Why Are Pads Important In Skateboards? – Protecting Both Passion and Body

Davis Torgerson

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Why Are Pads Important In Skateboards

Skateboarding, the exhilarating blend of skill, style, and thrill, has captured the hearts of millions worldwide. But amidst the stunts and tricks that define this dynamic sport, safety should never take a backseat. 

Skateboard pads, often overlooked but indispensable, are your silent guardians against the unexpected perils of the pavement. 

In this blog post, we delve into the critical importance of pads in skateboarding, addressing the burning questions that every skateboarder, from novice to pro, should consider. So, stay focused. 

What Are the Skateboard Pads?

Skateboard pads, also commonly referred to as protective gear or safety equipment, are essential accessories designed to safeguard skateboarders from potential injuries while engaging in the exhilarating sport of skateboarding. 

These pads serve as a crucial layer of defense against the inevitable falls, collisions, and impacts that skateboarders may encounter during their tricks and maneuvers.

Comprising a set of protective components, skateboard pads typically include knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These pads are constructed with durable materials and innovative designs to absorb shock and distribute impact forces, reducing the risk of fractures, abrasions, and other injuries. 

While skateboarding can be an adrenaline-fueled activity, it’s essential for skaters of all skill levels to prioritize safety by donning these pads. 

Whether cruising through the streets or mastering complex tricks at the skate park, skateboard pads are an indispensable element of the skateboarder’s toolkit, promoting a safer and more enjoyable experience on the board.

Types of Skateboard Pads

Skateboard pads come in various types, each designed to protect specific parts of the body during skateboarding. Here are the main types of skateboard pads:

Knee Pads

Knee pads are crucial for protecting the knees, one of the most vulnerable areas when skateboarding. They typically consist of a hard shell or padding to absorb impact and abrasion-resistant materials to minimize road rash. Many knee pads have adjustable straps for a secure fit.

Elbow Pads

Elbow pads provide protection for the elbows and forearms. Like knee pads, they feature a hard outer shell and cushioning inside to absorb impacts. Elbow pads are essential for preventing injuries during falls and slides.

Wrist Guards

Wrist guards are designed to protect the wrists from fractures and sprains. They have a rigid splint or support structure to keep the wrist in a stable position, reducing the risk of hyperextension during falls.

Hip Pads

Hip pads are less common but can be crucial for preventing hip injuries in skateboarding. They are typically worn under clothing and include padding to cushion the hips in case of a fall.

Full Sets

Some skateboarders opt for full sets of protective gear, which include knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These sets offer comprehensive protection for all major vulnerable areas.

Slide Gloves

While not traditional pads, slide gloves are a type of protective gear worn on the hands. They have durable material on the palms to allow for hands-down slides while protecting the hands from abrasions.

Shin Guards

Shin guards protect the shins from impacts and abrasions. These are more commonly used in downhill or longboarding disciplines.

It’s important for skateboarders to choose pads that fit well and are comfortable to wear, as this encourages regular use and ensures maximum protection.

Why Are Pads Important In Skateboards?

Pads Important In Skateboards

Skateboard pads are essential for several important reasons in the world of skateboarding:

Injury Prevention

The most critical reason for wearing skateboard pads is injury prevention. Skateboarding involves a lot of falls, crashes, and hard impacts, which can result in painful injuries such as bruises, cuts, abrasions, fractures, and sprains. 

Pads act as a protective barrier between the skateboarder’s body and the hard ground, minimizing the severity of injuries or preventing them altogether.

Impact Absorption

Skateboard pads are designed with materials that absorb and disperse impact forces. Hard-shell components in knee and elbow pads, for instance, can dissipate the shock of landing on concrete, reducing the risk of bone fractures and joint injuries.

Abrasion Resistance

Pads are made from abrasion-resistant materials that prevent road rash and skin injuries when sliding or skidding on the pavement. Without pads, skateboarders are more susceptible to painful friction burns and open wounds.

Wrist Support

Wrist guards, a type of skateboard pad, provide crucial support to the wrists. They help prevent hyperextension and fractures in the wrist joints during falls, which are common injuries in skateboarding.

Confidence and Skill Development

Knowing they are protected by pads can boost a skateboarder’s confidence to attempt new tricks and maneuvers. This increased confidence can lead to faster skill development as riders are more willing to push their limits.

Extended Skateboarding Sessions

Pads can reduce the impact-related fatigue experienced during long skateboarding sessions. This means skateboarders can skate for more extended periods without the fear of getting worn out quickly.

Safety Compliance

In many skate parks and skateboarding events, the use of pads is mandatory. Wearing pads ensures skateboarders can participate in organized events, follow local regulations, and access skate parks without any issues.

Skateboard pads are not just accessories but essential safety equipment that significantly reduce the risk of injuries and enhance the overall skateboarding experience.

How to Choose the Right Skateboard Pads

Choosing the right skateboard pads is essential to ensure they provide adequate protection while also being comfortable to wear. Here’s a guide to help you select the right skateboard pads:

Consider Your Skill Level

Beginners may want more comprehensive protection, including knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. As you gain experience and confidence, you might opt for fewer pads or lighter designs.

Determine Your Riding Style

Different styles of skateboarding have unique requirements. If you primarily ride in a skate park, you may prioritize knee and elbow pads. For downhill or longboarding, consider shin guards and additional protection for your hips.

Check Sizing

Proper fit is crucial for comfort and safety. Measure the circumference of your knees, elbows, and wrists to find the right size pads. Refer to the manufacturer’s sizing chart to ensure accuracy.

