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HomeUncategorizedJust Unlucky or a Reason to Wear Protective Gear

Just Unlucky or a Reason to Wear Protective Gear

WARNING: What happens in this video is ugly. Probably a 6 or 7 (out of 10) on the Ugly Meter (but for sure an 11 on the Pain Meter for this poor guy).

This video was emailed to me by my friend Rich Jensen, although I’m not sure I should be thanking him. Rich’s subject line on his email was, “Good reason for a protective riding vest.”

I watched the video and yes, a protective vest would have saved a lot of skin. Literally. I wear a vest probably 95% of the times I ride, so Rich will get no argument from me.

However, I will say that I doubt anyone could have predicted what happens to this sledder. It’s a complete fluke, probably a 1-in-a-Million. I suppose that’s the point of wearing protective gear: insurance protection in case you strike the Unlucky Lottery.

My question to anyone who cares to answer: Do you ride with protective gear (vest, shin pads, neck brace)?

Why or why not?



  1. Nasty. Good thing his track was not studded.
    I’ve thought about wearing a vest, but never have. I am going to be thinking harder on that subject. In my youth I had several should of beens, the more I look back it was more than several.
    I will be thinking more about riding alone also, I’m not sure if the dude on the Cat was riding with the Doo dude but if he would of been alone the out come would have been much different.

  2. Saf-Jac (saw some dude sitting in turn 1 @ Eagle River take a sled a full speed into his chest get up an walk away, changed my mind forever) and knee/shin pads and on occassion, my hockey mouth guard. It’s not about me, it’s about the other idiots on the trail I don’t trust.

  3. Seen that video last week, made me glad I wear a Tec vest. I even make my wife wear one at ALL times
    One you get use to wearing one you don’t even know you have it on

  4. Once again, that guy is very lucky that studs were not installed. I have read several stories about tek vests lately and it has changed my mind. I have never worn one, but will certainly have one before next season. Thanks for sharing the video, I now have another item on my list for Haydays!

  5. Seeing this video makes me wonder why his tether switch wasn’t clipped on .It would of killed the motor instantly . I know they can be a pain to click on and off but replacing the clip with a caribiner makes it quick and easy even with gloves on….Also it makes me wonder why all sleds don’t come stock with them .

    ps i also wear a tek vest … its made for motorcycles and is very light

  6. I ALWAYS wear a TekVest. Its cheap protection and after getting used to wearing it, it feels weird if you dont have it on. My biggest hurdle was getting too warm wearing it with a fully insulated snowmobile jacket. After experimenting with underlayers and a vented, uninsulated Arctic Cat jacket, I found the perfect comfort level (for me).

  7. OUCH!!! he sure did luck out. In my opinion tether switches should be standard on every sled and even ATV’s.

    I was in a pretty bad MX accident a year ago, still don’t remember any of it. Ended up with a concussion, bruised heart, bruised/collapsed lung, and a broken pinky finger that still don’t move like it should. Can’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have a neck brace on. A crash really makes you think differently about safety equipment when you’re riding especially when you have a family as well. Along with my normal snowmobiling gear including a good quality helmet I’ll be wearing a chest protector. I just need to figure out how to make my neck brace work snowmobiling too.
    If you ride, wear the right gear and get used to it so you can ride again.

  8. I’m not to paranoid when it comes to safety. I suppose we could save lives if we wore tec vests and helmets in our cars and lower the speed limit to 5 mph. We live in a dangerous world and I’m ok with that. Sometimes the danger is part of the fun factor. I don’t live a sheltered life.

  9. Tekvest, elbow pads, and knee pads with shin guards are standard equipment for this guy. Racing or trail riding, what’s the difference? Actually there is a difference, you don’t have an idiot coming at you from the other direction!

  10. I got an Arctic Cat neck brace this year… experimented with it a couple times and didn’t yet find myself feeling totally comfortable with it. I will use it more next year, for sure if I do some more racing.

    I wear a TekVest unless I’m playing around in the yard or in the field across the yard. Maybe once in awhile I won’t wear it if I’m riding with the girls in my family (when the speeds are considerably lower).

    I remember in the mid-90s when I’d be riding… stop at a bar/restaurant and take my jacket off which would expose the TekVest and… I’d get stares from people and even the occasional comment “what do you think your some kind of racer?”. I’ll admit it made me slightly self-conscious. I don’t feel that way anymore though.

  11. A good friend of mine had an incident a couple years ago. We were running virgin snow on lakes by Ely when his skis got below the crust on top and he swerved around and finally lost it. He hung on but ended up under the sled and his studded track cut through his real leather jacket and into his arm ! No major damage thanks to the leather but scary just the same. Not sure a Tec vest would of helped him but it could have been worse for sure. Thank god my son had a first aid kit with and we finished our day riding.

  12. Somebody needs to do a study as to why the flippin sled always has to follow you when you have a major off. It seems like it almost always lands on you! Maybe I’m just lucky that way!

  13. This was posted other places and titled various things like “why never ride alone” and “thank God for riding partners” … And I agree, lucky over all but very lucky the track wasn’t studded and that his buddy was that close to get there as quick as he did.
    As far as the vest, I’ve had a Cat Tek-Vest since 2001. Won’t ride without it. And John, I can attest with the “do you think you’re a racer” comments and looks from others. Didn’t care then and don’t care now since it’s my life I’m protecting so “they” can think what they want. To me it’s just as important as wearing a helmet.

  14. John,
    After ten years of snocross and walking away from a few too many wreaks I feel naked without one. I wear a safe-jac if I am riding vintage or racing the I-500. Life is much more exciting if you are alive for it 🙂

  15. “I remember in the mid-90s when I’d be riding… stop at a bar/restaurant and take my jacket off which would expose the TekVest and… I’d get stares from people and even the occasional comment “what do you think your some kind of racer?”. I’ll admit it made me slightly self-conscious. I don’t feel that way anymore though.”

    I’d have told the dumb**** that I was just protecting myself from the drunks and those who don’t know what side of the trail to stay on!

    Cripes! Had a lady going down road this morning in my lane! (Had to use “European” law and drive on her side to avoid collision)

  16. Started wearing one last year. Now I feel weird with out it on. I find it easier to dress right for the conditions. It helps keep my back straight. I’m a man of larger size and not afraid to admit it keeps my “extra padding” from bouncing around too much!

    I’m trying to get the rest of my riding partners to follow suit.

  17. Tethers are a must – most mountain riders use them as a rollover and a deep lugged track can result in a very serious injury, if not a loss of limb (there was a fellow this year that lost his left arm at the elbow due to a WOT spinning track – nasty). Arctic cat, if you are listening please install tethers on all sleds as standard equipment. I know they are a great accessory add on, but a LOT of people won’t spend the $50 after point of sale…


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