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Join in the fun, play roller derby! No prior skating or roller derby experience required. We will teach you everything you need to know! Email info@alohacityrollers.com for more information.


Aloha City Rollers Roller Derby Equipment Recommendations
 

Skates
Quad skates are required (inline skates are NOT permitted). Quad skates are a low cut boot, which is more like a sneaker and allows the skater more mobility in their skates. The Reidell R3 skate is the most popular economically priced starter skate for roller derby athletes. You can get the stock Reidell R3 for about $120, they come with Radar Cayman wheels which are good starter wheels. Skates are sold in men’s sizes. You’ll want your skates to be snug and comfortable, with no extra room at the heel or the sides of your toe. There are a wide variety of quad speed skates on the market for roller derby with prices ranging up to about $1,000. It is best to start off with an economical pair when you are first training and as you advance in skill you can consider replacing them with a fancier model. But keep in mind, it is not the skates but the skater which makes the difference in the skills.

Wheels
Different wheels are better for different surfaces. The Radar Caymans that are stock wheels on many skates are 62MM 96A.The harder the wheels the faster you can go, the softer the wheels the grippier they are to the track. Popular wheels for cement track skating is Radar Flat Out 62MM 88A or Fugitive Sure Grip 62MM 88A. 62MM is the size and 88A is the hardness.  

Bearings
Bearings can make a difference in your speed. Each wheel uses 2 sets of bearings so your two skates use a total of 16 sets of bearings. Some bearings are sealed, some are open and get dirty faster. Sealed bearings are strongly recommended. Bearings need to be cleaned and lubed often to perform to their best ability. Bearings can be cleaned with WD40 or Carburetor cleaner. Some cleaners are flammable and irritating to you, read and follow safety guidelines. No water based cleaners or water should ever be used to clean bearings, it will rust them! 

Bushings
Bushings are cushioning in the truck of the skates, like shock absorbers, made from plastic, rubber or urethane. There are 4 bushings on each skate and they are easy to change out and inexpensive to replace. Most skates come with a medium density bushing. For better skate performance heavier skater may benefit from a harder bushing and petite skaters may benefit from softer bushings. There are "Hop Up" kits of bushings which are made to have an extra bit of "spring" to them to give the skater a little boost. 

Knee Pads
Since the safest and most frequent falling is to the knees it is a good investment to get quality knee pads. The 187 Pro Knee Pads are strongly recommended because of the thick foam padding and larger knee shield. Also recommended are 187 Killer Pro and Smith Scab Elite. Look for knee pads with replaceable caps. That way when you crack a cap just the cap can be replaced and not the entire knee pad.

Knee Gaskets
These provide extra cushioning that you wear beneath your knee pads. They reduce impact to your knees when falling and protect against knee pad slippage. Many of our skaters find this to be a critical and necessary part of protecting their knees.

Wrist Guards
For wrist guards Pro Designed, 187 Pros, Pro-Tec StreetPro-Tec Park or Triple 8 Street are acceptable.  Please note Triple 8 has an 8 ball line of pads which do not offer the protection needed during scrimmage and bouts.

Elbow Pads
Elbow pads can slip when you sweat. The Smith Scab Elite elbow pads have extended padding to reduce slippage and offer excellent protection. Also acceptable are 187 Pros, Pro-Tec StreetPro-Tec Park or Triple 8 Street. Please note Triple 8 has an 8 ball line of pads which do not offer the protection needed during scrimmage and bouts.

Toe Guards
Stopping and falling techniques require you to drag your skate toe which will wear it out if not protected. To protect the toe from wearing out plastic toe caps are easily attached to the front of the skate. The plastic toe caps last longer and offer better protection than leather toe guards. 

Laces
Laces tend to break often so you will need to carry extra pairs of laces 72-inches long.  Kevlar laces tend to withstand the slides and falls the best.

Mouthguard
Mouthguards come in many sizes. You want to find one that fits the shape of your mouth and is comfortable to wear. You need to be able to talk and drink water with it in and it not fall out while you are wearing it. We recommend Protech Dent SISU mouthguard which is thin but very strong. It offers excellent protection while not making your lips stick out.

Helmet
Skateboard helmets are what roller derby skaters wear. Try on different styles and pick what fits your head the best. Some helmets go down lower in the back offering extra spinal protection. Do take the time to make sure that you have a good fitting helmet. Your helmet should not wobble, twist or move forward or back. Bell helmets are recommended.

Bandana
Many skaters will wear a bandana on their head under their helmet. This helps to absorb and keep the sweat from running into your eyes while you skate.

