Friday, May 20, 2011

Point-two Air Vest

I call bullshit.

I just SCOURED the internet trying to find stats on the vest and I found nothing of good use, except the manufacturers talking it up like its the coolest thing since sliced bread. It's not even BETA approved yet, and is * recommended * to use with a body protector. So, there ya go. 

I for one, think it is ludacris to pay $700 for AIR. Air. Oh and to add to that, $50 every time you fall to replace the CO2.

Air is not going to do anything for you, I'm sorry, but it won't when you hit a solid fence or have a 1,500 lb horse land right on you. I really don't think an inch and a half of freaking air will do anything to protect someone's body, bones or organs against a fall.

Having just fallen, I can tell you that the vest I had on was ample enough protection. Sure, I am sore, but I think if I had * air * in between me and the fence, it really wouldn't have made much of a difference. I'd still be sore and still have paid a retarded amount of money for air that I don't think really would have done much good.

My opinion is that the air vest actually compresses you further, since there is no room for the air to go except into your body. The pockets of the vest are already so inflated, there is no wiggle room upon impact and it will only further compact the body. I think about it like a tire. A good tire you never fill to the max, you always let it be about 7 psi below max, to allow for impacts and such. Same for the vest. 

I don't know, I just think its a pretty big scam and the fact the 6000 US riders have bought them makes me sad for those who have to follow the latest "trend". Its like the stupid mattes half pads. $200 for soft fluffy sheepskin that more than half those horses don't need. People just ran out and bought them cuz they looked pretty, everyone had them, and they "said" it was good for the horse, when in reality, for most, its like stuffing a shoe on with 3 pairs of socks. Not comfortable. Good for horses coming back from a layoff, or a change in workout regimien/muscling in the back since buying a brand new saddle is stupid when you can just use a half pad for a while, then take it off when their backs get more amped. I did that with Yankee when he lacked muscle, then I stopped using it when he gained it back. But I'm ranting about Point Two, not mattes pads, haha.

I just feel it is a  lovely scam to further deplete event riders bank accounts.

If it ever become a requirement like the body protector vests, I swear, I will quit eventing on the spot.

What do you guys think? Thoughts?

24 comments:

  1. Much the same... I'm not convinced they make a difference, and I'm not shelling out $700 to try it.

    I actually saw a fall exacerbated by an airvest at Jersey Fresh last year... Someone came off in the water, and had a much harder time getting himself upright with the vest deployed -- the jump judge had to help.

    There was some speculation that KOC's vest is what spooked Mandiba off the bank at Badminton, and while it may or may not be the case in that instance, I could see something similar happening.

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  2. Yeah, I'm not all that enthused about them either. And I could just see someone getting off, forgetting to unhook it and the horse freaking out because their human just exploded! (Air vest inflated)

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  3. I can see how it would potentially buoy someone to the surface until help arrived if they face planted in a water complex and were knocked out.

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  4. But Dom, there are jump judges that could pull someone out of the water. And plus what if it buoyed them face down? Same difference as being in there without it.

    I've seen a couple people dismount and forget to unhook their vest. At St. John's I heard "OH SHIT!!!!" and then a bunch of people laughing :) None of the horses have freaked yet but I'm sure there are some that definitely would. And there's 50 bucks right there for a new cartridge just because you forgot to unhook it. I also saw a lady come off in warm up once and she was wearing one and started saying "I can't breathe!!! I can't breathe!!!!" because the vest was so constrictive when deployed.

    Could they help in CERTAIN situations? Maybe. I'm not spending $700 though, that's for sure.

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  5. I have to admit that I think you are being a bit harsh on them. Air IS a proven buffer to injury, as air bags in cars have conclusively shown.

    I think these bags are actually going to do a great deal in terms of reducing minor injury, aches and pains, and even some types of serious injuries such as broken ribs or collarbones in terms of a basic fall onto the ground or into a jump. For professionals, this might be an advantage in that they can continue to ride for the next few days pain free. Adult amateurs also don't bounce as well as us twenty year olds, and it might help that. For instance, the wife of my trainer fell off about a month ago and hit the ground so hard that she broke six ribs and punctured a lung. The way she hit the ground makes me believe that an air vest absolutely would have mitigated some of those injuries.

    However, I completely agree that they would not prevent a death or serious injury in the case of a horse falling on a person, as in a rotational fall. Despite the videos they have shown on the website and Oli's fall at Rolex, I remain unconvinced that those riders are protected by anything other than LUCK. You cannot test these vests in any kind of consistent manner, as there is no way to create a control. I find the number of people (including my friends) who believe these vests will keep them from dying in a rotational fall quite scary.

