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Types of Elbow & Knee Pads
Protecting your Elbows and Knees is a crucial aspect of any sport. Due to the nature of inline skating, many times a fall will result in landing on one or both of these areas. The speed of the skater, coupled with the body of weight, can create a serious impact resulting in torn ligaments and broken bones if proper protection is not in place. This guide helps to narrow down which elbow and knee pads are best for your expected inline skating activity.
Elbow and Knee protection are rated in levels of their protection. Inline skaters will deal mainly with Level 1 or Level 2 rated pads.
Level 1 Rated protection
Level 1 Rated protection pads are described as ‘low profile’ pads. These pads are designed for partial impact protection and constructed to allow maximum comfort through airflow, good range of motion and being lighter when compared to higher rated protection. Level 1 Pads are adequate for most inline skating activities and are recommended for all levels of skaters.
Skating activities appropriate for Level 1 Rated Pads are recreational skating, urban skating, fitness and marathon workouts of any distance, as well as most dance and slalom skating.
Level 2 Rated protection pads
Level 2 Rated protection pads are necessary for any activity, be it team or individual, in which impact or fall damage is likely or expected. This level of protection is usually required in competitions or team sporting events, but should almost always be used when doing aggressive skating, also know as trick, street or park skating.
Level 2 Rated pads have extended surface area protection to provide coverage past the point of impact. They also have larger straps and some have sleeves to allow the skater better support and keep the larger pads aligned better with your moving body parts. Due to the protection level needed for these types of activities, the padding size is increased. The added bulk makes them warmer to wear and possibly limit range of motion.
Level 2 Rated pads are recommended for beginner skaters who have not yet developed proper balance, or anyone doing aggressive skating where falling is not assumed, but guaranteed.