6 Best Skiing and Snowboarding Wrist Guards

The Best Wrist Guards for Snow Sports

Summary

Regardless of your experience, falling will always be an inevitable part of skiing and snowboarding. And when you fall, your mind automatically extends your arms to protect your body from substantial damage. But obviously, you’ll be subjecting your arms, and particularly wrists, to the same potential injuries. 

That’s where wrist guards come in handy. With their sturdy designs and robust splints, these guards are the helmets of your arms! 

How much support does each pair of guards provide? What about comfort? And will you have to trade off maneuverability? 

To save your precious time, we scoured the internet to gather 6 of the best ski and snowboard wrist guards. Let’s see!

Best Choice

5/5
Level Fly Glove,Black,8.0 / Medium

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that Level revolutionized the protective gear industry by introducing these wrist guards. 

In partnership with numerous orthopedic professors, they came up with the patented BioMex guards, which are securely stashed inside the gloves. 

To understand the benefits of these guards, you have to know how wrist injuries can occur. The most common injury happens due to hyperextension (when the back of the hand moves closer to the forearm). More serious injuries happen when your wrist rotates either externally or internally, which are technically known as pronation and radial abduction. 

Most of the commercial wrist guards only protect against hyperextension injuries by using a thick splint on top. On the contrary, the BioMex guards surround your whole wrists to protect against the three possible injuries. Better yet, they position the wrists in a way that keeps the muscles activated and ready to absorb impacts. 

That ingenious design will decrease the possibility of wrist fractures and sprains by about 7.5 times! 

Externally, the whole gloves are made of a water-resistant fabric, which will keep your hands dry and toasty, even if you keep falling onto fresh powder. I also like how the palm area is reinforced with kevlar pads, guaranteeing impeccable durability for the longest time possible.

Other things we like about these wrist guards

  • Features a plush pad that you can use to wipe your nose
  • The palm area is reinforced with kevlar
  • Wide cuffs with velcro straps to fit tightly over your coat sleeves

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: polyester 
  • Machine washable: no
  • Color: black 
  • Sizes: 9

Best Value

5/5
Ski Gloves Men&Women,devembr Snowboard Gloves 3M Thinsulate Insulation(Black,S)

Let’s face it — skiing and snowboarding tools often break the bank. That forces some people to ignore the small accessories, even if they’re essential for proper protection. But luckily, you can still manage to find quality products with affordable price tags, and the devembr wrist guards are a worthy example. 

The protective component in these gloves lies at the palm side. Devembr embeds a curved splint there, spanning between the thumb and the lower end of the wrists. Because these splints extend well over the sides, they’ll effectively shield your wrists against side bumps. 

Unfortunately, there are no splints installed over the back of the hand, which might leave you exposed to hyperextension injuries. That said, the broad velcro strap grants a bit of splinting action in that direction — It’s not ideal, but it’s the best available option at that price range. 

When it comes to secondary features, Devembr doesn’t disappoint. For one, there’s an ample zipper pocket over the back of the hand, which should be ideal for storing things like the lift pass, some cash, etc. 

The part between the thumb and index finger features anti-slip inserts, which facilitates gripping your ski poles and similar gear. The rest of the fingers sport similar inserts over the tips, making it a lot easier to handle your smartphone and binds.

Why These Snow Sport Wrist Guard Gloves Stand Out

  • Budget-friendly
  • Features a zippered pocket 
  • Grants excellent dexterity

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: waterproof synthetic blend 
  • Machine washable: no
  • Color: black, camo, pink, and grey  
  • Sizes: 4

Editors Choice - Best Low Profile Wrist Guards

5/5
BURTON Mens Adult Wrist Guards, True Black, Large

The most unique thing about Burton’s wrist guards is their low-profile design. You can wear them underneath most ski gloves and mittens without having to tolerate that annoying crampedness. 

What’s the secret behind that minimal build? Well, it’s all about the design of the splints. See, most brands sew the guard body first, and then they attach the splints on top. Burton decided to merge these steps by embedding two reinforced splints into the body.  

The upper splint is designed with a flexible, tapered shape to allow for minimal movement, just in case you have to adjust any of your ski gear. The bottom splint is molded meticulously around your thumb to prevent chafing and rubbing.

To make sure the two splints stay firmly in place, Burton connects them by two velcro straps: one over the knuckles and one underneath the wrists. I absolutely love that the knuckle strap is narrower than that of the wrist, which fits well with the low-profile concept. 

