WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Need advice on what skates and pads to buy? Upgraded your skates/pads/wheels and want to sell the old ones? Want to let the new girls know they can borrow your sweaty old kneepads? This is the place.

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Fox Sake
Posts: 9974
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:32 pm
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Location: behind you.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Fox Sake »

Original post from 2007! Edited 2018:

So you're thinking about joining the rec league. Awesome! Here's a quick breakdown of what you will need to get started in derby.

SKATES
You want quad skates. Two wheels in front, two wheels behind (not blades!). You can pick up a half decent pair of starter skates from Argos or skate shops or ebay for less than £50 which will do you for your first taste of skating. You probably shouldn't spend any more than that unless you want to dive straight in with a pair of (sexy leather, or manmade for vegans) derby skates. There are lots of brands to consider, the most popular being Riedell, Bont, and Chaya. They'll set you back £100-£200, but oh they're worth it. You can buy skates and complete starter packages from our lovely friends at Double Threat Skates. You can also sometimes pick up a vintage/used pair for cheap on eBay or on a Facebook group called Roller Derby Recyclables. Seek advice from Double Threat if you're unsure - you don't want to spend extra cash on crappy brands that look the part but aren't really worth it. Don't buy the hard plastic skates that come halfway up your shins (Bauers etc), they can cause nasty injuries. You will probably want to upgrade your skate wheels quite soon if you buy starter skates as the wheels they come with are usually small outdoor (soft) wheels and not very suitable for derby, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. Worry about getting your skate legs outside in the park first.

HELMET
Any skate or skateboard helmet is fine. Bike helmets are not (but you can use your skate helmet as a bike helmet!) Probably £25-£50.

WRISTGUARDS/ELBOW PADS/KNEEPADS
You need 'aggressive' or 'vert' skate pads. As thick and padded as you can get. We fall, we fall a lot, and we fall hard. Your knees will thank you. Anarchy or TSG brand pads are probably the best starter pads widely available in the UK, you want the type with the full neoprene sleeve that goes right round your arm/leg. The Anarchy triple-pack is NOT the right type. Look on Ebay or skate shops. It's a good idea to try them on so you can get a snug fit (loose pads slip and will do you no good). If you can afford better kneepads right off (TSGs, Smith Scabs, S1 pads, ProDesigned) then go for it as the cheaper pads will wear out quickly and a couple of our skaters have suffered knee problems from repeated falling on worn out pads. You can also get gaskets, which are padded sleeves that go under your kneepads. These can help boost the Anarchy pads to a better standard, and some also have metal inserts to prevent your knees twisting sideways. Again, speak to our expert pals at Double Threat Skates for advice and starter packs.

MOUTHGUARD
A basic boil-and-bite will cost about £5 from sports shops and martial arts shops. A decent SISU allows you to talk, drink, and breathe (!) with your mouthguard in but is more like £25.

If you want specific advice/recommendations/have found a bargain on ebay and want to check it's kosher, post in this forum and we'll do what we can to help you. See you at practice!

Fiery_Ice
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:41 pm
Location: London

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Fiery_Ice »

Hello everyone,

I just joined the forum and I think I may be suffering from information overload! I have read about wheel specs and different grips for surfaces and my mind is BOGGLING.

Ok, here's my issue; I have never, EVER skated before and I would really love to get some practice in before May (rec).

1. Would I need different wheels for skating outside and inside (i.e. parks and roller discos)?
2. What kinds? (Do I need to know all the wheels specs for now?)
3. Once I get on skates, what should I work on and how? (Stance, speed, stamina, etc?)

THANKS!
I skate on my ass

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Erin No Bragh
Posts: 1001
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Kent

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Erin No Bragh »

Fiery_Ice wrote:Hello everyone,

I just joined the forum and I think I may be suffering from information overload! I have read about wheel specs and different grips for surfaces and my mind is BOGGLING.

Ok, here's my issue; I have never, EVER skated before and I would really love to get some practice in before May (rec).

1. Would I need different wheels for skating outside and inside (i.e. parks and roller discos)?
2. What kinds? (Do I need to know all the wheels specs for now?)
3. Once I get on skates, what should I work on and how? (Stance, speed, stamina, etc?)

THANKS!
1. In general, yes. If you've read our wheel thread by Auntie Terror you'll see there are hybrids, such as Sugars, which can be used both indoors and outdoors. If going from out to in, it's good to make sure they're clean to protect the floor surface.

2. It's kind of down to personal preference. When I first started, I got a cheap set of outdoor wheels on ebay and upgraded my indoor wheels by buying some from another skater.

