Beyond a Helmet and Goggles: Advanced Protective Gear for the Skiers and Snowboarders in Your Family

xsports protective kids

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Today’s post comes from Susan Petrone of XSportsProtective is an online retailer of protective for sports ranging from skiing and snowboarding to skateboarding, mountain biking and more.

After talking to Susan, I realized I could interview her and write a post, or ask her to offer up some wisdom. She graciously agreed to help and the result is some great advice for parents who may be wondering when it is time to pad up the offspring to keep them (even more) safe!

Beyond A Helmet and Goggles: Advanced Protective Gear For the Skiers and Snowboarders in Your Family

braveskimom logoJust about every parent knows that their child needs a helmet and goggles for snowboarding or skiing.

Head injuries are nothing to fool around with, so we’re really happy that more and more parents are putting a lid on their kid.

For many kids on skis (and snowboards), a helmet and goggles may be all they need. However, as your child’s skills increase, so too may the need for more advanced protection.

How do you know when your younger skier or snowboarder should start adding additional protective gear? What protective gear should be a priority?

helmet and goggles

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There are several layers to this question. First ask: What is your kid doing and how does he/she do it?

If your child is doing any sort of skiing or snowboarding where he or she is going airborne (or attempt to be airborne), you need to step up the protection. If your child has a tendency to take risks or is a naturally aggressive skier or snowboarder, you might also want to outfit him or her with a little extra padding.

We’re going to presume your child already has a helmet and goggles. Let’s consider that basic equipment.

Beyond that, we recommend:

Wrist protection for kids on snowboards: Skier parents with a child who begs for a snowboard may not realize that 40% of all snowboard injuries are to the wrist. Because the feet are locked into the board, snowboarders fall either forward or backward, and it typically isn’t a gentle fall. Protective snowboard gloves (or wrist guards that fit under your child’s existing snow gloves) should be the #1 priority for kids on snowboards.

Snowboard wrist protection

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Padded ski shorts or pants: Skiers fall, we all know that. If your child wants to start learning to do tricks or jumps, padded ski shorts can ease the pain of the inevitable fall. Padded ski shorts can also prevent or minimize bruises or other fall-induced injuries. If your kid has a tendency to fall on her/his rear, be sure to look for padded ski shorts with extra tailbone protection. Padded ski shorts would be the one piece of advanced protection that doesn’t seem like “too much” for any recreational skier who occasionally wants to (safely) push the envelope.

vigilante padded ski shorts

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Ski body armor: Depending on the design, ski body armor can protect the chest, back, ribs, and arms. Body armor is generally made in a vest, jacket, or T-shirt style design and typically has a combination of hard and soft-shell padding. For more aggressive skiers or riders learning to do tricks, body armor can prevent or minimize a lot of injuries or pain.

ski snowboard body armor

Ski knee pads: Knee injuries account for an estimated 25-45% of all ski injuries. These tend to be ACL injuries. However, ski knee pads provide impact resistance as well as some measure of warmth and support. If your child is going to be doing any skiing or snowboarding in the park or other areas with hard, fixed objects, ski knee pads should be on the to-get list.

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This may seem like a big list. But bear in mind that not every piece of protective gear is going to be necessary for every young skier or snowboarder. A cautious kid who ventures occasionally into the park or takes small jumps might not need more than his or her helmet and goggles the first time out. A kid who consistently pushes her or his limitations (there’s one in every family!) may need a bit more protective gear sooner rather than later.

You will know your child, and his or her needs, best.

The Brave Ski Mom Adds…

boy sportsprotective

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Thank you so much Susan! I appreciate your insights and honest suggestions. For readers looking for more information, not only sells safety gear, but also has great information in their Ski Protective Gear Learning Center and their Snowboard Protective Gear Learning Center.

If you’re looking for information on how to choose gear, clean your gear or ensure that it is in good shape and still protecting as it should, this is a good resource!


No money or gear changed hands to facilitate this post. Susan Petrone and provided the information after a discussion with me. We will both be promoting this post on social media and linking to one another’s sites.

As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends. 


© 2013 – 2014, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.


    • says

      Good to know! I use knee pads when I tele and I love ‘em. Just a little added confidence comes with them. I hope Maine was a blast! Where did you go? Thanks!

  1. says

    I just recently found your blog and am really enjoying it! Random kiddo ski gear question – do you know if ski boots exist in toddler size 5? I am hoping to get my 20 month old out for a “trial” in March. I’m just hoping to pull him around, and hoping he has some fun so that next fall, when he’s 2 1/2, we can get him out skiing. He’s a tall 20 months old but still wearing 5/5.5 toddler shoes and I’m worried that ski boots are not available that small. Do you happen to know?