We've all seen the brand new skater who walks in with a pair of $700 skates and the top of the line everything, only to quit 3 weeks later. Back when I rock climbed we called people like this "Gold Card Climbers." They would have all top of the most expensive equipment, then barely know how to tie a figure 8 follow through and didn't care to learn more about the sport. They just wanted to look good and show off their ability to swipe a card through a slot more than clipping into a carabiner while lead climbing. Now I'm not saying that anyone who goes out and buys the best gear before strapping on skates for the first time isn't going to last, but when I see a person do this then quit soon after it makes me sad. It also shows me that it isn't necessarily the gear that makes the skater; great skaters can take what they are given and make the most of it. That being said, let's look at some gear that is really worth the extra dough and some that can save you money and not affect your safety or skating skills.
|S-One Helmets Before Flying Off the Shelves...gotta get them when you can!|
|The Last Mouthguard You'll Ever Need|
|Silicone Strips Make All the Difference|
|T8RD-Snug and Protective|
|Atom Palms are Airy and a Huge Bargain|
|Smith Scabs Really Deliver|
|Finally a Knee Pad Just for Us!|
The last knee pads I'd like to talk about are the Atom Elite ones. They are not for beginners; however, there is good news! Not only is Atom coming out with new elbow pads, but knee pads as well and they look sick. They will have the more common butterfly strapping system instead of having to pull them on like a gasket. I can't wait to try them out!
Skates are so diverse that I can't really just point to one and say here is the end all be all of roller skates. This is where you will have to do some reasearch, get to know your body, and try on a ton of boots to see what is going to work for you. I will say that getting a pair of $30 skates from Sports Authority is pretty much throwing your money away. I would rather see someone cut out some circles to tape to their sneakers and run around the track like that until they save enough moolah to get a decent pair of starter skates (usually in the $200 range).
|Tons of S-One helmets, Smith Scabs knees, SISU mouthguards, and Atom wrist guards for these Ragnarok Rollers!|
For my closing statement, I would just like to give a shout out to the companies who are dedicated to bringing us equipment specifically designed for what we do and who we are. Companies like Atom, Crazy Skates, and GrnMnstr are all about Roller Derby, and others like Riedell, The 187, and Triple 8 have evolved some of their products to fit our needs. When you are ready to drop some dough on new equipment, try to purchase gear from a company that is supporting Roller Derby so they can continue to bring us amazing products to protect our fragile parts while not hindering performance.