The 5 Best Wrist Guards for Skateboarding

November 20, 2020
Image of the best skateboard wrist guards (also called wrist pads)

When skateboarding, wipe-outs are pretty much inevitable. A few scratches or scars are practically a right of passage into the world of skateboarding. 

Still, nobody wants to be seriously injured when skateboarding. That's why it is essential to wear wrist guards for skateboarding, among other safety gear, no matter whether you are an absolute newbie or a full-on professional skater.

Your wrists are one of the most likely parts of your body to be injured when you fall. There are two reasons for this. First, when we fall, it is our natural instinct to put out our hands to lessen our body's impact with the ground. Second, the eight small bones in our wrist are easily fractured, especially the scaphoid. What's more, breaking any of these can make your wrist weaker and more susceptible to breaking again in the future.

The main lesson to be learned is: wear wrist pads for skating. Duh!

Not only do you want to wear 'em but also you want to make sure you wear good ones. That's where this article comes in. Below I'm going to introduce the five best skateboarding wrist guards for five different types of skaters. I won't leave anyone out here; you'll find wrist guards for boys & girls, kids & adults, and newbies & pros.

For each one, I'll explain in detail why it made the cut, it's pros and cons, and more. Note that these can also serve as wrist guards for rollerblading, roller derby, hoverboarding, and other types of self transport!

At the end, I'll also address some common questions about skateboard wrist guards. So now, let's get to it!

The 5 Best Best Skate Wrist Guards

So here are my five picks for the best skateboarding wrist pads. Click on the images to see their current prices, and see the description below to find out what kind of skater each one is good for.  

Kuyou Set for Kids

187 Killer Pads Colorful Set

Soared

187 Killer Pads Derby

Triple 8 Hired Hands

Who should choose each one? 

What makes each of these the best wrist pads for rollerblading, skating, hoverboarding, and so on? Here's a simple breakdown:

Detailed Skateboard Wrist Guards Reviews

For all the details on how I came to the above conclusions about the top skate wrist guards, read on! 

Kuyou

Do you remember your first days skateboarding as a kid? I sure do! And in the 80s, well, my parents never got wrist pads for me, and I survived. But that doesn't mean you should let your young kids take that risk.

Kuyou makes some of the most popular and highly rated wrist guards for kids, with boys and girls colors.  Let's take a closer look:

Product Highlights

  • Set includes knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist pads
  • Suitable for ages 3-8
  • Comes in blue, pink, or black
  • Comfortable lycra fabric 
  • Hard PVC plastic shell on impact zones
  • Adjustable elastic straps with velcro

The Good

For very young skateboarders, Kuyou children's wrist pads are one of the best and top-reviewed out there. Even if your child is between the ages of 3 and 8, you'll still want to check the size chart on the Amazon product page before you buy. 

Right off the bat, you'll notice this is actually a 3-piece set, with a pair of wrist pads, elbow pads, and knee pads. It only makes sense to buy all three of these protective items together; you'll need all of them, and this great deal will only save you money.

Why makes these the best knee, elbow, and wrist guards for kids? First and foremost, they are built for safety, with tough lycra shells in all the right places to protect your kid when he or she falls. Secondly, they are made of comfy lycra material that doesn't irritate or leave red spots on skin. Finally, they are fully adjustable thanks to the elastic straps with velcro.

Overall, these are high quality, durable, skateboarding wrist guards for kids at a surprisingly low price.

The Bad

It is difficult to come up with anything bad about these kids' skating wrist guards. One concern is that you really need to measure the circumference of your kid's arms, wrists, and legs to make sure these will actually fit. Forunuately, there's a very clear chart on the Amazon page.

PROS

  • Safe and durable
  • Adjustable and can last as your young child grows
  • Three colors to choose from
  • Comfy and doesn't bother skin
  • 3-in-1 set for very low price

CONS

  • May not fit your kid; be sure to measure first
  • Only suitable for very young skaters

187 Killer Pads Colorful Set

Attention all fashion-conscious kids, teens, and adults. Check these out. This set of super colorful (but also comfy and high quality) elbow, knee, and wrist pads are every bit as awesome as they look. Read more below.

Product Highlights

  • Set of 3 (elbow, knee, wrist pads)
  • 4 sizes suitable for kids, teens, or adults
  • Three super cute colors (lavender, pink, and jade)
  • Rainbow straps
  • Flexible and contoured
  • Hard splint to protect wrist

The Good

Forget about all those typical (i.e. boring) black wrist pads out there. 187 Killer Pads, a brand known for its high end wrist guards (see #4 below) is now tempting us with these super fun, colorful elbow, knee, and wrist guards. If you're looking for adorable wrist guards for girls or boys, these are surely it! 

But these aren't just about being cute and flashy; these guards are also super comfortable, flexible, and don't scratch easily. With four sizes to choose from (make sure to consult the measurement chart!), they are good for adults or even curvier adults (ignore the "slim" in the Amazon page's title).

