Bailing can be classified as a natural part of skateboarding. In major league sports, athletes get injured. In skateboarding, people flip over rails and go face first into cold, hard concrete. Skateboarders do have the option of wearing helmets or elbow pads, but such equipment can create a few harsh names, especially for a 14-year-old.
Designed by Ravi Itiravivong, the Cali Hoodie takes the embarrassing aspects out of protective gear and makes them look cool. Classified as safety apparel, the hoodie has integrated protective pads that can help a skater deal with gravity and speed.
Instead of looking like a bulky sumo-wrestler fat suit, the clothing is designed to be relatively comfortable so skaters can be flexible and relaxed. The hoodie has openings on the shoulders and elbows where the protective pads can be inserted. The lightweight compressed brace material on the shoulders, elbows and wrists also allows a bit more flexibility.
The goal of this design is to start a positive trend for skaters in regards to the importance of safety. The Cali Hoodie can certainly protect our rock-hard shoulders and arms, but it will be interesting to see what they do with other pieces of clothing. Until then, skaters might just have to wait to see if there’s something that can prevent bloody knees and wide gashes on the forehead.