10 Best Skateboard Wrist Guards in 2020 Tested & Reviewed

It's important to stay safe when skating. Today we review the top 10 best wrist guards for skating. These skate gloves helps soften the impact force when falling, leading to fewer and less serious skating injuries.

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Best Overall
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187 Killer Pads
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Best Premium
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Triple 8 Hired Hands
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Best Value
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Triple 8 Saver
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Table of Contents

Did you know that wrist fractures are among the most common injuries for skateboarders? When a rider falls, they usually try to stop themselves with their hands. The impact can hurt your wrists, which have very small bones. It’s a very vulnerable area and in addition to fractures, it can get scraped and sprained. To protect yourself, you’ll want wrist guards. These help protect your wrist joints, bones, and skin.

In this guide, we’re going to go through the best wrist protection on the market no matter whether you are riding a regular skateboard or an electric skateboard, as well as buying considerations and frequently asked questions.

Top 10 Best Wrist Guards for Skateboarding

1. 187 Killer Pads Derby Wrist Guard

Best Overall
187 Derby skateboard wrist guards
  • Doesn’t restrict your fingers
  • Breathable and comfortable
  • Great durability for the price

A fingerless skateboard wrist guard, this glove frees up your hand while providing the protection you need. Not having fingers on the glove helps your hand move more naturally without restriction. The guard plate is contoured and cupped to fit a wider area of your palm and wrist, so you’re getting full protection from hard impacts. The splint is also extra-thick at the base, which is the area most affected by hard falls. The inside of the glove is padded, so you’re comfortable. Worried about the heat? The 187 Killer Pads Derby is made from perforated materials, which helps improve the guard’s breathability. There’s also a sweatband.

As for durability, these guards have a reinforced thumb hole and palm. There’s also industrial-grade stitching in the ballistic nylon material, so you can wear these guards for a long time before they start to break down. They’re available in sizes X-small through Large with an adjustable strap. These gloves were designed for derby skaters, but they work for skateboarding, as well.

2. Triple 8 Hired Hands Wrist Guard Gloves

Best Premium
triple 8 hired hands skateboarding wrist guard gloves
  • Very durable
  • Removable, replaceable top and bottom splints
  • Provides impressive protection

A wrist protector designed to withstand many falls, the Triple Eight Hired Hands guards are not messing around. Described by the company as their “burliest” guard, it offers complete wrist protection. Unlike the 187 Killer Pads, it does mostly cover the fingers, leaving about half of them free. It’s made with top-grain leather and layers of EVA shock-absorbing foam with double stitching.

These gloves aren’t cheap, so it’s nice that the top and bottom ABS splints are removable. That means they can be replaced. Their thickness protects you during hard falls. How a glove fits is important for protection, so the Triple Eight uses a thick neoprene strap. Triple Eight recommends the guards for skateboarding, rollerblading, and roller derby. If you’re a hardcore skater and worried about a fall's impact, these gloves hold up.

3. Triple 8 Saver Series Wristsaver II

Best Value
Triple 8 Saver Series Wristsaver II - Slide-On Wrist Guards
  • Convenient slide-on design
  • Great fit
  • Solid protection

A great choice for kids or skaters who don’t want to spend a lot on wrist guards, the Wristersaver II boasts a great slide-on design. Rather than the traditional three straps, this skateboard wrist guard just has one. You can spend less time getting geared up and more time on the road. These gloves also fit really well thanks to the 4-way stretch nylon mesh. It molds to your skin without feeling suffocating. Flexibility is also aided by the fact these gloves leave your fingers free.

What about protection? Both the front and back of the gloves use high-density, impact-resistant molded ABS splints. There’s EVA foam between the splints and wrist for added comfort. This foam is also shock-absorbing. The Wristsaver II from Triple 8 comes in junior, small, medium, and large.

4. CTHOPER Impact Skateboard Wrist Guard

Most Unique-looking
CTHOPER Impact Wrist Guard Protective Gear
  • Unique breathable design
  • Strong protection
  • Adjustable snug tight

All you need to do is look at this skateboard wrist guard to know it’s unique. It prioritizes breathability, so there isn’t material on the back of the hand and its fingerless. It’s a great choice for summer when it’s hot and you don’t want your hands to get too sweaty. Riders may be concerned about the back of their hands not getting as much protection, but wrist guards are already designed to protect just the front.

