Wearing protective equipment should NOT be an option for esk8ers. Bear in mind that you are operating a motorized vehicle. As such, you should esk8 defensively. Most, if not at all times, you will be sharing the road with others and at high speeds, it becomes increasingly difficult to anticipate the movement of others. Random traffic events and blind spots around buildings can result in serious collisions, so please wear a proper helmet and pads. Even at low speeds, serious head injuries can occur.
We would recommend the following list of protective gear and other accessories to enhance your riding experience.
Always wear a helmet. This is the most crucial piece of your protective gear. When choosing a helmet, look for the following:
- ASTM F1492 Specification. The helmet should be certified to meet this standard which is a specification for bicyclists, skateboarders, and trick roller skaters. This specification includes the ability for the helmet to protect the rider's head from a collision resulting in multiple impacts. Helmets which meet this standard usually have an exterior hard shell and a high quality foam inside.
- If you ride in busy locations, try to find a more visible (brighter color) helmet.
- Make sure you know your size
- Make sure the helmet straps are of high quality, so that it will not fall off during riding or on impact.
Pro-Tec Classic (Certified) Helmet
Since 1973, Pro-Tec has been serving the skateboard market. Its helmets are of top quality, but please make sure you purchase the certified helmet. The classic line comes in both a certified or non-certified option which is slightly cheaper.
The helmet is certified not only with the ASTM standards, but also meets additional international standards as well. It is lightweight, well-ventilated, and is made of 2 stage foam padding along with a liner to absorb sweat.
The helmet comes in youth or 5 different adult sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL). It is available in 15 different styles and colors.
Triple 8 Helmet
Triple 8 produced its first helmet in 1996 and has evolved into one of the top manufacturers of skateboarding equipment. When purchasing, insure that you select the certified version. Triple 8's helmet are noted for their sweat saver liner which absorbs sweat and increases comfortability. Furthermore, the liner is treated with a layer of anti-bacterial coating which also absorbs some of the sweat smell.
The helmet comes in 3 sizes (XS/S,S/ M, L/XL) along with two fit pads to insure a comfortable fit. It is available in 10 different colors. On Amazon, it is usually cheaper, but the selection colors are more limited.
2018 will be Flybar's 100th year as a company. Flybar is known for producing the original pogo stick (invented by George Hansburg) and has since evolved into various lines of recreational sports equipment including skateboards.
All of Flybar's helmets are certified. Each helmet has 12 large vents to provide a ton of cooling and airflow while riding. There is an adjustable wheel at the back to insure a snug fit and is also very lightweight.
The helmet comes in 3 sizes (XS/S,S/ M, L/XL) along with two fit pads to insure a comfortable fit. It is available in 7 different colors.
187 has been shipping protective equipment for over 10 years.. The company was started by a skater and their pads are among the best in the skating industry..
Please note that not all of 187's helmets are certified. Each helmet has 2 sets of comfort foam to guarantee a snug fit. The helmet is also very lightweight, but more expensive and not as popular as the others.
The helmet comes in a size for youth (Youth/XS) and two sizes for adults (SM/MD, LG/XL). Please note that the certified ones are only available in 3 different colors (red, black, white).
PADS - Knee, Elbow, Wrist
Most of us hate wearing pads, but if you have ever been involved in a bad fall or collision, you know that they can be worth its weight in gold. There are three kinds of pads: knee, elbow, and wrist. Knee surgeries are the worst and wearing the right knee pads is a great return for the investment. It may help you avoid an expensive surgery along with the time spent to fully heal.
When choosing knee pads, the first rule of thumb is protection. Unfortunately, there is no standard specification as in the case of helmets. The second rule is comfort. The issue is that the greater the protection comes with more padding and hence adds to the weight which usually provides less comfort. It is important though that you are still able to easily flex your knees on the board. In any case and at whatever age, your knees must be protected - you don't realize how much you need them until they get hurt - then it is too late.
Note that before purchasing, please find the right size. If you cannot try it on, refer to the sizing chart. We recommend the following pads:
187 Knee Pads
These pads are on the expensive side, but affords the most protection of all the pads we have reviewed. With more protection, you naturally have more bulk. At first use, the pads may seem a little uncomfortable, but they do break in and become more comfortable over time. 187 pads are widely recognized by many of the top skaters in the world.
187 Elbow Pads and Wrist Guards
As with the knee pads, the 187 elbow pads and wrist guards are pricey but they afford a high degree of protection against injury. The elbow pads are stitched with ballistic nylon (material used in many protective suitcases) and are lightweight. The wrist guards are also stitched with ballistic nylon and fits snugly around the wrist to provide the best protection possible. It is crucial that all the pads have a snug fit. Otherwise, there is no point to wearing pads if they can easily drift off your elbows or knees.
The elbow pads come in 5 sizes and the wrist guards come in four sizes as shown in the sizing chart.
187 Elbow Pads
187 Wrist Guards
Pro-Tec Knee and Elbow Pad Combo
Pro-Tec is a notch below the 187 pads, but this combination pack of knees and elbow pads provide an excellent value. The pads are made of lycra and ballistic nylon. Protecting the knee and elbow joints are ABS caps (protective lightweight plastic) and an soft foam cushioning impacts. To insure a snug fit, the pads utilize hook and loop straps around the joints.
The pads come with a one year warranty, much longer than the 3-month warranty of the 187 pads..
Each pack is available in 4 sizes (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large).
Triple 8 Savor-Series 3-Pack
These pads are the lowest quality pads offered byTriple 8 (Street Series). If you want higher quality, I would go with the 187 pads instead of the Triple 8 high end pads. The prices are slightly below the 187 pads, but the 187 pads are of much higher quality. Our recommendation here is based on value (you save about 50% when purchasing them individually) and the quality is sufficiently adequate to provide a high degree of protection.
The pack comes in 4 sizes (Youth, Small, Medium, Large). Note that one size fits all for the knee and elbow pads (so proper fitting may be an issue). The different sizing is only for the wrist guards.
JBM Multi Sport Combo Pack
These pads are targeted more for the beginner or casual rider. They are not at the same level of quality and protectiveness as the other lines, but for the price, they provide a good value for someone starting out. You do get what you pay for. You should expect that over time and use that the pads will wear out easier. In all likelihood, you may need to replace them if you encounter a serious spill.
The pads come in two sizes (youth/child, adult), and you have a selection of five different colors.
JBM Cycling Combo Pack
These pads were targeted for cyclists, but it can be used for skateboarding as well. It is similar in quality and materials as the multi-sport pack, but differ in design and appearance. The multi-sport seems to provide better protection while the cycling pack seems more comfortable. They also come in two sizes (youth/child, adult). With only two sizes, we suspect that with some, the fitting may be difficult. Each combo pack consists of a pair of knee pads, a pair of elbow pads, and a pair of wrist pads.
You already have one, but it is always good to have a spare. What we like is that instead of the standard black tool (which sometimes blends into the background and make it hard to find), you have a multi-color, easy-to-spot tool. Having a spare can save endless hours searching for the one you misplaced.
All the features are in this little tool (Phillips and Allen Head screw which fits inside the T tool). The sockets are the standard 9/16" for the kingpin, the 1/2" for the truck axles, and the 3/8" for tightening the truck bolts to the board.