Elbow pads are that piece of gear that you never really think you need until you smack the crap out of your elbow. For me, it’s usually my boat that I hit my elbows on and more when I’m playboating than anything else. I started wearing elbow pads when I started creek boating. It seemed like a good idea. Honestly, I wore them mostly to try and prevent putting holes in my dry suit. For a couple years I tried a couple different pads that never stayed where I wanted them. I managed to put three holes in the elbows of my dry suit all while wearing elbow pads, so they weren’t protecting me or my suit. Eventually I just gave up on them all together. Sometimes people would ask me why I wasn’t wearing elbow pads or they would offer me their spares, assuming I had just forgotten mine. I took a few hits over time that had made me fearful I could have really damaged something and certainly made me rethink my no elbow pad philosophy. I just didn’t see the point though. Even if I had pads on they wouldn’t have been on my elbow where I got hit at the moment when I needed them. They never stay in place.
Well, I think I have finally found the solution. G Form elbow pads. I just got some and so far they are the pads elbow pads I’ve ever worn. I put them on against my bare skin under whatever other layers I might be wearing. They are stretchy and comfortable. They have a grippy rubber around the inside of the arm opening that helps keep them from sliding down (similar to the leg openings on bike shorts). They are super comfortable. The first time I wore them on the river I completely forgot I was wearing them. When I took my gear off at the end of the day I was actually surprised to find them on my arms. They are that unrestrictive. I haven’t taken a hard hit with them yet, but I did run around elbowing rocks and trees. I think they are going to do great when I need them. I can at least be sure that they will be on my elbows and not my wrists when I need them. If you’re tired of elbow pads that don’t stay put I’d recommend checking them out.