter on windsurfing equipment and didn’t use any padding or helmet.  After many falls and poundings I now wear a helmet and a full assortment of pads all the time so I can maximize my fun, push the limits and not get hurt in the process.  We need to be able to play or work the next day and the safety protection makes it happen.

Padding or body armor has been improving drastically over the last years and Wind Power is constantly looking for the newest equipment and testing it out to see if it fits our needs.  Currently we are looking for padded shorts with built in knee pads.

What’s important to make a good functional pad? It must have thick enough padding with a plastic cover over the outside of the pad to distribute the impact.  So knee, elbow, shoulder, shin, forearm, butt and thigh pads should have plastic covers.  The Pad Must Say in Place! A pad that slipped is like having no pad at all.  It needs to be in place when you need it.  I prefer knee pads that I don’t have to slip my foot through.  I want to be able to put them over my clothing without removing shoes or clothing.  The same with elbow pads.  Motocross has developed very nice chest protection with built-in forearm, elbow, shoulder, back/spine and chest protection.  This is all built into a shirt that fits snug and holds all the pads in place very well so they are there when you need them. Link to Thor Chest Protector We are looking for hip, butt and knee pads built together similar to the chest protector but haven’t found any good enough for our use yet.  Some just came out this year but they lack the plastic covering over the pads.  So for now we use padded shorts and separate knee pads.  The shorts we use have removable plastic covers for the thigh and butt. Link to padded shorts.

Knee pads need to stay in place, easily install or remove over clothing, have a large pad with a plastic cover. Link to knee pads.

The preferred elbow pad is included in the chest protector.  If getting a separate elbow pad, get a similar pad as the knee pad.

A BMX full-face bike helmet offers the best protection as well as warmth in a light package.  They are usually cheaper than a motorcycle or snowmobile helmet, even though both of those helmets work great also. Link to helmet. Link to another helmet style.

If you have more questions about padding feel free to contact Wind Power for more information.  Protect your self and have more fun without worrying about injury.

p. s. A serious student will show up with all the padding and I’ll be smiling.

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