We previously wrote a post on the best knee pads for roller skating, but we feel that wrist guards need a bit more attention than they get when you lump them together with everything else.
Also read: Best large-noggin skateboard helmets
Broken wrists happen at a scarily high rate in inline skating, roller skating, skateboarding, longboarding, and ice skating. You definitely need the best wrist guards for skating your money can buy.
Whether you’re looking for the best skateboard wrist guards or ice skating, roller derby, rollerblading, longboarding, or even snowboarding hands protective gear, this post offers 5 skater-recommended options for you.
Who Won the Wrist Protection Contest?
*As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
|Our top pick is the Demon 30D Fleximeter wrist guards. These ones are no bargain counter, but skaters everywhere have heaped praise on them because they work. I voted them the best wrist guards for different skating styles.
You’d be hard-pressed to find more protective wrist gear anywhere.
They offer great wrist support thanks to the extra thick splint on the back and another one palm side while remaining flexible enough to allow a ”safe” degree of wrist mobility.
This safety equipment is made from high-quality materials and the overall unique design helps minimize the odds of you getting painful wrist fractures. And that alone makes all the difference.
What if money is tight and you want hand gear that provides maximum protection? Get the Hillbilly wrist guard gloves because they’re the next best thing. Both options come with adjustable straps and are available in different sizes so you can have the perfect fit.
Also read: How to rollerblade
Learn How to Fall Right And Less Often
Falls are inevitable in skating, but you can learn and practice to fall in a way that leads to less injury. And if you keep training, you’ll eventually find that bad falls happen less and less often. I suggest that you watch expert-created videos on how to fall properly on a skateboard or on roller skates and rollerblades.
Broken Wrist Bones Are Painful And Can Freak You Out
Bujie, one of our members here at skatingmagic.com, once jumped off of a speeding motorcycle to avoid grave danger. But he ended up with a broken wrist, an event that kept him from skating for months.
We asked him what the experience felt like, and he said that he started feeling lots of pain after the fact, especially when touched. Also, there was a hugely visible bruise swelling around the wrist.
But what freaked him out was the wrist being deformed and shifting to a pretty odd position. Luckily, this skater was 15 years old then, so the healing process didn’t take eons.
If you’re an older skater, we strongly recommend wearing the best-quality wrist protection in your range. Because 45-year-old wrists can take quite a while before they’re back in shape.
Two Wrist Fractures That Happen to Skaters
*None of the information provided here should be construed as medical advice of any kind or form. If you just fell off of your board and suspect you fractured your arm, talk to your doctor soonest you can.
According to Johns Hopkins, there are two kinds of distal radius fractures (broken wrist fractures) namely a Smith fracture and a Colles fracture. More on these below.
Smith fractures happen when you fall and your wrist is closed or bent inward. It can also happen if something hits the back of your hand pretty hard.
It’s a natural instinct to stretch the hands out to break a fall. But if your wrists bend back too much, you’ll likely break your wrist bone. And it isn’t fun.
These are just one kind of broken wrist that can happen when you fall rollerblading, roller skating, ice skating, or whatever. According to Cleverland Clinic, it can take up to 12 months to bounce back from a Smith fracture.
Fortunately, the right wrist guard design combined with correct use can minimize the odds of this occurrence.
According to Cleveland Clinic, you can get a Colles fracture when you try to catch yourself during a fall. You can also get it due to traumas like car crashes.
It’s pretty painful and normally requires a trip to the emergency department. It can take several months, maybe even up to a year, for your wrist to fully heal.
Colles vs Smith Fractures What’s the Difference?
A Smith Fracture is like the opposite of a Colles fracture. In fact, it’s called a reverse Colles fracture. When it happens, your broken wrist bends a bit to the side and not the usual upward angle.
Why You Should Wear Wrist Guards When Skating
Reason #1: To avoid losing skin
Reason #2: to prevent broken bones
Reason #3: Fear of losing independence
Reason #4: Your work and loved ones need you
Reason #5: A huge ER bill can wipe you out financially
The best skating wrist guards provide ample wrist support, preventing your wrists from bending too far back during impacts. This reduces the odds of you getting a broken bone.
If you tend to fall forwards and catch yourself with your hands, which increases injury potential, wearing palm sliders would be smart.
And when you lower your center of mass just before rolling and tucking, your palms take the bulk of your forward momentum. Without palm protectors, you’d end up losing a terrifying amount of skin.
I wear wrist guards because I love my independence and privacy. I cringe at the idea of not being able to wipe my behind or take care of myself in the shower because my snapped wrists are too painful to do anything.
