187 Killer Pads
Vinton Pacetti started 187 Killer Pads almost two decades ago. What began as a nights and weekends business after working his regular job has evolved into the premier skate protection company. When you have the likes of heavy-hitting riders Pedro Barros and Alex Sorgente, legends Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero, Lester Kasai, and Tony Hawk, and young guns Tom Schaar and Evan “Big E” Doherty rounding out your team, there’s no room for an inferior safety product.
[pullquote]”187 pads are technically designed for the knee sliding position… The cap fastening system is extremely secure… I can also take a hard hit with them and still walk away… My gear is important for my longevity and 187 is simply the best.” – Lester Kasai[/pullquote]
I spoke with Vinton and asked him why he started 187?
“Because fuck you mainstream skateboarding, that’s why! When I started 187 Killer Pads, mainstream skateboarding was baggy pants and teeny tiny wheels. Transition and vert were supposedly dead. You couldn’t buy 8 + inch boards, you couldn’t buy 60mm wheels, and you damn sure couldn’t buy good pads. My granddad would run our wheels on a lathe to get rid of the flat spots. My mother and sister to this day still run a canvas and upholstery shop in Florida. We decided to start stitching together some pads. I figured if I still wanted good knee pads there were others out there just like me. Other people that just wanted to skateboard. Others who didn’t give a fuck about the trends, didn’t give a fuck about the magazines, the videos, and their bull shit, they just want to skate!”
What makes 187 different?
“Everything about us is different. First and foremost I skateboard! I actually use the products we design. We design products based not only on feedback from team riders, but from personal experience and use. Secondly, I make real old school cut and sew patterns and molds. We can take a concept or idea to a working prototype quicker than any brand in our space. And we personally test them. Lastly, we are an authentic brand. There’s nothing phony about us. There’s no bull shit. Everything is thoughtfully designed; our kneepads, elbow pads, wrist guards and helmets. We never pull a product off a shelf in China and put our name on it like others do. Everything we produce is designed in our custom workshop in California.”
187 Killer Pads Pro Knee Pad Review:
Features and Specs
- V-22TM Dual Density Foam
- Lock-INTM Cap System
- Light weight
- Fast drying
- Ballistic nylon with industrial-weight stitching
- Open Back
- Contoured for superior fit
Lets face it, pads weren’t made to be comfortable…they were made to protect your knees and elbows from impacts and road rash. You don’t get protection from skimpy pads. Every time I’d go out and skate bowls with my son, I’d find myself complaining about my knee pads…bulky, restrictive and just downright uncomfortable. I felt like I could barely walk and numerous times my pads slid causing me to get burns.
I reached out to Lester Kasai, Lonny Hiramoto and Lans Pope for advice. They all recommended 187 Killer Pads Pro Knee pads. Lans raved about 187’s new design module, which allows you to customize the look of your pads.
Many companies now let you customize your product, but to be able to customize your knee pads…pretty kick ass! I toyed around with a ton of different color combos. You can even send in your own material or work with 187 to come up with something completely custom. Christian Hosoi has a set with the Rising Son graphics on them.
I finally made a decision on colors, etc. Being that these are completely custom, they did take a few weeks to show up. I was totally stoked to know that my pads were hand built/sewn in the US. The overall construction of these pads is top notch. All the materials are tough and built to last, and all are tied together with heavy weight industrial top stitching.
The 187’s are bulky like other pads but they are designed to fit the contour of your knee. The pads are very comfortable, unlike others I have used. I also found over time they really mold to the shape of your knee. The contoured shape locks them onto your knee, and I’ve had no slippage issues — they stay put. They definitely seem to fit the best out of any pad I’ve used when the knee is bent.
The Pro Series uses a two-stage closure system that includes a butterfly entry system that allows you to take these on and off without removing shoes. Vinton sent me a short video on how to properly put them on. You start from the bottom up, which helps lock them onto your knee.
The cap is not riveted like other pads, and it’s held in place by the Lock-INTM Cap System. You can get replacement caps in other colors. Because it’s only held by a Velcro system, I wondered if the cap would stay in place; I’ve used these for several months now and they have not budged.
Like I mentioned they are bulky but the impact protection they provide is second to none. Testing the Pro Knees I took a few walls and felt minimal impact.
In summary, if you are looking for the best in skate protection, look no further than 187 Killer Pads. Designed and tested by skaters…hand built/sewn in the US.
- Conforms to your knee
- Dries quickly
- Protects your knee from impact
- Superior construction
- Price…but you get what you pay for!
|Price:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Construction:||(5.0 / 5)|
|Performance:||(5.0 / 5)|
|Overall:||(4.8 / 5)|
I also asked Lans Pope of Pope Skates why his entire team uses 187.
“It is pretty simple actually…..When you skate you want to be protected. I have worn other manufactures on the market and none of them compare to 187 Killer Pads. The padding inside does not compress and lose its effectiveness in time like other pads. 187 pads are super comfortable to wear, fit perfectly and conform to you knees and elbows the minute you put them on.