Whether you use your longboard for transportation or bombing down hills, sooner or later you're going to fall. Padded shorts for longboarding help protect your rear, tailbone, hips, and thighs from impact and potential injury. Longboard padded shorts come in many options. What should you ask yourself?
How Much Protection Do I Need When I'm Longboarding?
Padded shorts for longboarding and skateboarding use varying combinations of padding that cover your quads, hips, buttocks, and tailbone. Every model is a little different. With padded shorts more than other protective gear, a picture tells a thousand words. When you look at the product photographs on our website, look specifically at the size of the pads. Some shorts have very large, thick pads. Some sport smaller, thinner ones. As for tailbone protection, some shorts have a soft pad sewn in place, and others have a hard shell shield, which is sometimes removable. Some factors to consider:
Thickness of Pads
Padded longboard shorts have longboard pads that range from ¼ inch to ½ inch thick. Thicker pads offer more longboarding safety protection, but with additional bulk and weight.
Longboard padded shorts are tailored for different uses and preferences, so you will find different shorts featuring pads in different locations. Longboarding pads are typically important for hips, tailbone, upper thighs, sits bones, and hip pointers. Many of our longboarding customers are most concerned with hip and tailbone protection.
Padded shorts pads are made from either soft foam or a combination of hard plastic and soft foam. Foam softens the impact and disperses the impact force over a wider area. Hard plastic also disperses impact forces and provide some resistance if you slide on the shorts. Remember that if you're wearing shorts underneath your clothes, your clothing is likely to rip if you slide.
Extra Tailbone Protection?
Nearly all padded longboarding/skating shorts offer some tailbone protection with soft foam tailbone pads. Several models of longboard padded shorts also offer additional protection with hard plastic tailbone shields, like the Crash Pads 2500 padded shorts. The plastic material adds an additional layer of longboarding for those backward falls and tends to be a very popular feature with our customers.
#2: Do You Want to Wear Longboard Padded Shorts as Underwear or Outerwear?
Because most padded shorts are made from a Lycra spandex fabric, they're typically worn as an undergarment with everyday shorts or pants pulled over them. You should consider these features depending on how you intend to wear your longboard padded shorts:
Fabric/Material. Check the material to see if it's mesh (good for releasing heat, but not so good for keeping private parts private) or solid (good for privacy, but less effective at releasing heat).
Color Choices. If you plan to wear the longboard padded shorts as outerwear or if part of the shorts will be exposed outside the bottom of your shorts, you may want to choose a specific color. Most padded shorts come in black but a few models offer color choices
- Leg Length. If you plan to wear your longboarding padded shorts as underwear, you may want to pay attention to how long the thighs extend down your leg. If you wear short shorts or a skirt/skort, the legs may extend below your outerwear shorts. If you don't want this look, you may want to check out padded shorts with a higher cut, like roller derby padded shorts.
#3: Do You Want Your Longboard Padded Shorts to Have a Padded Crotch?
All padded shorts come with a chamois (or crotch pad), which leads some people to believe they can also wear these padded shorts while cycling. This is really not the case. The chamois in a pair of longboarding shorts is sewn in specifically for privacy. It is not meant to double as a padded chamois, like you would find in a true cycling short. Could you ride a bike in your longboard shorts for five or ten miles? Sure. Would you be as comfortable as you would be with a padded cycling chamois after, say, 20 miles? Not likely.
On the same note, there are many mountain bike and BMX padded shorts that offer great leg, hip and tailbone padding for longboarding, however, these bike specific padded shorts come with the aforementioned padded chamois, which might be bulky, hot, and uncomfortable to wear while longboarding.
#4: Do You Want Your Longboard Padded Shorts to be Machine Washable?
Although we do not recommend machine washing longboard
padded shorts, some models do allow for machine washing. However, to get the maximum longevity out of this type of clothing, we recommend you hand-wash them and line-dry them
. Never do we recommend you machine-dry any Lycra-based material. More than anything else, the standard laundry room dryer is the enemy of your Lycra-based product. Please, always remember to line-dry a garment like this!
#5: Do You Want a Gender-Specific Cut in Your Longboard Padded Shorts?
It seems that most padded shorts are cut for teenage boys--very slim from the waist to the hips. If you're looking for a more comfortable cut, search for a women's specific model
or words like "more generous cut" in the item title and description. The women-specific padded shorts will typically hit slightly higher on the thigh and slightly lower on the waist.