Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The curse is broken... Thank you, safety gear!
I am not a snowboarder. I am uncoordinated, and I generally hate snow, winter and the feeling of my feet dangling in the air as I hang from a cable. I grew up 45 minutes from two or more ski resorts, and I never set foot on a slope until last weekend.
Couple this with the knowledge that I know more people who have broken bones on the slopes than engaging in all of the other dangerous hobbies I know combined. In the last two seasons, two of my good friends obtained wrist fractures (including a fellow Adventure Woman). I knew when I decided to try snowboarding for the first time that extra precautions would be necessary...
While discussing the probability that I would be spending the majority of my day on my rear, a friend suggested wrist guards. Obtaining these was not unlike searching for the Holy Grail. I drove around Atlanta for two days hitting every outdoor and sporting goods store on the map, before finally caving and heading to the edge of the city to a specialty ski shop, Rocky Mountain Ski and Patio, where I picked up a $20.00 pair of Dakine wrist guards.
My ultra-cautious two-day quest for safety gear paid off in more ways than one. While I fell a total of somewhere between fifty and a thousand times, my wrists are completely intact, and were not even sore when I hit the climbing gym on Monday. My friends and I watched person after person (all with far greater skill than me - hell, they probably even left the bunny slope!) leave the mountain limping or otherwise damaged, but I was not one of them. The second benefit was unexpected but very welcome - they kept my hands warm! My borrowed gloves were completely saturated from about an hour into the day from all the falling, to the point that they dyed my hands blue, but my hands remained warm. My hands are never warm. This is a big thing.
Cons: They make it slightly harder to put your gloves on. Also, you're that dork among your friends that would rather wear extra safety gear than end up in a cast for 6 weeks. (Wait, that's not a con...)
Overall rating: A.
(Note: While Rocky Mountain did have the item I was looking for, at a price that was not outrageous, I have to point out the lack of knowledge of the staff. The saleswoman who assisted me, when I asked how the wrist guards worked, instructed me to put them on backwards, despite all common sense notions to the contrary. Please be advised, should you choose to wear wrist guards, which I suggest highly, that the plastic piece should be on the underside of your wrist...)