Also, my kids need me, and so does my job. Those bills never pay themselves, you know. And the idea of a massive emergency-room bill scares me real bad.
Drawbacks of Wrist Guards
With many wrist guards, you can’t grip your favorite beer. Not a big deal, huh? But not being able to grip your electric skateboard’s remote control while skating? Well, that’d bum out even the most forgiving of e-skaters.
7 Wrist Fracture Statistics in Skating [Infographic]
- Wrist injuries are without question the most common injuries in all kinds of skating styles and other outdoor activities such as snowboarding.
- Studies have found that wrist fractures can make up a significant portion (45-82 percent) of the upper limb injuries following ice skating accidents.
- As per the Hughston Clinic, the typical age of ice skaters who suffer an accident is 33 years old. And 1 in 700 recreational ice skaters (about 0.14 percent) will sustain an injury at some point. Wrist fractures are the most common ice skating injury. Evidently, even though the idea of skating on slippery ice might make it seem extremely dangerous, recreational ice skating is a pretty safe activity.
- Compared to casual ice skating, ice hockey is riskier besides being more physically taxing. This sport had the greatest injury rate at the Olympics in 2010, cutting play time for up to 35 percent of players. Interesting fact: Due to the higher contact involved in this vigorous ice skating style, elbow and wrist injuries are less common compared to shoulder, hip, thigh, and knee injuries. That said, wearing good wrist guards before getting on the ice rink is a good idea.
- Forearm and wrist fractures are a prevalent type of injury in inline skating, aka rollerblading. They constitute 40 percent of all (pdf) inline skating injuries.
- A study revealed that nearly half (47 percent) of roller skating injuries involve the wrist. These injuries often occur due to balance loss, falls from heights, or landing on a really hard surface. Wrist sprains and fractures are common in quad skating.
- The most common skateboarding injury is a broken bone, specifically in the wrist. When a skateboarder, regardless of experience level, loses balance and lands on an outstretched arm, they can suffer injuries to the hand, wrist, or shoulder.
- Approximately 95,000 snowboarders experience wrist fractures around the globe annually. These injuries often occur during high-speed falls and in most cases affect various parts of the wrist and hand, including the ligaments that link the radius to the ulna. Sprains are another frequent type of hand and wrist injury observed among snowboarding enthusiasts.
If the skating wrist injury numbers highlighted above haven’t made you realize it’s foolish to skate without wrist safety gear, stop reading this article. Because you’d be wasting your precious time going forward.
Do Wrist Guards Offer Any Real Protection?
Put differently, do wrist guards help prevent fractures during skating and snowboarding? Let’s let science and research answer this question.
Wrist guards play a crucial role in preventing wrist injuries in snowboarding and in-line skating. They achieve this by distributing force and absorbing impact energy during less intense falls. Studies have demonstrated that wrist guards can effectively decrease the risk of snowboarding wrist injuries by up to 85 percent.
These wrist protectors alleviate stress on the bones in the lower arm, enhancing energy absorption. Aside from that, they minimize strain on the bones located at the back of the lower arm.
Overall, wrist guards provide essential protection and stability to the wrist during skating and other activities involving high impact.
5 Best Wrist Guards for Skating
When I say skating, I’m talking about three different kinds of activities namely roller skating, inline skating, and skateboarding/longboarding. Falls aren’t a rare occurrence in these sports.
While no wrist guard is 100 percent fracture-proof, credible sources have shown that gearing up can save your hands on a bad day.
Below is a list of good wrist guards. Models that skaters everywhere like, because they work. Unlike others, I won’t give you a list 57 best wrist savers for skating lol. I’ll simply hook you up with the best of the best so you can end the search now and…go skate.
1.Demon Fleximeter D30 Double-sided Wrist Guards: Best Overall
The best wrist guards overall, in our opinion and that of other skaters, are the Double-sided Fleximeter Wrist Guard. These are often sold under the Demon brand, a brand that also makes highly protective downhill skate helmets.
Bujie, a skating magic team member who’s been skating over the past 15+ years recently tested these arm guards. And below was his experience with the Double-sided Fleximeter D30 Wrist Guards:
I’d been meaning to test these wrist shields for a while, and I got lucky recently. Someone let me try on their pad set.
I inline skated for about 25 minutes with these wrist armors. And they performed better than others I own from other brands (mostly Triple Eight) as far as comfort and fit. I recently bought and tested the Triple Eight Wristsaver Wrist Guards. And I hope to write a comprehensive review and publish it here.
