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Body protectors are foam filled vests that can be worn over the top of other clothing or under a jacket. They offer impact protection for your back and ribcage should you hit the ground, fencepost, or other solid object. They can also help minimize the effects of getting kicked or stepped on. They are required when riding in cross-country events, but since more accidents happen during regular training or trail rides than on the cross country course, many folks choose to wear one whenever they ride. If you have it, why not wear it? Cevalo's president always wears hers--she says she doesn't ever want to have to explain to her family why she *wasn't* wearing it when she really needed it.
While it might seem a bit stiff the first few times you wear it, you'll quickly get used to the way it feels, just like you did when you started wearing a helmet. It won't be long before you feel "naked" without it.
Like helmets, body protectors need to fit well to offer the optimal protection. It should fit snugly, but not restrict your movement. The chart below will help you choose the correct size. Once you get your vest, you'll want to adjust the velcro shoulder straps and side closures to fine-tune the fit. They are quite adjustable and can easily be adjusted to fit over bulkier clothes in the winter and tank tops in the summer.
To determine what size body protector to order, measure your chest and waist and choose the size that most closely matches your measurements. If you are in between sizes and aren't sure which one to order, ask Diana if someone has one you can try--she usually has a limited selection of sizes in the shop, but there are most likely other students with the right sizes who would let you try theirs.
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