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Types of Wrist Guards and Hand Protection
Wrist injuries are by far the most common injury due to the natural instinct to extend out ones arms to buffer a fall. Such contact can cause severe damage without protection. Wrist guards are designed so that the force of a fall is absorbed by your forearm and palm by deflecting energy and sliding. Some wrist guards limit range of motion to accomplish this. Here is an overview on the basics of hand and wrist protection.
Like the elbow and knee protection, wrist guards are rated by level. Level 1 Rated wrist guards 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 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.