“ Brand: Vault „
Slide gloves are an important part of longboarding equipment (I am unaware of other sports that use them, sorry). They are basically gloves that no only protect your hands if you fall, but they also allow you to do longboard tricks known as slides, whereby you put your hand on the floor, and use it as a pivot point to swing the board around sideways. This is not only considered a "trick", but is an important way to slow down, as longboards do not have any attached brakes.
So this is the offering done by vault, an australian skateboard/longboard company. They are made out of neoprene, and kevlar for the mesh, and are made out of some sort of plastic for the "pucks". The way slide gloves are made is that you have a glove, with large plastic bits that then attach to the glove by some means (they look like hockey pucks, and thus the name is given as puck). In the case of these gloves they are velcro, which is an advantage because if during a slide the puck gets "caught", it will detach, rather than twist and potentially break your wrist! This can be a risk with glued on pucks.
Anyway, the gloves also have a strap to tighten them down located around the wrist, and has 3 seperate pucks. it has the main puck found over the palm region (this is the puck you will do most of the sliding on). On top of this, there is another puck that covers the tips of all the fingers not including the thumb. This is optional, but is designed to help protect them in a fall. The final puck is a tiny puck on the thumb, honestly the reason for this puck is a bit of a mystery to me, but oh well.
To start with these gloves were really uncomfortable. They "glue" or whatever it is they use to strengthen the stitches on the inside of the glove at the bit where the tips of the fingers used to dig in to my fingers, making this feel like some sort of voodoo torture glove. However over time these seemed to have either been pushed into the glove, or smoothened off just during use, and now I no longer have this problem. But next time I buy a pair of these, I might go up to a large, I think the sizes might be a little small, which may have accounted for the discomfort to begin with (I think my gloves has stretched out a bit now).
In terms of durability, I am very impressed. The palm puck on this glove is nice and thick, meaning that you can spend a lot of time wearing it down. Over time you have to replace pucks (which is another advantage of the velco attachment), and I think I might just replace mine with another set of vault pucks (you can mix and match the pucks and gloves if you really want to). The onyl bit of durability issue I have is that there is now a small hole on my right hand side thumb region in the kevlar material. I am not particularly worried, especially as some slide gloves are fingerless, as this is an inherent weak area of the glove, and to be honest it is a hole about the side of a 5p coin. So for 6 month use, I'm not excessively worried.
At £40 these are the cheapest slide gloves you can buy, and they are pretty good I must say. The next cheapest gloves I could find are either from Lush or Loaded, and start around £55, and to be honest I cant really see the justification on spending the extra money when these are fully functional. I should note that all slide gloves will "interfere" with normal hand use, so don't think you can wear them whilst driving or doing anything like that. They are designed to be slippy, and boy they are! My only complaints really are they uncomfortable beginning, and I am just beginning to query the longevity of the material that makes the glove (many use leather), however I think there is at least another year or two life left in these gloves, so I am not overly worried. Overall then, I give this product 4/5, as I think its a very good beginner slide glove, and I would recommend to any beginners-advance level longboarders who need a cheap slide glove. In fact I have been so impressed by them for the cheap price, I plan on soon replacing my longboarding wheels with other vault gear to see if the same craftmanship extends across their range.