Here at RollerFit we believe that padding up and wearing protective gear is a personal choice for each skater, but we also think protective gear is an easy way to keep us rolling well into the future. A little protection can do a lot to keep us in one piece and it helps build confidence, especially if you’re just starting your roller skating journey.
Just as it is with skates, so it is with protective gear; you get what you pay for. The cheap stuff isn’t going to provide much protection and it won’t last very long. Before you spend your hard-earned dollars on protective gear you should think about what type of skating you do and the potential risk of injury. If you’re a recreational skater who likes to roll on the local netball courts you’ll probably be okay with light or lower-end pads, but if you’re a park skater or derby player you need a bit more heavy duty protection.
So what do we recommend? To answer that common question we’ve put together a little gear guide with our top recommendations for each of the main pad categories. We’ve also added in some more affordable pad pack options for those looking to save some dough and some skin at the same time.
We are big S-One fans here at RollerFit! We’ve tried a few different brands in the helmet market and think that the S-One Lifer range offers the most comfortable fit, great protection, and a wide size range. These helmets are certified for multiple impacts but it’s always a good idea to replace your helmet after a solid hit.
Triple 8 The Certified Helmet
Triple 8 have also come to the certified helmet party with a range of colours and styles in their classic skate helmet. The Triple 8 helmets have a deeper fit than the S-One, coming further down on the forehead, sides and base of the head at the back.
RollerFit Palm Sliders
Sure, we may be biased on this one but there’s a reason why we created our Palm Sliders. We felt like there was a high protection and high mobility gap in the wrist guard market, so we went ahead and filled it. These low profile guards have shock absorbing gel to reduce the impact of falls and a hard exterior shell so you can slide out of them too. If you’re not convinced, just check the reviews from our customers!
187 Derby Wrist Guards
If you feel like a more traditional wrist guard is what you need then we think the 187 Derby Wrist Guards are the comfiest traditional wrist guard available. The hard exterior splint provides good protection and braces your hands and wrists well without putting them at that awkward angle that cheap wrist guards do.
Smith Scabs Stabiliser Pro
For those wanting something a bit more slimline and svelte looking then check out the Smith Scabs Stabiliser Pros. These wrist guards offer full sleeve style protection with a permanent splint so they won’t slip. A good slim fit and durable, these guards will do the job in any skate setting.
187 Fly Knee
The Fly Knees are a popular choice for roller skaters because they’re a really good quality pad for a pretty reasonable price. These pads aren’t too bulky but still offer good protection. If your knees are receiving regular high impacts like in roller derby or at the skate park you might want to opt for a bulky set of knee pads.
187 Slim Knee
The Slim Knee pads are the baby of the 187 Fly Knee and super bulky Pro Knee. These pads are pretty heavy duty but offer a more slimline fit. These pads will suit most types of skating but again, if you’re taking heavy hits to the knees a bulkier pad may be better for you.
S-One Pro Knee
Our favourite heavy duty pad comes with a pretty hefty price tag but there’s a good reason for this. These pads are amazing, heavy duty and long lasting. The S-One Pro Knees are super protective without feeling bulky, so if you’re short or don’t like big bulky knee pads, these are the ones for you. Sophie from the RollerFit team has been smashing her Pro Knees in the skate park for a few years now and they’re still holding up.
187 Elbow Pads
187’s standard elbow pads are made for impact. They have industrial strength stitching so they’ll stay together for a while to come. The contoured shape makes them comfortable for any kind of skating.
187 Slim Elbow
These pads are designed for some heavy duty impact but are a more streamlined shape so that you retain as much mobility as possible. The fit is not smaller, it is just the overall shape of the pad. They still have all the protection and benefits of the standard 187 elbow pads.
If budget is a contributing factor when choosing how you pad up, then maybe a pad set might be worth a look.
Triple 8 Saver Series
These entry-level pads offer a one-size-fits-most size in the elbow and knee pads and the size you select to add to your cart is based on the size of the wrist guard. The Triple 8 Saver Series come in lots of fun colours and patterns and are a great choice for the beginner recreational skater whose looking to stop some scrapes and give them a bit of confidence with coverage.
Smith Scabs Tri Packs
The Smith Scabs Tri Packs offer a bit more protection and padding than the Triple 8 Saver Series pads. These pad sets offer a wider range of sizing for a better fit and come in different colours and patterns. We recommend them for recreational skaters looking for a bit more protection than a budget pad set.
187 Six Packs
If you’re a beginner park skater or a recreational skater looking for more protection and higher-end pads for less, then check out the 187 Six Packs. These pads are the 187 Fly Knee and standard 187 Elbow and Wrist Guards that you can purchase separately. This way you know you’re getting good quality pads and a good fit. The Six Packs come in lots of different colours and there are even collab styles with Moxi Roller Skates.
As we said, how you choose to pad up, or not, is a personal choice. Falling is a part of skating but we can mitigate some of the risks by gearing up and this makes for a lot more happy times spent on roller skates to come. If you have any questions about protective gear or anything else skate related we’d love to hear from you.