Thursday, November 12, 2020

Knee Gasket Reviews: Killer 187 & Old Bones Therapy

Killer 187 & Old Bones Therapy Knee Gasket Review

This post is a review of both Old Bones Therapy and Killer 187 knee gaskets. 

Disclaimer: I am not associated with either of these companies in any way, shape, or manner.

First, why would one want a knee gasket? They basically serve five purposes. First, is to add some compression support to the knee area. Second, is to add a touch of padding to prevent against simple abrasion if don’t want to wear full-on kneepads. Third, if worn with kneepads, they can help prevent the pads from slipping down during knee slides. Fourth, if worn with kneepads, they can add a bit more padding around the kneecap area. Last, when worn with kneepads, gaskets help keep the pads from getting too nasty because the (easily washable) gasket will soak-up most of your sweat, rather it going directly into your pads. I wear my gaskets (with kneepads) for reasons three (3) through five (5). 

Note: Lots of pics at the very end of this post. 

Killer 187s

 I’ll start the review(s) with the Killer 187 gaskets. I’ve had these much longer than my Old Bones, so I have a longer-term perspective with this product. Killer 187s make the following claims about their gaskets;

 - Curved ergonomic design 
- Thick padding surrounds the patella 
- Two layers of neoprene encase 
- Super absorbent EVA foam 
- Ventilated mesh sewn in for breathability on back of knee 
- Non-irritating side seams for comfort 
- Top and bottom stitching for durability

All of these claims hold true. Additional comments are that these gaskets are thick (but not too thick), and they have a good amount of padding around the kneecap area, including the patella tendon area. They fit snuggly (and neoprene can be rather warm/hot, esp. in summer). Some many not like the snug fit as much, other might (esp. if you’re going for compression support). That said, no knee gasket should fit loosely, as that would defeat almost any reason for wearing one.

I have found two drawbacks to my 187s. First, they seem a little “short.” By that, I mean that I’d like the overall length of the sleeve to be a bit longer. They certainly cover the entire contact-area of my kneepad, but just barely, and  a tad longer would be better. Second, and this might be a big one for some people, is the stitching on the back of the gasket that connects the neoprene and the ventilated mesh. On mine, that stitching started to fail not longer after I got them. This might have been because, when I first got them, I was pulling them up from the top when putting them on, which is the incorrect method. I should have been “rolling” them a bit more. In any event, I reinforced these areas (sewing them up with waxed dental floss). I have not had any problem since. Would this problem have happened if I had been properly putting the gaskets on? Who knows. We’ll find out if/when I get my next pair.

In the end, the 187s are a good product. I’ve had mine for a few years now. They’ve gotten good use, and have otherwise help up. They definitely make my kneepads feel a bit beefier, they have never slipped down, and they do a great job keeping sweat out of my pads due to the thick-ish neoprene. $40.00 for a set

 Old Bones Therapy

Next, we move on Old Bones Therapy (OBT). This company seems to have a very dedicated (almost cult-ish??) following. I had some money to burn, and I love trying out new skate gear, so I decided to give these a-go to see what all the hype was about. The owner(???) often posts on social media circles I run in, and he even offered a standing discount code to one of the groups I’m in. That is really cool. Direct involvement with the community is a big plus in my book. Their products are targeted at the older crowd, which is also, well, “my people,” so that resonates, too. To these ends, Old Bones had some “pluses” going for me before I ever even had product in my hand. 

Let’s take a look at some of the claims made by OBT on their web site about their knee gasket. I am not going to cut and paste all of it here. You can read that material on the product description page, which can be found here.

The OBT gasket is notably different from the 187s on several fronts. First, it’s a bit longer than the 187s. That was a big bonus for me (see comments above about 187 length above). Second, the OBTs are not made of neoprene. They are made of some type of  “breathable knitted fabric.” The OBTs are thinner, and more “light weight” than the 187s. These don’t feel quite as “snug” or “tight” as the 187s, and that’s a good thing (for me). I am curious to see how the fabric holds-up over time. Will it loose its stretch? Will it wear out? I’ve not heard of anyone reporting this happening. Time will tell. I’m also curious to see how the OBTs do with keeping sweat away from my kneepads. I got mt OBTs in Fall 2020, so I won’t be able to really test that one out until summer 2021 (when it’s really hot again). OBTs also have these really cool anti-slip “nobs” at the top of the gaskets to help keep them in place. The OBTs do not have as much padding around the side area of the kneecap as 187s do. They also do not have any padding directly over the center of the kneecap (187s have a small layer of padding over this spot, but not much). This is the one drawback of OBTs for me. I wish they added a bit more padding in these spots. The one other “drawback” of the OBTs is that since they are made of fabric, if it gets near Velcro (which is common on others skate pads), the OBT fabric can get “stuck” to the Velcro. As soon as I realized this was an issue, I’ve been careful to keep the OBTs away from the Velcro on my other pads. I don’t want to find out if repeated “separations” will cause any structural integrity issues to the OBT fabric (as is often the case when fabric gets repeatedly stuck to Velcro). Speaking of structural integrity, I certainly did not have to sew/reinforce any seams on the OBTs like I did on the 187s.

So far, I really like the OBTs a lot. I just wish they had that extra bit of padding over/around the kneecap area. Once I have put substantial, heavy, long-term use on the OBTs, I will post a follow-up about their longer-term durability.  $25 each (or $45 for both).

So, which is a better product? That depends on what you are looking for. Want a gasket that adds some padding? Go for 187s. Want a gasket that provides compression support to a larger area of your leg, is lighter, has an awesome fit, and is from a company that has great community outreach? Then OBT is your clear choice. Also, if you’re just looking for general knee support, with long wear times, you’re better off with the OBT, because they are bit more breathable, comfortable, and cover a larger area. 

And very last, and this probably a bit petty in the grand scheme of things...the OBTs are just really bad-ass looking. Great color scheme and design. They did a great job with these things. Oh, OBT comes with cool stickers, too. Who doesn’t like stickers?!?


As you can see, the OBT gaskets are much longer than the 187s.


Back side of them.


ALL of the gray area on the 187 (right) is padded.




Knee padding when gaskets turned inside-out.

The anti-slip part of the OBT gasket.

The stitching I had to redo on the 187s.

Here you can see the 187 gasket just barely extends beyond my PD knee pads.


The OBT gasket covers a bit more of the leg above and below my knee pad.


2 comments:

  1. I wish they still made the oldschool rectors knee pads. They weren't as good for vert or even mini ramp, but they were less bulky than a modern knee pad and thus useful for street, ditch, and even freestyle. It was nice to wear them during a freestyle session and NOT have the board clonk you right in the kneecap.

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    1. I have some NOS Rectors. And yeah, I can’t believe people wore those things on big ramps. They are basically like strapping single-serve Splenda packet to your knee, and hoping for the best. The current Pro-Tec street knee pad might fit the bill you are taking about. That said, what constantly bewilders me to this day is why freestylers don’t commonly use SHIN pads.

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