The part of your hand that is covered is well-protected. The guards are made with ABS plastic bone shells in the wrist and palm. Between the splints and wrist, there’s shock-absorbing EVA foam which adds extra cushioning and comfort. There are three sizes available, so these should work for both kids and adults. To adjust the fit, there are two adjustable nylon straps on your palm and wrist. The skateboard wrist guards will feel snug while freeing up your fingers. Your thumb gets a lot of freedom, too.

5. Burton Adult Wrist Guards

Best for Winter
burton unisex wrist guards
  • Designed to fit under gloves and mittens
  • Flexible splints
  • Comfortable, adjustable fit

These wrist guards were made for snowboarders, but they’re great for skateboarding or rollerblading when it’s cold outside. They can be worn underneath regular gloves and mittens, so you don’t have to choose between safety and warmth. In warmer months, just take off the gloves or mittens, and wear the skateboard wrist guards by themselves. They’re a great choice for all-year riders.

Will your hands feel like they’re bandaged when you’re wearing the wrist protection and a pair of gloves? Burton considered that, so they made the wrist guards sleek and lean. The skateboard wrist guard’s top splints are tapered and flexible. Even while you’re fully protected, you can move your hands naturally. They’re fingerless, as well. These gloves are also made with very comfortable material. It’s a blend of polyester, NBR, nylon, and polyethylene. The padding is soft. To make sure the gloves fit, there are hook-and-loop adjustment straps. There’s a variety of sizes in men/unisex, women, kids, and even toddlers.

6. Triple 8 RD Wristsaver

Best for daredevils
Triple Eight RD wristsaver for roller derby and skateboarding
  • Designed with roller derby in mind
  • Impressive protection
  • Comfortable

Most wrist guards for skating are multi-purpose and can be used for snowboarding, inline skating, and more. These are the best skateboard gloves for derby skating. They’re designed with a wider palm splint. There’s a lot of falling in roller derby, so having this specific feature is important for extra safety. If you’re a bit of a risk-taker when it comes to skateboarding, these would be a good choice, as well.

The front and back splints, which are high-density and impact-resistant, are replaceable. You can wear these gloves for a long time, replacing the splints as needed to stay confident in your safety. Durability is also helped by the reinforced double-stitching. What about comfort? This set of gloves is made with neoprene, which maintains its flexibility in a variety of temperatures. It’s heat and oil resistant. Getting the gloves on is easy, too, thanks to the EZ pull-on loop. There’s only one adjustment strap, so gearing up is fast. The Triple Eight RD is available in four sizes.

7. Hillbilly Wrist Guard Gloves

Best Glove-style protection
Hillbilly Wrist Guard Gloves - Half Finger
  • Both gloves and guards in one
  • Durable materials
  • Impressive protection

This product from Hillbilly is best described as “gloves with wrist support.” They more closely resemble regular gloves than skateboard wrist guards. This makes them more comfortable. For snowboarders, you don’t need to put gloves over the guards.

Made from goatskin leather, these gloves provide support, comfort, and warmth. They’re double-stitched with heavy-duty nylon thread, so they’re meant to last. These are half finger gloves, so you get more freedom and flexibility. The spoon-shaped splints in both the palm and back of the hand helps with flexibility, too. Both the front and back of your hands are protected and supported.

8. Smith Safety Gear Scabs Wrist Guards

Best for teens
Smith Safety Gear Scabs Wrist Guards
  • Great comfort and fit
  • Great protection
  • Cool color options

Designed for skating of all kinds, these skateboard gloves are a great choice for teens who don’t want to spend a ton of money. They have a contoured design which helps with a superior fit and comfort. The three adjustable velcro straps let you fit the guards as snug as you need. They are fingerless for flexibility.

For protection, these guards boast an extra-thick splint. If you’ve had injuries in the past or you’re worried about bad falls, you can feel safer with the splint. The ballistic nylon and reinforced double-stitching contributes to the guard’s durability, as well. The unique thing about these guards is the color choices! There’s blue, red, brown leopard, and even purple leopard. Many teens (and adults) love to express themselves colorfully and these guards let them do that while staying safe.

9. Triple 8 Saver Series Wristguards

Honorable mention 1
Triple 8 Saver Series Wristsavers
  • Great fit
  • Impressive protection
  • The non-derby alternative to Triple Eight RD

The fit is one of the most important features of any skateboard wrist guard. On these, there’s a 4-way stretch nylon mesh that gives you a close fit, while providing durability. The strap is mesh, as well, and helps you get that snugness.

