With boards ever
lighter, and thusly in some ways more prone to damage, early nose protection
strategies involved attempts to deflect injurious mast and boom slams from
the nose. Not only does this approach do nothing for wide noses, it also
offers up the structurally significant middle of the board to damage.
Occasionally, I would
see “Jeez Knobs”, odd looking devices that would crumple, as well as deflect
– a vast improvement, but often not sufficient protection, either.
Then NorthShoreInc –
bless their hearts – brought fourth dual-density foam padz, particularly for
the ever-mauled early Techno noses. They worked! What had been a flood of
nose repairs, slowed to a trickle.
||From being somewhat
insipid black-and-dark-grey things, these padz evolved to handsome grey and
white marvels, available to look dashing on most beginner and intermediate
noses. At about $32.- a piece, a most excellent investment, indeed!
But what is this???
beautifully molded, snug-fitting fiberglass nose bras – that cannot possibly
Back in Physics 101,
we all learned that energy does not disappear. It may get converted from a
destructive type to another, non-destructive one, but it will not just
quietly go away. In our daily lives, impact energy most often is defused by
converting it to deformation energy – as witness crumple zones in cars, egg
crates, and foam padding in helmets, for example.
So whatever are they
thinking, offering rigid nose bras to protect rigid board noses???
The mast slam impact
will deflect the nose bra until it fully contacts the nose, and continue on
downwards, mauling, delaminating, shearing things in its path, until all
energy has been used up.
And so it is that I
find serious nose damage under 90% of all rigid nose bras that come to me.
Usually, this damage is totally hidden from sight, and the owner unaware,
until rusty stains appear, indicating long-term water absorption (don’t get
me started on the metal staples!).
At $90.-, these bras are expensive
duds! If you have one already, do take it off and remount it with foam
padding between bra and nose (bits of EVA sleeping pads work well) – but if
you are prone to wiping out, YOU GOT TO HAVE PADDING!!