9 Best Wrist Guards in 2021 (+ worst you shouldn’t get)
Getting injured in skateboarding isn’t enjoyable. A fun cruising session can quickly turn into a mess, and no one enjoys the recovery process that follows. It’s simply better to stay safe and keep the injuries away.
Today’s article will be on the best wrist guards you can buy. Wrist guards are a key part of skateboard safety gear and a good pair can go along way.
187 Killer Wrist Guards
Killer 187 is known across roller sports as being one of the best companies to make protective gear. It’s not surprising to know that they make some of the best skateboard wrist guards too.
These wrist guards are built to last. They feature double stitching and ballistic nylon. A material and stitching technique designed to withstand the rough handling. You can be assured these will last no matter how often you fall over on them.
The splint on these wrist guards is thicker than usual. It is also closer at the base of the hand to ensure that the force impact is transferred up your arm instead of onto your wrist. These could arguably be, one of the best wrist guards on my list.
If I could say one bad thing about these guards, it would be the cost. Check out the Protec below for something more affordable.
These wrist guards are great for beginners and those looking for guaranteed protection. Find out more about them here on Amazon.com.
Rector Performer Wrist Guard
Rector is a severely underrated brand. They were one of the first to develop pads for action sports.
The Rector pad is a bit more lightweight than the other options on my list. It allows for movement and breathability in the wrist. It might be better for those of you skating in warmer climates or during the summer.
However, it won’t offer as much protection as a pad like the Killer 187 above. It won’t be suitable for kids or people who are likely to be falling over a lot. So may not be the best option for beginner skaters.
The pads themselves are really high quality. They feature a splint that flexes and rebounds when you fall so that the impact is cushioned and reflected away from you.
The gloves uniquely feature Tricot lining – allowing the pad to smooth on one side but rough on the other. This ensures durability against abrasion and comfort when wearing them.
Hillbilly Wrist Guard Gloves
Hillbilly is another company known for making really good protective gear. They focus on two main products – wrist guards and butt pads.
The Hillbilly’s are unique as they fit over your hand like a glove instead of a strap. This is generally more comfortable and ergonomic than the strap fit and best for roller sports.
The material they use is goatskin leather which is held to get by a double stitched nylon thread. Goatskin is both soft and strong. You can be sure it won’t tear and will also be resistant to wear and will last you a long time.
Finally, they feature an ABS palm splint that will take the brunt of any impact. Check these gloves out here on Amazon.com to learn more about them.
However, premium comfort and protection comes at a steep price. These gloves are the costliest on my list. If they are out of budget for you, check out the Killer 187 pads, they offer great protection and are more affordable.
Triple 8 Saver Series Wristsavers
Triple 8 is the skateboard standard when it comes to safety, protection, and quality. It’s hard to go wrong with any protective gear from them. They make good helmets too.
The Triple 8 wristsavers are no different. These gloves come in a lightweight, durable package that will fit in all budgets. The perfect all-around option for this list.
They feature a nylon body that fits snugly around the wrist and hand. And this nylon body is made with a stretchable mesh that doesn’t take up much space. This allows for maximum breathability, movement, and decent comfort when using them.
Finally, they feature EVA foam to help cushion any force the splints may take. If you have weaker wrists, these may be the best option for you.
The ‘minimalist’ nature of these gloves makes them a good wrist protector for skateboarding at any level. They would also be good for kids with the extra cushioning they provide. Take a good look at these gloves here on Amazon.com.
Pro-Tec Street Wrist Guards
A similar brand to Triple 8, Pro-tec is no slouch. These guys make badass protective gear that is both high-quality and affordable.
Their wrist guard is similar to the Triple 8 wristsavers in both design and cost. However, it features a removable splint and uses lycra instead of nylon as a fabric. Like the wristsavers, it is minimalistic, which can be nice as it won’t get in the way when you are grabbing your board during tricks. Or when you simply need your fingers to be a bit freer.
But unlike the wristsaver, it features no EVA foam for cushioning the impact. The Triple 8 are the go to if you want better impact protection.
This glove is also the first on my list to be CE certified. Meaning it has passed the standards of the European safety board for sale and use in the EU. Whilst most guards will already work well enough, it’s nice to have this guarantee of quality and protection. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
Triple 8 Hired Hands
Another Triple 8 product on my list, this one is for riders who don’t want to compromise on quality and are willing to pay a premium cost for it.
The gloves are made from top grain leather – the highest-quality leather you can buy. It’s what makes them stand apart and for good reason. This material will allow the gloves to last you a long time and also feel cozy in cold weather.
The gloves come with a top and bottom removable abs splints. The great thing about these splints is that they are replaceable.
I think that makes these the best wrist guards for rollerblading. Because if you are at doing tricks like handplants and chewing through splints, you can easily replace them without having to buy a whole new set of gloves. Take a good look at them here on Amazon.com.
But if they are too costly for your budget. Check out the Hillbilly gloves above for something similar but in a slightly cheaper package.
Bullet Wrist Guard
Made by skaters for skaters. Bullet is an entry-level brand that will fit the majority of budgets.
The gloves are made from a combination of Nylon and Cordura – both materials which are good for durability. However, these materials are known for being really itchy against the skin and absorbing sweat. Be sure to wash the gloves every now and then, otherwise, they may get stinky.
Finally, they feature a neoprene backing for breathability, flexibility, and comfort.
