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Thumb protection

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Thumb protection

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'd be grateful if anyone could let me know what type of thumb protection would be best for skiers on an unforgiving dryslope in the UK!!!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tillywhim, welcome to snowHeads snowHead .

Dendex thumb is unfortunately a typical skiing injury. I guess the only solution is to not fall over, but that is so much easier said than done.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
tillywhim. Welcome to snowThumbs!

This is a very old problem, common to snow as well, but more serious on grid-type plastic slopes (Dendix etc).

No one's really found the solution. Three ideas have been tried in the past:

- Gloves with internal thumb support. I don't think they exist any more.
- Ski pole handles with a shield in front of the thumb. Marker, the ski bindings maker, made one a long time ago. Slalom racers tend to have shield protection on the pole, so you could try and find something like that.
- Strapping the thumb of the glove to the index finger. It doesn't make holding the pole easier, but prevents the thumb from sticking out.

I've always had a hunch that enclosing the entire hand in something like half a plastic ball might protect the fingers on plastic slopes, but I don't know if any designers have worked on those lines.

Take care - it is a common problem. Learn how to fall safely from an instructor, and take plenty of instruction, which will reduce the risk of falling.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I have just found a 'thumb stabliser' on a website http://www.physioroom.com/products/skiers_thumb_stabiliser.php which may do the trick and I'll carry on searching. Your 'ball' idea sounds good though. Any further ideas would be most welcome. Thanks
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tillywhim, welcome to snowHeads

I wonder if a boxing glove would afford any protection. It might be slightly harder for the thumb to get caught, and the padding might distribute some of the bending force that would otherwise wrench the thumb itself. Just a thought!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
tillywhim, I had (indeed probably still have), an Identical thumb stabiliser which I got when I had an injury on the dry slope just before a ski holiday. I managed to persuade the hospital to remove the plaster cast and have that instead. It protected my thumb suffficiently to be able to ski on holiday, and hold my poles. I bought a larger pair of gloves wich also had a zip from the wrist to the index fonger which helped getting it on.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
David Goldsmith wrote:

- Ski pole handles with a shield in front of the thumb. Marker, the ski bindings maker, made one a long time ago.


Marker M26/28 Twincam poles (assymetric baskets, some with corrective bend)?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
tillywhim, The best plan is not to fall. Slalom handguards do not provide sufficient protection (I know this from repeated, painful experience).

If you do fall, try to keep your hands away from the matting. Do not use pole straps.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I think there are two basic modes of thumb injury on a dry slope, they need to be considered separately.

Holding the pole too tight with a rigid arm can, when falling, put a large force onto the thumb and twist the thumb badly. The same may happen on real snow but I suspect that skiers rely on the ski straps much more on snow and so hold their poles much looser than on a dry slope. My recollection of dry slope poles is that the do not have straps, this means people often hold then tighter.

Falling with an open hand and getting a thumb, or other digit, caught in the diamond shaped gaps in the matting. My solution here was learning how to fall - basically do not put out a hand to stop the fall. If I must then maybe stick out my elbow. If I really must then remember to clench my fist so that there are no digits waiting to be snagged.

In both cases I think that preparing yourself for a fall is useful. Falls will happen so be ready, think about falling before a fall actually happens. In the very short moment between knowing that a fall is happening and the actual crash: prepare yourself, loose the poles, clench the fists, shape the body to roll on the impact and reduce its effect.
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