The holidays are nearly here and that means three things: a much-needed off-season break, an abundance of festive gatherings, and the time to prep for the 2017 roller derby season. While there’s no way for us here at Derby Central to mention every awesome bit of derby gear, apparel, or collectibles out there, here are some suggestions from Disaster Chief to start skaters off on the right foot next year.
Bont skates are more affordable now with the release of the Bont Quadstar. The Quadstar boot has a leather upper, fiberglass sole, and is fully heat moldable. The full skate package comes loaded with Bont’s fiberglass reinforced Ignition plate and the skater’s choice of the Ballistic or FX1 wheel. Bont also offers a USA edition of the Quadstar in a Red, White, and Blue color scheme.
Another notable skate package available this holiday season is the Mota Black Magic. This top of the line package from Mota includes their Mojo Silver or Carbon boot, Boss plate, and Monster stoppers. Skaters can also upgrade their skate package to include clip axles and Mota’s TKO wheels.
For those who want to adventure outside of the flat track, Chicks in Bowls offers their custom Street Rollerskates. The Street skate package replaces the traditional skate boot with a pair of classic Vans sneakers and adds CIB’s extended skate trucks, sliders, and wheels.
The Sure Grip Avanti and Avenger plates are both solid choices for skaters of all skills levels. Skaters have the option of Aluminum or Magnesium for each plate and those who are looking to hit up the skate park can add Sure Grip’s grind blocks for a super flexible and relatively easy to maintain setup.
For those who are interested in super light setup, there’s the Arius Platinum plate, which is Powerdyne’s top of the line offering and functions like no other plate on the market today. The Arius replaces the traditional kingpin setup of most skate plates with a progressive lateral design that increases agility while also maintaining stability. The butterfly cushions take the guesswork out of plate adjustment and a couple of extra updates to the Arius Platinum make it more durable than its predecessor.
Wheel choice will always be very subjective amongst derby skaters and with so many unique options available, most skaters will have a couple of sets in their collection to account for different skating surfaces. The Reckless Morph wheel combines different durometer compounds in a single wheel to provide skaters a two in one combination of slip and grip. Reckless also offers the Morph Solo for those who prefer the performance of a single durometer wheel.
The Radar Halo Wheel has uniquely designed hub which allows for less urethane at the edges of the wheel for controlled grip and power while providing more urethane in the center for speed.
There are dozens of viable and reliable options for toe stops available right now. The GrnMnstr Gumball Superball combines a large footprint with a dual durometer design to provide a balance of grip, stability, and longevity.
For those who prefer a stiffer feel, there are the Bionic Bigfoot and Bionic Super Stoppers from Atom Wheels. The Bionic Super Stopper has a 45mm footprint and a flat profile for no break-in time. The Bigfoot has a large 59mm footprint and rear cutaways to allow for wheel clearance.
Another solid option for skaters who prefer a bit more rebound from their toe stops is the Crazy Big Bloc or the Lil Bloc. Both stops are made from a natural rubber compound and come in 57mm and 45mm footprints.
With head injuries becoming more of a concern, every skater needs a solid helmet to protect their noggin. The S1 Lifer helmet is made with high impact EPC foam that is dual certified for multiple minor impacts and a single major impact. The S1 Lifer Visor is redesigned this year with a cover catcher to allow for easy application of helmet covers during gameplay and an in-mold mounting system to allow for easy face shield removal and replacement.
Bauer helmets have been keeping the heads of hockey players safe for decades and are becoming increasingly more common in the roller derby community. The Bauer RE-AKT 75 combines Bauer’s XRD foam for temple protection, suspended helmet liner to counter rotational impact, and tool-less adjustment system to provide the optimal fit for skaters.
One of the most important pieces of protective gear for skaters of all skills levels is a good set of knee pads. The Pro Derby knee pads by 187 have been a staple of the derby community for a couple of years now. The butterfly design makes the pads super easy to put on and take off. The knee cap on the Pro Derby pads is not only easily replaceable but also comes in a variety of colors. When cleaning time rolls around, the Pro Derby pads can be easily disassembled and washed.
S1 has ventured further into the realm of protective gear with the release of their Pro Knee Pads. The S1 Pro has a replaceable knee cap, ballistic nylon construction, and a layer of memory foam for comfort.
Lugging gear around can be a bit of a pain but there are plenty of great options out there for skaters. The Mota XL backpack has a massive main compartment to comfortably carry all the gear you would need for a day on the flat track. Skates can be strapped to the outside of the pack to save space in the main compartment and there is even a separate vented pocket at the bottom of the bag to keep sweat-soaked jerseys away from the rest of your protective gear.
Wheel bags are not only useful to store extra sets of wheels, but they can also be used to store tools or spare parts. Crazy, Radar, and Atom each have their own uniquely styled wheel bags to choose from.
While skates, protective gear, and gear bags are obvious choices for next season, every derby skater could use a couple of extra accessories here and there. To keep skates from taking any extra wear and tear, Derby Vixen toe guards offer a solid combination of protection and style to suit nearly anyone. For anyone that wants a bit of extra protection for themselves, shin guards from ArmourFlex or hips pads from Steaks would be a great choice. Derby Famous and Spank Alley each make custom armbands to end the need for sharpies altogether.
To help make maintenance easier, every skater could use a solid set of tools. The Powerdyne Y4 tool has everything most skaters need to remove their wheels, adjust their trucks, and lock down their toe stops. The Moxi Versa tool is a great stocking stuff that will allow skaters to change their wheels on the go. The Bones Bearing Tool is another useful tool to keep around to make changing wheels and cleaning bearings much easier.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a super comfortable t-shirt that comes in a great shade of blue, you should purchase one of our Derby Central shirts! For just $20 you can look stylish and help support roller derby coverage. Sizes are currently limited. If you’re interested, shoot us a message and we’ll hook you up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this list will give you all a good starting point for gear options to look into for the new year. While these may work for some skaters, be sure to do your own research to see what will work best for you. Let us know in the comments below what gear and equipment you will be using on the track next year.