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Insanity's Companion Pieces

Vibe
posted: 10/17/2000

Ever wonder how we freeskiers survive big-air impacts, halfpipe screwups, and the occasional violent rag doll down the mountain? Here's the secret: We tape, pad, and plan ahead. Pro skiing is an impact sport, and we're not as foolish as we look.

Mouth Guard
Big air can undo all that expensive dental work your parents paid for if you smack chin to knee on impact. So make like a football player; it's better to look like an idiot for 13 seconds than a redneck for 50 years.

Back Protector
Ever see a turtle with a broken back? How about a guy who launches 50 feet and lands flat on his back on a rock? The turtle would finish the race; the guy wouldn't--unless he's wearing one of these. Also great for break dancing.

Avalanche Transceiver
Just part of a kit that includes shovel, probe, first-aid kit, ice axe, crampons, harness, Alpine Trekkers, CamelBak, PowerBars, TV, waterbed, Sno-Kone machine, and whatever else you want to toss in your backpack.

Hip and Butt Pads
Did you know women in Kenya pad their asses to look more attractive? So do terrain-park and big-mountain riders. The fat-ass hippo look is in; booty contusion isn't.

Thumb Tape
The most commonly injured part of a skier's body. Which is a real problem for ski bums, as it jeopardizes our ability to hitchhike. So bind it up like a mummy; gas isn't cheap.

Full-Face Helmet
Don't just protect the melon; go for the whole fruit basket. A helmet with a chin guard minimizes facial restructuring and covers up that awkward frozen drool.

Knee Pads
Rumored to be used to get into the business, now used to stay in the business. Knee problems are inevitable, so make it ligaments instead of cracked kneecaps.

Shin Tape
What's the difference between good freeskiers and bad freeskiers? Lots of things, but not their shins. It takes just one back-seat slam to tear the muscle off the bone. Taping saves whole seasons.

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