When adding up the costs of registering for fresh meat, investing in gear, and buying insurance, it can be tempting to cut corners where you can. Given league fees and insurance are kind of set in stone, gear is the one place you can save some cash.
In our blog post, Money Will not Make you a Better Skater, we talked about not spending too much money on stuff that won't impact your player development. In this post, we're going to discuss the consequences of not spending enough.
Fun fact: did you know that a consequence is just the result of an action and it's not necessarily a bad thing? Like the consequence of practising more is improvement! Keep that in mind; the consequence of spending more money can be increased safety.
Standard fresh meat packages come with Triple 8 gear. Triple 8 gear is awesome minimalist gear. It sticks close to your skin, it doesn't impede movement, and it's designed for skateboarding, so you know it can take a beating. But, only to an extent. If you're a heavier skater, or you're top heavy, Triple 8 may not offer you enough protection. Derby players, especially new skaters, spend a lot of time falling on their knees. One of the first things you learn is how to fall properly and while it's a critical skill, proper knee pads are an essential part of that technique.
PLEASE NOTE: some knee pad is better than NO knee pad. If you can only get the most basic package while you save your pennies for better pads, that's great.
For skaters who want a little more meat around their knees, here are some excellent options. We are fully aware that this post sounds like an infomercial, promising amazing results for just ONE EASY PAYMENT! But, we're also skaters and it should be noted that Delicate Plower skated in volleyball knee pads for the first six months and it took her a year to recover from that stupidity. So...there's that.
The bees' knees! No. I didn't write that. And I won't do it again. When you get a Deluxe Fresh Meat Package, that's what you get. They're meatier than the Triple 8s. The best part of these pads is that you slide them on like a sock, which means you have to put them on before you put your skates on. BUT, they stay in place and the straps are there for comfort. With the right fit, these shouldn't slide around: bonus, you'll look like a drunk rhino trying to pull them off when they're sweaty.
A long-time favourite, these are a step up from what we offer in our fresh meat packages. They offer a ton of padding but don't tend to stick out as much as other super protective pads. The padding is spread out, so you'll notice they extend further above and below your knees than other pads. These are a great option for skaters who want a heftier but lower profile pad. The bonus with Scabs is that their sizing is comprehensive so those of you with bigger legs can wear these comfortably.
Designed for derby with input from some of the top players of all time. That's a big deal. These pads are super concentrated, as in they cover mainly your knees. They don't extend down your leg, like at all, and they don't snake up your thighs. They do stick out at first, so you'll find yourself adjusting your stride, but if you want a shorter pad, these are the ones for you.
The 187 Fly and the Pro Derby had a one-night stand and the Deadbolt was born. Soft and satiny on the inside like the Pro, but taller and more spread out like the Fly, with the marshmellowy softness of the Pro. The Deadbolt combines the best of both worlds and makes a pad for those who want a little more up and down coverage than the Pro, and more meat than the Fly. Got it?
It's important to note that we do carry other pads that come in packages with wrist guards and elbow pads, but those are for recreational skating and aren't enough for adults playing roller derby. They may be suitable for junior players though.
When buying pads online and using sizing charts, REMEMBER TO SIZE DOWN if you find yourself in between sizes. Gear gets wet and sweaty and stretches, which is not cool. Stretched out gear will slip around and won't stay where it needs to stay to keep you protected.