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Roller Derby Gear for Beginners

Updated on March 31, 2014

A Guide For Starting Out

Many people go along to roller derby boot camps or trials, hoping that they have the right equipment and don't look out of place. A lot of teams or coaches wont allow you to take part if you don't have the correct gear, but if you don't know that you'll get through or want to even continue with the sport afterwards, you don't want to spend a fortune.

This is where I can help!

Here is my guide on the basics that you will need, at great prices, to get you through your training. I'll show you all the basic equipment you will need to start out in roller derby then, if you progress, you can upgrade your equipment.

Anarchy Havoc Skates
Anarchy Havoc Skates

First thing's first...Let's get some skates!

Obviously the most important, and the most expensive piece of gear will be your skates. Anarchy skates are great for beginners. Either of the Anarchy skates would be ideal for your first roller derby experience, but you will find that you will eventually need adjustable stoppers, as you will need to use them for a number of moves.

You will need a pair of skates that wont fall apart and can take the brunt, but you also want a pair of skates that don't cost a bomb, while you are starting out!

I have chosen the Anarchy Havok as it's a great entry level derby skate, with adjustable stoppers. They look pretty cool and retail for around ã85. Believe it or not, this is one of the lower prices for derby skates.

Product Spec:

BOOT: Low cut semi-soft Vinyl quad skate with micro-fibre lining and vented tongue

CHASSIS: Fiberlite PP chassis with fiberlite AFT-46 trucks

WHEELS: Anarchy Brawlers 62 x 43 PU Cast 94A


STOPPER: Non marking rubber

SIZES: Junior - 4A to 5A, Senior - 6A to 11A

Anarchy Mayhem retail for around £60, if you really don't want to spend the extra £20.

Anarchy Ramp Knee Pads
Anarchy Ramp Knee Pads

Safety is key!

Let's get padded up!

Roller Derby is not a delicate sport at all!

You will need to get yourself some aggressive knee and elbow pads, as well as wrist guards. It's very important that they are aggressive pads because you will need full protection.

Anarchy pads are perfect for this! I have them myself and they really do help!

Anarchy Ramp Knee Pads and Elbow Pads are sold separately but retail for around £20 per pair. They really can take a bashing and, as you will spend the first few sessions learning how to fall, they need to be tough!

Any adult wrist guards, with a strong splint should do the trick. You can pick up some SFR wrist guards for about £10, again, that's what I used at the London Roller Girls Boot Camp. They got an incredible amount of scuffing and bashing around, but you wouldn't be able to tell! They held on and I can see them lasting for a lot longer! I was pleasantly surprised!

Protec Classic Helmet
Protec Classic Helmet


Keep that noggin protected!

One thing you really don't want to scrimp on is a good helmet. Again, that doesn't mean you have to pay a fortune!

Some people opt for the SFR helmets as they are bright and colourful, retailing for around £20.

Other people, may be more specific about their helmet and may want something that can be used for skating and bmx for instance. I opted for the Protec Classic Helmet. It looks sleek, fits nicely and has plenty of air vents, so you don't get too sweaty. Trust me, you will have a sweaty forehead after a roller derby session!

The Protec Classic Helmet has an EPS foam lining, adjustable chin strap and front, top and back vents for increased air flow, retailing at around £30 to £40. It meets CE/CPSC certification. Always be sure to look out for certification details before buying a helmet.

Kiss This Booty Shorts - Pink
Kiss This Booty Shorts - Pink


Some people start off wearing leggings or fitted tracksuit bottoms, which is perfectly fine, but if you want to wear some more derby-looking shorts, you can pick up a pair from most sports shops or websites.

Try looking up "womens jogging shorts" and you should find plenty. You probably don't want to stand out too much when you start out.

If you are feeling quite confident, however, you could try some more funky, derby-specific shorts such as these awesome shorts from Inkabilly! (or you could just get them and save them for when you are skating like a pro)

Inkabilly are well-known in the roller derby scene and I recommend you check them out, if you haven't already!

The rest is up to you!

You can have a look online and get yourself some nice knee length socks and a vest top to finish your outfit.

You should look into getting a mouth guard / gum shield. If you get past the basics, then your next step will be to compete, so you will want to protect your teeth!

There are many stockists around. I have created a link list below, detailing places where you can find all the products I have mentioned today, along with some websites that you may find handy.

Interesting Video

Here is a video I found on You Tube about Roller Derby that you might find interesting.

There is a great range of videos online that show matches, tips and tricks, plus loads more!

Some Roller Derby Action

Check out The Sheffield Steel Roller Girls vs The Big Bucks High Rollers.

Useful links

Here are some links to help you find the products I mentioned above, as well as ones I thought will come in handy for adding to your new roller derby gear!

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