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Old 07-01-2011   #11
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
The Ed Lucero vest had some armor plating in it to protect the shoulders from rock hits. Its been out of production for 10 years I bet. Gary E rocked one for a while. I think Stolquist made but I'm not certain.


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Old 07-01-2011   #12
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 45
I hit my shoulder pretty hard on Screaming 1/4 the other day. Got a big bruise and scrape, nothing broken. Having a little padding would have definitely helped. I was thinking of the padding shirts that I see the Rugby boys wearing.

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Old 07-01-2011   #13
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 44 prevent shoulder injuries you're probably better off getting a good shoulder brace than body armor. That and 'good technique'...but sometimes instinct trumps technique and you still jack your shoulder, which is where the brace might help.
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Old 07-02-2011   #14
Airborne2504's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 420
Paintball Vest Protection

Hey, I play a lot of paintball when im not on the rivers, and I've seen people with these padded chest/body/shoulder shirts/vests. Thin, light weight, some seem like they'd be buoyant. Can be worn under or over layers.

I don't use/own anything like this when I play b/c im not a pussy, but, It looks like something that could be a better option for somebody kayaking as they do offer nice padding and in a light weight, Not Bulky, and still offers protection and almost full range of motion.

MUCH LESS Bulky than football/motorX/lacrosse pads, and allows a lot of Range of Motion, not restricting...but that's not under a drytop/drysuit either/ *SHRUG*

Check these out:

Link 1; Long Sleeve:
Kingman Training Body Shield Chest Protector LG/XL - Black

Link 2; Short Sleeve:
Empire ZE Grind Chest Protector - Large / X-Large

And another; SHort Sleeve:

I dunno how well they'd would work, but I think they'd def absorb some of the impact from rocks and shit.
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Old 07-02-2011   #15
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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what about an nrs mystery shirt?

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Old 07-02-2011   #16
Thomas, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Armor works to prevent impact injuries

I know plenty of people who regularly use upper body protection when they're running rocky nar / high wood / low water etc... this is especially popular in the NW and AK.

I think of it as being similar to the use of face protecting helmets. Sure with good technique you can minimize the chances you'll ever need use the 'extra' protection, but eventually (even with good technique) if you're in the environment long enough someday you're gonna wish you had that 'extra' protection.

While it is true that hard armor will do nothing to prevent 'non-impact' related dislocations (good technique is key), armor works great for impact related injuries. Its a no brainer that taking a rock at high speed across a bare shoulder is going to suck a lot more than a shoulder protected with plastic armor.

One just needs to decide what level of protection vs. comfort they are looking for in relation to situation they are expecting to encounter. If you're floating the upper C. full armor would be way over kill, but if you're in a low volume, steep, boulder creek... it sounds pretty damn smart.

Elbow pads are great for your elbows, but do nothing for your shoulders. Some light weight mesh motocross / downhill biking / etc cross over armor does both.

I have personally used Dainese mesh armor under my drysuit and was very happy with the results and fit. I also have a number of friends who have use Rockgardn - Flack Jacket or similar close fitting mesh armor tops under they're PFDs without wearing dry suits. As long as they are close fitting, mesh, and have a removable spinal protection (which is pretty redundant with a PFD and severely restricts movement) they should work fine. Just be sure to have a proper / safe fit.

My feeling is, if you expect you might be in the shit and would prefer not to have the shit beaten out of you... then why not try some armor under your PFD or drysuit. Just be sure to test swim in a safe place first to make sure its going to safely perform. If properly fitted, you never know its there.... until you need it, then you're glad it was.

While its true that scars are like tattoos with better stories, separated shoulders still suck and I'd rather be out having fun than telling 'war stories' about why I can't go out for the next few months.

Originally Posted by Kendrick View Post
I do tend to wear a drysuit, so yeah.

I just hear about people borrowing protective gear from other sports like motocross. I also read about shoulder injuries on here a lot, and it gets me thinking, y'know.

What we need is a PFD that incorporates shoulder protection. I could easily see a roost deflector doubling as a PFD.

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