Material and Construction

Look for pads with durable materials, such as hard plastic or reinforced foam for impact resistance. Ensure the stitching and straps are of high quality to withstand wear and tear.

Comfort and Mobility

Try on the pads before buying if possible. They should fit snugly but not be too tight or restrictive. Ensure they allow for a full range of motion, so they don’t hinder your skateboarding abilities.


Pads with adjustable straps and closures provide a customizable fit, allowing you to secure them comfortably and securely on your body.


Especially important in warm climates, pads with good ventilation help prevent overheating and excessive sweating, keeping you comfortable during your sessions.

Brand Reputation

Stick to reputable brands known for producing high-quality skateboarding pads. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from fellow skateboarders can help you identify reliable brands.


Look for pads that meet safety certifications such as CE or ASTM. These certifications indicate that the pads have been tested and proven to provide adequate protection.


While it’s important to prioritize safety, consider your budget as well. There are pads available at various price points, so you can find options that offer both protection and affordability.

Replaceable Parts

Some pads have replaceable components, such as the caps on knee and elbow pads. This can extend the lifespan of your gear and save you money in the long run.


Read and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure your pads remain in good condition for as long as possible.

Remember that investing in quality skateboard pads is an investment in your safety. Don’t compromise on protection to save a few bucks.

Maintaining and Caring Tips for Skateboard Pads

Maintaining and caring for your skateboard pads is essential to ensure they provide long-lasting protection and remain comfortable to wear. Here are some tips to help you keep your skateboard pads in good condition:

Regular Inspection

Check your pads before each skateboarding session for any signs of wear and tear. Look for loose straps, frayed stitching, or damage to the padding or hard shells.


Pads can get dirty and sweaty after use. Wipe them down with a damp cloth or use mild soap and water to clean them. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can deteriorate the materials.


After cleaning, allow your pads to air dry thoroughly before storing them. Avoid direct sunlight and high heat sources, as excessive heat can damage the materials.


Store your pads in a cool, dry place when not in use. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or a hot car, as heat can cause materials to deteriorate over time.

Avoiding Moisture

Moisture can lead to the growth of bacteria and odors. If your pads become wet during a session, remove them and allow them to dry completely before storing them.

Replace Straps and Fasteners

If you notice any straps, buckles, or fasteners becoming worn or damaged, replace them promptly. Most pad manufacturers offer replacement parts.

Padding Maintenance

Some pads have removable padding. Periodically remove the padding and wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure it’s completely dry before reinserting it into the pad.

Check for Loose Caps

If your knee or elbow pads have removable caps, ensure they are securely attached. Loose caps can affect the effectiveness of the pad in protecting you during a fall.

Inspect Velcro

If your pads use Velcro straps, check that the Velcro is still strong and effective. Over time, Velcro can lose its grip, and you may need to replace it.

Replace When Necessary

Skateboard pads have a lifespan, especially if you’re an active skateboarder. When you notice significant wear and tear, or if they no longer provide proper protection, it’s time to replace them.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Always follow the care and maintenance instructions provided by the pad manufacturer. These guidelines are specific to the materials and construction of your pads.

Rotate Use

If you have multiple sets of pads, rotate their use. This can help extend their lifespan as they won’t be subjected to constant wear and tear.

Inspect for Odors

If your pads develop an unpleasant odor, consider using odor-neutralizing products or placing them in direct sunlight for a few hours to help eliminate the smell.


Why do I need skateboard pads if I’m a skilled skateboarder?

Even seasoned skateboarders can take a tumble, and when they do, pads are their first line of defense against injuries that can disrupt their passion for skating. Pads provide that added layer of protection and confidence, allowing you to push your limits safely.

What types of skateboard pads should I invest in as a beginner?

Beginners should consider a comprehensive set of pads, including knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These cover the most vulnerable areas and provide the protection needed as you learn and build your skateboarding skills.

Can wearing pads limit my mobility and hinder my performance?

Modern skateboard pads are designed for both protection and comfort. Look for well-fitted pads with adjustable straps that allow for a full range of motion. When properly chosen, pads should enhance your confidence and performance rather than hinder it.

Are skateboard pads only for skateboard parks and ramps?

While skate parks and ramps certainly require pads, any skateboarding environment, including streets and sidewalks, can pose risks. Pads are essential for skaters in all settings, ensuring protection during unexpected falls and collisions.

Are there any professional skateboarders who use pads?

Yes, many professional skateboarders prioritize safety and wear pads during their practice sessions and even in competitions. They understand that injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of skill level, and pads are crucial for longevity in the sport.

Wrapping Up

In the world of skateboarding, pads are not just accessories; they are your trusted allies in the quest for adrenaline-pumping maneuvers and gravity-defying tricks. 

From the seasoned pros to the eager newcomers, skateboard pads are a non-negotiable element in ensuring your safety while allowing you to embrace the boundless possibilities of this remarkable sport. 

So, remember, when you step onto your skateboard, let your pads be your shield and your confidence booster, protecting both your passion and your body. Thank you so much. 

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Davis Torgerson

I am a professional skateboarder who has been involved in the skateboarding industry for over 10 years. I have had the opportunity to travel across the world and compete in various competitions. I live in New York City and work as a professional skateboarder. I also work as an assistant editor at a company called Skateboard Mag, where I contribute to articles about street skating, traveling, and other related topics. I have always been passionate about skateboarding and writing. I am currently working on my first book which will be published soon! LinkedIn

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