Snow is a sly beast. Take one glance at those rolling white hills along the Blue Ridge this season: they could be piles of pillows or huge marshmallow clouds. Soft, comfortable, forgiving. Gentle giants.

Nope.

That snow is torture. It may look like sweet fairy dust in the air, but it mostly settles on the mountains like just another layer of stone. Sometimes you’ll come across a big powdery patch of delight to sink your chilly limbs into, and for a brief second you might find some comfort. Much icier slopes, though, seem to be more common here in the East.

Still, these slopes attract skiers and snowboarders from all over the region for a dose of wintry adrenaline. Experts cruise down Black Diamond peaks without one bump to document the journey, but behind every snow pro stands a stumbling and bumbling beginner who can’t slide five feet down the mountain without a good bit of falling.

Introducing Ass Armor, my new saving grace as I struggle through the early stages of snowboarding. After a single afternoon without any padding or protection, my butt was ready to call the whole thing quits. The bruises just weren’t worth the eventual gain.

Turns out that Ass Armor Founder Casey Scherr agrees with me. In the midst of her own Ass Armorlearning process, Scherr needed a little extra support to make it all the way through the run with enough stamina left for even one more go. Ass Armor uses D30 XT, the same polymer technology found in many sports and law enforcement protective pieces, to cradle your backside in a layer of shock-absorbing deliverence. It’s like foam, but better: D30 is 40% thinner than comparable foam products, much more flexible and absorbent, and actually comfortable – very unlike strapping a unwieldy foam block to your rump.

The D30 XT padding is attached onto a pair of spandex shorts, ranging in size from XS to XL to fit any user. The spandex material is also breathable and moisture-wicking for optimal dryness through sweat or snow. Wear under layers, in between, or right on top to show off your gear.

Thanks to Ass Armor, pioneering the slopes just got a whole lot easier. Falling may be inevitable, but there’s no need to turn black and blue. Breathe easy and tumble in style – your assets are safe.