Treble’s Gear Reviews – Deadbolt Grand Slam Knee Pads

The guys over at Deadbolt Pads kindly sent me a pair of their Grand Slam knee pads to review.

There has been a lot of excitement over their new knee pads, with space-age velcro and lower profile compared to their old Elite pads so I couldn’t wait to test them out.

deadbolt roller derby grand slam knee pads

I already have the old Deadbolt Jammer Elite knee pads which saved my knees that were ruined from cheap knee pads and then 187 Derby Pro knee pads. The 187’s would twist round on impact and my knee would slam into the ground with nothing but a thin slice of foam to protect them! Not great.

The Jammer Elites are huge but they don’t seem to restrict my movement too much and have loads of padding to the side of the knee, something which many knee pads lack. The Jammer Elites are so protective and it feels like landing in a foam pit rather than onto concrete. But due to said largeness, I was exited to hear about the new Grand Slams were lower profile! Could this lower profile still offer the same knee-saving level of protection?

 

Quality

Deadbolts are renowned for their quality and the Grand Slams are no exception. As soon as I took them out of the packaging, me and my Boyf were all like “Ooooooohhh. Woooooooaaahhh.” My Jammer Elite pads are still going strong after 2 years of abuse, the inner foam on the one knee pad needs replacing but everything else is in pretty good nick. Unlike my wrist guards and elbow pads that seem to fall apart at an alarming rate!

The stitching and the industrial grade cordura really does feel like it is going to last a loooong time. These babies will take the thrashing I’ll give them in their stride!

Bigness

These guys are definitely smaller than the Jammer Elites; they have a slightly lower forward profile, are shorter in length and slimmer all around your knee. They are more similar to the 187 Derby Pros in size and shape.

They also feel a lot softer and lighter than the Elites and therefore feel very easy to move in. Comparatively, they feel like you have no knee pads on! Walking around in these pads feels great and doesn’t make you look like you’ve had an “accident”.

Crossovers also feel very easy in these (not that I had a problem with the Elites but I know some do) and I believe these are way more suitable for the skatepark than the Elites.

deadbolt grand slam knee pads treble maker

Fit

I don’t know if my calf muscles are especially huge, but I have always struggled with the bottom strap on my Elites reaching around my ginormous lower walking implements. The Grandslams are a big improvement but my bulging gastrocnemius are almost completely encompassed by the bottom straps. Even if the straps don’t overlap completely, the space-age velcro sticks like glue to it’s counterpart and fit snugly. I was forever adjusting my old Jammer Elites but these Grandslams stay in place really well.

Velcro

Ok guys, this is cool. The velcro is amazing and needs to instantly be sewn on to every pad ever. It won’t damage your clothing, it wont get stuck to everything else in your skate bag, it won’t slice your teammates arms as you skate on by! I feel like this is what astronauts are wearing in space…

Falling

I was a bit worried that the Grand Slams would be similar to the 187’s in the respect of twisting round due to the knee cap area being so much smaller. Well, I have trained, scrimmaged and bouted in them and so far have had zero issues! I have only noticed twisting when kneeling at the end of training. The cap, whilst smaller, is still fairly flat so your knees don’t roll out like in some other pads.

I was also worried there would be less protection to the side of my knees as the padding in this area is less but, so far I haven’t noticed any side-knee impact! And even though the profile is slimmer, there is still a helluva lot of padding and taking hard falls still just feels like landing on pillows.

Other cool stuff

The caps are actually attached with straps rather than velcro so they will never come off whilst skating and you can also insert your own image behind the clear cap or buy special cap tatts from Deabolt. Yey for customising! They also have a rainbow version for the adventurous and black and white striped version for the zebras!

Deadbolt’s customer service is second to none and Mike and Chris took on people’s concerns when these pads were first released. They have been updated and improved based on what real-life customers wanted. What more can you ask for from a pad company!

Would I buy these pads?

Yes.

These pads are so very nearly perfect; I would prefer if the caps were slightly wider and there was just a little more padding at the sides as that was what drew me to the Jammer Elites in the first place. I also prefer caps that are black but the clear caps don’t mark floors so my opnion on that is not valid!

Lets hope for the next iteration Deadbolt somehow manage to recreate the slim style of the Grand Slams with the side-knee protection of the Elites!

I love these pads and recommend them to anyone looking for a high-end knee pad that will last, protect your knees and give you value for money.

Now, go get yourself some Deadbolt Grand Slam knee pads!