Outdoor roller skating should be accompanied with a set protective and precautionary measures to make the best out of it without getting hurt. Skate gloves can provide a comfortable alternative to bulky wrist guards in certain situations.
Roller skating is about the art of balance, and protective gear proves to be real useful to prevent injuries. It is quite a requirement to also safeguard your wrists. In case of slips and falls, it is a natural instinct to reach behind and use your hands and wrists to support your body from being thrown down with great force. Wrist sprain and fractures are the most frequent injuries in skating. To avoid and prevent all that, wrist guards keep the wrists straight and shields them from getting twisted or fractured.
Wrist guards come in a variety of styles for example a soft padded guard with a harder covering, or a soft pad with plastic inserts. It all depends on the skaters’ needs and preferences. Best wrist guard are those, which are really worn by the skater. Bulky guards with extra thick splint protection in front and back of wrists are very safely, but uncomfortable especially in hot weather conditions, and often taken off because of sweating and discomfort.
An alternative are skate gloves, similar to bicycle gloves, with a plastic slider pad. I use the gloves by Ezeefit since many years for outdoor skating, and noticed a good protection. Although they are not defined for prevention against injury to hands or wrists, the gloves provide needed protection in recreational skating for advanced skaters. So in skating situation where you have a confident feeling, and not in risk of hard uncontrollable impact. For bowl skating, speed skating, skating in large crowds, roller derby and other high impact activities I use traditional wrist guards with splints.
The gloves use a comfortable stretch Lycra with a non-skid, non-padded palm. There then is a velcro patch to attach or remove the included slider plate. Other cool features are the finger pull loops to help get on and the inside wrist is made of terry to wipe away sweat.
The stretchable Lycra construction has 3M® Scotchlite reflective piping.
In addition the gloves has some advantages. Because the force of the fall has to impact upon some part of the body, wrist guards could also increase the chance of other injuries. If the fingers are held in a loose fist upon impact or are folded towards the palm, they can catch on the ground during a fall, causing severe grazing to the knuckles. If the fall is particularly steep, because the wrist guard ends just below the base of the fingers, the first set of knuckles is at risk of injury by being bent back over the wrist-guard. Sliding pads can avoid this by forcing the hand into a slide instead of resulting in a blunt impact.
Skate gloves with slider pads combine comfortable use with protection against hurt of wrist and hands. However they are not specifically intended for prevention of wrist injuries and shouldn’t be used in skating situation with high risk of hard falls, like roller derby, bowl skating, or skating in large crowds. Also for beginners I would recommend wrist guards with splints.
This review is based on the author’s own experience and was not sponsored or supported by any companies cited in the article. In short: I bought the gloves!