A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Right Pads for a Child
Skateboarding is a fantastic activity for children. It’s a great way for them to get active and build confidence, as well as develop coordination, balance, perseverance, creativity and problem-solving skills. It’s also a great way for kids to meet new friends. However, as with any activity that involves some level of risk, it is important to ensure that children are properly protected when they ride. In this article, we will discuss some important considerations when purchasing protective gear for your child, including the different types of pads available, how to ensure correct sizing and some helpful care instructions. We’ll also offer some brand recommendations from our experience at our skateboarding school.
It’s important to note, that even with the use of protective gear, skateboarding can still be a dangerous activity, parents should supervise their child while they’re skating and provide guidance on safety tips and proper usage of gear. You can also book a lesson with an experienced Skate Now instructor, who can give tips on correct basic techniques, best practice for safe falling and how to minimise risk by skating to your skill level and take things step-by-step.
Where to Purchase Protective Gear:
When purchasing pads, as with other skateboarding equipment items, it can be tempting to opt for cheap options from a low-end department or sports store, especially if you’re on a tight budget or are unsure about your child’s interest level. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the quality and level of protection offered by products found at these types of shops may be lower than those from a dedicated skate shop.
Instead, consider purchasing protective equipment from a skate shop, where you can receive expert advice and guidance with choosing the right gear for your child. These shops carry higher-quality products and provide a more personalised and informed shopping experience.
Also, skate shops and skate schools support the local skateboarding community, hosting events and gatherings for skaters, which can be a great way to connect with other skaters and learn about new skateparks, competitions, demos and other opportunities.
If your child is enrolled in a lesson with us, they can use our protective gear free of charge and trial some of the different types and sizes available. Alternatively, reach out via email or phone and we can give expert advice on choosing suitable equipment for your child.
Different Types of Pads
When it comes to buying pads, there are different types available for different skill levels, styles of skateboarding and budgets.
Recreational pads are suitable for children just starting out and tend to be available at a lower price point. They are usually sold as a set that includes elbow, knee and wrist protection and often use a simple Velcro strap fastening system. Recreation pads are generally suitable for light skating on flat ground and perhaps some low-impact skatepark and smaller mini ramp riding.
A feature of a higher quality set of recreation pads are sleeves on the knee and elbow pads to ensure a snugger fit and help reduce slippage during ‘bails’ or ‘slams’. Other good features include, durable and lightweight material including on the wrist guards, and high-quality construction and ample padding. Superior quality recreation skateboard pads also tend to last longer under the rough treatment kids can dish out to their belongings!
Street pads are an excellent choice for skaters who require protection while maintaining mobility for their tricks. They’re also suitable for beginners, including children. These pads generally offer more protection and are harder wearing than recreation pads. They use a lightweight and compact design that allows freedom of movement while offering light to moderate padding and cushioning. Additionally, they’re built to be robust and durable to withstand the wear and tear of street skateboarding.
Park pads are similar to street pads but usually have a little more padding and slightly larger profile. Modern park and street pads may use a combination of Velcro and clip fastening on the knees, resulting in the convenience of not having to take shoes off before putting pads on.
Pro pads or Professional pads, are designed for advanced skaters who are performing more dynamic, high-level moves. These pads typically have a higher level of protection and durability compared to recreation, park, or street pads. The benefits of using pro pads include enhanced protection, greater durability, and potentially better and more secure fit. In terms of when it would be suitable for a child to use pro pads, it depends on their skill level and the type of Skateboarding they are engaging in. Park, Vert Ramp, or Mega ramp skating are some examples of when pro pads would be highly appropriate.
Protective Gear Sizing
Sizing is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing protective gear for a child as it can greatly impact their comfort, safety and willingness to wear their pads.
In terms of sizing, it’s a good idea to measure your child’s elbow, knee, and wrist circumferences to ensure a proper fit. Additionally, it’s important to note that sizing can vary across different brands and manufacturers, so it’s always a good idea to refer to a particular manufacturer’s own sizing chart when purchasing online. As mentioned, students at our skate school are able to try on different options from our school gear to work out their size and preferred brand. You can also contact us for sizing help.
A proper fit with your skateboarding pads ensures they stay in place when in use, providing the necessary protection in case of a fall. Ill-fitting pads can shift or slip, leaving the child exposed to injury. It’s also important to ensure that the pads don’t feel too tight or restrictive, as this can hinder the child’s movement and comfort. Children can also be less willing to wear ill-fitting pads.
