04.About the test
A panel of experts from New Zealand assessed several wristguards for comfort, fit and protectiveness.
The panel of experts were:
Dr Simon Brebner: Ski Area doctor at Treble Cone, for 12 years. Medical Director for the Winter Performance Programme.
Ginny Bush: NZ team physiotherapist at the 2002 Salt Lake City and 2006 Turino Winter Olympics. Physiotherapist for the NZ Winter Performance Programme.
Erin Greene: Patroller Coronet Peak.
Associate Professor Peter Milburn: Researcher into sports injury biomechanics, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago.
Matt Wood: Buyer of snow products for R&R Sport, Dunedin.
The panel agreed that the Rac Wrist Support (pictured right) - worn over the glove - was the most protective. It protected both sides of the wrist and had a fan-shaped support on the palm to spread the impact. Trouble is, the Rac screams "learner". It's bulky, unattractive, and uncool. So you won't find it in many shops.
The Dakine Wristguard (pictured left) also provided good protection to the palm of the hand. It's compact and would fit easily under a glove. However, there's no support splint on top of the hand. This guard is a good compromise for a more experienced snowboarder.
The Dakine Nova Wristguard Glove was the most convenient. You only need one piece of equipment, rather than both a glove and a guard. But the panel questioned how much support it'd give. It's definitely not for a beginner, although it may provide some support for a more experienced boarder who's less likely to fall.
Matt Wood from R&R Sport (one of the panellists), said this technology was fairly new. In time, he expects gloves with built-in wristguards to offer better protection.
One of the other guards - the Seirus Internal Wrist Guard Jam Master Exo - was uncomfortable.
The panel stressed the importance of trying the wristguards before you buy. So don't buy online, or from a store that won't let you try them.
Some ski fields will lend you a free pair of wristguards when you hire a snowboard. All beginners should take up this offer.