Gorilla Palms Review: Impact Palm Pads
The creator of Gorilla Palms, Justin Mitchell, is like many of us. A seasoned skater looking to prolong his skate life as long as possible. Gorilla Palms was born out of a series of injuries to his right wrist. Gorilla Palms are designed to protect and soften the blow to your palm and carpal bones. Justin has been skating street his entire life, and he felt there had to be a better option than traditional wrist guards. He felt an optional cushion pad might be useful and went to work creating a new product for wrist protection and after years of trial and error, he has a unique, functional product; Gorilla Palms. Inspired by skate shoes and constructed with suede and polyurethane, Gorilla Palms claim to retain a natural range of motion while absorbing impact. Justin sent us a few pairs of Gorilla Palms to review.
These low profile palm protecting cushions are very interesting and look appealing when compared to the brace type wrist guards I’d normally wear for protection. First off, the construction is noticeably superior to any wrist guard I’ve used, you can tell that there was a lot of detail and craftsmanship put into making sure Gorilla Palms are a quality product, and at $24.99 they are slightly higher priced than most traditional wrist guards, but worth it. I have an average sized hand, I wear a medium size glove or wrist guard and Gorilla Palms fit my hand well, they are snug and the velcro closure stays put once you have them on. The interior feel of Gorilla Palms is comfortable as well. Overall I had most of my range of motion in my wrists and I hardly noticed I had the Gorilla Palms on while skating.
Let’s take away the words wrist guards for a minute, I would classify these as wrist wraps with a cushioned pad. Inside the pad are pockets of shock absorbing foam that provides cushioning from direct slams and slaps of the wrist when falling. The soft cushion properties of the pad are designed to take impact like the sole of a well padded skate shoe. I took a few slams in the mini pipe and those direct blows were well cushioned by the Gorilla palm pad. When I took a sliding fall and slapped my hand that’s where I felt the product worked best, the slap was fully cushioned I really appreciated the padding in these instances. I tried Gorilla Palms on top of my traditional wrist guards, and I felt protected, but my range of motion was limited and the two products together were bulky, it’s not recommended to wear both wrist guards and Gorilla Palms, but I thought I’d try it.
Overall Gorilla Palms have changed my mind on what wrist protection should be, and I’ve taken enough slams now that I know I’ll need these when skating. Gorilla Palms provide good protection from direct falls and slaps to the wrist for any type of skateboarding and some longboard use. The durable construction means these will last and take several impacts before they start to break down. You can wash your Gorilla Palms if they get stinky/sweaty (recommend hand washing and air dry). Overall these are stylish and well designed protective minimalistic pads that work well for most indoor/outdoor park, street skateboarding and cruising on a longboard. Check out Gorilla Palms if you’re looking for something different in wrist protection to provide more range of motion while still protecting your wrist from slams.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Gorilla Palms but am always down to try out unique products. I don’t skate much street anymore, as my old knees do not agree with it. I skate bowls and ramps as much as possible. I usually wear kneepads and depending on the size of the ramp or bowl, elbow and wrist guards. Wrist guards are frustrating to me as I feel like it restricts my ability to grab airs unless my board has rails. I bruised my right palm on several occasions last summer trying to land a few frontside air variations. My initial impression of the Gorilla Palm was that it would have saved me from a painfully bruised palm.
Gorilla Palms come in a pair; one for your left and one for your right hand. They are marked which is which on the packaging, but also just remember the triangle should point toward your fingers. Gorilla Palms are only available in one size. I have a large hand and had some trouble securing the Velcro. Justin assured us that the more you wear the Gorilla Palm, the more it will break in like a shoe would. I did find that over time it did stretch a bit easier but it still was definitely a very snug fit. I wore the Gorilla Palms several times skating a 4’ mini pipe in town; they did a great job of minimizing impact to my palm on bails. One thing I found was they did not slide like a wrist guard does if you put your hands out on a fall, something to keep in the back of your head so you don’t end up bending an arm awkwardly. I did really like the fact that I could still easily reach into my pocket, operate the buckle on my helmet, etc.
Allows for great finger mobility
Good shock absorption
Built to last
A bit difficult to secure Velcro