Before I knew anything about derby I thought skates came stock standard and you didn't change anything on them. In other words I knew NOTHING.
I now know that you change everything on skates from the wheels to the cushions and rarely do you leave a skate standard. I know I've changed my toe stops, bearings and occasionally wheels. I'd like to also change my cushions with a softer on the bottom keeping my mediums on top. That's until I can afford new skates.
This post I'll talk about what I have. In another post I'll talk about what I wish I had or what I'll have when I'm bout ready.
I bought my skates based on the best I could get for what I could afford. I ended up with Suregrip Rebels with Invader plates
|Mine don't have that bar between the trucks|
On the weekend I attended the Getsome Athletics Camp
where the owner of Fast Girl Skates
, La Petite Mort, ran an equipment class. What a privilege it was to learn from someone with such a vast knowledge of derby equipment. The Invader plate is a 45 degree plate (the trucks are at 45 degrees) which is good for agility but not so much balance. My balance has always sucked so this may not be the best plate for me but learning on these could possibly be the best thing for me as it makes my balance better in the long run. Perhaps. We also discovered one of my trucks was missing a washer so it kept coming loose. Finding a replacement washer should not be as hard as it's been!
I'm pretty happy with the Fugitive wheels that came with the skate although I do feel they stick out a bit when skating in a pack. I tried the mister's Bruisers but they gripped too much for my liking, I like to slide out a bit. When outdoors I have cheap $80 wheels that do the job fine.
I use Bones Reds bearings. They're the best for the price (around $50) and I love them. I noticed a huge difference when I changed my bearings. It probably wasn't the wisest to change them just before my assessment but they're not the reason I failed. That would've be my balance and inability to skate well.
|Bones Reds bearings|
I LOVE my Gum Ball toe stops. They are so wonderful! I do think I'll try Roll Line ones next time just for something different but my Gum Balls are my favourite things on my skates.
|Gum Ball toe stops|
The first couple of times I skated at rec league I used borrowed knee pads from the rink. Bad idea. My knees are just not the same so I invested in some knee gaskets. They have helped so much and now my knees don't ache after each session. I wish I'd gotten them from the start to prevent damage earlier.
I use 187 elbow pads. My elbow pads are a tad too small and cut off circulation so I'd love to go a size up but I really don't want to spend the extra dollars on something boring like elbow pads. I've gotten used to them being tight and they're slowly stretching so they'll do for now.
I started out with 187 knee pads. The knee pads are chunky and don't quite fit right over my gaskets so I've given them to the mister to wear. They're like pillows when falling on them which is pretty wonderful. My new TSGs are smaller and have less padding but the padding hugs your kneecap unlike the 187s. They feel comfier, tighter and easier to crossover with. Not quite like pillows but pretty close!
|TSG and old 187 knee pads |
My K2 Celena wrist guards are awesome but I would love to find ones that could save my thumbs as well. I've hurt both my thumbs on separate occasions and it's annoying! Putting pants on becomes that little bit harder with sore thumbs. I don't even know if you can get wrist guards that protect your thumbs but if you can I want them!
Mouth guards are always a hot topic with so many different opinions. I don't know much about them but I do know that the $2 ones aren't the best to use so I bought Protech Dent mouth guards. La Petit Mort was telling us that they're going to do them a bit thicker which will protect better so I'll be buying them as soon as they hit the shelves. Maybe white or black next time. Pink looks a tad weird.
|Protech Mouth guards come in pretty colours.|
Lastly you have to protect your head. I chose to go with a helmet that can be used on a bike as well. Why not? If I decide to get on a bike then I'll at least have the headgear plus they must protect pretty well which is always a bonus.
|TSG one hit helmet|
So that's my gear. I love some and like the rest. The only thing I would change is the sizing of some of my gear. We decided to spend a little more on certain things (knee pads, mouth guards, gaskets for example) so they would last. I'm so glad we did because it looks like this derby thing is more than just a phase.
|Tongue is always out!|