wrist guards specifically meant for ice?

treesprite

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I really don't want to have a third wrist break. I used wrist guards after the last broken wrist, but a coach warned me about the injuries they can cause due to sliding on the ice (for example, pulling out a shoulder). Are there actually wrist guards made specifically for ice skating, that are made of material that won't slide on the ice, or that have some kind of cleat on them to prevent them from sliding?
 

overedge

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I think a wrist guard that didn’t let you slide would be more hazardous than one that did. If you land on the ice and your wrist/hand stays in one place while the rest of your body keeps moving, you could do some serious damage to your wrist or your arm. Especially if you're falling fast or with a lot of force.

The skaters I know who wear wrist or hand guards get the ones that are made for skateboarding, which are designed to protect you from the force of the fall and from scraping your skin on the ground.
 

treesprite

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I read a kind of research article yesterday that explained why those types of guards are not safe (can't remember the name and didn't save the link) for use on a frictionless surface (ice). The article said they are trying to develop a wrist guard that grips the ice, specifically for ice skating, but obviously there isn't one on the market yet.
 

overedge

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For the reasons I mentioned above, I still can't see that being very safe at all. You might slide more when you fall on ice than when you fall on concrete or grass or wood - but regardless of how much friction the surface has, having your wrist/arm stay in one place while the rest of you keeps going is not a good idea.
 

treesprite

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The problem is with the hard part of the guard sliding out on impact. Person hurts shoulder or hits head because the hand is not there where it would be expected to be if the fall was on dry land. The guards are meant to give a little slide on dry land, but still not go flying out from under a person.

Another article I read a little while ago said many people break their wrists or arms in those types of wrist guards, just in a different spot from where the hard slide part is.

Either way, I just want to know if there are wrist guards specifically for use on an ice rink.
 

Diane Mars

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And what about putting some "spots" of silicon [EDIT : the one for bathrooms, for instance] on the plastic, in order to maket it less "slippery" ?

#solved
 

antmanb

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I couldn't agree with @overedge more - having cleats or spikes or some other thing that stops a wrist guard from sliding is a recipe for disaster, a small fall that would otherwise be harmless could become a lot more dangerous if your hand sticks to the ice and your body continues to move.

The reason why such a thing doesn't exist is because it would cause more harm than good.

I've heard the same thing about wrist guards - they protect the wrist but usually at the expense of breaking the bone further up the arm, which I gather is more easily treated.

I've known a number of adult skaters that have given up because of broken wrists - in one case a friend broke both wrists in the same incident and that was it for her.
 

Yazmeen

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I wear two layers of gloves when on the ice (liner glove and warm glove), and I put one of these inside the liner pair against my skin, covering my wrist and the bottom of my hand on both sides. They've never slipped and and I have fallen and they work. And you don't notice that they are there. I also wear SkatingSafe pads on my knees, hips, and tailbone. They are amazing.

https://www.skatingsafe.com/product/ultracrash-glove-pad/
 

treesprite

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Roller skating wrist guards do not fly out from under people on concrete and wood. They were designed for those ground surfaces. If the surface is different, then the wrist guard needs to be adapted so the science matches the ground surface.

Some more research I read says air cell guards are better than guards with just padding at absorbing impact. But then another research says wrist guards should disperse the impact, not absorb it.
 

overedge

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The science of falling is pretty similar no matter what surface you fall on. Your first instinct is to put out your hands to break your fall. So wrist guards are designed to cushion (as much as possible) the force of your moving body landing on your hands/wrists, and to protect the skin from being scraped as your body moves. The physics are similar no matter how you end up falling.

There's a reason why one of the first things you learn in learn-to-skate is how to fall, and why you're taught to overcome that instinct to stick out your arms and instead to try to fall on your hip or side.
 

Tavi

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Roller skating wrist guards do not fly out from under people on concrete and wood. They were designed for those ground surfaces. If the surface is different, then the wrist guard needs to be adapted so the science matches the ground surface.

Some more research I read says air cell guards are better than guards with just padding at absorbing impact. But then another research says wrist guards should disperse the impact, not absorb it.
You will probably continue to find conflicting information, and may never find the “perfect” wrist guards. Why don’t you narrow down the choices and ask your orthopedist what he recommends and why.
 
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(1) In response to the title question: As far as I’m aware of, there is no wrist guard designed specifically for ice skating.

(2) There are, however, wrist guards suitable, perhaps with minor modification, for ice skating. We should keep in mind the requirements for wrist guards.

(a) Wrist guards should absorb or redirect [or both] the force of impact.

(b) Wrist guards should limit the range of motion of the wrist [so you don’t snap it]. This is particularly important if you fall backwards. Note that the palm pad recommended by another poster provides cushioning to absorb some of the force of impact, but does nothing to prevent your wrist from snapping.

