A concerned mom writes, "My son just recently sustained a knee injury while snowboarding. It is still in the healing stage (he's on crutches). He's spending a week this summer at Woodward Skate Camp and I'm sure he'll be trying some advanced stuff and he'll certainly be putting more hours in than usual! I want to make sure he's wearing the best/most protective knee pads as possible. Are ProTec the best, and which ones should I get?"
Personally, I love ProTec and TSG (check out my Top Skate Pads list). There are other good brands out there, but those are my favorites. The confusion with ProTec comes when you aren't sure WHICH pad to get - they sell four! It all depends on what kind of skateboarding you do most. For mostly street skating, you want "Street" pads, though you only really need them if you want the exra confidence boost, or if you have an injury you are protecting. For vert, you'll NEED "Drop-In" pads (you need pads for skating vert). For skatepark riding, the "Park" pads are a balance between street and vert pads. Finally, they make "Double Down" pads, which are thinner and designed to be worn under your clothing. Think of them as stealth pads.
Aside from skating vert, the choice of whether or not to wear knee pads is up to you. Personally, I think they're great if you want the confidence boost or if you have a bum knee, but otherwise, you don't need knee pads. I'd like to see what other skaters think, though, so here's a poll!
If you've got any thoughts to add, feel free to leave a comment below!