As for protection, there’s a lot to like. The front and back splints are high-density, impact-resistant molded ABS. Between the splints and wrists, you’ve got shock-absorbing EVA foam. This provides a nice cushion. The Triple Weight Savers are very similar to the Triple Eight RD gloves. The only difference is that these aren’t designed for derby, so the splints aren’t as wide. Beyond that, they’re essentially the same. You can wear them for skateboarding, for rollerblading, and for snowboarding.

10. 187 Killer Pads Wrist Guards

Honorable mentions 2
187 Killer Pads Wrist Guards
  • Durable build
  • Great protection
  • Comfortable fit

We talked about the 187 wrist guards for derby way back at the beginning of this guide. These gloves are very similar, but there are a few differences. The regular 187 Killer guards are a bit longer and not designed for sliding. The construction is durable and made from materials like ballistic nylon, industrial-weight stitching, and a reinforced thumb hole.

For protection, the splint is thick, so you get superior protection at the base of your hand. This area is very vulnerable during falls, so you want that splint focused there. The palm is reinforced, as well. Three adjustable straps get you the best fit possible. The design of the gloves is angled a bit, so you get more flexibility as well as strength. These work for a variety of sports, but if you are looking for guards specific to roller derby, the derby version of these gloves is the better choice.

Buying Considerations

There are a lot of choices out there for skateboard wrist guards. If you’re hoping to get the best wrist guards for skateboarding, you’ll want to think about features like what the gloves are made of, how durable they are, their flexibility, and more. Here are the main things to consider before buying:

Materials

What are the skateboard gloves made of? There’s a variety of materials like fabric, calfskin, latex, elastic, goatskin leather, and more. You want a material that will last a while and that’s appropriate for the weather. If it’s hot, you might want to look at lightweight, breathable materials.

Thicker materials are good for colder weather and they provide more protection. If you want something hard, materials like hard foam, carbon fiber, and even metal are an option. Generally, the thicker a material, the more protection you’ll get. The tradeoff is you might sweat more and lose some flexibility.

Flexibility and fit

Speaking of flexibility, how much freedom of motion does the wrist guard provide? A skateboard wrist guard can be well-made and provide protection, but if it feels like you can’t move at all, that might be a problem. You want the guards to feel comfortable. Fit is closely-related to comfort, so make sure the wrist guards have straps you can adjust if necessary.

Most traditional guards use three straps to help secure the fit, while some are designed to slip on and off more easily. You’ll also see guards that more closely resemble regular gloves. Some brands tend to run small, which is great if you’re buying for a kid, but frustrating if you don’t take the time to note the sizing.

You’ll want to make sure you’re measuring and choose the right size.

Style

There are a few wrist protection styles. Full-finger skateboard wrist guards are designed like traditional gloves, meaning they cover your whole wrist and fingers. These are usually meant for sliding tricks where you put your hand on the ground.

Half-finger guards free up your fingertips, while others are completely fingerless. It’s up to you which works best and makes you feel safe. If you want to make as much freedom of motion possible in your hands, fingerless guards are probably the way to go.

Designed purpose

Most wrist guards can be used for a variety of activities, like skateboarding, inline skating, roller derby, and even snowboarding. It is worth considering what the brand intended the gloves to be used for, though, because that can affect your experience. The best wrist guards for skateboarding on the road will be a bit different than guards meant for derby.

The palm splint and length might be different. Prices could also vary a bit, so check out if the skateboard gloves have been designed for a specific purpose before buying. In general, you’ll probably be happy with gloves meant for derby during regular skating and boarding, but if you in derby, you’ll want the extra protection that derby-specific guards give you.

Price

No matter what you’re buying, the price should be a consideration. You don’t want to pay more than you have to, but you also don’t want to choose something just because it’s the cheapest. In general, a skateboard wrist guard set will cost you between $20-$60.

Brand name plays a role in the pricing, as well as features like durability and flexibility. If you’re a beginner and anticipate a learning curve, it’s probably worth paying a bit more for the extra protection. Checking out reviews to see what real people are saying can help narrow down your choices, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a skateboard wrist guard?

