Downhill longboarding is not for everyone! Not only does it look dangerous but also is dangerous to slide down a steep incline. You’re likely to encounter sharp turns and quick stops that require the use of your hands. This is where a pair of sliding gloves comes in handy and makes the ride safer.
What are Sliding Gloves?
It’s surprising how longboarders can drag their hands across the pavement as they cruise down the hill at neck breaking speeds of at least 30mph. Just how do they get out of this with their hands still intact? Well, they are using sliding gloves.
Sliding gloves are specially designed to see longboard riders through this dangerous maneuver. They feature a palm (sliding) puck that protects the palm of your hand from friction when rubbing against the asphalt.
Sliding gloves manufacturers use thermoplastic material in the construction of the palm puck to deliver a stiff, stable, and low-friction glide on the rough surface.
This simple yet essential piece is the heart of any sliding glove. Typically, the sliding puck needs to be positioned towards the heel of your palm.
This way, you’ll be more likely to apply pressure at the bottom of the hand when sliding on the tarmac. Placing the puck in the middle of the palm means you might instinctively be compelled to grasp the puck, which will cause your fingers to drag and get injured.
Selecting the right kind of sliding glove also depends on your level of skill, as well as the nature of slopes you will be tackling. For learners, using finger pucks will be a more appropriate choice as this helps you to avoid slip-ups.
Meanwhile, more skilled longboarders might want to look for gloves with extra protection to enjoy superior flexibility when holding or grabbing the longboard rails. All in all, the market offers a wide range of high-quality gloves that will suit both rookie and veteran longboard riders.
The Best Sliding Gloves for Beginners
Trying downhill longboarding for the first time or any trick can be a tough and painful experience for a beginner. You are bound to experience a couple of falls and rolls on the tarmac. So, until you’ve honed your skills to perfection, you might want to stick to using sliding gloves with both finger and palm pucks.
While most brands of sliding gloves incorporate Kevlar fingertips in their design, there is still a high probability for beginners to jam their fingers on potholes, curbs, and cracks on the road. On the bright side, there are a number of glove manufacturers that offer a finger puck alternative.
The Triple 8 downhill sliding glove is a great choice for riders looking for extra protection for their fingers. These come with reinforced Kevlar fingertips that are designed to offer more flexibility for movements and grabs. Aside from being tear-resistant, the tip of the index finger is touchscreen sensitive, so you don’t have to remove the glove when answering phone calls.
They also offer removable and replaceable round slider pucks, as well as a Neoprene knuckle pad that protects your hands against friction. A heavy-duty wraparound Velcro wrist strap helps to achieve a snug fit while a hook-and-loop connector makes for a range of adjustability options.
The Triple 8 slide gloves boast a full top grain leather finish that delivers durable performance down the line while providing optimal protection whenever you go downhill longboarding. You can find the gloves in three sizes of XS, S/M, and L/XL to suit different palm sizes.
On the downside, there have been complaints that it lacks durability, given the price. Overall, it may not be the best sliding gloves out there, but it should suffice for a beginner.
This is another great selection for beginner longboarders who are still learning the art of downhill sliding. The Loaded Boards Freeride Slide Gloves are designed to meet, if not surpass, customer expectations.
Just like the Triple 8 Freeride gloves above, these feature a center palm puck that is paired with a removable finger bar. A slim and shock-absorbent foam cushion, as well as foam knuckle pads, help to protect against injury when you crash.
The manufacturer used synthetic suede for the construction material, which unlike leather gloves, doesn’t heat up under hot and sunny conditions. The gloves also feature a vented mesh lining that enhances breathability to keep you comfortable during your downhill rides.
Reflective details on the glove are conveniently included to improve your visibility on low-lit riding adventures, helping to keep you safe on the road.
Although finger pucks provide the extra protection you need on rough and unforgiving pavements, they should not make you lose sight of the proper sliding technique. You should get used to only using the palm puck and ditch the finger bars as you slowly get acquainted with the correct sliding skill.
