5 Best Padded Shorts for Skateboarding & Buying Guide!
Padded shorts are a game changer. Back when I started to skateboard I didn’t have any protection around my waist and bum. I kept getting sore muscles, bruises and sometimes cuts from landing on my bum and hip all the time. It sucked hardcore.
A few months later I invested in a pair of padded shorts. Easily the best decision I ever made as a beginner skater. These things absorbed the shock and impact every time I fell and I finally stopped waking up feeling sore the next day. They also gave me a lot of confidence and I was able to learn faster and try out new techniques safer.
In today’s article I’ll go over the best-padded shorts for skating you can buy and what you should look out for as you do so.
Triple Eight T8 Bumsaver
It’s all in the name. The first hip pad on my list is the Triple 8 Bumsaver. They’re a company that specializes in high-quality protective gear like knee pads , so you already know these pads will be of a great standard.
These are made from a lightweight, form-fitting mesh fabric. The material is also breathable so you can sweat through them with no issue. Speaking of sweat, you can also remove the pads for easy washing. This is a major key as the pads are gonna get stinky after a lot of sessions.
The mesh fabric allows the pads to be super flexible. This makes sure they don’t restrict you from moving in any way you want to. You can view more pictures of it on Amazon.com here.
The EVA foam is strategically placed through the hip and tailbone area. These areas are the most sensitive and hurt the most when you fall on them. They won’t absorb all the shock but will absorb enough that you can repeatedly fall during the day without holding back.
However, the fabric is a bit thin so it’s level of protection may not be good enough for some.
Triple 8 advertises these shorts as good for skateboarding, rollerblading (roller derby as well) and snowboarding. I also recommend them for freestyle longboarding and freeriding. Don’t recommend them for downhill skating as the mesh fabric could easily tear when you fall on the tarmac.
Hillbilly Impact Shorts
The Hillbilly impact shorts are a sturdy and thick offering. If you are looking for a hip pad with loads of EVA foam and protection. This is the one for you. The pads focus on maximizing protection around the hip and tailbone and providing thorough coverage to the other areas.
They feature a hard plastic cover for tailbone protection. A lot of people don’t like this feature (check out the soaReD) but if you are skating on asphalt/tarmac it could be valuable for you. It allows you to slide across the pavement (even on wood floors) when you fall on your bum. This helps reduce damage and tearing to the fabrics you are wearing.
However, with the thorough coverage of EVA foam, you get a bulky and restrictive hip pad. This reduces mobility, but if you are doing a sport that doesn’t require very flexible hip motions, you can get away with it. Rollerblading, downhill skating, and even mountain boarding. You can check their current price on Amazon.com here.
With limited breathability, they won’t be the best for hot climate. You will sweat a lot and it can feel uncomfortable.
If you want a more flexible hip pad with great breathability, check out the Triple 8 bumsaver.
soaReD 3D Protection Hip EVA Padded Short
The most affordable option on my list. The soaReD is hip pad that is thick in all the right places. It seems to be a cross between the Hillbilly and T8 pads.
It has thick EVA foam like the Hillbilly impact shorts on the tailbone and hip areas but uses breathable materials like T8 pads to ensure that it can allow moisture and heat to escape.
For those that didn’t like the plastic tailbone of the Hillbilly, these are perfect for you. The EVA foam will absorb far more impact than the plastic. You can get more specification on Amazon.com here.
These are also the best-padded skating shorts for kids. They include kid sizes and have proved as an effective option for them. They also feature an elastic fabric.
The sizing makes for a really tight fit. Some people are comfortable with this, but if you want a looser fit go a size larger. Be careful as you select between the adults and kids fit, all fit differently.
The EVA foam (same material used in some longboard helmets) might be thick but it won’t be as restrictive as the pads mentioned above. I recommend it if you need something breathable that has great protection. For the price it’s a great option to go for if you have a tight budget.
Demon D3o short body armor
Some downhill skaters and snowboarders swear by their Demon D3o equipment. These hip pads are the lightest, most flexible and most expensive option on my list. However, they are quality and are well worth the money.
The feature a proprietary technology that uses energy-absorbing material. It makes use of a non-newtonian fluid that sensitive, soft and flexible but hardens on impact and can absorb large impacts. Science… am I right?? This material is also used in armor for soldiers too.
Thusly you can have a very low profile, lightweight hip pad that still offers great protection. You can take a better look at these bad boys on Amazon.com here.
The Demon body armor uses D3o on the tailbone and thermoform on the hip and outer thigh. It uses perforated lycra for maximum breathability and flexibility.
These are the best hip pads on my list except that they are very expensive. If you can spare the money, do so. If you need a more affordable option, check out the T8 bumsavers.
However, they are vulnerable to tearing if you are skating on asphalt. The Hillbilly has a plastic tailbone that will work best for uses on tarmac or asphalt.
Another affordable option on my list. The Powerslide standard is a simple hip pad that uses EVA foam in the right places.
It’s neither too thick or restrictive so it will be a bit flexible while offering protection and they are the only option on my list that has EVA pads on the front of the thighs.
They are pretty comfortable to wear and offer a lot of breath abilities. They use a mesh fabric throughout the pad so moisture and heat will escape easily. If you are going to have them on for a long time, I recommend them and they are especially effective to be used in hot climates. For example, bowl skating, rollerblading, freeride longboarding, these are all good sports to use them in.
The foam isn’t too thick so it doesn’t offer great impact protection, so you’ll still get a bruise or two but you won’t be taken out by a single fall.
However, if you fall on asphalt they may tear easily. The mesh fabric isn’t very abrasive resistance and will tear. Take a better look at them on Amazon.com here.
If you are looking for a hip pad but don’t mind taking hits, it’s the one for you. If you want something as light and low profile and have some money to spare, check out the D3o.
Things to look out for as you buy your pads
Don’t use torn trousers
If the hip pad is exposed and you fall and slide on it, it is very easy to tear the mesh fabric, especially if you use them on tarmac. This could lead to the EVA pads falling out. Just look at the picture of my hip pads with one of the pads that fell out.
Breathable material is key
As you do your sport you are gonna sweat a lot, especially if you’re in a hot area. If you live in somewhere cold this isn’t that important.
A breathable fabric also prevents the buildup of bacteria. A hot and sweaty environment is the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. You can also spray deodorizer and disinfectant once you are done skating. Not as good a solution as washing but should work for a few days/uses.
Wash them after a session or two as well. You don’t want to have to wear stinky pads when you need them next.
Stiff or flexible pads?
Stiff pads offer more protection because they generally will have more EVA foam (apart from the D3o). This is bad if you need to move your hip a lot, like squatting or bending.
However, flexible pads won’t offer as much protection (expect the D3o), but if you are an advanced rider you can get away with it as you may not fall as much.
Will you save your bum from unnecessary pain?
Hip pads are a game changer for sure, you won’t realize how important they are until you buy and use them. As I mentioned earlier, they also help beginners gain confidence and learn faster. It could be the confidence boost you are your kid need to go hard and give their all to a sport.
If you are still hesitant and need to pick one, I suggest the Triple 8 Bumsaver or soaReD padded short. Both will offer good all round protection and you can’t go wrong with them.