(Received 12 July 2011; accepted 2 February 2012)
Published Online: 2012
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Although wrist guards are available to prevent the wrist injuries that are frequently sustained in snowboarding, there is no mandated performance standard for these wrist guards as there is for other sports protection equipment. This study investigates whether the standard specified for safety gear in roller sports (EN 14120) can also be applied to snowboarding equipment. Representatives of the different designs of snowboarding wrist protectors available were tested in a manner similar to that defined in EN 14120. The damping characteristics of the products were investigated in drop tests, and wrist extension properties were studied using bending tests. In general the test results indicate that the roller sports standard is also applicable to snowboarding products; however, adjustments to the test conditions and the performance requirements need to be discussed. This relates, first of all, to the damping test conditions, because most products failed the performance criteria. In addition, a higher upper threshold value in the bending test (currently 55°) seems to be more related to falls observed in snowboarding. Furthermore, the influence of test conditions such as the temperature needs to be checked. Nevertheless, the introduction of a modified standard should be a reasonable undertaking to improve the protective potential of wrist guards.
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Univ. and ETH Zurich, Zurich,
Michel, Frank I.
bfu—Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, Bern,
TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH, Munich,
Stock #: JAI104204