A snowboarder's accident casts a shadow over the upcoming Olympics
Maybe you've found yourself wondering, while watching the Olympic halfpipe every four years: Where can they possibly take the sport from here? In the months leading up to the Vancouver Games, the answer became clear: The next frontier is a family of exceptionally challenging off-axis spins called corks. Right now, the best riders in the world are executing double corks—stunts with Jabberwocky names such as "switch double Haakon flip" and "double McTwist."
Last June, Kevin Pearce (SI, Dec. 7, 2009) sat cross-legged on the backside of California's Mammoth Mountain, sounding like a pioneer. The 22-year-old Vermonter, a rising star in the sport, had invited a handful of his snowboarding friends to train with him. (They call themselves Frends—the absent i denoting selflessness.) With Pearce, Danny Davis and Luke Mitrani dialing in an assortment of double-corked moves, there was a sense of euphoria in the air. Pearce marveled at how quickly he and his Frends had gone from "just thinking about these tricks to actually taking it to the wall."
That progression was slowed last Thursday. In the process of landing a cab double cork—a trick he's nailed before—Pearce caught his toe-side edge, slamming headfirst into the wall of the halfpipe at Park City, Utah. Pearce, who was wearing a helmet, suffered a serious head injury; as of Monday he was in critical but stable condition at the University of Utah Hospital. "Kevin sustained a severe traumatic brain injury," said one of his doctors, Holly Ledyard. "[He] has a long recovery ahead of him."
How long a shadow will Pearce's accident cast over the Olympic halfpipe, scheduled to begin on Feb. 17? Through a spokeswoman, the Frends declined to comment. But, while discussing this latest generation of "heavy" tricks with Denver Westworld last month, Davis said, "One thing that I've realized is that you've got to commit.... If you think you're gonna freak out and open up halfway through it, don't try it."
Best wishes for a healthy, speedy recovery Kevin
Reference: Sports Illustrated, January 11, 2010 - written. by Austin Murphy
Get your butt covered!
Here is a look at our favorite padded shorts for Mountain Biking, Motocross, Skateboard and Snowboarding :
Crash Pads - Crash Pads makes great padded shorts and padded pants.
- Crash Pads Mesh Long Underwear- They'll keep you warm and they have padding on the tailbone, hip and knees. Great for sking and boarding
- Crash Pads Mesh Underwear - Cooler material makes these shorts good for summer sports like skatboarding although they have all the right padding for snowboarding as well.
- Crash Pads Power Underwear - If you don't like the idea of mesh the high tech moisture management fabric in these shorts provide compression and have the same padding that is ideal for snowboarding as well.
- Crash Pads Mountain Bike Short - Desigined specifically for Mountain Biking these shorts combine all the features you want in a bike short, but have all the padded spots in the hip and leg areas to protect from falls while riding. Great way to protect from abraisions as well.
Zoombang Padded Shorts- Zoombang's unique padding material is a polymer that is specially designed and engineered to behave like no other material in the world. At rest the material is soft and conforms to the exact shape of the player. However when an impact occurs Zoombang will instantly becomes firm and behave as a solid.
- Zoombang Hip and Tailbone Shorts - A true compression short with wicking properties, but with the built in padding on the hip, tailbone and thigh areas. The coverage on these shorts isn't as full as the Crash Pads on the tailbone area, but it's it's a lighter short if you are looking for a little less padding and more comfort.
Dainese MTB Impact Short - The ultimate protection for Mountain Biking. Dainese flat out makes the best protective gear we've seen. What else would you expect from the Italians. Through some baggy shorts overthese and your are protected.
Rockgardn Padded Shorts - Known for the mountain bike gear Rockgardn shorts are ideal for downhill and overall protection for mountain biking and work great fro motocross as well.
- Rockgardn CYA Shorts - These padded shorts are ideal mountain biking or motocross. Each ergonomically designed pad for the hips, tailbone, and lower quads is constructed as a half-inch thick “sandwich”, made from two layers of EVA foam with a center layer of impact-distributing ABS plastic.
McDavid Padded Shorts - McDavid makes some great padded shorts, but the they are better for team sports like football and baskeball. If you happen to be reading this for some of those sports be sure to check them out.
The Azzpadz - Designed for Snowboarding. Not really a short, more a pad you strap on. We like it, but we find the shorts are more comfortable to wear.