On the rare occasion that the guards slide out of place, you can easily tug them back with the loop stitched at the bottom without having to take off the external gloves. How’s that for convenience!

Why These Snowboarding Wrist Guards Stand Out

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable fit
  • Lined with soft material
  • Low Profile
  • Can easily remove when if they get too burdensome

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: polyester 
  • Machine washable: yes 
  • Color: black 
  • Sizes: 4
5/5
Dakine Mens Wrist Guards Low Profile Wrist Protection, Black, Small

The Dakine wrist guards should be another great option if you want something that can fit underneath ski gloves. 

These guards feature a thick neoprene build, which fits tightly over your arms, even before you cinch the velcro strap. Also, neoprene offers efficient thermal insulation, even though it doesn’t cover your whole hands. This way, you wouldn’t have to layer super bulky gloves on top. 

To keep injuries at bay, Dakine adds three aluminum splints: one on the back of the hand and two on the sides. Even though the bottom side isn’t supported with a splint, the tight velcro strap would keep it secured in place. 

I can’t say how happy I am with the back splint. Unlike most guards, this splint extends from the knuckles to the wrists’ rearmost part, ensuring that your wrists won’t give in to any trauma, no matter how significant. 

The only issue you might encounter with these guards is the sizing, as they might run a bit small. To avoid such inconvenience, you should consider going one size up.

Why These Snow Sport Wrist Guards Stand Out

  • Durable aluminum splints
  • Tight neoprene build 
  • Affordable

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Machine washable: no 
  • Color: black 
  • Sizes: 6
5/5
187 Killer Pads Wrist Guard, Medium

If bulky guards get on your nerves, you’ll appreciate the ones produced by 187 Killer Pads. When worn, they’ll barely cover 6 inches on your arms, leaving more room for the external gloves. 

The most unique thing about those guards is the splint shape. In most products, splints have an almost flat shape, which forces your wrists into a somewhat uncomfortable and unnatural position. 

On the contrary, the splints of these guards are angled, forcing your hands to bend slightly upwards. Not only does this design feel more comfortable, but it also helps you drag your hands over the snow while snowboarding, which makes for one of the most jaw-dropping tricks. 

The second unique feature offered by these guards is the number of velcro straps. Until now, all the products I featured offer only two straps. This model gives you three, ensuring ideal protection at all times. 

In order for these guards to fulfill their maximum protective potential, the manufacturer reinforces the body with ballistic nylon and industrial-grade stitching. Better yet, the holes dedicated to the thumb and the rest of the fingers are covered with an additional nylon layer to withstand the constant rubbing. 

I know this might sound strange, but the only thing I don’t like about these guards is the brand’s name. “187” is a code that police officers use to report homicides! With that information in mind, I wouldn’t recommend these guards for kids and teenagers. 

Why These Wrist Guards Stand Out

  • Reasonably priced
  • Padded with a comfortable material 
  • Features three straps

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: ballistic nylon
  • Machine washable: no 
  • Color: black 
  • Sizes: 5
5/5
Soared Skating Impact Wrist Guards Protective Gear Gloves for Skateboard Skiing Snowboard Black M

Although Soared designs these guards for skaters, skiers & snowboarders can also wear them over their insulated ski gloves. But in that case, you’d have to go one size up. 

Because these guards cover a considerable portion of your arm, Soared had to choose a material that balances well between flexibility and protection. To that end, ABS plastic was the perfect candidate. The rest of the body is made from lycra mesh, which guarantees excellent breathability and comfort. 

Just like most guards, these ones tighten in place with two velcro straps, stitched toward both ends. To be honest, I wanted to have a third strap over the middle, especially because these guards are longer than usual. However, the two straps still do a pretty good job on their own. 

On the palm-side of each wrist guard, Soared engraves small “L” and “R” to indicate which guard goes over which hand. Although this sounds pretty basic, you won’t actually find it on many guards. 

Why These Stand Out

  • Excellent support with a bit of flexibility
  • Thick EVA lining 
  • The tapered design doesn’t dig into your skin

Other Product Specifications

  • Material: ABS plastic and lycra mesh 
  • Machine washable: no 
  • Color: black 
  • Sizes: 5

Things to Consider Before Buying Ski and Snowboard Wrist Guards

Which style should you buy? Are gauntlet guards better than mittens? And what materials should you search for? These are some of the questions that I’ll answer in the following section.

Design

Ski and snowboard wrist guards come in three designs: basic splints, full gauntlets, and mittens. 

