You would be surprised how often I get that question, “Hey Bustin! What are the best Longboard Slide Gloves?” Well there is no easy answer. Just like “what’s the best longboard wheel,” or “which is your best longboard deck,” there is no quick answer for the best slide gloves on the market. It comes down to the needs of the consumer (pssst thats you!) Different companies have tried to combine different aspects and materials to try and make the most competitive, “best” slide glove. What we’re going to do today is to take a look at a few different styles of glove, specifically the local selection at the Longboard Loft, and while we may not be able to pick the best slide glove, hopefully we can point you in the right direction for your purposes.
We’ll start with the current Loaded Freeride Slide Gloves. These come with both a palm and a finger puck, for those who are worried about scraping their fingers. Typically, finger pucks are used for Downhill application where the speeds are much higher and any skin on the road results in what we like to refer as “sidewalk spin-art,” ouch. However as a Freeride slide glove, Loaded also uses breathable fabric on the backs of the fingers so that you don’t overheat while you’re spinning and tricking, and a removable wrist pad for the same purpose. Yes, there is a thumb puck, but to be honest, thumb pucks tend to go flying and in my opinion, are not necessary to qualify a product as “the best slide glove.”
Triple 8 gloves are another well regarded slide glove. With incorporated Kevlar in the fingers you can almost guarantee that they’re going to last a long while and protect you hand from road rash. However, as you can imagine, leather and kevlar get pretty hot, so while the Triple 8 gloves may offer more protection, they will be much hotter than other gloves with vents in the fingers, or no fingers at all. Having used a set of these though, it may be worth the extra heat, based on how long these last.
Next in the line-up in our search for the best slide glove, is Sector 9. They bring to the table a few offerings with different features for different purposes, clever girl… The original Sector 9 slide glove is the classic BHNC glove. With breathable, neoprene fingers, yet reinforced, kevlar knuckles, you get a solid combination of breathability and strength. This is a stripped down version of the slide glove without all of the bells and whistles. It comes in at a reasonable price, and with flexy fabric, they’re super comfy! Just beware, because with comfort often comes tearing. Sector 9’s Apex slide glove is a more freestyle oriented glove. They’ve changed the fabric to a composite with more leather in the mix for more strength, and have added rubber grip to the fingers for extra contro when you’re grabbing your board. This makes early grabs, tiger claws, and similar tricks a synch!
Last from Sector 9 is the brand new Driver series of slide glove. This is for sure S9’s attempt at snagging the title of “best slide glove”. They’ve gone to a full leather composition and in order to combat the previously mentioned overheating issue, they’ve perforated the top of the glove so it does breath. The slide puck itself have been reexamined and they’ve made a rounded surface for less edge resistance and less interruption from the road. Last but CERTAINLY not least, they’ve moved all of the stitching and seams away from the front of the glove to prevent tearing from friction. A very clever idea and one that truly separates the Driver series from many other gloves on the market.
Last but not least, DIY Slide Gloves! I’m talking contractor’s gloves, industrial velcro and a cutting board. Yes it means you have to get creative, yes you need a saw, no you will NOT spend $40 – $60 on a pair of gloves. Obviously, using gloves not designed for the stressed of skating will result in gloves that wear through faster, but at $14 a pair, it’s something to consider!
So in answer to our question “what is the best slide gloves”, “none” would be the best answer. The trick is to decide what you want to use the gloves for, which features seem appealing to you, and how much you want to spend. Which ever route you take, go out there and get skating!!!