Thursday, November 8, 2012

Protection in Top Form - G-Form Pads Review

Hey Hey Hey,
I have been checking out something completely novel lately, G-Form Pads. G-Form makes all sorts of athletic pads that can take quite a beating without beating you up in the process. I have been rocking the knee, elbow, and crash pants lately and they have been freaking life savers! The craziest thing about these pads is that they feel soft when you touch them and they are squishy like a sponge, but when you slap them or punch them they get harder and absorb impact.

The magic behind this contradiction of a protective pad is the stuff it is made of. G-Form pads are made of Poron XRD Impact foam. This foam is compiled of a whole bunch of special molecules that react to force. This basically means that the molecules in the foam are nice and relaxed most of the time but when a force is applied they tense up and get rigid so that you don't have to feel the impact.

Now I thought that this seemed like a total contradiction, soft to the touch but hard on impact so I obviously had to put this to the test. Oh and test it I have. I have of course always worn my helmet, a couple months back I started wearing gloves all of the time to save my hands, and now I wear G-Form knee and elbow pads every time I head out to skate because they are life savers, at least knee and elbow savers. If I know that I am going to be trying some crazy stuff that day I also throw on my G-Form crash pants because they literally save your ass.
Like I mentioned, I was very skeptical about these pads before using them. Up until my G-Form pads came around I had only ever tried traditional hard plastic pads, which work very well, but are also not very comfortable. The first thing I noticed was that my new pads are way more comfortable than my old hard pads and way lighter. Just like anything I review I put these G-Form pads through the motions in a whole bunch of riding disciplines.

Going really fast is probably the only discipline of riding that these pads don't completely blow traditional pads out of the water in. Mostly because a difference in weight doesn't play a huge role when I am heading out to downhill for the day. Going fast generally means getting in tuck and then sticking there until you need to drift a corner or something. You don't need to be overly flexible or light on your feet and if everything goes according to plan you are not going to fall hardly ever, haha. Unfortunately the only downside to G-Form pads are they cannot slide on the pavement. I mean, I feel like it is kind of obvious if you ever touch them, but just in case it is important to note, they will tear up on pavement if they slide.
I have never actually torn up my G-Form pads... and no it's not because I'm so damn good that I never fall. It's because I plan ahead! A while back I took a nasty spill wearing nothing but a helmet. No extra pads, not even gloves, heck I wasn't even wearing a full shirt but a tanktop. After road rashing pretty much my entire body I learned (1) wear pads and gloves (2) wear pants and long sleeves if I might fall freeriding.
So now, even if it's hot and I am planning on trying some silly freeride where I am likely to fall I wear my G-Form pads, but I wear them under my pants and shirt. Thus even if I fall I don't ruin them. Which is great because pads are a little more expensive than my typical clothing, haha.
To get back to the point how do G-Form pads handle when it comes to freeride? Beautifully. The flexibility they offer over traditional hardshell pads is perfect for freeride where you are constantly bending your legs into funky shapes to hit those slides. You can't move your arms or legs into an uncomfortable position in G-From pads cause everything feels great!

While I may suit up a little more than your average person for skateboarding, I don't normally wear long sleeves and pants when freestyling, and that's because when you fall freestyle skating you aren't likely to slide around on the pavement much. What IS likely to happen might something more along these lines.... "I'm going to hit this early grab off a 3 stair!" When all of a sudden you don't. Then you tumble around like a ragdoll and get your elbows, but and knees all banged. Well in G-Form pad that is a thing of the past!
In addition to the awesome impact protection these pads offer, you also get another huge benefit. The lightness. G-Form pads are super duper light. When you are out freestyle skating it is fantastic to have light flexible pads on. You don't feel weighed down hitting flip tricks but you also don't get all beat up when you fall. If you like learning new tricks (which generally means at least a few falls) then these pads will be your new best friend.

Bottom Line
Would I recommend G-From elbow pads, knee pads, and/or crash pants to a friend?
I definitely would. The elbow and knee pads are a no brainer and very easy to take on off when you go skate so they are great. The crash pants are something that most skaters might not think about when they head out for a session but they are life savers!!! You just throw them on under your pants and can say goodbye to hurting your ass.
G-Form pads are liberating. Knowing that I am not going beat myself when I sesh all day with reckless abandon is a great feeling. Especially considering the fact that I skate almost every single day and don't have health insurance these pads are super clutch. If you are looking for a comfortable, flexible, lightweight pad that will still keep you safe, then look no farther than G-From pads. They offer up some serious science to keep you from getting seriously hurt, haha.

Stay Awesome,