The 8 Best Skateboard Pads to Buy in 2018

Stay safe while you cruise the streets

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Even if you’re not doing ridiculous tricks at the skatepark, skateboarding is a great workout. It looks cool and it does great things for your body, too: it’s a rigorous cardio workout that improves your balance, works your abs, and pumps up your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and lower back. However, staying protected is key: a nasty fall on a skateboard throws you right onto cement or asphalt, potentially making you hang up your helmet for weeks and wait to heal before you can do any exercise at all. As always, check with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise plan, but once you’ve committed to skateboarding, you’ll need to buy a set of pads. Here are eight standout skateboard pads that let you kickflip without concern.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: JBM International 3-In-1 Protective Set

JBM International 3-in-1 Protective Set

Courtesy of Amazon

This Amazon Best Seller set has you covered from wrists to knees with ultra-soft EVA padded material and rock-hard polypropylene plastic that retains its shape after impact. Their padded Velcro straps adjust for a tight yet comfortable fit, and they can be sized for children or adults. The set’s sizing flexibility, color options, and price for all three pairs of wrist, elbow, and knee pads give it the Best Overall Skateboard Pad seal of approval.

Over a thousand Amazon customers agree: everyone from extreme athletes to elementary schoolers boarding down their driveway benefit from this set of superior skateboard pads. Some smaller frame people note that these run a little large, so make sure you measure yourself before purchasing.

Best Budget: Tony Hawk Skateboard Knee & Elbow Pads

TONY HAWK Skateboard Knee & Elbow Pads

Courtesy of Walmart

These street-style pads come with a stamp of approval from legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk. They’ve got a thick inner layer of foam that rivals expensive competitors, with a hard plastic outer layer and adjustable Velcro straps covered in nylon for added comfort. The pads are tear-resistant and their blue-on-black color scheme gives some edge to this collection. At an affordable price for both knee and elbow pads, this set is great if you’re new to skateboarding and want to give it a shot before you commit to pricier gear.

Reviewers love this set of skateboard pads for their thick layers of protection and a stylish color scheme, as well as their great value for the price.

Best for Kids: SKL Kids Protective Gear

SKL Kids Protective Gear

Courtesy of Amazon

Skateboarding is a fun way to get your kids to exercise outside, but one painful fall can make them want to hang up their board. The SKL Kids Protective Gear Set has everything your child needs to safely get the hang of the sport with minimal ouchies. The kit is sized for children 3 to 8 years old and includes knee, elbow, and wrist protection. The insides of the pads are made with soft EVA material that won’t be too itchy or uncomfortable, and tough plastic plates protect small joints from a bad landing. They also come in fun colors like blue, green, or pink, so your child won’t mind suiting up in their armor before they hit the streets.

Amazon buyers love the pads' adjustable fit (making them last for years) and the low price—they’re affordable enough to buy a second set for a sibling or a neighborhood skateboarding buddy. Some note that the sizing is small on these, so if you have a larger child you might need to shop elsewhere.

Most Stylish Pads: G-Form Pro-X Impact Protection

G-Form Pro-X Impact Protection

Courtesy of Amazon

Safety comes first with skateboard pads, but style is a close second with this pair of futuristic knee pads. They’re made with G-Forms proprietary Reactive Protection Technology—a soft, flexible foam that stiffens on impact, absorbing over 90 percent of the force. They’re easy to move in, lightweight, and machine washable. Add that to an eye-catching X-Men vibe with six different color options, and these skateboard pads are packing style and substance.

Customers vouch for the G-Forms, saying they stay in place after long outdoor rides, are easy to remove, and are comfortable enough to wear all day. Their low profile makes it possible to wear them under long pants (although most buyers don’t want to hide the funky design under boring slacks).

Best Knee Pads: Triple 8 KP 22 Knee Pads

Triple 8’s knee pads will protect you from serious skateboarding mishaps. They’re made from heavy-duty memory foam and covered with a high-density flat cap designed for increased longevity and stability. Finding knee pads with a secure, perfect fit is essential for proper skateboarding safety, and the Triple 8’s elastic top and webbed bottom straps easily adjust to your ideal size.

Skateboarders on Amazon vouch for the Triple 8 Knee Pads' ability to withstand intense falls and extreme contact sports like roller derby. One satisfied customer even successfully wore them through firefighter training, so they’re more than ready for the skatepark.

Best Elbow Pads: G-Form Pro-X Elbow Pads Pair

Knee pads are the first things most people think of when they’re starting out skateboarding, but a painful landing on your elbows can sideline you at the skatepark and at your desk job. These elbow pads mimic the design of G-Form’s stylish knee pads and offer similar safety features, like the reactive, flexible foam that absorbs 90 percent of force on impact. They’re made of breathable, moisture-wicking compression fabric with an ergonomic design that allows for complete range of motion when you’re on your skateboard and prevents a ton of sweat.

Fans of these elbow pads mention the impeccable, second-skin comfort and the reliable crash protection.

Best Wrist Guards: 187 Killer Pad Wrist Guards

187 Killer Pads Wrist Guards

Courtesy of Amazon

When beginners start falling off of a skateboard, the first thing you’ll do is stick out your hand to try and save yourself. Unfortunately, the bones in your wrist and hand aren’t “on board” with breaking your fall—instead, they’ll break themselves when you land. Wrist guards are vital for skateboarding, and 187’s Killer Pad Wrist Guards are a favorite among boarders.

The Killer Pads' angled design conforms to your hand for a perfect fit. They’re constructed with ballistic nylon (the same material used in flak jackets), and industrial-weight stitching staves off rips and tears. Most importantly, these skateboard wrist guards have an extra thick splint protection concentrated at the base of the hand where most impacts occur, making them a cut above other wrist pads.

Amazon customers love how the Killer Pads absorb impact, easily adjust, and stay in place throughout their ride.

Most Comfortable Pads: Pro-Tec Street Knee and Elbow Pads

Pro-Tec Street Knee and Elbow Pads

Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to safety, Pro-Tec sets skateboard industry standards. With their Street Knee and Elbow Pads, they set a new standard for comfort. Soft, cupped foam cradles your knees and elbows for protection, while breathable, ergonomic materials keep you cool and dry. They’re fully adjustable with wrap-around straps and hook-and-loop fasteners, providing a closer fit than usual Velcro closures.

Pro-Tec’s sports equipment has a great reputation, and their Street Knee and Elbow Pads are no different. Customers rave about their comfort level, with some saying that they barely notice they’re wearing anything. Others recall nasty falls that would have been disastrous without these pads. All-in-all, these are a very comfortable and reliable pick for any level of skateboarder.

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