Normally, when I write a review I try to offer the good with the bad because no single ‘gear item’ is for every single skater. Normally, I try to step back and look at things objectively. I am really having a hard time doing that with these.
I have had them for about 2 months now. I wore them my last bout and as long as I could stand it at the following practices. Last night, I broke out my destroyers simply out of pure frustration. Let me start at the beginning.
I am lucky enough to have a league with the most spectacular sponsor. Not only does he provide our practice space, but he also has a store we can enter at anytime in our practice space filled with all you could ever need derby wise in every size, shape, and color.
After losing about 2 pants sizes in 6-8 months, I was in the market for new knee pads. My old destroyers didn’t fit my new skinny in shape self. So, I went to our sponsors store and tried everything on. What initially drew me to the 187’s, was the shorter length it seemed to cover and the more stylish appearance they have. It’s really hard to feel sexy in a giant knee pad that makes your leg look huge. And the last reason, they even felt cooler (temp. wise). They also tend to make you bend at the knee because of the way they are constructed.
So, I sized them, tried them on to get the best fit, and took them out for a couple week test drive prior to wearing them in a bout. The 1st week, I landed DIRECTLY on my knee 2 times and when I say DIRECTLY I mean flesh and bone, derby peeps. The pad just had a mind of its own and was completely prone to slipping and sliding to the sides and up, depending on my momentum upon landing. This left me so upset. I know I had the right size. I know I secured them properly and very well. It made no sense.
After asking other skater peeps for advice, I came to the conclusion gaskets might be my saving grace. So, a week before the bout, I bought some Triple Eight Knee Gaskets and started wearing them directly under the new pads.
This picture is from the bout. You can see the gaskets and pads. The Memphis skater is Tenacious B. She was a REALLY great help in testing them ;-).
After the bout it was clear, the gaskets helped to keep the pads from slipping OFF the knee and exposing it but not from sliding anywhere else possible. The new problem was landing on the shells and then having the pads move to the side. So, no longer was I landing on my knees. I was landing on the caps then the force of impact would push them out sideways. I can’t express how hard it is to recover from a two knee fall or 4 point, when your pads are pushed outwards and they are constructed in a way that makes your knees bend. It is definitely something that sucks.
I stuck it out and hoped maybe it was me.. really I was in denial. I wanted to feel the pillows everyone says they land on… it just didn’t happen. Actually, it made me a bad skater. I was afraid of falling on them and my jamming just looked sloppy. I was worrying more about the pads than I was skating and kicking ass. Something had to give.
Today, 2ish months later, I just ordered a smaller set of destroyer pads. I have literally had enough. I am ready to get back to a knee pad made out of quality materials because this one feels cheap to me. I am also tired of how this is effecting my skating. When jamming, the extra 2-3 seconds you need to not only get up but then adjust your knee pads is entirely too vital towards the outcome of the jam.
I don’t recommend these pads. I have tried 3 others that were cheaper and more protective. I am sure there are skaters that swear by these but after trying to think of something nice to say about them, all I could come up with is….. They look pretty.