Are Wristguards Necessary For Snowboarding/Skiing?

Thanks to Paul for submitting this question! – Jed

More question and answer time! Today’s question:

Are wrist guards necessary? Should I be wearing them?

Honestly, I don’t usually ride with wrist guards, but whether or not you should or shouldn’t depends on your situation.

Dakine's 'Wristguard DLX'

Dakine's 'Wristguard DLX'

When are wrist guards useful:

Are you newer to snowboarding/skiing?

If so, you probably haven’t trained your body to fall without putting your hands out. In this case, wristguards aren’t a bad idea, as sprained wrists are one of the most common injuries when you’re just getting started.

Do you have a wrist injury?

Sometimes you’ll sprain your wrist, even if you fall correctly. It’s rare, but if it happens, it’s a smart idea to wear wrist guards while you build up strength in your wrists again. It takes quite some time for your wrist to get back to 100% after a sprain, even after the pain goes away.

Research has shown that it can take as long as 6 months to get back to full strength after spraining your wrists. You don’t have to wear wrist guards for 6 months, obviously, but it’s not a bad idea to wear one for the first few weeks after a wrist injury.

Why I don’t usually wear wrist guards:

I find them uncomfortable and I find that I rarely hurt my wrists. After you’ve trained yourself to fall without putting your palms out, wrist sprains become a lot less frequent. I think my last wrist injury was a couple seasons ago, so I personally don’t want to sacrifice my comfort for a very rare, non serious injury.

Something you might want to consider instead of standard wrist guards is to wear one of many gloves with built in wrist guards. They’re starting to become more common and many companies are starting to offer solid choices.

Whether you wear wrist guards or not is up to you, but I think if you’re newer to the sport, it’s a pretty smart idea to wear wrist guards at first.

Hope that helps and happy shredding!

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  1. If you’re not careful, I find that wrist guards can actually build bad habits about using your hands to brace yourself. I’m good about keeping my hands/wrists out of the way normally, but when I wore wrist guards for a while, I started developing a habit of using my hands simply because the guard could take it.

    • Yep, that’s true, definitely don’t want to start relying on them. Always good to have the habit of keeping those hands in when falling.

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