    I have been a staunch believer that they cannot prevent death in a rotational. As an engineering student, I find the 'air expanding inwards' (Point Two) vs 'outwards' (Hit Air) to be a fairly ludicrous idea, as fluids do not behave in that matter. However, as a rider, I have decided that I will purchase a Hit Air in the future, because at the very least, they won't hurt anything. If it saves me a broken ribs or a collarbone at some point, great. I won't count on it for a rotational though.

    Sorry for such a long comment, air vests are a sore spot with me, and something I can wax on about for quite a while. :-)

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  6. And for the record, I also think people who jumped on the bandwagon are behaving like sheep. 'But the upper level riders say that it saved them injury!' is what they say. So? Upper level riders are neither medical doctors/nurses or engineers, and also most of them received that vest for free, and so must market it. Come on people!

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  7. I agree with Alighieri. Some of the statements about how the air deploys into the vests does not make sense. Air simply fills. If you have $700 to blow on a "just in a case", then go crazy, but I certainly don't. Not many people except paid, sponsored professionals do, and even then it is often free so long as it is marketed. That's how Phoebe Buckley got two or three Charles Owen helmets (the nice GR8 ones, too, I believe) on a limited budget!

    Oh, the life of a professional.....

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  8. Yeah, same here. They're trendy right now, but they don't have anything other than anecdotal evidence to back them up.

    Even if they did... not in my budget.

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  9. As someone who rides in one every time (thank you Pia and Dad for being paranoid..) I have to say I'm in the middle of the road.

    Yes its a fad, no they aren't going to eliminate injuries or deaths, or whatever. But I'm pretty sure they don't do any harm. For one thing- yes, let's look at airbags and how ridiculous they were when they were first implemented in cars. But having just hit 4 of the 7 airbags in my volvo a few months ago I can firmly attest that they "air" was beyond helpful. and even though my ear was ringing from the concussion of the deployment, my head was thankful for hitting two inches of air before hitting the side window (then windshield)

    I agree that standard body protectors are going to go most of the distance in protected from bumps and smacks and rocks as we faceplant on cross country. I'm not sure the airvest is going to help at all if we're pinned against a fence, or under a horse or land on our noses.

    HOWEVER, the one place where they are making a big impact is in prevent neck strains and minimizing whiplash. The inflated collar goes a LONG way to stabilizing your neck and you come slamming into the ground and providing stability to your spinal column. Quite frankly I'll take the broken ribs from the CO2 over cracked vertebrae any day.

    I'm sure that we'll see the evolve over the next few years to something that will be more beneficial, but for the time being, I'll buy in - especially when it's sponsored by a terrified (though loving) parent.

    :)

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  10. Thanks for the input guys!

    as one who CANT afford it, I'll take the chances since I have good medical insurance and I'm pretty sure nothing would stop me getting hurt in a rotational fall anyways.

    I'm just snrky about them bc everyone is raving and there is NO evidence that they do any good, just the sellers raving about how awesome they are.

    Liek dressager said, Oh the life of a professional.

    As for air bags, I AM glad they have those. That air seems to work just dandy.

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    Replies
    1. ok I am getting on the bandwagon. I purchased a hit air but unfortunately had the accident the week before it came. From a walk, well broke horse - spooked and scraped me into a tree. I had full event safety gear on. Severe whiplash, 5-6 broken ribs in my back, torn rotator cuff and a few other injuries. Fortunately had a GREAT helmet which was fairly new (if you have not updated your helmet in the last 2 years DO IT - I recommend the Charles owen with gel foam. My head was the least of my injuries. NOW.... if I had t he hit air vest it would have not saved my ribs or shoulder... but it would have definitely saved my neck... and after over $500 in physio and still will have lifetime issues it would have been worth it. I really believed it would have saved me from the whiplash and the neck injury which was BRUTAL. I do have some issues with the vest and think there could be a lot of improvements...The cartridges are too expensive... had one little fall which cost me and then forgot to unclip which cost me big time as I was carriage driving and the horse spooked when I got out of the carriage and the end result is a $500 or so carriage damage. I think you can never be too safe and I know you may have medical insurance but that does not FIX YOU necessarily... I will have lifetime injuries now and I am very lucky I did not break my neck.....

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  11. I hate the things- and I hate the idea of hopping off in victory at the end of my run and going "POP" because I forgot to unclip. If they are going to require a certain type of vest instead of just a vest, I'm going to take up mock hunting and they can stuff it! I like the idea of the cage vest like the WOOF EXO, which sounds like a pretty groovy idea.

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  22. With most top competition riders wearing an air vest system of some sort I gotta believe you may have reconsidered. In the early days most folks thought the internet was a fad too ... now its a fact of life (and so are air vests.) When Boyd Martin and Mary King both say it saved their life you ought to sit up, turn the ranting off and listen...


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