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Hockey Elbow Pad Design
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Hockey Elbow Pad Protection

2 MAIN DESIGNS

There are basically two approaches that manufacturers use when designing hockey elbow pads – they either try to pad the elbow or take the impact away from the elbow. This difference is easy to spot.

When looking at elbow pads that are designed to remove impact, there will be an obvious protrusion in the pad at the point of the elbow. This protrusion creates a space or "pocket" for the tip of the elbow and forces all elbow impact to the surrounding areas – primarily the forearm.

If there is no obvious pocket in a hockey elbow pad, the pad design is relying on the padding itself to protect the elbow. The problem with relying on padding is that padding can be completely compressed with enough force. Once the padding has been compressed, the elbow joint absorbs the remainder of the impact. This remaining impact can provide enough force to leave your elbow feeling sore for a few days.

I personally recommend looking for the obvious elbow pad pocket. Feeling the impact of a fall on your forearm rather than your elbow works very well because your forearm can move with the impact and the pad itself can move around the forearm a bit, all reducing the force of the impact. The tip of your elbow has absolutely no ability to comfortably absorb impact, but it does have the ability to cause pain as well as chip or crack upon impact and create a more permanent problems. Once you’ve been bit by a faulty elbow pad, you will likely always appreciate a properly designed elbow pad and the confidence it provides when falling to the ice.

The single advantage to using hockey elbow pads that do not contain a pocket for the tip of the elbow is the feel of a lower profile pad inside your jersey. If you are a competent skater and play in a low intensity recreation league, these types of elbow pads might work for you because you rarely hit the ice. If you are buying for a youth hockey player or for any competitive full contact hockey player, go for the pocket. The design advantage is simply superior.

Price is usually not an issue when looking for the hockey elbow pad design of your choice. Inexpensive elbow pads can be found with both designs. Some manufacturers are very consistent with their elbow pad designs and will allow you to choose whichever model you like from a list of models that have the same basic design.

For more information and discussion, please visist HockeyConsumer.com


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