Wrist guards are essentially gloves with wrist support. This safety gear is meant to protect your wrists while you’re engaging in activities like skateboarding or longboarding. They’re padded on both sides with “splints” inside of them.

Made of a harder material, these splints help your forearm and palm (instead of your wrist) deflect energy caused by the impact of hard falls. Instead of bending, causing injury to your wrist, the wrist guards keep the area rigid and help it slide across the ground. This sliding motion eases the amount of weight pushing your hand down into the ground.

Wrist protection styles vary. There are some that you pull on like gloves while most use adjustable straps to secure the fit. There are full-finger (less common for skateboarding), half-finger, and fingerless options. Which one works best for you depends on how much hand movement you want.

Should I wear wrist guards when skateboarding?

Wrist guards for skating keep you safe from fractures, sprains, cuts, and other injuries to that area of your body. When you fall, you’ll naturally throw your hands out to prevent falling on your face, but then, you can end up hurting your wrist. Both little falls and big crashes can cause injuries, so whether you’re a beginner or an advanced boarder, wrist guards can protect you.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you can be reckless when you’re wearing wrist guards. They are designed to protect you when you fall forward. If you fall backward, the support on your wrist isn’t the same. In addition to wearing wrist guards, you want to learn how to fall “the right way.”

There are several techniques, many of which involve sliding on your knees (with knee pads) instead of catching with yourself with your hands. If this is the case, why wear guards at all? There is some debate on if wrist guards encourage people to fall on their hands, which is risky even with guards. However, unless you can master the proper fall, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It only takes one fall and one lapse of memory to throw your hands out in front of you, and if you’re not wearing guards, you’ll suffer the consequences.

How do you wear wrist guards for skateboarding?

The best skateboard gloves are ones that fit well. Most are adjustable, but you still want to follow the measurements. The brand will ask you to measure your hand width. A soft tape measure is the best method. Measure around your four knuckles at the widest point, not counting the thumb.

The gloves will need to be able to fit this part of your hand since it is the widest part. Every hand is a little different, so that’s why the adjustable straps are useful. In general, a small wrist guard will fit someone with a hand width of 5-6 inches, while an extra-large fits 9-11 inches. When you’re looking at a wrist guard, the brand will have a measuring chart you can refer to.

To wear wrist guards, you simply pull them over your hands on to your arms. Depending on the style, there might be a loop that helps you get them on more easily. If the guards are fingerless, they’ll also be pretty easy to get on. You should wear the guards every time you go skateboarding.

Do skating wrist guards protect against fractures?

Wrist guards are meant to protect against injuries and/or reduce the severity of an injury to the wrist. The splints in the guard curve toward the palm where the wrist joint is. When you fall on your hands, the splint contacts the ground instead of your joint. The guard causes your hand to slide instead of smashing into the ground with your full weight. 

As we mentioned before, it is still possible to injury your wrist while you’re wearing wrist guards, so your best protection is caution. Avoid falling on your hands if possible and learn proper techniques for falling, like sliding. Research does show that fractures tend to be less severe when the person is wearing wrist guards.

According to at least one study, the researchers concluded that the evidence for protection was strong enough for medical professions to recommend using skateboard wrist guards. Wrist guards are not meant to prevent injuries to any other part of the body, like the shoulder or elbow. They should always be paired with other safety equipment like helmets, elbow guards and knee pads.

Do skateboard wrist guards work for longboarding?

Yes, the wrist guards used for skateboarding are effective for longboard riders as well.

Since longboard speeds usually are higher than on skateboards, you may want to opt for one of the stronger, premium models to ensure optimal safety against the increased risk.

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Conclusion

Wrist guards for skating are an important piece of safety equipment every rider should strongly consider wearing. While they can’t guarantee you won’t ever injury yourself, they reduce your chances of getting hurt and decrease an injury’s severity.

When you’re shopping for gloves with wrist support, consider factors like the style, durability, flexibility, fit, and price.

There’s a skateboarding wrist guard out there for anyone, including sets that are great for teens (Smith Safety Gear Scabs), great for winter (Burton Adult Wrist Guards), and best for daredevils (Triple Eight RD Wristsaver). Our top pick is the 187 Killer Pads Derby wrist guard set.

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Last updated April 23, 2020
Paul Strobel
Paul Strobel

Owner and editor of ERideHero. This website is the culmination of my passion for electric rideables, gadgets, and thrill-seeking. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions.

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