Soldiering – especially FISH – is still a tough, gritty business that involves a lot of minor injuries, but it’s not as bad as it used to be. Knee and elbow pads, initially picked up from the skater community but now made in by companies like Blackhawk and 5.11, won’t save you from every injury but they will make life a lot more pleasant for your joints. If you’re going to be operating in an urban area, or anywhere that isn’t actually so damp all the stones have sunk into the mud, you definitely need a set of good pads.
When it comes to protective clothing I have to say I have mixed feelings about the 21st century’s very effective, but incredibly heavy, body armor. Knee and elbow pads, though, are an unqualified success.
Avoiding ‘Little Owies’
Protective knee and elbow pads have long been used by SWAT operators in both training and in the operational environment. At this stage of my life, no one is going to confuse me for some “high-speed, low-drag operator” but I felt this gear may hold some advantages for me as well.
An important convenience feature is the ability to put on or remove the ski knee or elbow pads easily. There are two basic designs, sleeve style pads that slip on and off or butterfly style pads that are secured to your leg/arm with adjustable straps.
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