Well, I didn’t go down during the testing period, but the owner had them on in a bad fall. And they’d simply gotten up and walked away, both wrists intact.
One BIG difference between the Fleximeters and most conventional wrist guards is that they don’t hinder wrist mobility. A French doctor designed these skater-loved wrist guards. This physician created the product to prevent wrist and lower arm injuries, but now skaters can benefit from its awesomeness.
They’re super comfortable, too. Aside from that, they don’t get in the way when you’re doing other things. You can wear them all day and forget you have them on.
One skater I interacted with a little on a skate-focused forum said they can type stuff on their PC with these guards on. Another person (non skater) who had wrist issues reported that they made their life easier and nicer.
Any downsides? The Fleximeters aren’t cheap. They’ll set you back almost $I00, but you’re unlikely to get many options that are as comfy and protective.
What if your finances are a bit stretched but you still want to get this hand safety gear for skating? If you can’t afford them at full price, maybe you can get a used wrist pad set instead.
Fit: If you have slim wrists, it’s best to go for the medium size. Otherwise, measure your hand as per the size chart and order accordingly. While you’re at it, consider adding some reflective tape for nighttime rides.
Here’s the Fleximeter wrist guard size chart. They fit true to size. Also, these guys fit beautifully over Fleximeter Over Gloves.
- Fit issues not common, they fit true to size
- Allows for wrist movement yet super supportive, making fractures somewhat less likely
- Received heaps of praise from skaters
- Can be worn alongside Fleximeter Over Gloves
- Expensive: not accessible to all budgets
2. Powerslide Ennui City Wrist Brace: Also Good
Bujie also had the chance to put a pair of pre-owned Powerslide Ennui City Braces to the test.
Following a miscalculated move at a skate park, the City Braces provided him with much-needed support. He took a fall, and these protective wrist braces left his hand bones intact, albeit a tad sore. Only his pride got slightly bruised lol.
They’re well-crafted, no sign of cheapness in sight. And powerslide somehow managed to bring a touch of coolness to a piece of protective gear that’s not typically associated with style.
What sets these wrist guards apart is their use of metal splints made of flexy iron. This is a stark contrast to the plastic splints found in most guards in that price range.
This iron upgrade promises superior durability, ensuring they will withstand the wear and tear of skating for an extended period.
The flexible iron bar on the palm is cleverly concealed under leather. But the material will wear over time, especially if used excessively for slowing down.
Designed primarily for aggressive skating, these guards are versatile and you can use them for skateboarding, roller skating, and other skating styles.
- Metal instead of plastic splints for support and longevity
- Offer great protection, but they’re not too pricey
- The metal splints are supportive yet reasonably flexible
- Lots of positive reviews from skaters
- Availability could be an issue, often out of stock (could it be because the item literally flies off the shelves?)
3. Triple 8 Hired Hands: Best Mid-range Pick
Looking for skating wrist safety gear that works great, fits well, and doesn’t cost the whole wide world?
Try the the Triple 8 Hired Hands. And you’d soon find out whether slamming onto hired hands is better than falling onto your own unprotected pair of hands haha.
I own their cheaper but less flexible sibling, the Triple Eight Wrist Saver Pads. Those cost me $25-ish if memory serves versus $45-ish for size Large Triple 8 Hired Hands. Is the pricier option worth it? We’ll see.
I’ve used these gloves along with my Protec street knee pads and 187 Killer elbow pads, the ones often used by dirt bike and Mountain bike riders.
These fingerless skateboard gloves were super protective, but I no longer have them. Because my outdoorsy niece wore them at some point and decided they fit them beautifully so ”Auntie, can I keep these?”
Made of strong, decent-quality leather (sure looks like it), they provide ample palm coverage. They’ve kept my wrists safe a few times during falls and when I bailed.
But there’s a downside. These gloves are pretty bulky. The bulkiness makes it hard to hold things such as a beer or even a remote control device for e-rides.
Someone hubby skates with tried using these guards for riding their off-road e-skateboard. But they soon learned that the Triple 8 Hired Hands Gloves weren’t designed for holding the remote. With the palm side guard on, gripping the device proved nearly impossible.
They come with two guards, one on top and a palm side piece. I really like how well these gloves protect my hands.
And I’m not the only one who thinks they’re a good bet. Tons of user reviews on the web agree with my opinion, but there’s no guarantee you’ll like them. So, order a pair and tell us how it goes.
Fit: These guards run somewhat small, so consider ordering the next size or two up.
