TEKVEST Protective Vest

TEKVEST Protective Vest


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During a January 2018 ride, an unforeseen event disrupted an almost perfect day until a sudden accident. Was I overconfident due to my knowledge of the trail and its proximity? One thing is certain, despite my many years of experience at the helm of quads and snowmobiles, I could not foresee the unexpected.

On this day, I was riding peacefully and enjoying every moment that this hike offered me. I should mention at the outset that we had experienced a drop in temperature above freezing a few days before. These are hazards that we have to deal with constantly and I was very aware of them.

In my many adventures, I have been in situations at a younger age that have sent my heart rate sky high in a matter of seconds. As the saying goes, this was not my first rodeo! As I matured, along with my hair loss, I learned to pace myself as my body did not respond as quickly as it had in the past. I also learned that adrenaline hides many ills and that when it subsides, I discover the consequences of my actions.

However, while taking a curve, I could not foresee this ice patch that put me in a precarious situation and put my snowmobile out of control. Despite my best efforts, my vehicle slammed into a hardened snow bank and I could not avoid the violent contact of the left handlebar with my upper body.

My fellow riders saw the scene in slow motion like a blockbuster movie and rushed to my aid. Even though I had been thrown from my snowmobile, my first instinct was to check the condition of my vehicle and, to our great surprise, it showed no signs of failure or major breakage. Afterwards, despite the impact, I considered myself lucky to be as intact as my vehicle was. I felt a slight pain in my left side, but I thought it was negligible.

It wasn’t until 2 hours later, when the adrenaline wore off, that the pain became more intense, almost unbearable. We have a popular expression in my neck of the woods that I used to mention in a low voice to convince myself that this would only be temporary: “I’m not made out of underwear foam!” I tried as hard as I could to chase the pain away, but my wife and I had made the wise decision to go to the hospital to check on the damage.

The verdict was in: a fractured rib and a snowmobile season that was ending at the same time. I was furious with myself, how could I have made such a classic rookie mistake? My rehab made me realize at least one thing: no matter how much experience we have, we are vulnerable in certain exposed body parts. I was lucky in my misfortune, as I could have come in contact with a branch or other material that could have caused me more serious injuries and even death. The section from my waist to my shoulders contains a major part of my vital organs and I have to protect them from this moment.

I was watching snowcross riders who frequently wear one type of vest, but I wondered if it would be suitable for more conventional use by touring snowmobilers. Off-road enthusiasts are also regulars with this type of protection. How about for the mostly backcountry snowmobilers? My recovery period was the ideal time to learn more about this protective equipment.

My investigation paid off when I was able to speak with emergency physicians who had treated cases similar to mine and who were adamant that those who were wearing a protective vest would have suffered many more serious injuries had they not been wearing it.

No matter who we are, we have family and professional responsibilities and a serious injury becomes a handicap to the continuity of our occupations. I also realized that a prolonged break can have financial consequences and stress that can be counteracted if I get the right equipment.

TEKVEST protective vest:

My reflection led me to one conclusion: my health is priceless and there was no question of skimping on quality. My research culminated in a manufacturer who is the leader in the field. TEKRIDER has been making high standard protective vests since 1996 and this was a big factor in convincing me to purchase their equipment. They design many types of vests, some with much more protection, but I wanted an immunity that would allow me basic body defense with the freedom to move my arms easily.


I decided on the FREESTYLE, a model designed specifically for hikers. I was very eager to test its benefits and, as soon as my health was restored the following season, I was able to put this new safety equipment to the test. My first observation was its lightness: its weight is barely over 2 pounds. Therefore, it will not add to the fatigue factor by being overweight. The zipper in the front and its velcro-type quick-release fasteners also make it easier to add than other models that have to be slipped over the head. So far, everything has been going great and I was not disappointed with my choice.

The second thing I noticed was the freedom of movement that I am used to when I ride my snowmobile. In fact, I almost forget it’s there at times. It doesn’t get in the way of any maneuvers and that’s something that scared me from the start. I just look a little bit stronger without looking like Robocop. Honestly, my FREESTYLE vest literally molds to my body and I feel naked now without it.

On cold winter days, the presence of this vest replaces the underlayer I’m used to wearing to keep me warm, since I’m not known for being cold. It does however provide me with breathability, but also protection against the cold all day long.

I finally noticed one thing that surpassed all of the above. This vest has given me back the confidence that I had lost in my accident. It also gives me the confidence that I will be able to enjoy snowmobiling for many years to come. For my family and friends, the TEKVEST vest provides the assurance that I will be back from every ride safe and sound. You don’t have to be a daredevil or a stuntman to afford this type of shield. You just have to be aware of the potential dangers that await you at every turn.

With my experience, I am more and more aware of the inherent risks of motorized sports. To stay healthy for a long time for the people I love, there are no compromises and my protective vest is now an integral part of my basic snowmobiling gear. A shortened season is a lost season and this 2018 winter adventure has at least made me realize that my safety depends on proper gear.

For more information on TEKVEST protective vests, visit www.tekrider.ca