knee and elbow pads

skateboard safety gear – skateboard pads

At least for bloody beginners and vert dogs wearing skateboard safety gear is essential: Protective gear gives beginners a safe feeling, which enables them to risk more on their skateboard and make them learn faster. The fear of the trick respectively the fear of the slam bears a high risk of getting injured. Slams are a natural part of learning how to skate but wearing the right protective gear can minimise the potential for injury.

Wearing no skateboard safety gear when skating halfpipes or backyard pools is foolish – even professionals do. They have even developed special bail techniques where they slide on their skateboard knee pads (and sometimes skateboard elbow pads).
Always make sure your skateboard safety gear fits properly. Ill fitting helmets, skateboard knee pads or skateboard elbow pads won’t protect you, may restrict your movement and actually cause you to slam. If your skate safety gear gets damaged on a heavy slam, replace it immediately.

Skateboard pads are supposed to absorb most of the impact of a slam and prevent injuries. Hence both skate knee pads and skate elbow pads must fit perfectly and be fastened securely.

Hard shell skateboard pads are usually made of a soft foam padding covered by an ergonomically molded plastic cap to protect your knee or elbow. Good hard shell skate pads are very robust and can take a lot of impact and abrasion. However they are quiet bulky which means they offer less range of motion and can’t be worn under normal clothing.
In contrast soft shell skateboard pads are usually made of a soft, dense foam, kevlar or another flexible material to cushion the impact. Soft shell skate pads are usually lighter than hard shell skate pads, can be worn under clothing and offer more range of motion. However, they do not offer as much protection as hard shell skateboard knee and elbow pads.

Skateboard pads differ in two basic designs:

  • SLIP ON: Slip-on knee and elbow pads are sleeve style pads, typically soft shell pads. They are slid up the leg or arm and tightened with velcro straps to hold them in place.
  • BUTTERFLY: So called butterfly pads get wrapped around legs respectively arms and secured with adjustable velcro straps. Hence you don’t have to take off your shoes or fancy watch to put them on. The butterfly design is common for hard-shell skateboard knee and elbow pads.

Good skateboard knee and elbow pads should balance maximal protection and durabilty with minimal limitation of movement. Other things to consider when buying good skateboard knee and elbow pads:

  • available in different sizes
  • do you have to take your shoes off to put the skate pads on?
  • strong strapping so the skate pads don’t slip when sliding on them
  • extra padding to protect the sides of the knee/elbow
  • durable stitching
  • replaceable caps
  • moisture-wicking fabric to absorb and release sweat
  • washable and quick-drying
  • padding molded to the shape of a flexed knee/elbow