Radical Leopard Denim


In the second half of the 80’s I bought a barely used set of Pro Designed knee pads from local Champaign-Urbana skater Martin Pelequin. “The Mertster” as he liked to call himself, was a colorful character to say the least, almost a miniature version of Steven Tyler in appearance and behavior. Skinny, and around five foot tall and some change, he definitely overbought these double capped kneepads that he had custom made with blue denim and leopard skin lycra. They looked and felt like hockey goalie kneepads on him, so he sold them to me at a substantial discount. I rode these kneepads until the early 90’s when I loaned them to a friend in Chicago, ironically to play outdoor hockey. He accidentally left one behind and so I never had a full set again. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the remaining one. One of my cats peed on it at some point this millennia, and I’m still having a hard time sending it to a landfill. The cat has long since run away. I’ve got a couple pics of the Mertster after the jump.

The Mertster… He didn’t need those pads anyway.


Satellite dish rock and roll.



  1. ohh Martin…he was a real psychedelic outlaw.
    He’d set up those insanely concave Life’s a Beach boards with huge T-Bone wheels and stacks of risers. Ol’ boy didn’t give a shit about punk rock but he liked to thrash…

  2. Dan Mason on January 30, 2015 - Reply

    Pro Designed pads throw up one word into my mind. Salba. At a time when everyone else was wearing (usually Fat Boy) Rectors, Salba’s leopard print knees really stood out to me.

  3. Wild Bill at ProDesigned still makes great pads and can make them in any custom color, pattern. http://www.prodesigned.com

    Great pads that last long.

  4. keeping the dream alive!

  5. boneman on February 3, 2015 - Reply

    I finally got a pair of those and was so stoked until I realized they would swivel around like Linda Blair’s head on my knee everytime I fell. Legs too skinny I guess.

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