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The best skateboard knee pads

What are the best skateboard knee pads?

Whether you're learning to skate from scratch or trying to land a new trick, if you aren't falling, you're doing something wrong. Knee pads for skaters protect the knees and help prevent injury when you inevitably eat dirt. 

You might be wondering what to look for in decent skating knee pads and which knee pads are best for skaters. It's important to choose quality knee pads because cheap options offer barely any protection and won't keep your knees from getting injured when you bail. 

Do you need skateboard knee pads?

While it's physically possible to ride a skateboard without knee pads, and many skaters do, it isn't the wisest idea. When you're just learning to skate, expect to fall often and in a range of weird and wonderful positions. You won't yet know how to fall properly to minimize your chance of injury, so it's best to wear knee pads, as well as elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet. If you're buying for a child learning to skate, find more information in the kids' skating knee pads set buying guide at BestReviews. When you're a more experienced skater, you'll find that people skating bowls and vert ramps usually wear hefty knee pads and street skaters are less likely to. This is because you're more likely to fall onto your knees from a height when skating transitions, so ample knee protection is helpful. 

What to look for in quality skateboard knee pads

Knee pads for skaters should be durable enough to take heavy hits but lightweight enough to skate comfortably in and allow a full range of motion. In most cases, you should choose knee pads with a hard outer shell, often known as a cap, to take the worst of the knock when you fall, plus a well-padded area between the shell and the knee to absorb shock and offer cushioning. 

Best skateboard knee pads


187 Killer Pads Pro Knee Pad

These are some of the best knee pads on the market and are worn by many pro skaters. They're lined with dual-density foam to provide just the right balance of cushioning and protection. The lock-in cap system keeps the outer shell in the correct position so that your knees are always properly protected. They are more expensive than other options, but the price is well worth it for serious skaters or nervous beginners.

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Triple Eight Heavy-Duty Skateboarding Knee Pads

Thanks to the sleeveless butterfly closure, these pads are quick and easy to get on and off. The cap is riveted in place for long-term durability. The heavy-duty EVA foam provides comfort and impact protection when you fall. You can choose sizes from small to extra-large, plus a junior size for young skaters. The impressive level of protection means you won't be afraid to get back on your board after eating it.

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Pro-Tec Street Knee Pads

Relatively affordable as far as heavy-duty pads go, these are an excellent choice for new skaters who want decent protection but don't want to invest too much in pads right away. Although the stitching on the straps could be a little stronger, the caps hold up well and they're well-padded. The elasticated sleeve design helps get a good fit though they can be a pain to pull on over your shoes.

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Triple Eight Covert Knee Pads

When you're skating a bowl or launching yourself down a stair set, you need heavy-duty knee protection. But when you go for a casual skate and don't need extreme protection, you may still want to keep your knees safe from any minor knocks. These soft knee pads are slim enough to fit under your pants and offer a small amount of protection for when you're just cruising.

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S-One Gen 3 Pro Knee Pads

They're not cheap but these knee pads offer extreme protection. The cup is made from military-grade ballistic nylon for heavy-duty durability. Inside the cap sits a layer of ortholite memory foam, which has impressive shock absorption properties and stabilizes the knee on impact to reduce the chance of injury. The butterfly back straps make these pads easy to put on but keep them in place just as effectively as an elasticated sleeve.

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187 Killer Pads Slim Knee Pads

These slim knee pads bring you the safety you'd expect from 187 Killer Pads but without the bulkiness you get from some high-end options. If you aren't dropping in from 15 feet or getting air on your tricks, these pads will offer more than enough protection. The fusion groove channel helps lock the pads into just the right place and the memory foam padding gives you exceptional shock absorption.

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Triple Eight Street Knee Pads

A great choice for street skating or basic park skating, these pads have durable caps and a decent amount of padding without too much bulk. The open-back design means you don't have to pull them on, saving you that annoyance if you just want to get out and skate.

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187 Killer Pads Moxi Skate Knee Pads

Although designed with quad skating and roller derby in mind, these pads offer enough protection for cruising on your board and performing basic tricks. They come in a range of cool colors for those who want to spice up their skate wardrobe. Not only do you get knee pads, these come in a set that also contains elbow pads and wrist guards.

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Dark Lightning Knee Pads Set

A decent choice for beginners who don't want to spend much on pads while they learn the basics. If you decide to keep skating, you'll need to upgrade, but this set offers better protection than a lot of pads aimed at new skaters, so it isn't a bad choice.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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