Basic Splints

The most basic wrist guards have a minimal build that looks somewhat like fingerless gloves, except that they don’t extend as high over the knuckles. 

Because these guards don’t entirely cover your hands, you can’t wear them alone. You should layer them under or over suitable ski gloves. 

Ideally, I’d recommend wearing them underneath your gloves. Why? Well, having compressible gloves lying between your hands and the wrist guards will allow for some movement, which defies the whole purpose of splinting. 

If you decide to wear them over gloves, consider ordering one size larger than what you’d normally wear. 

My top pick in that category is Burton Adult Wrist Guards

Full Gauntlets vs. Mittens 

The full gauntlets and mittens look exactly like your typical ski gloves. But if you dissect their internal structure, you’d find the same supportive splints that you’d see in basic models. 

Deciding between gauntlets and mittens comes down to your personal preferences. With gauntlets, you can freely move your fingers, allowing for better control over your bindings and other ski gear. 

Although mittens will hinder your dexterity, they’ll keep you much warmer since they have less surface area exposed to air. 

If you’re interested in these styles, I highly recommend checking Level’s products. Both their gauntlets and mittens feature the patented BioMex splints, which provides the ultimate wrist protection. 

Materials

When considering your wrist guards’ materials, make sure to check both the splints and the overall body.

Splints

Splints should feature a rigid material that can absorb forceful impacts without breaking or bending. But at the same time, they shouldn’t be so stiff that they entirely restrict your movement. Otherwise, you won’t be able to ski or snowboard as efficiently.

Some wrist guards, such as Dakine’s, feature aluminum splints. Naturally, such a build will lie more on the stiff side. If you want something a bit more resilient, you should go for the models that have plastic splints, such as Soared’s

Body

If you’re planning to buy a gauntlet or mitten, make sure the outer fabric is resistant to water and wind. Otherwise, they won’t provide any protection against the cold weather. That feature isn’t always required for basic splints unless you’ll wear them over your gloves. 

As you might already know, synthetic materials provide the best water resistance, especially polyester. 

Because we usually fall on our palms, many brands reinforce that area with extra durable materials, such as kevlar. Some manufacturers also incorporate non-slip pads all over gauntlets and mittens in order to improve dexterity. 

As for the lining, you should search for soft yet breathable materials that can wick away your sweat. Stay away from cotton and wool because they tend to get clammy pretty fast.

How to Measure Your Hands for Wrist Guards

Naturally, wrist guards must fit firmly over your hands to provide optimal protection. 

To measure your hands, grab a cloth tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of your knuckles — that would be the width. 

To measure the length, extend the tape measure between the tip of your middle finger and the lowest point in your palm. If you can’t locate that point, stop at the most prominent crease in this area. 

Now use the recorded width and length to pick your ideal size from the manufacturer’s size chart. 

Bear in mind that some brands use different sizing approaches. For instance, some brands measure the width at the wrist instead of the knuckles. In these situations, you should always follow the official recommendations.

Bonus: Learning the Proper Way to Fall

Yes, you read that right! Falling is an essential part of skiing and snowboarding, but injuries aren’t! If you know how you should fall, you’ll dissipate the forceful impact uniformly over your body, saving your fragile joints from sprains and fractures. 

Falling Forward 

When you feel that you’re toppling forward, quickly bend your elbows and bring your hands close to your chest. As you fall, try to land on your forearms and quads. If you’re falling at high speed, remember to lift up the snowboard or skis so that they don’t pull on the snow. 

Falling Backward

If you’re tumbling backward, you should be careful not to bang your head onto the ice. Even if you’re skiing on fresh powder, you might be unlucky enough to fall over a hidden rock. 

To fall safely, place your hands over the back of your head, and curl your body by bringing your knees close to your chest. While falling, try to land on your bottom before your back. This way, you’ll dissipate most of the force at the fat tissues instead of your bones. 

Additional Tips

Whatever you do, never land on your hands — this is your first-class ticket to wrist sprains and fractures. Unfortunately, our minds are programmed to automatically extend our arms in cases of danger, so you’ll need lots of practicing to override this habit.

Final Thoughts

For the truly most comprehensive solution to protecting your wrists on the slopes, the Level Fly Snowboard Gloves are the best option. Being integrated with the gloves allows you to keep the two items together and in place, and it provides the most consistent protection.

If you want something that you can wear underneath ski gloves, consider the Burton Adult Wrist Guards. Thanks to their low-profile design, your hands won’t feel cramped inside, and you can retain the freedom of movement for grabs or general comfort. 

Stay safe!

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