When in doubt, it’s always best to reach out for expert advice, and don’t hesitate to ask for help in finding the perfect skate protection for your child. With the right size and specifications, your child will be able to enjoy skateboarding the fullest and develop their skills in a comfortable and safe way.
It’s also important to teach children how to properly care for their pads, including how to properly wrap them and store them to avoid losing items. Most pad sets come with a convenient mesh drawstring bag, which we recommend using as it reduces the chance of missing an item out of a set.
Skate pads are known to get a bit smelly after long periods of use, particularly in hot weather, so it’s a good idea to wash them periodically. To clean pads, it’s recommended to use mild soap and water and air dry them, avoid using harsh chemicals.
In our experience at our Skateboarding school, we have found the following brands to be reliable and suitable for different levels of Skateboarding.
TSG (Technical Skateboarding Gear) is a popular brand in the skateboarding industry known for producing high-quality, durable and comfortable protective gear. Their range of skateboarding pads includes knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards in both basic and pro offerings, catering to riders of all skill levels.
We have used TSG recreational pad sets for many years in our school, and they have stood the test of time under regular daily use and abuse. These pads are ideal for flatground skateboarding, street, and basic park skateboarding. TSG’s pads are also available in a range of colors, including basic black, Old School (red, white, and blue), and Lollipop (multicolor), making them an excellent choice for kids looking to express themselves while staying safe on the board.
In addition to their excellent recreational pad sets, which are available in adult sizing for older kids, TSG also offers pro-level pads for more experienced riders looking for advanced protection. These pads are designed to withstand the toughest skating environments, including vert and mega ramp skating, and are made from top-of-the-line materials to ensure maximum protection and durability.
Overall, TSG is a trusted and respected brand in the skateboarding world, offering a range of high-quality and reliable protective gear for riders of different ages and skill levels.
TSG Junior pad sets
187 Killer Pads
187 Killer Pads are a high-quality line of protective gear designed specifically for skateboarding, with a wide range of pads, helmets, and gloves on offer. These pads are made with durable materials and provide excellent protection for both street, park and transition skateboarding, making them a top choice for both professional and amateur skaters alike. The brand is known for its innovative designs, which incorporate features such as moisture-wicking fabrics, adjustable straps, and multi-density foam for enhanced comfort and protection. 187 Killer Pads are a popular choice among skaters looking for top-quality protective gear that can stand up to the demands of high-impact skateboarding.
187 Killer pad sets
Protec: For over 45 years, Protec has been a leading brand in skateboarding protective gear. Offering a range of gear from helmets to pads and more. Protec has become a go-to choice for riders of all levels. Known for their durable construction and quality materials, Protec’s gear is designed to provide maximum protection without sacrificing comfort or mobility. With a focus on innovation and style, Protec offers a variety of colors and designs to match any rider’s personal style. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a seasoned pro, Protec has the gear you need to stay safe and stylin’ on your board.
Triple 8: Triple 8 is a company that offers a range of protective gear, including pads, helmets, and wrist guards, suitable for street and park skateboarding. While similar to 187 Killer Pads, Triple 8 may be considered a more affordable option with a range of lower-end to mid-range products. They are a trusted brand with a loyal following and are known for their quality, durability, and comfort. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Triple 8 has a variety of protective gear to suit your needs and budget.
Urban Sk8er: Urban Sk8r is an Australian brand that provides affordable, entry-level protective gear for beginner riders. Their pads are durable enough to withstand the rigors of flat ground and entry level ramp skating, making them an ideal budget-friendly option for parents who want to invest in their child’s interest in skateboarding. Designed with comfort in mind, Urban Sk8r pads are basic options that feature Velcro fasteners and a sleeve to prevent slippage during falls. The set also comes with a handy mesh drawstring bag for easy storage and transport. Whether you are just starting out or looking to upgrade your gear, Urban Sk8r provides quality gear at an affordable price.
Please note that the above recommendations are based on our personal experience at our skateboarding school, and are not paid promotions. It’s important to do your own research and compare different options to find the best fit for your child’s needs and preferences.
To sum up, it is important to ensure that children are properly protected while skateboarding. When purchasing protective gear, it’s important to consider the different types of pads available, how to ensure proper sizing and care, and to take into consideration brand options available in the market. We hope that this guide has been helpful in providing some important considerations when purchasing protective gear for your child.
Check out our full range of Protective Gear…
Here’s some links to protective gear brand websites