How to Choose: Snowboard Padded Shorts
Snowboard Padded Shorts: Your Tailbone Will Thank You
You may not be familiar with the idea of padded shorts for snowboarding, but once you've fallen on your backside a few times, you’ll know why we recommend them. Snowboard padded shorts are a wise choice for the inexperienced border who is just learning how balance on his/her edges AND for the more experienced boarder who is pushing the envelope in order to ride new terrain and attempt pipes, rails and aerials at the park. With high-quality snowboard padded shorts or padded snowboard pants, you get:
- Snowboarding tailbone protection, so when you catch a heel-side edge and fall backwards, you'll have protection between your coccyx and the snow/ice/obstacle.
- Properly designed padded snowboard shorts or pants will also have foam padding over your hip pointer to protect your hip when you fall in the park or onto some other obstacle on the mountain.
- Butt padding, which is nice perk for when you're sitting on the mountain watching your friends, buckling into your bindings, or taking a quick nap.
- Extra insulation; layers keep you warm. A layer of padded snowboard shorts made from a breathable fabric will help keep you warm on the lift without overheating.
How Much Protection Do You Need from your Snowboard Padded Shorts?
Padded snowboarding shorts protect varying combinations of your quads, hips, buttocks, and coccyx / tailbone.
Each brand and model is a little different. With padded shorts in particular, a picture tells a thousand words. When you look at the photos of various snowboard padded shorts we offer on our website, pay attention to the size of the pads. Some shorts have very large, thick pads. Some sport smaller, thinner ones. As for tailbone protection, some padded shorts have a soft pad sewn in place, and others have a hard shell shield, which is sometimes removable.
Thickness of Pads
Snowboard padded shorts have pads that range from one-quarter inch to half-inch thick. Thicker pads offer more snowboarding safety protection but with additional bulk and weight.
Snowboard padded shorts are tailored for different uses and preferences, so you can have pads in different locations. Padding is typically important for hips, tailbone, upper thighs, sits bones, knees and hip pointers.
Snowboarding impact shorts pads are either soft foam or a combination of hard plastic and soft foam. Foam softens the impact and disperses the force of the impact over a wider area. Hard plastic also disperses impact forces and provides some puncture protection from things like rails.
Extra Tailbone Protection?
Nearly all padded snowboard shorts offer some tailbone protection with soft foam tailbone pads. Several models of snowboard padded shorts also offer additional protection with hard plastic tailbone shields. The plastic material adds an additional layer of snowboard protective gear for those backward falls, and tend to be a very popular feature with our customers.
What's the Difference between Snowboard Padded Shorts and Cycling Padded Shorts?
Some padded shorts come with a chamois (or crotch pad), which leads some people to believe they can also wear these padded shorts while cycling. However, the chamois in a pair of padded cycling shorts is there to relieve pressure from hours spent in the saddle. It's a bit thicker and bulkier than what you'll find in a snowboard padded short. Could you ride a bike in your padded snowboard shorts for five or ten miles? Sure. Would you be as comfortable as you would be with padded cycling short after, say, 20 miles? Not likely. On the same note, there are many mountain bike and BMX padded shorts that offer great leg, hip, and tailbone padding, however, these bike-specific padded shorts also come with the aforementioned padded chamois, which might be bulky, hot, and uncomfortable to wear while snowboarding.
Do You Want Your Snowboard Padded Shorts to be Machine Washable?Although we do not recommend machine washing snowboard padded shorts, some models do allow for machine washing. However, to get the maximum longevity out of this type of clothing, we recommend you hand-wash and line-dry your snowboard padded shorts (or any Lycra-based protective gear). Do not machine-dry any Lycra-based material. Please, always remember to line-dry a garment like this!
Do You Want a Gender-Specific Cut in Your Snowboarding Padded Shorts?
It seems that most padded shorts are cut for teenage boys-- slim from waist to hips. If you're looking for a cut that is more tailored for snowboarding safety for women, look for a women's specific model or words like "more generous cut" in the item title and description.