Admittedly, padded shorts may not be for everybody. If you’re a skater who rarely leaves the ground when you board, you probably don’t need them. However, if you’ve been known to seek out swimming pools with no water in them, or if you have suffered a previous hip, tailbone or thigh injury, then you should probably invest in a pair of padded skateboard shorts to keep your lower half protected.
#1: How Much Skateboard Lower Body Protection Do You Need?
Padded skateboard shorts protect varying combinations of your quads, hips, buttocks, and tailbone. Every model is a little different. With padded shorts in particular, 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.
Thickness of Pads
Padded skate shorts have skate pads that range from ¼ inch to ½ inch thick. Thicker pads offer more skateboarding safety protection, but with additional bulk and weight.
Padded skate shorts are tailored for different uses and preferences, so you can have skate pads in different locations. Skate pads are typically important for hips, tailbone, upper thighs, sits bones, and hip pointers.
Padded shorts pads are 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 also provide some puncture protection from things like rails.
Extra Tailbone Protection?
Nearly all padded skate shorts offer some tailbone protection with soft foam tailbone pads. Several models of skate padded shorts also offer additional protection with hard plastic tailbone shields. The plastic material adds an additional layer of skateboard protective gear for those backward falls, and tend to be a very popular feature with our customers.
#2: Do You Want to Wear Skateboard Padded Shorts as Underwear or Outerwear?
Because most padded shorts are made from a lycra spandex, they're typically worn as an undergarment with everyday shorts or pants pulled over them. You can wear briefs under these padded skateboard shorts or not. That's a matter of personal preference and doesn't compromise the short's protective ability!
You should consider these features depending on how you intend to wear your skateboard 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). Some padded skate shorts also include moisture wicking materials in the fabric that keep you skin cool and dry.
Color Choices. If you plan to wear the skateboard 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 or grey, but a few skate pad models offer color options.
- Leg Length. If you plan to wear the padded skate 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. So, you may want to look for shorter padded shorts, or choose a color that you like.
#3: Do You Want Your Skateboard Padded Shorts to Also 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 skateboard padded short 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 padded skateboard shorts for five or ten miles? Sure. Would you be comfortable like 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 skateboarding, however, these bike specific padded shorts come with the aforementioned padded chamois, which might be bulky, hot and uncomfortable to wear while skateboarding.
#4: Do You Want Your Skateboard Padded Shorts to be Machine Washable?
Although we do not recommend machine washing skateboard 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 Skateboard Padded Shorts?
It seems that most padded shorts are cut for teenage boys - slim from waist to hips. If you're looking for a cut that is more tailored for skateboarding safety for women, look for a women's specific model or words like "more generous cut" in the item title and description.