Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Buyer's Guide to Wrist Guards & Elbow and Knee Pads: Rector Proformer and Fat Boy

20100727_rectorwrist

So it's a new season, I need new protective gear. I thought I'd try Rector gear, since Jodi at Orbit Skate Center sells that. But only the Fat Boy elbow and knee pads, she prefers Triple 8 for wrist guards. I always have to try for myself though, and finally picked up a pair of brand new Proformer wrist guards from a retired WCR skater. I paid her the brand new price, and still saved having to order them separately from XSportsProtective; that was the only place I found them. (ETA: Nevermind, found them on Amazon. Still.) I could have listened to Jodi, though. These wrist guards are just okay. They're padded, I think unnecessarily; it just adds bulk. Actually I got a bruise on the back of my hand for the first time ever wearing these, I don't even know how. I think also because of the padding, they don't wrap closely around your hands & I've had them catch on other people's stuff and come undone. I mean, they'll do for now. I wouldn't go out of my way to get this particular brand again, though.

20100727_rectorelbow

The Fat Boy elbow pads are very nicely padded, and they do stay on. There's a weird design issue with the lower strap, though, like they should have sewed it to wrap the other way around. The way it is, it droops and chafes against your inside forearm. I might mod the pad a bit to fix that, it's not a major flaw. Though I'm going to try the 187 Killer Elbows later in the season, and I don't think they do this. And overall, I don't know that I need this much protection for my elbows and might rather take my chances with something less bulky.

20100727_rectorknee

Okay though, I do like the Fat Boy knee pads. They're actually slimmer than the Pro-Tecs, and they're more padded. So, best of both worlds. Also I think the cap is a different plastic, it feels harder and slides better. I was dubious about wraparound versus slip-on knee pads; I couldn't see how they could fit snugly, but they do. They fit better, actually, and I think if they stretch you have more leeway to keep tightening them.

They're a bit more expensive than Pro-Tec or Triple Eight knee pads, but not even so much that it's definitely worth it for playing heavy-duty derby. Knee pads are what you want to invest in. You get that you're not investing in the pads, right? I mean, you're throwing your money away on the pads; you beat them up, and they last you a season. You're investing in your knees, your ability to stand, walk, run, and jump for the rest of your life...

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