Equipment lessons from a Newbie for a Newer-bie

Pretty much everyone I talk to will have learned that I love roller derby but I despise my skates.  If you take note of the points I mention I hope you will be able to say ‘I love roller derby’ without the ‘…but…’

I’m currently skating on Stingray RD.The RD stands for Roller Derby, and I quote from the product description: ‘’this quad has been designed especially for the sport of Roller Derby.‘’ Surprisingly it doesn’t stand for Ridiculously Dysfunctional, meaning designed especially to piss me off.  Ok, I might be over reacting; these skates might be ok for someone, just not me. The main issue with them is they lack support, and even though they are technically my size, they are too big. Not to mention they weigh a TON! (Exaggerating again)

I found these skates via the Facebook group ‘roller derby recyclables’. I was drawn to them because they were cheap and the seller lived nearby so I could try them on and pick them up myself. Looking back those were probably the only selling points for me. I was too excited about buying a pair of my very own skates to put any more thought into it. I carried on wearing them anyway. Possibly punishing myself for being so blatantly careless (I might need therapy) but mostly because I was saving up for BONT boots.  I figured why upgrade to a medium-good pair if I could put that money towards the best pair? These skate boots are what my head coach highly recommends. Also my other coach and my captain wear them too! They’re fully customisable to my wide duck-like feet, made of carbon fibre and are super-duper sexy. When these boots come in the post I’m going to give them a great big cuddle…. I might even cry a little (again I might need therapy).

I have an empty coffee jar on my window sill that I put my spare coins in. It has been filling up fast. I find myself buying small items with large notes just so I have more coins. I also do the washing more often so I can donate whatever coins my husband has left in his jeans – laundry tax :).  Because once I’ve got the boots I still need to buy plates, wheels, protective gear etc… My current pads are LADDERING….like TIGHTS. What’s up with that!? They were another cheap buy at £20 for the whole lot.

So here are my golden rules that, in my opinion, are the main things you need to remember when buying new stuff:

  • #1 Don’t be rash – If you’re anything like me, you want everything now. But it’s in your best interest to sleep on it.
  • #2 Take advice – Don’t assume you know what’s best. There’s not enough time in your life to try everything and make an educated decision. Ask your coaches, other skaters and forums online.
  • #3 Save your money – Equipment is expensive. Try not to buy stuff that doesn’t deserve your hard earned dosh. Weigh up your priorities; any number of hot pants won’t get you properly kitted out.

Granted, as a new skater you will want to get kitted out as quickly as possible, but if I knew then what I know now I think I would have made better choices.  I’m suggesting you do too…y’know…if you want to.

Shock & Awedrey