Derby Gear

If you join the league you will need your own skates and safety equipment.   Below is a list of required equipment and some simple buying tips.

Mouth Guard:  Can be purchased at any sporting goods store.

Helmet:  Can be purchased at any skateboard shop.  Make sure it fits.  When strapped on it should not move up and down more than one inch.

Knee Pads, Elbow Pads and Wrist Guards:  It is best to buy these online.  Brand names like 187, Pro-Tec, Scabs, and MBS are all good.  Avoid Rollerblade brand or any knee pads that are rounded.  They should have an almost flat hard outer shell.

Optional:  Fishnets, crazy knee high socks, hot pants and war paint.

Quad Roller Skates:  This will depend on your budget.  If your budget is tight you can check eBay and Craigslist for used skates and gear.  Entry level skates such as Riedell R3's can be purchased for around $130.  However, anything below $200 are low quality and will probably need to be replaced after a season.  Good quality skates can last a lifetime.  Below are a list of things you should look for when buying quad skates.

Boots:  Unless you're vegan; boots should always be a high quality leather.   Man made material will not stretch and form to your feet properly.

Plates:  Plates should always be some type of light weight metal like a T6 Aluminum.  Most entry level skates will come with plastic or nylon plates which will often bend, twist and even brake under heavy use.  Plastic or nylon maybe fine for a lightweight beginner, but advance skaters and heaver skaters will need a quality metal plate.

Bearings:  Most skate packages come with ABEC rated bearings.   These should be replaced with a high quality skate bearing like Bones Reds.  eBay is a great place to buy replacement bearings.  Be sure to check if your axles are 7mm or 8mm before buying bearings. Skateboard bearings work just fine, but you will have to buy two sets of 8 to equal the 16 you need for quad skates.

Wheels:  Wheels will depend on the skating surface and your weight.  The heavier you are; the firmer the wheel can be and the higher the duro rating can be.  For indoor derby we recommend any wheel with a duro rating of 92A to 97A.  A few examples of quality indoor derby wheels are the Radar Tuner, Sure-Grip Fugitive, Sure-Grip Interceptor V-Drive, Atom Lowboy, Radar Devil Ray, Hyper Cannibal, Lebeda Stiletto and the new Radar Sting Ray.

If your looking to practice outdoors we recommend any wheel with a duro rating of 78A to 88A.  78A would be only for uneven asphalt, 80A to 85A for smoother outdoor concrete, and 85A to 88A for outdoor sport areas like tennis courts, basketball courts or outdoor hockey rinks.  A few examples of quality outdoor derby wheels are the Atom Centuri, Roll-Line Helium, or the Radar Villain.

Accessories:  We also recommend leather toe guards and waxed laces.  If you have any issues with blisters or your boot is rubbing on your ankles pick up a set of ezeefit ankle booties.

Toe Stops:  Snyder Mediums are the industry standard, however, many derby girls swear by Gumballs.  They are slightly heavier, but come in a long and short stem.  The Powerdyne stops (round and square) are also very good at just a fraction of the price.

Seasoned skaters will recommend buying the above parts separately and having them professionally assembled.  However, that is more expensive and time consuming.  So here is a list of a few recommended skate packages.

Sure-Grip Rebel Avenger DA45.  MSRP $240
Sure-Grip Rebel Avenger (Magnesium) DA45.  MSRP $300
Riedell 265 Wicked.  MSRP $419
Riedell Divine (Vegan).  MSRP $427
Riedell Black Widow.  MSRP $600
Antik AR1.  MSRP $629

When possible, "short forward" plate mounts are recommended over standard or sport mounts.   Avoid names like Carrera, Mach-5, Chicago Bullet, and other sub $200 skates. 

Brick and Mortar Shops:

Sin City Skates (San Diego) - 2775 Kurtz St., Suite 5, San Diego, CA 92110
Valley Skate and Surf (Northridge) - 16914 Parthenia St. Northridge, CA 91343
Wicked Skatewear (L.A.) - 2330 W. Third St., Ste. 1, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Square Cat Skates  (Hermosa Beach) - 1405 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Orange County Roller Skates (Santa Ana) - 1947 S Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92707
Moxi Roller Skates (Long Beach) - 2132 E. 4th St., Long Beach, CA 90814

Online Shops:

Fast Girl Skates - www.fastgirlskates.com
Back Street Inline - www.backstreetinline.com
Roller Girl Skates (Team gets 12% discount) - www.rollergirlskates.com
Wicked Skate Wear (Team gets 10% discount) - www.wickedskatewear.com
Low Priced Skates - www.lowpriceskates.com
DerbySMACK - www.derbysmack.com
Roller Derby Depot - www.rollerderbydepot.com

Care and Feeding

Once you get your skates and equipment home there are a few things you should know about keeping them in the best working order.

Boots:

Most high quality boots come with heat moldable counters.   Counters are the hard inner part of the heal.  You can get these counters warm with a heat gun or a couple of hair dryers and bend them to better fit your feet.  The leather can also be stretched for a better fit.  Put a leather conditioner like Lexol or Mink Oil on the outside of the boot and rub from the inside on any "hot spots" you may have.  These products also work well for cleaning.

Never leave your skates inside a closed bag or case after use.   Always open your skate bag and let them air dry or they will mildew.

Plates:

Your plates do not need much maintenance, but remember when you first get them the trucks will NOT be adjusted for skating.  They often tighten them down for shipping and you will need to adjust them to your liking.  If you are not sure how ask one of the refs for help.

Wheels:

When practicing outside your wheels will get very dirty, and should be cleaned after every practice.  A damp scrubby sponge and a dry rag is all you need.  Be sure to not get the bearings wet.  There is no need to remove the wheels, however, if you do remove your wheels for some reason be sure to not over tighten the lock nut that holds them on when you reinstall them.  There should be no drag when you spin your wheels and they should spin freely for at least 30 seconds when spun with your fingers.  If the lock nut is too tight it will create drag that will slow you down and damage the bearings. Lock nuts should also be replaced after every 10 or so wheel changes.

Bearings:

Bearings should be removed and cleaned every 6 to 12 months.   More frequently if you skate outdoors.  YouTube has many great videos describing how to remove and clean your bearings.  Skateboard bearings are removed and cleaned the same way as quad skate bearings.

Protective Gear:

Your pads will need to be cleaned from time to time to avoid odor.  Hand washing with soap and water is best as machine washing can damage the elastic.  Putting them in the freezer over night will also kill the germs and bacteria that causes the order.

 

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