Nevertheless, the finger pucks will come in handy every time you try a new trick. So, you always want them to be within striking distance. The Loaded Boards Freeride Sliding Gloves are a good example of what you should look for in an entry-level product.
The only thing to note about these gloves is that they somehow are smaller than the usual sizes, , so you want to go a size up when buying them for a more comfortable fit.
Sliding Gloves for Experienced Longboarders
As you continue to perfect your sliding technique, you will also consider to upgrade your sliding gloves. Luckily, there are a handful of sliding glove choices available for more experienced riders. Let’s have a look at some of them!
A quick look at their price tag and you’ll realize that the Loaded Boards Leather Downhill Sliding gloves are a top-shelf product built for riders who know their way down a steep hill. These are manufactured using high-grade goatskin leather to offer durable performance down the line.
A segmented foam knuckle guard and finger protectors help to shield you against the friction during sliding while Coolmax wicking fabric inside the gloves keeps your palms from getting drenched in sweat when the conditions get a little too hot.
The Loaded Boards leather gloves are designed to conform to your hand’s shape for an optimal fit that brings out your best when sliding down the asphalt. You also get ultra-high molecular weight circular pucks on the palm and thumb for grabbing flexibility.
The only thing is that it will cost you almost double what you pay for some gloves in this review. However, you can rest assured that you’re getting value for your money.
Rayne Idle Hands Leather Slide Gloves
If you don’t have the money to spend on a top-shelf pair of sliding gloves like the Loaded Boards Leather, there are more affordable options available to you. The Ryan Idle Hands Leather Slide gloves are the best budget pick you can get. They may not be as good as more expensive brands out there, but they will offer you a pretty decent protection.
These downhill slide gloves boast a superior fit and ample knuckle safety to protect your hands from the surface. All the high wear areas have been reinforced while critical seams are designed with double layers for maximum toughness.
The centrally placed pucks are made out of 100% Delrin and a dish-shaped design to enhance handling when sliding down the hill. Thanks to perforated leather fingers, as well as corded nylon top, the gloves offer excellent breathability to keep your palms from getting sweaty in hot environments.
You’ll also like the unique retro design of the gloves with adventurous colors that allow them to stand out from the crowd. They look pretty cool compared to other plain-color slide gloves on the market. A secure neoprene cuff enclosure combines with industrial-grade Velcro for optimal flexibility when you wear the Ryan Idle Hands Leather Slide gloves.
Lastly, you can buy the gloves in small and medium sizes to fit different hand shapes.
Taking Care of Your Sliding Gloves
While they do a great job of protecting the soft skin on your hands from the rough pavement, sliding gloves take a serious beating when they rub against the rough surface, and this can lead to expedited wear and tear. Over time, the sliding pucks need to be replaced.
Sliding gloves also feature durably engineered plastic pucks on their design, but these are not immune to wear and tear. Normally, the pucks will gradually wear down with every subsequent slide down the hill. Luckily, these can be swapped out and bought at a fraction of what you pay for a new pair of sliding gloves.
Manufacturers use a sturdy Velcro grip to attach the pucks to the sliding gloves. However, before you decide to replace the Velcro, ensure that the replacements have the same brand of adhesive as the gloves. Top sliding glove models like the Triple 8 and Sector 9 provide customers with replacements for their gloves.
This guarantees that you’ll be able to utilize the gloves for the long haul. However, if you’ve been using your gloves frequently and they no longer offer you the promised protection, then it is time to invest in a new pair.
All in all, when using the proper sliding techniques supported with a high-quality set of gloves, you should be able to manage many downhill rides with no issues!
Downhill sliding is one of the most interesting skills you can learn once you start to get a feel of longboarding. But as fun as it may be, it can also be quite risky, especially if you don’t know how to ride. That is why manufacturers create sliding gloves to see you safely through the downhill journey.
Whether you’re an experienced rider who’s been doing it for years or a newbie that has gathered enough courage to take on their first downhill ride, the review above provides you with some of the best longboarding slide gloves you can find!