- Good mid-range skating wrist protection
- Fashioned from good-quality leather
- Heavy-duty wrist pads that offer good protection
- Supportive without being overly restrictive
- Not as protective as full-finger options
- Too bulky for e-riding (challenging to hold the remote)
4.Rollerblade Skate Gear Wrist Guards: Apple Smart Watch-friendly
Looking for skate wrist protectors that are smartwatch-compatible so you can track each session? Lucky you! Because there’s actually a <$20 deal on Amazon that works well for skating with an Apple smartwatch.
I’ve worn two sets of the Rollerblade Skate Gear Wrist Guards so far. And I loved what I got each time. My third set will arrive in a month or so (I’m thousands of miles away from Amazon).
These wrist pads once prevented a broken wrist in a rollerblading accident when I was bombing a hill in rural Kenya. They’re comfortable, fit me well, lightweight, minimalist, and somewhat more breathable than others.
What I didn’t like: If I didn’t flex my wrist downward while strapping these guards on, I experienced a bit of discomfort from the side seams.
Also, the left guard didn’t slide as smoothly as its right counterpart. This could pose a risk during hard falls, but it’s an issue you could eventually overcome with use.
Plus, the plastic bits on these wrist braces could be stronger. If I took a really bad fall, I doubt these ones would prevent my wrist from giving in and snapping. I’ve actually read accounts of skaters who said these ended up being a single-use item. But then they’re not expensive.
If you’re willing to look past these minor drawbacks, you’ll love these guys. They might even become your favorite wrist protector due to their good performance protecting your skin from road rash and attractive price.
- Low-cost wrist protection
- Minimalist design
- Small mesh bag for storage and transportation
- Discomfort from side seam if you don’t flex your wrist downward when putting them on
- Left pad slides less smoothly vs. the right one, but you’ll get used to it
- Not the best bet for high-impact falls (not long lasting)
5.Hillbilly Full Finger Gloves: Best for Electric Skateboard
The Fleximeter 30D works great, but there’s a cheaper alternative. Many in the electric skateboard community prefer the more budget-friendly choice, the Hillbilly Full Finger Skating Gloves. These ones cost around $30 (please check the current price).
They’re glove-style wrist guards that offer palm and finger protection against road rash while ensuring a firm grip on your remote control.
Our very own Bujie prefers the full-fingered version for riding his longboard downhill (not electric). He’s gone down hard on two occasions, sliding for about 2 feet each time. And the Hillbillys saved his wrists. Sure, there was some discomfort afterward from impact, but he was back longboarding the next day.
These are constructed with leather/suede material and feature plastic splints on the palm and back of the hand. They provide decent durability and protection. The guards secure with three straps, one of which wraps around the wrist joint for a snug fit.
“The glove’s leather is sturdy enough to support the splint’s flexibility, reducing the risk of splint tear-outs,” said Bujie, a team member who’s been rollerblading since the age of 9. He’s also been longboarding for 4 years, but blading is where his heart is at.
Also, the sizing chart could be improved. I feel the brand should consider palm circumference and overall hand size for a better fit. Currently, the size chart has you measuring middle finger length from the webbing, which seems silly. But that’s not stopped these guys from becoming the best choice for e-boarding, actually the most popular choice.
- Offers more protection than fingerless options
- Protects from road rash while offering decent wrist protection
- Reasonably priced
- Not too stiff that it kills wrist flexibility
- Electric skateboard remote-friendly
- Sizing could be improved
- Leather quality OK but could be better
187 Killer Wrist Guards are also good for skating. I reviewed 187 Killer pads here. Some might even say that they’re the best option for extreme sports such as skating. Protec wrist guards are other options that many skaters like.
I recently bought and tested Protec Street Knee Pads. And they offered lots of coverage and heavy-duty kneecap protection thanks to the thick, shock absorbing EVA foam/padding. And lovers of Pro-tec street wrist guards praise them as much as others praise what they love.
What the Most Protective Wrist Guards Look Like
When it comes to protecting skater wrists, not all forearm protective gear is created equal. Some skaters have reported breaking an arm even when they wore wrist guards. And some felt that they’d have been somewhat better off had they gone out skating without the guards!
It turns out that wrist guard design could mean the difference between going back home wrists intact or spending the next one year away from skating. Below is a bunch of important factors to guide your shopping:
1.Wrist Guard Fit and Style
Choose the right size wrist guards for a secure fit no matter your skating style. Measure your wrists circumference at the exact place the size chart says you should. Order the recommended wrist guard size afterward.
Use a soft tape measure to measure your palm circumference, or in the case of Hillbilly wrist guards, middle finger length.