Since skaters made these, you know they are going to be good. However, one of the straps is uncomfortably close to the splint – I think it is unavoidable to hit it when you fall. Making these gloves wear down faster than necessary. Check out the Triple 8 saver series above for gloves with a strap completely out of the way.
These gloves aren’t the best but will be suitable for beginners and kids. Check them out here on Amazon.com.
JBM 3 in 1 Protective Gear
The most affordable option on this list, this product is good if you are on a budget and want protection without having to commit too much money. It comes from JBM. A brand that specializes in affordable safety gear.
The glove is as basic as you can expect but will perform its job. Given how the middle strap is placed – close to the plastic splint. You can expect it to wear down even faster than normal. With its placement, it will inevitably take a share of the impact from falling and even get torn up if the glove slides across the pavement.
As you can expect, you get exactly what you pay for. But that isn’t so bad. This glove can be suitable for a beginner or a kid learning the basics to skating or rollerblading. They can get the fundamentals down on this and then move on to a higher quality glove like the 187 above and appreciate its quality.
The most stylish option on my list. The Dakine wristguard is both sleek and low profile. It is primarily designed to be used under gloves. This is perfect if you intend to use them with gloves for sports like snowboarding, figure skating, or even just skating in cold weather.
But because these are designed to be used with gloves, they would be out of place if used without them and won’t work as intended. They feature a 100% neoprene body, which makes them really comfortable and fit snug. However, this material isn’t durable against wear and tear you get from falling on the pavement. It won’t last if you use the wristguard without gloves. These might be the worst option if you don’t use them as instructed. Check them out here on Amazon.com.
One thing to note is how snug these fit. You might need to go a size larger than you normally would.
For something more rugged and durable, check out the Triple 8 Saver series above.
How to pick the right wrist guards?
Decide on what kind of skating do you want to do
The first thing you need to ask yourself is the type of skating you are gonna do. Are you gonna be doing freestyle rollerblading, inline skating, skating the park, roller derby, longboarding or snow sports?
This is because it is easy to look at gloves and think they all work the same. In essence, yes, but some are better for some things than others, some are even good as wrist guards for onewheel.
For example, the Darkine is better suited to snow sports than any other glove on my list. And it would be out of place if used for other sports too.
The Triple 8 hired hands would be perfect for some sports that need extra wrist support, as they have both top and bottom splints.
It’s important to pick the right glove if you want to keep staying safe on a skateboard. Check out the individual guides to see what skating the gloves are best for.
Does the splint type matter?
The splint is what protects you when you fall. It absorbs most of the impact or redirects it to your forearm so your wrist doesn’t get injured.
You’ll typically find plastic as the main option for wrist guards. It both reflects and absorbs some impact and is also affordable to manufacture. However, it isn’t the most durable. If you use the splint a lot, it will wear down quickly.
You can get metal splints, but they won’t deflect as much force. Alternatively, you can get a glove where the splints are removable and replace them as you go along (take a look at the hired hands gloves).
The size of the splint also matters if your hands are very big. Pay attention to that and avoid getting gloves with splints that are too small if you have larger hands.
Finally, for maximum impact absorption, a wrist guard with EVA foam will give the best cushioning. This would be useful as you figure out easy tricks you can do on your skateboard.
What’s the best material for the glove?
It is hard to say what the best material for a glove is, but some are definitely better than others.
But that said, you can’t go wrong with a glove made from Cordura, neoprene, nylon or leather. These materials are durable and are suited for use in protective equipment. In fact, you will find them used in other bits of safety gear.
Another thing you should pay attention to is the stitching. Even if you have leather gloves, they will come apart if the stitching isn’t well done.
The wrist guard with the best stitching on my list is the Killer 187. The double stitching means it will hold together for a much longer time than other pads. Double stitching is great because it will hold the material together even after a layer of thread has been chewed through. For most guards, this would be game over, but a guard like the 187 will last and you can keep using it.
Does cost matter?
Most prices for these gloves hovers around $20. However, some gloves are better than others and some are not worth the cost.
A glove like the Triple 8 saver series is absolutely worth its cost. Its features aren’t the highest quality but it is built in a way where it will last a long time and perform well. When you use that as a standard, you see that a glove like the Bullet isn’t worth its similar price tag.
So you need to be careful and read the reviews of the glove. Price isn’t the best indicator of quality, but it can be useful.
But on average, the cost is reflective of how specialized a glove it for a given discipline. Most gloves around $20 will work for almost all disciplines,. Those costing $40 and upwards are suited for specific types of skating. They should only be bought when you are sure about the type of skating you will do.
What type of guards should you avoid?
It’s hard to go wrong with a wrist guard. But here are some tips to stop you from doing so anyway. You should avoid gloves that are:
- Made with cheap fabrics – fabrics that are cheap won’t last against the wear and tear a protective pad undergoes. They are also usually uncomfortable and will make your skin irritated.
- Overly specialized guards – These wrist guards (like Dakine and hired hands) only work well for a particular type of skating and use. They can work decently for general use/skating but may wear faster or simply be overkill if they aren’t used as the manufacturer intended.
Which wrist guard is the one for you?
Protection gear is most certainly a necessary part of the gear you need for skating, especially as a beginner. Wrist injuries are more common than you realize and you don’t want one to happen to you.
If you are still not decided on a glove, go for the Triple 8 Saver series wrist guard. This glove is the best all-around option in my opinion, and it will suit most riders.