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This is the open-top style of punch cover, and Komperdell makes a good one. For competitive slalom skiers who want the open-style punch cover rather than the full loop will love the Komperdell Small Punch Covers. For protective gear in the ski racing world, it's smart to get exactly what you want. Racers who spend most of their time in the slalom course will benefit the most from these thermo-plastic guards, as they'll keep your hands free from bruising and breaking as long as you're using them properly. Easily mounted to aluminum race poles, the Komperdell Small Punch cover is a light and easy to use piece of protective gear that loves to be put to the test. For slalom racing, it really pays to be as close to the gate as possible, hence the need for cross-blocking to get your line as straight as possible. This equates to more speed, and if you don't have the right protective gear on, you're likely either going to ski more passively, or just end up getting hurt. Either one of those options is not acceptable in the world of ski racing, so it certainly pays to have your hands and wrists protected from those slalom gates that are coming at you quite fast. In order to keep on your line and finish fast, you have to do so with the utmost confidence, and only having your mind being free from fear of injury will allow that full confidence. Racing is tricky enough, you should certainly have all the protective gear that not only allows for a faster time but also for less injury.