Best Knee Pads For Longboarding and Skateboarding in 2018 & Buying Guide
When skating & longboarding, falling is inevitable. That, said wearing the right protective gear, makes all the difference.
In our protective gear series, we’re reviewing top gear for every of the main body parts. This time we’re looking at the best skateboard knee pads. They have helped me get better at skating and I have had to learn the hard way. If you’re confused with all the “fancy” choices out there – this guide is for you.
7 Best Skateboard & Longboard Knee Pads
- TSG Force III Skate Kneepads – Smaller, ideal for street/skatepark riders.
- 187 Killer Pro – Pro level pads for bigger, nastier slams.
- Pro-Tec Junior 3-Pad Pack- Wrist guards, Knee, elbow pads pack. Perfect for kids.
- JBM 3-pack (Knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards)- Cheaper, great for beginners.
- G-Form Pro-X Knee Pad – Downhill riders will love these.
- Pro-Tec Street Pads – Cheaper, yet still a decent pair for multiple disciplines.
- TSG force IV Pads – Premium level pads, very comfortable and strong.
TOP knee pad model reviews
TSG Knee Pads Force IV
TSG is a great brand that has many products, from helmets to various pads and slide gloves. Through rider feedback, they have made a great knee pad to makes sure skaters are getting what they need. They believe they have made the strongest and most comfortable skateboard knee pads available. The TSG Force IV uses memory foam for a comfortable fit that shapes the pad to your knee’s shape. It also has
an open back design to allow you to quickly wear them without having to take your shoes off.
The pad is made from Cordura and a hard plastic cap, layers of eva foam and a replaceable knee cap which means you can replace the knee after falling a lot. You can also use the knee pad without the cap and the padding will still provide some comfort when falling. The memory foam makes them one of the most comfortable skate knee pads.
What's to like:
- The memory foam and eva padding provide a very comfortable fit and minimize damage from high impacts.
- Replaceable knee caps
- Can be used without kneecaps
- Warranty to ensure against defects
What's not to like
- Might be a bit bulky for some users.
- Its expensive
187 Killer Pro Pads
Its hard to go wrong with the 187 killer pro pads. They are a skater owned company that has years of experience. They have kept raising the standards for skateboarding (and longboarding) knee pads, making them one of the best.
This is proven by the fact that many professional riders use them. They have taken creative approaches to making their pads and use special materials. The Pro pads are designed with a V-22 Dual density foam which give a great balance between protection and comfort. The rest of the knee pad is made from lightweight material.
Washing is simple and easy with the knee pad as the foam and knee cap can be removed and the lightweight material dries easy. They have a hinge to allow maximum movement when wearing the pads and they use a technology that prevents the pad from slipping. 187 killer pads use ballistic nylon around the pad and this material is tough and strong. They also have a removable cap and an open back design for an easy time putting them on and they have a three-month warranty from the time of buying them
I highly recommend these (and a pair of shorts) for those wanting to be great longboarders. I think they are the best longboard knee pads for learning and ensuring you have the most fun.
What's to like:
- Rather low profile for the amount of protection offered
- Stylish design
- Feature a gasket to add extra protection
- High-quality materials used
What's not to like:
- Its one of the more expensive pads
Pro-Tec Street Knee Pad
Protec produce a lot of reliable and affordable gear. The street knee pads have been around a longtime and Protec believe they have done the best to produce and design this pad within its given price point.
They offer basically the bare minimum but they do not skimp on the most important thing which is the knee protection. This is done by utilizing hard abs caps stuck to the knee pad and using little eva foam which makes them low profile and cheaper than most options. Though if you fall a lot, you can expect your knees to be more sore using these pads.
They are made of a breathable lightweight material to allow you to keep cool on hot days. For fast drying after being washed and for flexibility when popping tricks or doing fast downhill slides. They do not have an open back design (they are actually like a sleeve), meaning you have to remove your shoes to put them on. The sizes may be smaller than expected so watch out for problems with sizing.
What's to like:
- Lack of eva foam makes them more low profile.
- Offer decent protection for the price (aka cheap)
What's not to like
- They are not as comfortable as other options.
- Leave a lot to be desired for impact protection.
- Sleeve design makes them hard to put on.
How to pick the best knee pads for kids?
To pick knee pads for kids, you simply need to find gear that is specifically targeted to their size.
Not to worry though, a lot of companies make and sell pads specifically for “juniors” or for “youths”. For example, the Triple 8 Little tricky junior pads, you check them out on Amazon.com here.