Socks & Tights
Derby players often wear long socks and/or tights. This is to give added protection to the skin on the shins and thighs in the case of getting accidentally kicked in the shins or sliding on your thigh when falling.

Round Toe Stop vs. Square Stop
Your skates will most likely come with a square toe stop. Some people like this stop, some people find it twists too much providing inconsistent performance and can cause tripping. Some people prefer a thicker round toe stop which keeps the same shape even when it twists for a more reliable performance.

Skate Tool
Your skates will come with a basic skate tool but it is a good investment to get a skateboard tool kit. Some wheels are deeper than others and the basic skate tool will not work with them.

Cleaning and Skate Maintenance
When your wheels are dirty the bearings wear and do not perform to their capability. You will need to remove the bearings from the wheels to do a full bearing cleaning at least once a month if not once a week depending on how fast you want to be. Between cleanings, speed lube can be added to the bearings to maintain your wheel speed. 3 in 1 and other household oil lubricants will also work to keep your bearings lubed. WD40 can be used to clean but is not a good lubricant. Do not use grease. Clean non mechanical parts of your skates with mild soap and water. Do not let water sit in or on metal parts of your skates. Bearings need to be cleaned and lubed often to perform to their best ability. Bearings can be cleaned with WD40 or Carburetor cleaner. Some cleaners are flammable and irritating to you, read and follow safety guidelines. No water based cleaners or water should ever be used to clean bearings, it will rust them! 

Duct Tape
Duct tape is a derby players best friend. If your skates or protective padding start to wear holes you can do a repair with duct tape. Tape is also great for covering laces during bouts to ensure your laces won’t get scraped and break during the bout. A generous layer of duct tape is often added to the toe area of skates to help protect the boot from wearing a hole in it when the toe gets dragged on the ground. You can also add leather toe guards or plastic toe caps to your skates to help protect it. Walmart and Home Depot have a nice selection of duct tape.

Sports Drinks and Water
You will work hard at practice and bouts causing you to lose water and important electrolytes from your body. Try to drink 1-2 bottles of sports drink prior to going to practice or bouts to hydrate your body. Then bring sports drinks with you to practice and bouts to replenish your body. Water can also be used to rehydrate but water does not have the extra electrolytes of sports drinks. Per studies performed by the AmericanCollege of Athletics it is recommended to drink cold water or sports drinks when exercising as cold beverages are absorbed by the body more quickly than room temperature or warm beverages.

Keep the Stink Off Your Equipment
Lysol disinfectant spray is good to spray on equipment after each use. Equipment should also be allowed to air out after each use to dry off. Air dry them- do not use the dryer, the dryer will ruin them. 
Use Efferdent or other denture cleaner to clean your mouth guard.

Washing Your Gear
If your elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards get too stinky they can be washed. It is safe to wash them in your washing machine with laundry detergent. You can also hand wash them in the sink with detergent. Vinegar, baking soda, or Pinesol can be added along with the laundry detergent for extra help with odor removal.
DO NOT USE THE DRYER! Air dry your pads after washing them. It usually takes 1-2 days to fully dry. 

Do NOT Store Your Gear In Your Car
Your car and it's trunk can get very hot. If you leave your gear in your car for an extended period of time it can cause the glue holding your skates together to become soft and when you wear them the boot will come off the plate making them unusable. It is best to store your gear in your home or garage where it will not be exposed to excessive temperatures. You should also air out your gear after each use to avoid accelerated deterioration and help cut down on the stink. The grommets on your skates and pads will rust due to your sweat, airing them out will help prolong the life of your gear.

Where to get Roller Derby Skates and Gear
On Oahu the Bike Factory in Waipahu & Honolulu usually carries safety gear. Any store that sells skate board equipment may have roller derby quality pads, helmets, and wrist guards in stock. Sports Authority has pads and helmets but do not purchase skates there.

Some of the MANY online store that sell derby skates and gear:
www.wickedkatewear.com use coupon code ALOHACITYROLLERS FOR 10% off order
www.derbywarehouse.com
www.rollergirlskates.com
www.rollerskatenation.com
www.fastgirlskates.com
www.lowpriceskates.com
www.rollerderbydepot.com
www.squarecatskates.com
www.derbysmack.com
www.skatesemporium.com

Ebay and Craigslist are great places to look for gear hardly used by people who tried derby but didn't stick with it.

There is a Facebook group called Roller Derby Recyclables where derby people post up stuff they want to sell at www.facebook.com/groups.255019874522491/

 

Click here for more information on how you can join Aloha City Rollers!