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Smith Safety Gear

Smith Safety Gear: The right protection, right where you need it

There's a reason you so often see Smith Scabs knee pads and elbow pads on skateboarders and derby girls - they're comfortable and offer great protection. Smith Scabs was founded by Dale Smith, who started making recaps for other popular brands of kneepads in 1984. The recaps were innovative in that they featured an extended section below the knee that also protected the pad. They sold well, and Smith began designing his own kneepads. He rented a sewing machine and taught himself how to sew different types of stitches and cut proper patterns. Smith also dissected every kneepad on the market to see what they were using for materials. He found foam that he felt had better memory–after impact it would rebound back to its original thickness--and experimented with materials like neoprene when most pads were using elastic, which could stretch out. By 1989 he had a successful design and was producing handmade pads for the likes of Tony Hawk and Joe Johnson, among other top vert pros. In the mid-1990s, Smith entered into a contract with Vision skateboards and now his full line of knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets is distributed by Select Distribution. The famous Smith kneepads are available in a variety of styles and prices.