(c) Wrist guards should provide a proper amount of friction along the ice surface. Here we are faced with the Goldilocks scenario; we want to avoid the extremes. Too little friction will cause an uncontrolled slide. Too much friction, stopping the wrists abruptly, will likely cause a jarring injury to some part of the body [by analogy, consider what happens if you are driving along the road and suddenly stomp hard on the brakes]. So you want just the right amount of friction to give you a short, but not abrupt, controlled sliding stop.

(3) I’ve tried two types of wrist guards. The first, which I already had as part of my rollerblade gear, was a conventional one with a hard smooth plastic splint and a pronounced raised V-notch at the wrist. This turned out to be a bad choice for ice skating, since the smooth raised V-notch would lead to an uncontrolled skid on the ice; even though I wore gloves, the raised V-notch did not allow my fingers to contact the ice. Also, these wrist guards were bulky, and difficult to put on and take off.

I’ve been wearing the Rollerblade Bladegear XT wrist guards (http://www.rollerblade.com/usa/products/bladegear-xt-wristguard/) now for 5 yrs or so, and have been happy with them. My fingers get cold during skating, so I wear lightly-lined, thin leather gloves. I wear the wrist guards over the gloves. These wrist guards do not have a splint and raised V-notch. They have an integrated plastic palm and wrist plate; a comparatively flat geometry. They are compact and easy to put on and take off.

The palm and wrist plate by itself does not provide sufficient friction. During a fall, however, the flat geometry allows my leather-covered finger tips to contact the ice. The leather provides enough friction to prevent an uncontrolled slide. I did initially consider increasing the friction by taping the palm and wrist plate with Velcro tape [you can choose the plush, loop side or the bristly, hook side, depending on the additional amount of friction you want], but I found that wasn't needed, because the leather gloves were sufficient. If you skate without gloves (or with gloves that are too smooth), you will need to cover parts of the palm and wrist plate with Velcro, or other suitable material, to increase the amount of friction.

I’ve never broken a wrist, but I did sprain one a couple of times (slipping on icy sidewalks, not at the rink). So far, while skating, I’ve taken several hard falls (forwards and backwards) on my wrists, and the guards have worked.
 
Last edited:

treesprite

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(1) In response to the title question: As far as I’m aware of, there is no wrist guard designed specifically for ice skating.

(2) There are, however, wrist guards suitable, perhaps with minor modification, for ice skating. We should keep in mind the requirements for wrist guards.

(a) Wrist guards should absorb or redirect [or both] the force of impact.

(b) Wrist guards should limit the range of motion of the wrist [so you don’t snap it]. This is particularly important if you fall backwards. Note that the palm pad recommended by another poster provides cushioning to absorb some of the force of impact, but does nothing to prevent your wrist from snapping.

(c) Wrist guards should provide a proper amount of friction along the ice surface. Here we are faced with the Godilocks scenario; we want to avoid the extremes. Too little friction will cause an uncontrolled slide. Too much friction, stopping the wrists abruptly, will likely cause a jarring injury to some part of the body [by analogy, consider what happens if you are driving along the road and suddenly stomp hard on the brakes]. So you want just the right amount of friction to give you a short, but not abrupt, controlled sliding stop.

(3) I’ve tried two types of wrist guards. The first, which I already had as part of my rollerblade gear, was a conventional one with a hard smooth plastic splint and a pronounced raised V-notch at the wrist. This turned out to be a bad choice for ice skating, since the smooth raised V-notch would lead to an uncontrolled skid on the ice; even though I wore gloves, the raised V-notch did not allow my fingers to contact the ice. Also, these wrist guards were bulky, and difficult to put on and take off.

I’ve been wearing the Rollerblade Bladegear XT wrist guards (http://www.rollerblade.com/usa/products/bladegear-xt-wristguard/) now for 5 yrs or so, and have been happy with them. My fingers get cold during skating, so I wear lightly-lined, thin leather gloves. I wear the wrist guards over the gloves. These wrist guards do not have a splint and raised V-notch. They have an integrated plastic palm and wrist plate; a comparatively flat geometry. They are compact and easy to put on and take off.

The palm and wrist plate by itself does not provide sufficient friction. During a fall, however, the flat geometry allows my leather-covered finger tips to contact the ice. The leather provides enough friction to prevent an uncontrolled slide. I did initially consider increasing the friction by taping the palm and wrist plate with Velcro tape [you can choose the plush, loop side or the bristly, hook side, depending on the additional amount of friction you want], but I found that wasn't needed, because the leather gloves were sufficient. If you skate without gloves (or with gloves that are too smooth), you will need to cover parts of the palm and wrist plate with Velcro, or other suitable material, to increase the amount of friction.

I’ve never broken a wrist, but I did sprain one a couple of times (slipping on icy sidewalks, not at the rink). So far, while skating, I’ve taken several hard falls (forwards and backwards) on my wrists, and the guards have worked.
Thank you so much for writing all that out.

I am going to look into the guards mentions, and consider the velceo suggestion.
 

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