As the original International HAMster (with Hit & Miss Mag – Australia’s number one roller derby magazine), I have done my fair share of jet setting in the name of roller derby.
While it comes with some caveats (as every skater and the reasons we take our skates anywhere might be different) here is my checklist for what to pack for your next derby adventure!
This might seem obvious, but roller skates cannot be taken in hand luggage for domestic flights in Australia (at least, not without a lot of protest which is more trouble than it’s worth imo) so make sure they are safely stored away in your checked luggage.
And don't forget to give your skates a quick service before you go and replace any parts that look like they might be wearing out.
There’s nothing worse than snapping something unexpected on a foreign track and having to bench yourself for something preventable.
I recommend taking a variety of wheels in different hardnesses so that if you find yourself on an unfamiliar surface you won’t be sliding around or stuck like glue because your standard wheel set-up isn’t appropriate.
Not being able to skate how you normally do can really mess with your mental game so make sure you’re prepared for all possibilities!
Like skates, these can’t be taken as carry on, so if you’re using your skate bag as hand luggage make sure you purge it of all non-TSA approved stuff.
This includes most tapes so if in doubt – check it!
Whether it’s a team uniform for games you’re gonna play, shirts to rep your league or skate gang, or your best ‘uniform’ for outdoor or ramp skating, make sure it’s washed (or not, if that’s your thing) and ready to go.
Imagine your dismay when you are gearing up for an after party without a party vest! Tragedy!
5. Rehab/Relaxation Items!
If you’re gonna be skating a lot, chances are you’re going to be tired at the end of each day, and that means you might not be doing your sickest tricks by day three (or longer).
Bring whatever items you need to rejuvenate your body and recover as quickly as possible – spiky balls, foam rollers, hydration tablets, vitamin supplements, heat packs, whatever you need to feel good.
It might not seem very gnarly but when you show up on the second day of skating looking like a prune and not being able to bend at the hips you’ll wish you had smashed more water.
Lots of skaters and leagues have super-cool merch and if you are travelling on a budget you may be able to arrange swaps for cool stuff that will serve as reminders of all the great places you’ve visited and awesome peeps you’ve met.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it can serve as a useful prompt to starting the packing process!
What’s your don’t-leave-the-house-for-skating-trip-without item? Let me know in the comments!