Whether you're thinking about joining roller derby or you've just signed on to play, there's so much gear to get your head around!
It's like another world and a whole new language.
And just like any sport there's gear for beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters.
Here's the most popular must-have upgrades for beginner derby players as voted by us.
1. SISU Mouthguard
To play derby you're going to need a lot of protective gear - including a mouth guard (sometimes referred to as a gum shield).
Mouth guards can be very uncomfortable for newbies who aren't used to wearing a mouth guard while attempting to breathe and talk.
Chunky mouthguards and many chemist brand "boil and bite" mouthguards are an absolute nightmare to wear and can cause you to choke or gag.
The Sisu mouth guard is our favourite because it's super lightweight while still being protective.
You can talk, breathe and drink with it still in and it doesn't cause you to drool uncontrollably.
2. Toe Stops
To play derby you need skates with an adjustable toe stop so that you can set your toe stop at the right height.
You will be using your toe stops a lot so investing in the right size and shape is important.
Most people prefer a long stem for derby.
3. Knee Pads
There's a lot of hitting and falling in roller derby and as a result controlled falls are drilled quite early.
This ensures that skaters know how to fall safely and properly (and avoid just splatting uncontrollably).
Knee taps and knee falls are a basic skill that is taught early on which means falling to a knee or to a double knee, then getting up and going again.
As you can imagine, this can be hard on your poor knees.
Investing in a good set of knee pads is a must.
You can also invest in knee gaskets that sit underneath your knee pads for extra padding.
4. Toe Guards
While you're doing all these fancy new moves and falls, your skates are going to be getting a workout.
The first thing that happens when you go to knee tap is the toe of your skate hits the floor.
For this reason you should invest in some toe guards because if you don't, you risk wearing a hole thru your skates.
Toe guards can be either a strip of leather/vinyl that covers the toe of your skate or more of a cap/snout that covers more of the toe and the sides of your boot.
They fit under the toe stop and then you lace them into the boot.
Many beginner derby skates come complete with hard cushions which is great for stability but not helpful for agility.
When it comes to basic derby skills like weaving and c-curving you might start to feel a bit stuck.
If you've loosened off your trucks and you're still after more movement it's time to get softer cushions such as a Medium or Soft.
Different skates take different cushions, check compatibility first.
Future Derby You
Like any sport, the gear you start in will take you to a point and then you'll most likely want to upgrade.
Because derby is a full contact sport, some upgrades will take place because of wear and tear and some because of skill progression.
As you progress you'll most likely upgrade other things like wheels and bearings and eventually skates.
Everyone is different and you'll learn what gear is best for you as you go.
You don't have to have the best gear to be the best player, but having good gear for the job is super helpful.