Tips for Buying Go Kart Safety Gear
Go karting is the most accessible form of motor racing and is a popular sport for people of all ages, experience and budgets. However, if you want to pursue the sport at a competitive level you need to invest in quality go kart parts and accessories. Even for having a go kart hobby or using it for fun, it is vitally important that you purchase safety gear. In spite of the relatively low speeds of go kart racing compared to other motor sports, go karts are still dangerous and accidents do occur. Karts can travel up to 60mph and are very open and exposed with minimal built-in safety devices. It is therefore crucial that you are adequately protected.
The first thing that needs to be bought is a helmet which is undeniably the most essential piece of motor racing safety gear. You will be required to wear one even for practising at your local go kart club. Cheaper helmets are made of fibreglass, while a higher quality one for competitions to give greater crash protection is made of carbon fibre. There is also the option of full-faced or open-faced design. Open-faced helmets are more comfortable and give better driver visibility but they obviously provide less protection for the face. It is a matter of personal preference but some competitions only allow drivers to wear full-faced helmets. Those who engage in professional go kart racing may desire and be required to wear a helmet with a HANS (Head and Neck Support) device. This forces the impact during a crash into the chest muscles and away from the neck in order to prevent whiplash and minimize serious neck injury.
With the possibility of accidents in go kart racing you need to purchase a race suit to help protect yourself from injury. These suits are made from flame-resistant material such as nomex to protect from burns should fuel in your go kart ignite in a crash. They also protect the ribs and chest against impact. It is advisable to buy a higher quality race suit which will offer greater protection and last longer than a cheaper version. It is also very important that the race suit fits properly.
Karting gloves protect the hands from the normal blisters and abrasions that occur when racing and also help protect them from damage in case of accident. Gloves also absorb sweat, thereby improving the driver’s grip on the steering wheel and making the ride much more comfortable.
A go kart driver should invest in a pair of high quality boots as most accidents occur due to incorrect or insufficient footwear. Boots should be light and have mesh panels to provide ventilation. Thin anti-slip soles are best in order to have good pedal contact and grip. You can also purchase oil and fuel resistant overshoes to slip on over your boots in wet conditions.
There are additional go kart parts that provide extra safety. Some karters wear a neck brace to avoid their head moving too much. This can take the form of a foam ring or a more complex restraint. Others, especially children, will often wear rib protectors, as well as knee and elbow pads.
Go karting is a thoroughly enjoyable sport but remember it carries risks and there is nothing more important than ensuring your safety.