Longboarding is an activity with different difficulty levels, and you can improve and gain new skills with practice, time, and patience. As a beginner, you need special equipment to prevent injury and master basic skills on your board. But as you start to learn more advanced skills, you’ll need to upgrade your equipment.
When you’re downhill longboarding, you must be able to handle high speeds, think quickly, and protect yourself as much as possible. One of the best equipment upgrades for skills that involve speed, balance, and precision, like downhill longboarding, are strong and flexible slide gloves. The reasons why you need slide gloves are to protect your hands and manage your board more efficiently to avoid accidents and improve your longboarding skills.
What Are Slide Gloves?
Slide gloves help protect your hands while you’re riding or braking downhill, preventing scratches, cuts, and other injuries. They also allow you to achieve the safe ground friction necessary to slow down and turn.
The first slide gloves originated from gardening gloves, which offered protection and strength. These qualities led to better board management and safe turns. With time, professionals and experienced longboarders developed unique longboarding gloves that help longboarders improve their performance. These gloves also help keep riders safe, especially during downhill longboarding.
Slide Gloves Materials
Slide gloves come in different materials depending on how much protection you require and your level of expertise. Every material provides strength and protection, but with time and use, your gloves will wear down and become less protective, so you must get the right option.
This option is the most durable and reliable material, perfect for practicing your skills and spending long hours training and enjoying your longboard. Leather has abrasion resistance, creating friction with the pavement to enhance manipulation and control.
This material is warm, so your hands might get a little sweaty, but this won’t interfere with the performance of the gloves. They are expensive, but the benefits make it worth the investment. Some have little holes for ventilation, and the material will last for a long time.
This option is the least expensive, ideal for beginners. However, gloves of this material also provide sufficient protection for more experienced riders and will last long with proper maintenance. Kevlar is the most-used fiber—its easy manipulation and strength make it the ideal option. You might feel the ground and some friction through the gloves, but the friction will not harm you. This fabric is easy to maintain, but the gloves are also easily replaceable.
This material is thick and strong, delivering good results depending on how much strength you apply to the ground to stop or turn. This material is soft and offers optimal protection. This material is not as breathable as others, so you will likely get sweaty hands, which could make your longboarding experience a little uncomfortable.
Of these materials, the best option is the one that makes you feel confident and ready to longboard. With experience, you will learn the differences between materials and can more easily choose between the various options.
Glove pucks on slide gloves enhance your experience and grip with a puck placed in the middle of the glove and sometimes smaller ones on the tips of the fingers. Glove pucks create stronger friction against the ground, helping you apply as much pressure to stop or turn without hurting yourself or feeling the heat.
Pucks use highly adaptable polyethylene, which is economical, durable, and rigid, ideal for rough surface use and resistance. This material also makes slide gloves fully recyclable, which gives this product added value in protecting the environment and minimizing emissions and the human footprint.
Leather slide gloves with high-quality polyethylene pucks are the perfect combination for success, but you’ll need to pair the gloves with the right longboard. A downhill drop-through longboard will improve your overall experience because it has the right length, strength, and shape for downhill activities.
Cleaning and maintenance are important steps to keep your gloves in good condition. Keeping your gloves clean will improve your overall experience and deliver better results at high speeds to minimize errors and injury.
If your gloves are leather, you need a brush, leather cleaner, and a glove conditioner to effectively clean your gloves. Doing so can repair damage, expand your gloves’ life span, and prevent them from wearing out. Follow these simple steps to clean your equipment at least once a week:
- With the brush, remove excess dirt and debris from your gloves.
- Add leather cleaner to a small dry cloth and wipe off any remaining dirt. Then, wipe both gloves entirely and let them sit for a minute.
- Next, use the glove conditioner to go over any damaged areas. This will help maintain the gloves and repair scratches from use.
Fabric gloves have simpler maintenance practices. You can wash them in the washing machine with cold water and mild detergent to keep them clean and ready for use. It is important to care for your gloves because it will make them last longer. Plus, these simple practices won’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete.
Storing Your Gloves
Now that you know what slide gloves are, you understand why you need them for protection. Remember that you also need to protect the gloves themselves so they can perform at their best every time you wear them. Store your gloves in a cool place or at room temperature in an open space. Don’t leave them inside your bag or close to a heater for too long, as it will damage the leather.
You don’t need to clean them thoroughly after every use, but if you sweat profusely, dry them with an absorbent rag or let them air dry. Letting them air dry might make the leather a little stiff, but you can fix this issue quickly with leather conditioning.
Having the right equipment with good maintenance practices will make your experience more enjoyable, helping you improve your skills. It takes time to achieve greatness, but it is always possible when you put your mind to it and protect your body and equipment.