Roller Derby Equipment Care & Gear Tips

Yes, another how-to. The lowdown- WASH YOUR GEAR!

Gear tips spoiler-Bra made from moisture wick material
No 100% cotton socks-wear poly/blend socks

The long winded version.

Washing your equipment is essential. And the way you wash them can determine how long they last. There are several ways to wash gear from putting them into the shower with you after practice to running them in the dishwasher. I've done it all but the way I prefer is to hand wash with a mild soap or shampoo in the sink. Cold water rinse. Put pads into the washing machine on the spin cycle only to get the excess water out. If you don't want to spin them dry, blot between a towel or let drip dry in the tub or sink on hangers or clothesline. Don't use laundry soap for hand washing without using gloves. 

Alternately to hand washing, you can put the pads into your top rack of the automatic dishwasher and run a normal/light load and rinse cycle. Again you can run these on a spin cycle only in the washing machine to remove excess water. I recommend using my homemade dishwasher powder recipe.

If you have the freedom & luxury to be able to hang on an outdoor clothesline, this is a great way to dry your pads during warm weather. The sun kills bacteria that cause odors. If you can’t wash your pads as frequently as you want, hang them out in the sun to freshen & kill germs.

Helmets are a hidden equipment stench of derby. Ever washed your helmet? Check your chin straps! Can’t find that stench you keep smelling? It’s right under your nose (chin)! Remove the pads in your helmet and hand wash in warm water with mild soap & cold water rinse. Hang or gently squeeze in a towel to dry. Submerge whole helmet in sudsy water while washing with your hands paying particular attention to those sweaty straps. Rinse & hang to dry or hand dry. Use a bandana on your head under your helmet as a buffer to the helmet padding soaking up all the sweat.

Too tired for a wash cycle? To clean your gear in a pinch, stop the shower drain up while you shower, drop pads in. Give ‘em a squirt of shampoo, stomp, stomp, stomp, rinse, rinse again, hang to drip or spin dry.

Mouth guards are mandatory.  There's all kinds of Derby made mouth guard holders. Buy one. Rinse mouth guard as soon as you can after practice/playing & dry well. Store wrapped in paper towel inside container to keep fresh for next use. Most mouth guards have an insurance form for dental coverage should you come to the event of having a mouth injury. Fill that out and send it in for coverage.

Well fitted, properly operating equipment is a major part of being safe in derby. You must have knee & elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet & mouth guard. Also strongly recommend-  tights, (2 layers pantyhose/fishnet stockings, if you fall just right you'll rip right thru the first layer and the second layer will save your ass), yoga pants or leggings. Long or short socks-as you prefer but socks need to be a poly blend, not 100% cotton like you may think, to minimize friction & blisters. Wear something to cover all the skin on your legs for those falls or baseball slides! The floor will peel the skin right off your body! Speed+contact=friction+rinkrash! Rinkrash hurts! When skating/falling outdoors it’s known as roadrash. Add shin guards if you are new to doing pack work or are skating outdoors on asphalt.

It’s all about the equipment. The more protected you feel on the floor, the more confidently you can exercise your derby skill and bounce from a fall off the floor and walls with minimal repercussions. I also recommend using a poly sports bra. The poly bras wick the wetness away, keeping the girls happy & calm. That’s one of my highest recommendations. Along with booty shorts. We don't wear fishnets to be sexy. We wear them because they help you slide if you land on the floor. Always wear fishnets with tights underneath. Fishnets alone aren't enough if you are bouting! Then cover the whole shebang with booty shorts! You earned it! Oh and remember those nylon granny panties from your childhood? Yeah, you might want to wear those too. Put them on first. Yeah I know. It's 4 layers!

Optional equipment may include headband under helmet to protect hair & absorb perspiration. Elbow, knee or ankle support worn under pads. Bottom/butt hip pads with or without plastic inserts, fingerless gloves or wristies, leg warmers, (sometimes worn on the upper arms/elbows, too).
If your hair is long enough to braid or put into ponytails make sure you do so at a point on your head that won’t interfere with the fit of your helmet. Have helmet strap fit under chin snugly. Double chins are sexy! Intact heads are sublime!

My pads & equipment are my constant skating helpmates. I would have knocked myself out a long time ago had I not been properly equipped! And while you might think stinky pads is an effective defense, it's not. It’s offensive.

About The Author

DOB: 9/24/1964
Leagues: Bio:

I love Roller Derby! Started as a hobby, became an addiction, is now an obsession! I've been skating since I was 4 when I got my first pair of skates with the metal wheels! I've been skating derby style since 02/22/10.

I have cut decals for derby people all over the world including The U.K., England, Scotland, Wales, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Tasmania, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, China, Japan, South Africa, coast to coast and in between the USA including Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska & Hawaii.

Mission... World dominance!

My main muse for vinyl is Roller Derby. I love this niche market. It is so fun to be making helmet decals! It's a dream job. I work for you and I love it. Thank you!

Feel free to email me if you need assistance with the decals in my shop.



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