Get ready to turn some heads with this super cute, colorful protective gear!

The Bad

OK, so maybe not everybody wants to wear pink, lavender (it's actually purple, OK manly men!), or Jade (blue, that is...). Or flash rainbows. Also, since the 187 Killer Pads in Color only come in a set, you can't just get the wrist guards, and they aren't the cheapest.

PROS

  • Super cute colors
  • Did I mention rainbows?
  • Perfect for kids, girls or boys, teens, or even adults with bigger arms/legs
  • Flexible and comfortable

CONS

  • Colors aren't for everyone
  • Pricier and only comes in set

Soared

Soared wrist guards by the manufacturer Flauto are one of the top-selling and top-rated wrist guards out there. Let's see what makes their design so unique and popular.

Product Highlights

  • Unique design with open back (more breathable)
  • Adjustable nylon straps
  • Impact-resistant ABS plastic shell
  • Sweat-absorbent inner cushion
  • Shock-absorbing EVA foam
  • Three sizes, suitable for kids or adults

The Good

At first look, the Soared wrist guards seem like they are missing something. Compared to most other wrist guards, the back of the hand is mostly exposed. But this is intention, and users love it.

The unique design of the Soared wrist guards purposely leaves spaces where you aren't likely to hit your hands, that is, the backside of the wrists. This means the wrist guards are lighter and more breathable, only protecting the parts that really need it.

On the front side, EVA foam cushions and adjustable nylon straps provide maximum comfort, while a large, hard ABS plastic shell protects the impact area, covering more surface area than wrist cards with splints (such as the last wrist guards we looked at). 

These wrist guards come in three sizes, with exact measurements provided to ensure you choose the right ones. Last but not least, if you like to skate with an Apple Watch, it will fit while wearing these wrist guards.

The Bad

No product is perfect, right? When it comes to the Soared wrist guards, one common complaint is that even the large is not large enough for some adults. Make sure to check the measurements first (you're an adult with very large hands, consider these wrist guards). Also, some skaters prefer the full, wrap-around protection offered by other wrist guards.

PROS

  • Light and breathable
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Minimalist, providing protection only where needed
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Works with Apple Watch

CONS

  • Not big enough for adults with larger hands.
  • Doesn't offer full wrap-around protection

187 Killer Pads Derby

I have reason to believe that the 187 Killer Pads Derby are the best wrist pads on sale for skateboarding, roller blading, and roller derby (hence the name). Let's take a look at what makes the Killer Pads so killer!

Product Highlights

  • Cupped hard plate protects large area of wrist
  • Easy slide on and very comfortable
  • Convenient sweat band on back
  • Super durable and designed for serious users
  • Heavy duty stitching with nylon material
  • Super durable and high quality

The Good

As the name suggests, the 187 Killer Pads Derby are designed for roller derby (a high impact, contact rollerblading sport), a step up from the regular (non-derby) 187 Killer Pads. In other words, these wrist pads are designed to handle serious, repeated impact, and to last.

A large, contoured/cupped hard plate protects a large area of the wrist where impacts are most likely. Yet the sleek shape of the wrist guard allows for totally free movement of the fingers, and the wrist guard can be quickly slid onto your hands.

The wrist guard comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large (see the 187 Killer Pads size chart), including older kids. Last but not least, there's a convenient sweat band for you sweaty skateboarding beasts.

The Bad

One sacrifice that you make to get slip-on gloves is that the 187 Killer Pads Derby are not adjustable. This means they've have to fit your hands perfectly, otherwise they will be too loose or too difficult to slip on. Also, like the last entry, adults with very large hands say these are too small (if you've got very large hands, try these).

PROS

  • Super strong and durable
  • Comfortable and easy slip-on
  • Free movement of fingers
  • Designed to last
  • Good for all levels, kids or adults

CONS

  • Non-adjustable
  • Not big enough for some adults

Triple 8 Hired Hands Gloves

For serious, heavy duty skateboarding, rollerblading, or roller derby, check out the the Triple 9 Hired Hands Wrist Guard Gloves. Let's find out what makes these bad boys the top of the line when it comes to skateboarding wrist guards.

Triple 8 also makes some great regular wrist guards, the Triple 8 Wrist Saver Guards, which are worth considering.

Product Highlights

  • Gloves made of leather
  • Neoprene support strap with hook and loop closure
  • Impact-resistant removable/replaceable ABS splints on front and back
  • EVA shock absorbing foam
  • Loops for easy pull on
  • Four sizes for kids or adults

The Good

As we reach the end of this list, we also come to the top of the line. The Triple 8 Hired Hands are glove-style wrist guards. They consist of leather gloves equipped with built-in wrist guards, and more features than any other wrist guards we've looked at above. 

Unlike any of the above wrist guards, these have ABS splints both on the front AND back, giving full protection to your wrists, no matter what angle you land.These splints can even be removed and/or replaced if necessary over time.

A neoprene strap gives added support, with a convenient hook and loop closure. Extra loops at the bottom help to pull on the gloves quickly.

