I know I’m not a Team USA skater. I’m not sponsored by anyone, so I get to choose my own gear. I’m starting my 7th season here in 2013 so I’ve had a few years to work things out. I’m a big skater. Yes, I’m in the 200# club (for my European fans, I’m more than 15 stone). I also have a knock knee (right). I’m unique, but I also have issues that a lot of other skaters face. Here’s what I wear:
I’ve been wearing Riedell 695 boots on a Powerdyne Reactor plates since December 2007 (my 2nd pair of derby skates). I’m very grateful for all the vendors who come to all the events I attend and tried on a lot of boots. I loved my 695s, but the last pair were wearing out the leather liners from years of skating. I tried on other Riedell models, I considered every other model I tried but I wanted a non-Chinese boot and Riedell was what worked (Bont doesn’t come to derby stuff yet). I ended up staying with my same boots this time around. Many years ago I picked up a pair of skates on eBay with old 45 degree single-action Sure Grips and I loved them. They are too big and really long, but I liked how they skated and wanted to try a 45 degree modern plate. I’ve been through many kinds of pads, helmets, and optional gear. Here’s a detailed list.
- Boot: Custom Color Lab Riedell 695 in black and red suede and fleece tongue size 8
- Plate: Avenger Magnesium Roller Derby Skate Plate agility mount
- Wheels: Radar Diamond Red Derby Wheels
I’ve been on Diamonds for a few years. Usually I like something harder. These are sticky at all hardness levels. Harder doesn’t flatten under my weight and the aluminum hubs provide good edges and support.
- Bearings: Bones Red
- Toe Stops: Crazy Little Blocs
- Inserts: Superfeet Green Premium Insoles
- Laces: wide laces bought/won 4 years ago
- Purchased from and mounting by Sin City Skates
- Triple 8 Brainsaver
matte black with red liner
- Adorned with real raccoon tail from Mahican Moccasin, Pownal, VT
Knee Pads: 187 Killer Pro Knee Pads I’ve worn a lot of different pads. Even started with crappy, thin Triple 8s. These simply provide the best protection for me.
Elbow Pads: 187 Killer Elbow Pads I used to think elbow pads were something I could skimp on. One fall that rammed them into my elbow after 4 years let me know that was a bad idea. Don’t skimp on protecting your joints!!!
Wrist Guards: Triple 8 Hired Hands I’ve been through at least 4 pair – love the finger protection and full support. They’re a tad warm in the warmer months, but they can’t be beat. I removed the back stay as it isn’t a good protector for derby falls. Often I’ll wear a wrist sweat band over my right wrist for wiping sweat off my face.
Mouth Guard: SISU Mouth Guard (Protech Dent Derby Skate Mouthguards) In the past I’ve had custom mouth guards made by a dentist. SISU is easy to use and inexpensive for good protection. If you get knocked in the lips, though, you’ll probably get cut.
Knee Braces: Mueller Hg80 Knee Brace I have worn two ever since my knee surgery. They’re thin enough to fit comfortably under pads and don’t bulk up my knees. They are made of an advanced wicking material instead of neoprene, so they don’t bunch or overheat my legs. They’re double hinged in the side braces so they provide amazing lateral support while allowing complete bending freedom.
Butt Pads: Triple 8 Roller Derby Bum Savers I love the removable padding. I’ve taken the padding out of the front so I get padding only where I need it. When I moved to a league that bouted primarily on concrete, this was a must.
Rib Padding: Adams Football Wear 5-Piece Pad Compression Shirt Flac Jacket While I tore my MCL and meniscus and required knee surgery, the two injuries which cause me the most missed bouts and practices – even more than knee surgery – were broken ribs. I love the protection I get from these when I make full body hits. The pads come out for washing. The confidence booster alone is worth the small price. It does add 15 lbs to my look, but we derby peeps are more about protection than pretty.
The Mask: Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel EyelinerYes. My derby makeup is called “Lasting Drama.” But it’s awesome in that it doesn’t run when I sweat. It does require alcohol to remove. Some times I freak people out at stores after bouts but I usually try to pack a pair of sunglasses to wear over it. Unfortunately sunglasses at night have other complications.