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Old March 28th, 2016, 08:22 AM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, Near the Lake
Posts: 6,537

I can offer some very sound advice, straight from NASA on selecting the best design style for pads in so far as how the style of pads that use velcro cinch straps will work best.

A while back NASA was embarking on a project to produce the next generation astronaut space suit. One of the biggest areas needing improvement was concerned with excess stiffness at many joint flex zones of the suit, especially the hands and finger joints.

How long astronauts could work effectively during space walks was being limited by the amount of muscle fatigue they had to tolerate from the suit pressure causing so much joint flex resistance. NASA created a competition, with $500K prize I believe, for inventors and companies to submit breakthrough design schemes that would give dramatic reduction in muscle force needed to work key suit and glove joints.

Even with big corporations having large budgets participating, the prize ended up being won by a lone individual inventor working out of his garage.
He came up with a winning glove concept that reduced the force needed to work the finger joints by ~50%. The key breakthrough was to have every joint use two suit fabric tension strips always forming an X crossing on the inside of every knuckle and other bending joint. Makes perfect sense once you see it in action.

I had various protective skate gear sets where the knee and elbow pads each used a pair (upper & lower) velcro cinch straps to tighten the pads in position over the knees and elbows. Unfortunately, they were always sliding out of position as I skated. I tried switching the way the straps were routed so that they formed an X behind the knees and inside the elbows.

Amazingly, the crossing X pattern worked so much better I couldn't believe it. If the pads started shifting off the optimum desired location, subsequent joint flexing tended to pull them back to where they should be.
This worked well for both the elastic and non-elastic style cinch straps. Because I don't have to pull them as tightly now, the elastic ones last a lot longer from being less stretched too.

Now I only buy knee and elbow pads that use this style velcro cinch straps, and with straps that have enough length to be re-routed in the crossing X path arrangement. I do not have to make them so tight either, yet they still hold position so well I rarely ever have to think about that anymore.
Will post a PIC soon.

Rollin' on AIR
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