Overall, serious skaters or other sports enthusiastics will love the combination of durability, comfort, and protection offered by these wrist guard gloves.

The Bad

Despite the higher price for these babies, there are still some drawbacks. First, vegans must note they are made of leather. Second, this leather is not breathable in hot weather, and gives off a smell if your hands get sweaty.

PROS

  • Maximum protection for hands, wrists, and fingers
  • Removable ABS splints on both sides
  • Made of durable leather
  • Neoprene strap for additional support
  • Loops to help pull on

CONS

  • Non-vegan
  • Doesn't breathe in hot weather
  • Leather smells with sweat

Other Skateboard Wrist Guard Questions

Before I let you go, I'd also like to address some common questions about skateboarding write guards and skateboarding safety in general.

Do I need wrist guards for skateboarding? 

Do you want to break your wrists? OK, me neither. So the very simple answer to this question is: yes, you absolutely should wear wrist guards for skateboarding.

I mean no one is forcing you to, but falling down from a skateboard is virtually guaranteed if you skateboard for any period of time. Whether you are stepping onto a skateboard for the first time, or your a seasoned pro attempting some insane tricks, you're going to fall sooner or later.

When we fall, our wrists are one of the most common places to injure (along with your butt). It's also a very easy part of your body to break, and if you do, it could cause you lots of trouble down the road. Don't chance it, and wear the wrist guards.

Will wrist guards prevent my wrists from being broken?

No protective gear can prevent all forms of injury. For example, even with a seat belt, you could die in a car accident. But what wrist guards do is reduce the severity of the impact.

On the surface level the hard splint or plate found on most wrist guards with will make initial contact with the ground. That means not scrapes, cuts, or rocks embedded in the skin of your wrists. But more importantly, these splints or plates, as well as the padding that typically comes under them, absorb some of the shock of the follow, meaning less chance of a break or fracture in your fragile wrist bones.

In fact, studies show that when wearing a wrist guard, it takes a significantly harder fall in order to cause a fracture. So don't believe anyone that tries to tell you wrist guards don't do anything!

Are "wrist pads" and "wrist guards the same thing?

Yes, when you see the terms "wrist pad" and "wrist" guard, these are referring to exactly the same thing: a piece or protective gear that a person wears on his or her wrists while skateboarding, hoverboarding, rollerblading, playing roller derby, and so on. 

Note that in product descriptions for wrist pads/guards, you will often see them refer to "pads", which are pieces of soft material/padding that are a component of the wrist guard. This part serves to soften the impact when you fall,

Do skateboard wrist pads also work for other sports, like rollerblading, roller derby, etc?

Yes, there is no difference between the wrist pads worn by people doing skateboarding, roller blading, ice skating, rollerskating, roller derby, hoverboarding, and so on. In all these sports, the function of the wrist guard is exactly the same: to protect the riders wrists when he or she falls. Therefore, wrist guards are exactly the same and work for all of these sports. There are none that are specifically aimed at a specific one of these. 

However, the degree of intensity that you do the above things may affect which specific wrist guards you decide to buy. For example, because roller derby is a more intensive sport with lots of falling, roller derby players will tend to opt for more high end wrist guards that can hold out after many falls. 

What about long boarding and electric skateboards?

While long boards are different than regular skateboards, the function of the wrist guard remains the same. All of the wrist guards I recommend in this article are suitable for long boarding. 

However, when it comes to electric skateboards, there is one thing to note: when riding an electric skateboard, the rider usually controls the electric skateboard with an app on a smartphone. Some wrist guards are bulky and can make it difficult to hold and operate a smartphone while riding. There are two solutions to this:

  1. Use a smartwatch instead of a smartphone while riding.
  2. Choose wrist pads that offer more flexibility of the wrists. For example, the Soared wrist guards.

Besides wrist pads, what else do I need?

There's no point in only protecting your wrists, and nothing else. Besides the wrists (and, like I mentioned above, butt), other high-frequency places to be hurt include the knees and elbows.

This is why elbow, knee, and wrist pads often come in a set, and it only makes sense to go for the set because it usually also saves you money. By wearing pads, you can also fall correctly off your skateboard without worrying about bloody knees.

Finally, don't forget about the most important part of your body, that big brain-case (AKA head) of yours. Wear a helmet, and you'll significantly reduce your chance of concussion, brain injury, or even worse.

The Final Verdict

When it comes to skateboarding, don't think twice before wearing wrist guards. But do think twice before deciding which ones to buy. This is not a one-size-fits-all question (literally or metaphorically); you'll want to buy the best pair of wrist guards for your specific needs.

For very young kids, go for your kid's favorite color of the Kuyou wrist guards. For anyone else who loves color, then the 187 Killer Pads Color Set is nothing short of fabulous. Everyday riders will love the breathability of the Soared wrist guards.

For quality and durability, 187 Killer Pads Derby are hard to beat, while the Triple 8 Hired Hands are badass leather gloves for serious riding.

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