Starting Roller Derby is daunting yet fun and whilst hiring kit from your league is a good way to start and try it out, it doesn't take long before you will need your own kit. With so many options out there, we have put together this handy guide to purchasing your first kit.
The most important part! A good pair of skates enable you to focus on drills and skills rather than achy arches or pinching toes. Its easy to be distracted by all of the skates on offer so here are our top 3:
By far the most popular of derby skates for new skaters- these are long lasting and can be easily upgraded when needed. These skates are slightly narrow and as such can be uncomfortable for people with wide feet. This is available in Black or White and the Riedell 'Diablo' is a slightly upgraded Red version.
This is the Sure Grip equivalent of the Riedell R3, however this is a wider skate with a larger toe box so is ideal for those with wider feet or sensitive toes. There are variations of this in the Rock Flame and Rock Explosion versions.
This is the starter package from Antik- known for making high quality skates. This comes with high quality toe stops, bearings and wheels so its unlikely you would need to make any upgrades. This is a high boot which offers extra support around the ankle although the plate is heavier than equivalent skates.
One of the most valuable pieces of kit you can buy it is important to get a helmet that is properly certified for multiple impacts not just in your team colours. If you buy a single impact helmet, you must replace it after a knock or fall. Our favourite certified multi impact helmets are as follows:
As any skater will tell you, the first thing you learn when you start to play derby is how to fall! Protecting your knees is essential and it is worth investing in a pair of quality knee pads. The Triple 8 Pro pads are a good choice but if you have a little more money to spend, it really is worth looking at the Smiths Scabs.
Take a look at them here:
Your early days of roller derby will involve a lot of falling over, elbow pads need to be small enough to keep out of your way, but big enough to protect you when you need it- we like these for new skaters:
These relatively cheap pads are the saviour of many a rollergirl, it is so easy to instinctively put out your hands when you fall, a set of wrist guards is not only a requirement but an essential piece of kit, our top picks are these:
Mouthguards are required for all roller derby training, and you will not be able to participate without one so it is worth investing in a good quality one that will fit comfortably. We prefer this one:
Because we know that everyone likes to make their kit to be a little different, we've added in a few 'nice-to-have' items that will make you standout.
Not only do these look good but they do a great job at protecting your skates so that they last longer- a must have item for any skater
These help keep your bearings clean whilst also adding some extra colour to your wheels
And of course, to look the part at training don't forget your