In short, yes. Padded impact shorts are totally worth wearing. You’d be surprised at how many really good skiers and snowboarders wear them.
Here’s one big reason why:
Bruised Tailbones SUCK
Imagine a giant painful bruise on your butt that takes an entire winter to go away. That’s what a bruised tailbone is. You won’t be able to sit for long periods and even gentle falls on your butt will cause huge amounts of pain.
Padded shorts will lower your chances of a bruised tailbone. It’s not foolproof and if you land hard enough on your tailbone, you might still bruise it, but trust me when I say that it is something that you’d like to avoid as much as possible.
Great, so how do I choose which shorts to buy?
You want a snug fit with good tailbone protection. Hip pads and all that are nice too, but in particular, make sure the tailbone area is well protected.
Also, if you’re buying padded shorts, never buy shorts that are a loose or relaxed fit. For example, the old Burton loose board short style impact shorts were horrible. I had a pair and the loose ‘comfy’ fit meant that the pads moved all over the place.
Thankfully, Burton has learnt from their past and their newer shorts are a solid snug fit. I use a pair of the newer RED Total Impact Shorts and they do the job. I’ll probably do a detailed review of the shorts in the near future.
Here are some companies that make good padded shorts:
These 3 companies make nice, snug fitting impact shorts with good tailbone protection. Some shorts are offered with a plastic tailbone protector instead of just foam, so do have a look and see which you’d prefer. Some people find the plastic covers uncomfortable on chairlifts.
One last thing:
No. They do not make your butt look big.