By Steve Kopitz
Buying inline skate pads seems like an easy task but there are a few things to look into when purchasing inline skate pads. Here we will go over the proper sizing for inline skate pads, different styles and how to properly wear inline skate pads. Using pads while inline skating can save you from serious injury and also instill confidence to further your inline skating.
Sizing of an inline skate pad is very similar to the sizing of pads used in other sports; you will want a snug fit so the pad will not move but still need the fit to be comfortable. Most inline skate pads can be sized by weight; click here to see the size chart for the skate padding you are looking for.
For different styles of skating there are different styles of pads. For inline skating there are really only two real styles of specific readily used pads; those being recreational and aggressive skating style pads. There are some requisites for this rule and some special padding for specific uses like full body padding and suits for racing.
Recreational Inline Skate Pads
Recreational inline skate pads are typically lightweight and minimal yet still offering the right amount of protection in the event of an accident. Made lightweight and smaller the recreational inline skate pads aim to not get in your way or cause discomfort while you’re skating. So what are a few things to look for in a recreational set of inline skate pads?
Sweat Wicking Properties:
Almost all recreational inline skate pads offer some type of moisture wicking property so that the pads don’t become wet with sweat while skating. This is a great feature as it’s not only more comfortable but also keeps the skate pads a lot cleaner overall.
Men’s Vs Women’s:
Yes, like in most everything else there is a big difference between what’s going to fit a man and a woman the best in inline skate pads. We sell both men’s and women’s inline skate pads and I can say firsthand the fit is definitely different. The men’s is a bit wider cut and bulkier and the women’s fits a bit more streamlined and is smaller. These fits are based and calculated off a men’s and women’s actual hand to make the fit perfect for the end user, you!
Pads that are breathable are more comfortable; companies make fabric that air can pass through making the pad feel great. This breathable fabric can in most cases be seen by the naked eye, if you’re looking at an inline skate pad and the padding looks perforated this is a breathable pad and if you cannot tell just look in the description.
Some pads will offer a gel or harder foam type of insert between the padding and the cloth cover, this is shock absorption material. What this does is lessen the impact of a fall and is a great addition to a wrist pad to ward off palm bruises. This is a small addition but can be a great comfort factor when you’re skating. Note that all pads offer this in some way with the foam inserted in the pad.
Aggressive Skating Pads
Aggressive skating pads are definitely aimed more at protection and can be a bit bigger and bulkier than recreational inline skating pads. Aggressive skaters often put themselves at much more risk for incident while skating and need the additional protection.
Over or Under:
Knee and elbow pads are very common in aggressive skating but there are bulky more protective pads that go outside your pants or shirt and there are smaller more streamlined pads that fit underneath. What route should you go? Well, the bigger and bulkier pads are great for a few types of skaters; beginners, vert ramp skaters and those who just feel more confident with them. The smaller more streamlined pads will fit under clothing and are more comfortable; these are great for more experienced skaters and can add extra confidence. The pads that fit under are often time referred to as “gasket” pads. Below are two pictures to characterize the differing pads; the left is a pad that would fit under and on the right is an example of an over.
Sweat Wicking And Breathability:
In aggressive skate padding you will want the same if not more sweat wicking and breathability properties. When aggressive skating you get very hot and can get drenched in sweat so having padding that will help get rid of this moisture and remain breathable is a must; if your padding does not breath it is uncomfortable and can cause rashes, chafing and over all it will just stink.
Shock absorption is very important in aggressive skate style pads and aggressive skate style pads offer very thick padding to ward off any impact or shock if impact. The lower profile thinner pads often have some type of denser foam or gel to ward off shocks and impacts.
Not all pads are created equal; much like other goods in the market place you do indeed get what you pay for. Cheaper pads will be more susceptible to breakdown and deterioration throughout use. When you are looking to purchase a set of pads be sure to think of the long run and the amount you will be using the pads. If you go inline skating a few times a month it will make sense to spend an extra $10 to $20 to get a better fitting, longer lasting and more protective pad. There are some things you can skimp on and go cheap but your protection should not be one of them.