Also, read skating skating wrist guard reviews to learn how the model that’s speaking to you fits. Sometimes, you may have to size up or down for the best fit.
Poorly fitting wrist guards or any other skate gear are a no-no. They tend to slide around and are absent when called upon to protect you in a tumble.
Styles: Wrist guards come in a variety of styles. Some guards come in a slide-on design while the majority are ”an open” design with Velcro straps for securing the wrist support provider. I prefer the latter because of ease of use. Others are designed for hassle-free use with a smartwatch.
Glove-style options: Then there are glove-style wrist guards such as the Hillbillys and Triple 8 Hired Hands. For full palm and finger protection and for winter sports like snowboarding and ice skating, full-finger gloves would be a great choice.
However, you may have to cut off the tip of one glove for easy handling of handheld devices, specifically a remote control. Fingerless styles allow freer finger movement, but not complete hand protection. Also, some wrist guards let you remove and even replace the splints.
2.Material and Skid Plates Design
When fashioning skateboard wrist guards, manufacturers use all kinds of different materials including mesh for breathability, neoprene nylon, calfskin, ABS plastic, metal, elastic, goatskin, and even carbon fiber for additional protection. Metal splint wrist guards can last for a long time, but there aren’t that many around.
The best skating wrist guards are often made from genuine leather (goatskin leather is common on the best choices) and usually have two flexible plastic splints or even metal splints. That’s why the majority of my recommendations have real leather on them.
Get guards with real leather and not fake leather aka pleather. Because real-leather grips the surface a bit, but it’s not too grippy. The palm piece MUST be slippery though, otherwise you won’t be safe.
Choose an option that offers two flexy plates instead of one. Some have a single plate, usually on the palm. Such pads aren’t the best pick for the job.
You’ll sweat during skating. That’s why the best skateboarding wrist guards have some sections made from breathable material.
Material quality also matters. Whether you’re buying a pair of wrist guards for ice skating or derby wrist guards for an approaching contest, everything should be good quality: High-quality metal splints, ABS splints, top-grain leather, sturdy Velcro straps, and whatnot.
Professional skateboarders and other outdoor sports lovers ensure they’re getting the most protective guards with the best features offering them great support.
Fortunately, my top pick comes in an ergonomic design created using durable materials for maximum comfort and great shock absorption during falls.
One of my buddies wears wrist guards with their smart watch. And they recently experienced a severe wrist sprain after a hard fall. Which is why I leave my personal treasures at home (smartphone and Apple Watch). The thought of a bad tumble smashing these items into smithereens freaks me out!
If you must wear your expensive Apple smartwatch while out inline skating, roller skating, or skateboarding but can’t find watch-compatible wrist guards, consider the following workaround:
- Loosen the watch’s strap and position the time piece further up your arm during skating.
- Wear your smart watch with the face against the inside of your arm to protect it. If it’s facing out, consider throwing a sweatband over its face to prevent scratches or hurting other skaters. Fellow skaters in a Reddit community I frequent highly recommend the Rollerblade Skate Gear Wrist Guards as a smart watch-compatible option.
4.Wrist Guard Color
You want guards with a sleek design, and for many skaters, color is also important. Obviously, wear something that blends beautifully with your style. And you’re in luck because the skate gear market offers boatloads of wrist guard models in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
5.Price: Extra Features Cost Money
With the exception of the Rollerblade Skate Gear Wrist Guards (under $20), be ready to pay at least $45 for the best options. If the pads offer any unique features such as having high density EVA foam for extra cushioning or better-quality splints, you’ll pay even more in most cases.
BTW, you can buy used hand protection gear if you want and save a buck or two.
6.Best Wrist Guard Brands?
Triple Eight, Hillybilly, Powerslide, 187 Killer, Protec, and Demon are among the more popular ones. You certainly can buy from others and see how much your hands love or hate them.
But you also can buy from other brands. In fact, if you read reviews online, you’ll notice there’s always a skater saying some no-name pad set provided excellent support and the best protection possible.
Best Wrist Guards for Skating: Conclusion
Many skaters have rated doctor-designed Fleximeter 30D Double-sided wrist guards as the best wrist protection when enjoying your inline skates. Or when skateboarding, roller skating, or longboarding.
These pads maybe a tad bulky, but they fit true to size and protect like a boss. Unlike the typical pads with hard, stiff splints, these ones let your wrists have a certain degree of movement. They’re good for all-day use; you could even use a computer with them still strapped onto your hands.
While they’re pricier than most, this protective device has been a wrist saver of choice for many. Why not give it a try and come back here to tell us what your experience was like?