So you want to play Roller Derby? Awesome! You will need;
- A sense of humour
- Determination to get up when you fall down
- Willingness to meet new people and make friends
We can't bottle those things up for sale, but we can help you with a basic starter package that includes; skates, a helmet, a mouth guard, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards.
The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby, (according to WFTDA and MRDA) state:
9.1.2 - Protective gear shall include, at a minimum: wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, mouth guards, and helmets.
126.96.36.199 - Wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, and helmets must have a hard protective shell or inserts.
All bodies are different, so choose pads that fit securely without restricting your movement. Nothing should slip or slide off when there is a series of unfortunate events. Tape should only be used to secure stray bits of velcro, not to hold your gear on. If the straps are flapping in the breeze, you need a smaller size. All pads will pack down a little with wear. This is normal, but bruising through your pads is not.
Wrist guards must have a hard shell that covers the palm area, or a hard front and back splint that immobilizes your wrist. Best way to protect your wrists and hands? Train yourself to "fall small" and lose the impulse to steady yourself with your hands.
The point of your elbow should point to the hard shell of the pad, and once the straps are secured it should stay in place even if someone tugs on it.
If you are new to skating and only invest in one thing, make it your knee pads. Your knee cap should point at the hard shell, and you should be able to move freely. When the straps are secured you should not be able to shift the pads around on your leg.
Wear and Tear
Most skaters should plan to replace their gear on a yearly basis. Obviously if you play every week and rock it out in the skate park, your gear will wear out faster than if you're doing an occasional roll around.
Dry out your gear after you skate. Your team mates will thank you, and your gear will last longer. When you wash it, use cold water and avoid putting them in the dryer.
Also, skating will change your body. If things are not fitting because you've built powerful muscles, celebrate by getting gear that fits so you can keep skating more!