The Triple 8 junior come in a one size fits all, but there are other options like the Protec street pads and the 187 killer pads which have multiple options for kids and options in X-small sizes.
Though you might get them a nice set of pads, your kid might not want to wear them. There is an unhealthy stigma going round that pads are uncool because of how bulky they are and how they protrude.
Unsurprisingly, because of this, some kids neglect to put them on when they aren’t being supervised.However, there are some great low profile alternatives that are actually pretty cool. For example, the G-form pads are pretty great. They are simply a sleeve that uses proprietary technology to absorb impact but aren’t bulky and allow for the maximum range of movement. You can find them on Amazon.com here.
Other skateboard & longboard protective gear
If you haven’t already bought yourself a helmet, now is the time to do so. It is the ultimate piece of protective gear and I would even recommend you prioritize this instead of a knee pad, even if your budget won’t allow for both.
A good helmet has all the relevant safety certifications. These certifications basically guarantee your protection if you bang your head on anything. A good example of a helmet with proper certifications is this Triple 8 on Amazon.com. A helmet without certifications might as well be a hat.
Elbow pads go really well with knee pads. You need to make sure you have all the pointy extremities of your body covered as they are the most injury prone. A bruised or scabbed elbow can look really bad, and also you want to be one of the few people who never have to wash road rash. Trust me on that last one.
Good example are these Triple 8 eblow pads on Amazon.com. A set of simple, easy to use and affordable pads.
Hip pads are one of those nice-but-not-necessary items. I still highly recommend them because you’ll fall on your ass once in a while and having a bruised bum is one of the most uncomfortable things you can experience.
Check out these Soared hip pads to get an idea of what I mean. Those pads are fantastic butt savers and I recommend them due to their affordability.
Knee Pads Buying Guide
As with anything, when buying knee pads it is good to know what to look for. Some knee pads are better than others in different ways. There are small differences in their design. Knowing the differences will help you findexactly what you’re looking for in a knee pad.
It’s the same with other longboards protective gear and we briefly go over them. Watch these kids really use their knee pads.
Soft shell vs hardshell:
There are two main types of knee pads. Softshell are pads like g-form and hardshell are pads such as those mentioned in this article. Softshell pads try to make the use of impact absorbing materials and are very lowprofile.
Hardshell pads either use both impact absorbing material and hard plastic caps for great protection.
Some knee pads have removable caps so that you can use just the impact absorbing material or use it with the plastic cap. The best of both worlds.
Size and Measurements:
It should be noted that there are different sizes for some pads according to gender and age. The most common one is simply age with the pads for children marked JR (junior). The different knee pad companies use differentsizes and its important to look at the sizing chart of the one you are interested in.
The sizes are from XS to L and are determined by the size of your leg at 3 points on it. Just before your knee, your knee and just after your knee.
- If wearing pads over pants, go for a larger size
- The thicker the pad, the more protection and comfort you get.
- Open back design is more convenient for wearing
- A round cap is better to protect you
There are different materials used in a knee pad, the most important is the material used around the pad for comfort and protection. There are few differences between the hard shell caps so it doesn’t matter. The material used should be tough but breathable and easy to sweat through.
It should also be easy to wash because pads eventually end up stinky. Also important is the type of shock absorption material that is used and how thick it is. Most pads use eva foam (or similar foams) and change how shock absorbing they want the pad to be by how thick they make it. The thicker the foam, the more shock absorbing it will be.
Considering your style, other longboard protective gear might be useful for you:
- Dancers and freestylers will find wrist guards good.
- Freeriders and downhillers will find full-face helmets useful. Especially in winter to help protect your eyes and when you go faster than 30mph/55kmh.
- Hip guards are super helpful as they protect your hips when you fall and they go along way in preventing bruises and injuries to your hip when you fall. Hip injuries happen more when you are learning than expected, so they are important to have. You can see mine’s above and how much I have made use of them.
- Extra pucks are always useful and even slide gloves for the different type of weather. The material used in the glove determines how warm or cool your hands will be. The breathable leather is great for summer and winter, whilst mesh is great for summer and closed leather for winter.
The right knee pad can really boost your confidence while protecting you from potential injuries. That said, all knee pads won’t be the same. It will depend on the skateboarding discipline you want to pursue and your personal preference. If i’d have to trim this guide down to 2 best knee pads, I’d go with the 187 Killer PRO pads, for skateboarding, cruising and G-form PRO’s for downhill action.