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The Karting Classroom - Equipment Required

Have you recently started Go-Karting or are looking at getting into Karting and don't really know where to start with all of the equipment you need? Well here are some of the basics:


Helmets

As with any forms of motorsport, safety should be a top priority and buying a good quality helmet is essential, but with so many different options on the market, where do you start?


A Full Face Helmet is the most common type used for Karting. It covers the whole face and chin and provides complete protection. They are designed to be lightweight, comfortable and provide excellent ventilation to keep the driver cool.


My first Karting helmet was a OMP KJ-8 Evo Kart Helmet, I loved this helmet and thought it was a great mid range option. It come with 2 visors, a clear and a blue iridium visor. This was perfect for outdoor karting as I started in the winter you needed to have a clear visor once the floodlights were on and on the occasional sunny winters day that we managed to get in the UK, could switch over for the tinted visor.



I have now upgraded my helmet from when I first started back in 2019 only because I outgrew it, not for any other reason. My absolute hero is Lewis Hamilton, so for my 13th Birthday, my parents surprised me with the Bell KC7-CMR Kart Helmet - Lewis Hamilton 2020 Purple & Black Helmet, looking a little dirty in this pic as we have had so much wet racing recently.


Racing Suits

Why do you need to wear a racesuit and what should you consider when buying one?


Racesuits offer protection from impact. Karting involves high speeds and intense manoeuvring, increasing the likelihood of collisions or accidents. Racesuits act as a vital layer of protection, designed to minimise the impact of crashes.


During karting, friction with the track or other objects can lead to abrasions and skin injuries. A durable racing suit can significantly reduce the risk of such injuries. They have reinforced panels and high-quality fabrics to enhance the suit's abrasion resistance. This ensures that even in the event of a slide, your suit provides a protective barrier against the track's abrasive surfaces.


While safety is paramount, it's also important to consider comfort and mobility when selecting a racing suit. Make sure they are made using lightweight, breathable materials. The suits are tailored to provide a comfortable fit, allowing freedom of movement without compromising safety. The suits should also feature ventilation panels to help regulate body temperature, ensuring that you stay cool and focused during intense races.


Compliance with standards: All racing suits should adhere to stringent safety standards set by various motorsport governing bodies. Whether you're participating in karting events, club races, or professional competitions, it's crucial to wear gear that complies with the required safety regulations.


I've only ever needed 2 racing suits in my karting career to date, unlike some of my friends who have been through several, whether this is due to wear & tear or that rate that they seem to grow in comparison to me! I'm not one that likes to change my look too often on track so I have stayed with the same race suit since I started out, it fits me well, it is definitely robust as I have never had zips or holes appear and again is a mid range budget suit, it's the Alpinestars KMX-9 V2 Kart Suit



Neck Brace

Next up is a Neck Brace, it seems a little excessive, but if you end up being hit and your head snaps backwards or to the side, you know about it for a few days afterwards! I have the AlpineStars Youth Neck Brace. I did have a different one when I first started out, it did the job fine but it was a covered in fabric and after a wet race I just didn't like the feel of it being round my neck, so I switched to the AlpineStars one. It's really comfortable and has always protected me well.


Rib Protector

I also wear the AlpineStars Bionic Rib Support. I wear this under my suit for every race & practice session. You never know when you are going to end up off of a track whether this is from your own errors or tangled up in someone else's issue, so it is always best to protect yourself as much as possible.


Racing Boots

Over the years I've been through a few pairs of boots, my boots have definitely needed changing more than my suits thats for sure! So back to the very start the AlpineStars Tech 1-KX Kart Boots I think my mum only bought these boots to start with because they co-ordinated nicely with my racesuit being the same brand! These were a great boot, the only downside I would say with them was as they got older, the velcro strap that went over the top of the laces, the velcro detached from the strap so there was always that part flapping around, so we ended up with new boots but these did get quite a bit of wear out of them first.


Next up was the OMP KS-1 Kart Boots, carrying on the Green theme as this was now becoming my racing colours, the black, purple & lime green. These turned out to be my Championship winning boots and I was reluctant to hang them up, but it was getting to the stage where my toes were tingling by the time I took them off.


So the next purchase was for Christmas this year & my Grandad kindly bought me a new pair of Sparco K-Pole WP Waterproof Kart Boots in a size that didn't cut off the blood circulation! I love these boots for the simple fact of they are quick and easy to take on & off, the quick rota lace system is great, just waiting for them to turn into Championship winning ones now.


Gloves

Now on the final bit of kit that you will need, gloves. We have so many pairs of gloves it is ridiculous, mainly because I generally end up forgetting some when at the track, so we generally have "emergency pairs" in the car somewhere. We have lots of variations on the AlpineStars Gloves, some entry level ones would be AlpineStars Tech 1-K Kart Gloves.


I hope that you have found this blog useful in terms of kit that you could find handy when knowing what to buy. Like I say, I have used all of these at some point in my karting journey and have never had any issues with any of the kit that I have recommended above.


I look forward to seeing you on track soon and will be posting out more Karting Classroom tips soon.



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