There are tons of online shops you can purchase your gear from, with more and more derby specific ones popping up all the time. We’re more than happy to point you in the right direction but remember that everyone is different and if you’re able to, it’s a great idea to try on various bits of kit before you buy.
Good advice about protection and skates can be found at www.skates.co.uk and Double Threat Skates. Both are run by skaters, can supply everything you need, and are happy to talk to you about the best options available to you.
This is the basic equipment that you will need when you start.
We use quad roller skates, and you can start with beginner skates, such as Riedell R3s and SureGrip GT50s. Eventually, you may want to progress to skates that have been made to measure.
- To skate derby you need to have some ankle movement and flexibility, so ankle cut quads or trainer-style skates are ideal
- Tall, plastic skates are not suitable for roller derby
- Suitable starter skates can be obtained at Division 24 or from plenty of retailers online
Wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads are essential roller derby equipment and you will not be able to join in practice unless you have appropriate safety gear. Here are some tips for your starter pads.
- Look for aggressive skate pads, with thick pads and good decent straps / leg sleeve
- Anarchy and TSG are well-priced starter brands available in most skate shops (such as Division 24). You will need to upgrade eventually to pads that offer more protection and last longer, such as 187’s, Smiths Scabs, or TSG
- Wrist guards need full palm to wrist protection
- Some people recommend wearing knee gaskets under your skate pads, for extra protection.
You will need a well-fitting skate helmet before you will be able to join. Follow manufacturers guidelines on how best to size your helmet. Riding helmets are not ideal for roller derby.
- Ensure the helmet has a chin strap and good lower protection for the back of the head
- Helmets will cost around £15-£35. S1, TSG, Nutcase and Protec are some of the brands which derby skaters use.
These can be bought at most sports and martial arts shops.
Boil and bite ones are fine to start with. These mould to your own mouth shape. However, some skaters visit a dentist to have one specially fit for better protection. These ones will come at a cost, though!
Sisu is one popular brand that we use and are available from plenty of stockists online.
We recommend that you research sports insurance for roller derby, as we do not provide cover as a league. The league cannot be held responsible for any injuries you may incur.
Tailbone / Hip Protection
These are shorts with additional padding and are optional, but if you feel like you might want more protection, they’re a great option. Some bicycle shops stock them, or you can try online roller derby stores.
- Various short styles are available. You may want the shorter hotpants to wear under your uniform, or longer bicycle shorts to cover your thighs more
- McDavids, Azzpadz and Crashpads are some brands that roller derby folk use
Not required as a starter, but something to consider when you get involved in contact practice and bouting. These are generally bras with added shell protection in the cups. Turtleshell is one brand that is commonly used.