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Effect of surrogate design on the measured stiffness of snowboarding wrist protectors

Adams, C and James, D and Senior, T and Allen, TB and Hamilton, N (2018) Effect of surrogate design on the measured stiffness of snowboarding wrist protectors. Sports Engineering, 21 (3). pp. 217-225. ISSN 1460-2687

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Abstract

In snowboarding, the wrist is the most common injury site, as snowboarders often put their arms out to cushion a fall. This can result in a compressive load through the carpals coupled with wrist hyperextension, leading to ligament sprains or carpal and forearm bone fractures. Wrist protectors are worn by snowboarders in an effort to reduce injury risk, by decreasing peak impact forces and limiting wrist extension to prevent hyperextension during falls. There is no international standard or universally accepted performance specification that snowboarding wrist protectors should conform to, resulting in an inability to judge which designs offer the best protection. This study investigated how surrogate arm design affected the stiffness of wrist protectors during quasi-static mechanical testing. Three surrogate arms with increasing design complexity were used to test three wrist protectors. The results show that surrogate design does influence the stiffness of snowboarding wrist protectors. Given that the surrogate does influence protector performance, it is recommended that a standard surrogate design is established for research and product testing.

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