Skateboarding extends beyond the extreme sporting world into a subculture all its own. Skaters often associate themselves with certain aesthetics, from particular musical genres to clothing styles. Skate clothes include casual main articles—such as brand t-shirts, flannels, skinny denims and cargo shorts—as well as style-based accessories and utilitarian safety gear. Like the sport itself, skate clothing is somewhat free-form; though certain choices are undeniably popular among skaters, there is no standard uniform.
Safety Gear Skateboard helmets feature simple, basic designs. First and foremost, skateboarders should don safety gear. Protective skate gear encompasses helmets---perhaps the most essential safety clothing---knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and ankle guards. Most skate helmets take simple shapes--covering the above-the-forehead region with a low-profile fit-- and feature over-the-ear chin straps. Helmets are constructed of hard plastic and often fitted with interior foam padding; exteriors come in a vast variety of solid colored, patterned and decorated designs. Full-sized knee pads feature plastic knee guards over elastic fittings, while low-profile pads are a bit longer and thinner, which allows the skater more flexibility and the option of wearing these style pads under their clothes. Similarly, full elbow pads offer reinforced protection while soft elbow pads offer only minimum protection. Wrist and ankle guards are adjustable protective gear that provide bracing to their respective body parts, which are prone to skate-related sprains and twists.
Skate Shoes - Many boarders wear skate shoes even when they aren't skating. Skate shoes come in the form of low-profile, casual-style canvas sneakers that cater toward flexibility and grip. These flat-soled shoes are often composed of suede or nubuck uppers with gripping rubber soles. Though most varieties end at the ankle and feature flat tongues, some skate shoes come in high-topped varieties. Most skate shoes are lace-up, Velcro or both while slip-on styles offer an even more casual style, coming in canvas and leather varieties. As is the case with other sports, professional skaters---such as Terry Kennedy, Eric Koston, Stefan Janoski and Omar Salazar---endorse certain styles of shoes based on their own footwear.
Accessories - Certain backpacks feature options that gear toward skaters. Backpacks serve as popular skate accessories, as some specialized skate backpacks have straps for securing boards and compartments or pockets that work toward stowing gear, clothes and other accessories. Ball caps and beanies---often emblazoned with brand emblems---remain a popular clothing accessory, as do ankle socks, which cater toward use with low-profile skate shoes. Many skaters employ wallet chains as a fashion statement as well as a useful tool to keep their valuables in place while skating. Skateboard and skate clothing manufacturers produce a wide variety of iron-on patches, which skaters use to customize the look of their clothing and display brand allegiance.
Other Clothes - Along with safety gear, shoes and accessories, skaters often wear basic tops and bottoms. Popular top options include brand-endorsed cotton t-shirts, short- and long- sleeved plaid patterns, drawstring fleece hoodies and hooded jackets. Common bottom choices among skaters include skinny denim jeans, chinos, corduroy pants, board shorts, cargo shorts and chino shorts.