do snowboarders wear snowboard pads

Do Snowboarders Wear Knee Pads? Should You?

by Fraser

When learning to snowboard, spending a lot of time on the ground is inevitable. Heck, I’ve been riding for 15-years and still do!

One way to reduce the bruising and keep you riding for longer is wearing protective gear. Most snowboarder’s these days wear wrist guards, impact shorts and helmets. But do snowboarders wear knee pads?

Snowboarders do wear knee pads, however less commonly than wrist guards and helmets. Whilst knee pads tend to be associated with skateboarding, they are also effective at reducing snowboarding-related knee injuries. 

Research shows that knee pads also increase the number of days snowboarders are able to ride per season. This is presumably through avoidance of season-limiting injury. 

Don’t have knee pads yet? Check out the best knee pads for snowboarding.

Otherwise, keep reading to find out why you should wear your pads more often!

Who Should Wear Knee Pads When Snowboarding?


Ok, that’s an exaggeration. However I have started wearing mine more and more often. Particularly when I know I’m heading out to push for a new trick!

Generally, these groups of riders could benefit from wearing knee pads:

  • Beginners 
  • Park riders – especially on icy days or when riding rails. 
  • Early birds – if you’re hitting the first lift, chances are the slopes won’t have thawed out yet. Consider some extra knee protection!
  • Advanced rider’s pushing for a gnarly new trick. When I was learning invert variations (flips) you better believe I kitted myself out to the max!

Which Do I Recommend?

To keep it simple, I’ll just tell you which ones I wear… having tested probably around a dozen!

These are not the most expensive option but I found they offered great protection without feeling like I was wearing a straight-jacket for my knees. Check out the Rippl snowboard and ski knee pads below.

Best Bang For Your Buck!
Rippl Snowboard and Ski Impact Knee Pads
  • Great balance of comfort and protection. 
  • Best value option available.
  • My own knee pad of choice.

✖️ Not as heavy-duty as POC pads (but much cheaper).

We may make a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

When I Don't Wear My Knee Pads

If i’m just heading out for a cruise on the slopes then I generally wear light-weight gear with minimal padding. Equally, on a deep powder day I pretty much only wear my helmet (protection wise – I do of course wear clothes). 


In summary, snowboarders do wear knee pads. Whilst they were previously seen as uncool, more and more riders are seeing the light.

For those who are injury-prone or just starting out, consider gearing up with the following:

Thanks for reading. Happy riding!

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