Sep 23, 2018, 3:14 AM
Post #1 of 16
I've been looking thru a bunch of accident vids trying to determine the typical type of injuries that we sustain in Base so as to decide whether to bother travelling with and wearing body (chest/spine) armour.
I do and will always wear a helmet and appropriate boots/shoes and knee guards but its the armour that's a pain as its bulky, hot, cumbersome and I rarely see anyone using it.
Initially it seemed like a good idea but I've not been able to find any evidence to justify it, so I wonder if its really neccesary?
(This post was edited by John_Scher on Sep 23, 2018, 5:31 AM)
I couldn't imagine Chest armour being that useful. Spine protector sure but chest, I just don't see it. I was also recently re-thinking the usefulness of hockey/mountain bike pants. I knew a few guys used to wear those in the past to try and protect their pelvis to some extent. I remember Slim looking like a fucking crash test dummy when he was jumping :-) (This would mostly depend on the jumps you are doing and the landing areas you are jumping).
I know at least one guy who is still walking today because he wore a spine protector during an accident. The damage to the spine protector was impressive. And the impact force was great enough that the pack tray was punctured by the hard plastic of the spine protector--multiple holes all the way through the entire container.
What kind of evidence are you looking for? Unfortunately, non-fatal BASE accidents are extremely poorly documented. Looking around the internet, you'd get the impression that almost ever BASE accident is fatal, because there are only very rarely any kind of written reports about non-fatal incidents.
I invested in helmet, spine, shin/knee, and boots. Chose protection according to jump; Buildings put it all on, bridges and windy antennas just a helmet, aerials maybe drop the shin/guards or wear under pants. Oh ya and consider the lz. Wingsuit jumps does anybody wear more than a helmet in the ultralight hiker discipline? Does anyone have experience wingsuiting shin guards, maybe more ridged and flight performance benefits? Also full face more aerodynamic than skate/snow style helmet? Even though the most common full face offers little protection.
Have a quiver of armor and use appropriately, chest protector might get used the least.
I have a Velocity Gear spine protector but I rarely wear it because i didn't size my harnesses for it, therefore it's an extremely tight fit. And also have to adjust my loop length for pin tension.
I had an armor jacket for a while, it didn't fit perfectly, and the only time I needed it, the plastic corners of the pads jabbed into me and caused a laceration. Also the spine part didn't go down to my coccyx which was where I needed it the most. So I consider an ill-fitting jacket to be a false sense of security at best, or at worst an exacerbation of injury. It should fit perfectly or fuck it, IMO
I use mountain biking armor for elbows/forearms and knees/shins. The shin protection is really nice for kicking through branches when landing in the backcountry, or surprise objects in tall grass, and they've definitely saved me some big lacerations. The bulk is an inconvenience on the trail, but well worth it many times over. Maybe one of these days I will learn how to land a parachute.
Good-fitting gloves are also an under-appreciated item, like batter's gloves, can make the difference between a sore hand and pulling a stick out of your palm. And super cheap.
Comfortable and reasonably flexible, but HOT. It's kind of like wearing a wetsuit. I love it for the winter. Not so much for the tropics.
One piece of armor that I think is often overlooked is safety goggles. I used to jump with a full face (with visor) and shortly after I ditched the visor I took a sharp stick up the side of the face on a bush landing. I immediately started wearing safety glasses for jumps with the potential for that kind of landing.
I saw quite a few people wearing Gform pads wingsuiting in Europe. They weigh way less than other odds and have almost no bulk. They won’t do much in a big impact but they might save a hip or something on a hard landing from a tension knot or linetwists.
I rebuilt my last (Velocity brand) chest/spine armour by unpicking the various pieces and then stitching them onto a looser and more usable jacket but the armour elements have sharp edges which could catch a bridle so I'm obliged to put a sweat shirt on top of it. As mentioned its bulky and a pain.
So what I'm thinking of doing is similar to the above but using D30 ie get a robust sweatshirt and stitch various elements of D3O into the inside of it; on the back, shoulders, and elbows using the attached design (see pic) as a template.
I know this design lacks puncture protection but its slimmer & lighter and I think I'll be inclined to wear it more often.
I use it for low cliffs. I also used with tracking suit but in my current rig it is not comfortable for the pull. The spinal injury can happen in a simple seated landing and the body armor in this case will not protect.
Recovering from my first injury, tib fib, delayed union of tibias suck. I was wearing ASO ankle braces priority 1 and mountain biking knee shin guards pri 2, depending on the LZ. Was shopping for pelvis/tailbone pro. I was wearing both ankle and knee pro when I had my accident, clipped an unseen boulder with my heel in the dark going into a treed secondary LZ. I have a shitty fracture that isn't healing for me. Because the fracture was an axial/compression load, I don't think the braces did anything for me. I read a bit about paragliding boots, possibly their impact absorption in the sole may have reduced the severity of my fracture. Better canopy skills certainly would have