Author Topic: protection gear  (Read 591 times)

winged surfer

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protection gear
« on: March 18, 2020, 03:22:13 AM »
do you have any recommendation for the best protection gear?
i normally use a Gath helmet which i find very light (but very expensive) and i also find very confortable but bulkier the Side on Helmet (only 20 usd).
I'm thinking to buy also an impact vest, i was looking for the new Combat Foil Vest from Neilpryde which seems not so bulky and confortable. Has anyone tested it or have some other suggestions?
i also use a 2 mm full wetsuit even in summer time to avoid cut on the skin from the foil

Dwight (DW)

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Re: protection gear
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 04:20:49 AM »
There is less whiplash with the Gath, than the common helmets. We used the NP helmet when kite foiling, but the whiplash from the very high speed crashes could be felt versus no helmet. So we went searching for less mass. The Gath helmet, while expensive, felt better in crashes.

Winging crashes are slower, so not a concern.


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Re: protection gear
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 01:00:24 PM »
I bought an O’neil impact vest (shredder?) and love it. Hell I’d surf in it as it’s easier on my ribs. Can’t see a reason to not wear a vest if you’re already in a wetsuit.


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Re: protection gear
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 10:37:17 AM »
I like the ion zip front vests. Whatever vest you get you need to pay some attention to how you're going to keep it from pulling up and potentially covering your face in a crash. I have firsthand experience with this--and I'll tell you that a vest around your head is the last thing you need to be struggling with when you're leashed to two large unruly devices in grinding surf. I used a key to poke holes next the zipper a few inches up from the bottom that I tie my boardshorts through. the vest still rises up in the back, but that's just uncomfortable, not dangerous. Don't use a knife to make the hole, a thin slit creates a potential tearing line.

I have a lot of helmets, and I tried several for the first few days of foiling. I didn't think they were a positive addition at the time, but I'm probably wrong. I've hit the water hard enough to give me a headache and make my arm go numb. As a longtime motorsports racer with a penchant for research, I've dug deeper into the protection calculation for helmets than most people would care to delve. There are a set of conditions during an accident that helmets help, and a set of things they worsen. Heads are heavy and poorly supported to begin with. Adding weight and surface area to your noggin is not without consequence. In a race car, on a motorcycle or bike, the risk/reward falls totally on the side of wearing them all the time. Yes, there will be occasions when they cause more harm than they prevent, but that's down at the level of occasional anecdotal statements that simply relate to the fact that no protection against a dynamic environment is absolute. "When he hit the tree, the heavy helmet broke his neck". Yup, it happens. But generally, if you aren't wearing a helmet when you're tossed to the pavement you splash your brains everywhere. If you see that happen once you'll wear a helmet if you're moving your bike a few hundred feet. I've seen it twice.

in water, however, the calculations probably shift a bit. There's less research on the efficacy, and the medium is 1000 times denser. So I just don't know where this comes down unless I manage to hit the foil with my nose, like Jim Winneman recently did on Maui. A helmet might have helped, or it might have braced his head to let the foil cut deeper when the head couldn't rebound away from the foil. To prevent that accident it would need a faceguard.

That's a lot of words to say "I don't know, but I wear a vest."

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Re: protection gear
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 11:33:27 AM »
"pay some attention to how you're going to keep it from pulling up and potentially covering your face in a crash."   Sorry you had to learn that for the rest of us, Bill ...but glad you mentioned it.

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Re: protection gear
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 12:23:46 PM »
I find more contact with the foil carrying in and out of the water than any crashes. I was pretty nervous when I first started , but 14 sessions later and a number of crashes, I can say i never even came close to the foil.  Still i am wearing a helmet and padded vest, but crashes are few now and may l reconsider much to my wife’s objection.
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