3. I should probably let someone else answer this more fully, but in general it's good to work on skating low by bending your knees and engaging your core (ab) muscles. Stamina is always good. Balance too - see if you can glide on one skate. Staying low helps!

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Ena Flash
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 11:13 am
Location: London

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Ena Flash »

Learning how to stop is important as well as all the things Erin's posted. Especially as you're really starting out fresh from the get go. T-stop, derby stop, plow stop. There should be some examples of these on YouTube. Happy skating! :)

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Nana
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:34 pm
Location: South Wimbledon

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Nana »

Hey guys,

just joined the forum, and it's lovely that there is so much advice flying around!! I am feeling quite nervous about bootcamp though, and having the right stuff!!

I've got a pair of Anarchy derby skates, but the wheels feel massive (62mm)!! Are these ok???
Any helmet advice also very welcome!! I really am feeling overwhelmed!!

Nana*

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Fox Sake
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:32 pm
Team: Steam Rollers
Location: behind you.

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Fox Sake »

62mm is standard size for derby wheels. Panic ye not.

For helmets, a lot of us like the Triple 8 skateboard helmets, or the Nutcase bike helmets. http://www.skatehut.co.uk/acatalog/triple8_helmet.html, for example.
#04 Fox Sake

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"Do what you want and live with the consequences." -- Alice Munro

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Nana
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:34 pm
Location: South Wimbledon

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Nana »

Fox Sake wrote:62mm is standard size for derby wheels. Panic ye not.

For helmets, a lot of us like the Triple 8 skateboard helmets, or the Nutcase bike helmets. http://www.skatehut.co.uk/acatalog/triple8_helmet.html, for example.
Thank you!!

Super new to everything it feels!! The advice and response on the forum is greaqt though!!

Thanks again!
Nana*

disposable hero
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:53 pm

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by disposable hero »

Hi everyone,

So I'm sure you're the MOST tired of these kind of questions, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

I've not wobbled around on a set of wheels for about 15 years, and have zilch equipment. I really want to give it a go, but don't want to go out and spend £££££ and then find out I'm useless!

I've read through many of the posts on here about the importance of knee pads and good wheels / bearings above all else, but just wanted to get some opinions as to where to begin.

Even if I buy the cheapest skates, helmet, etc - looking at the recommended wheels / bearings / pads for newbies, it still looks like an initial spend of around £200. (The wheels and bearings alone come to around £100?) Is this the case, or is there any way around this until I've discovered whether I can move, let alone come to a tryout?

Thanks a bundle in advance for reading my paranoid ramblings :)

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Raw Heidi
Posts: 10658
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:19 pm

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Raw Heidi »

You don't have to start on super snazzy kit with atom wheels and bones bearings, you can start on a £30 pair of skates to find out if it's something you're passionate about. Even better ask if someone who has upgraded can lend you their old starter skates or sell them to you. Same with kit. I've been borrowing kit since day one and that was about 4 years ago. You might not get everything you want and you might have to traipse around London to pick stuff up but it'll mean less initial spend.
Raw Heidi.357
Doesn't even go here, Meeja Whore, Professional Badass, Your Mum's favourite, She/Her.
Kitty DeCapitate wrote:Ok, Raw, you are right about this! You're the most sensible person in LRG :heart1:

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Olivia Coupe
Posts: 3193
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Land of the long grey cloud.

Re: WHAT YOU WILL NEED!

Post by Olivia Coupe »

disposable hero wrote:Hi everyone,

So I'm sure you're the MOST tired of these kind of questions, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

I've not wobbled around on a set of wheels for about 15 years, and have zilch equipment. I really want to give it a go, but don't want to go out and spend £££££ and then find out I'm useless!

I've read through many of the posts on here about the importance of knee pads and good wheels / bearings above all else, but just wanted to get some opinions as to where to begin.

Even if I buy the cheapest skates, helmet, etc - looking at the recommended wheels / bearings / pads for newbies, it still looks like an initial spend of around £200. (The wheels and bearings alone come to around £100?) Is this the case, or is there any way around this until I've discovered whether I can move, let alone come to a tryout?

Thanks a bundle in advance for reading my paranoid ramblings :)
To be honest you have to take a risk with derby because there is no cheap option - don't think "will I be good?" the more important question is "do I really want to play this sport?"

If you train hard enough you will learn to skate well in about 3-6 months, it's just like learning any other sport/skill, it just takes practice! But the biggie is whether you have the determination and drive to stick with those initial few months of sucking while you're learning.

Oh and the shameless salesperson I am - I have a good pair of 265 reidells for sale with bearings and wheels for £100, size 6 skate.
Olivia Coupe #51
London Brawling / WFTDA Rep / Coach
Poison Arrow wrote:whatever Liv - we know you're emo!

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