Before you read any further, if you just needed affirmation, the answer is yes. You should absolutely wear knee, elbow, and wrist pads while you’re riding a unicycle, whether you’re a seasoned vet or just starting out.
You may already know that you should wear a helmet all of the time while riding, but for you, knee, elbow, and wrist pads might fall into a separate category of unicycle safety gear. After all, where you live it might be a legal requirement to ride a helmet, but not to wear other protective equipment. Here are the reasons you should wear them while riding, all of the time.
Knee and Elbow Pads
Knee pads and elbow pads protect your knees and elbows against impact. Unfortunately, unlike many other areas of your body, there’s little protection for your knees and elbows; only your skin, and the bone of the joint is right underneath it.
Even more unfortunately, in those instances in which you experience “unplanned dismounts,” it’s instinctual to extend your arms and legs in order to correct or catch a fall. This doesn’t necessarily put your elbows or knees in a line of first contact with the ground, but if your arms or legs are bent, you’re going to come down on them first.
Landing on unprotected elbows or knees will result in scratches and scrapes at best, and can break bones and injure soft tissue, like ligaments and tendons, at worst.
Knee and elbow pads protect and cushion the bony projections of these joints, adding an extra layer of protection against incidental impact and serving as a hedge against injuries that might be sustained in a fall.
Wrist guards or wrist protectors, like knee and elbow pads, can improve the overall protection afforded by your personal safety gear when you’re riding a unicycle.
They’re slightly different, though. Wrist guards, like Triple 8 Undercover Wrist Guards, fit under your gloves and feature perforated neoprene (for breathability and cushioning) as well as removable splints, which offer support and protection.
Falling and coming down on your hands first can put a big strain on your wrists. The support afforded by many wrist guards stiffens and supports the wrist, helping to prevent sprains and other impact-related damage. In addition, the soft, cushioned covering afforded by many wrist guards will protect the tops and bottoms of your wrists if you fall at speed and slide across the blacktop, helping to prevent scrapes and bruises.
Unplanned Dismounts Are a Part of Learning, but Experienced Riders Fall, Too
The thing about wearing personal protective equipment when you’re riding a unicycle is about being prepared for the unpredictable.
Beginners will experience unplanned dismounts – that is, falls. That is simply a part of learning how to ride a unicycle. It looks hard, and it is hard. You’ll get there, but don’t expect to master the one-wheeler without experiencing your share of spills.
Even experienced riders fall from time to time. You’re never so experienced that you’re above the bar of human error. Things happen, and riders of all calibers need to be prepared. That alone is the main reason that all riders – regardless of skill level – should wear personal protective gear all of the time, not just including a helmet, but also knee, elbow, and wrist pads.
Where Can You Get High-Quality Knee, Elbow, and Wrist Pads?
If you’re looking for knee pads sets or separate protective pads such as elbow pads and wrist guards for biking, skating, or riding a unicycle, visit Unicycle.com. They carry a wide range of protective gear for cycling sports and much more. Check their website and get in touch with them at 678-494-4962 if you need assistance.