Gear Profile: Red
That poor, poor bastard. Red is a roller derby savant. Six years ago, he wanted his team to transition on the apex and drive blockers off the track, using the momentum gained to execute backwards blocks.
In hockey boots, Revenge plates, and some old wheels fresh off a lathe, brand and hardness unknown, ABOUT 57 mm.
Which he packed and took to England to compete in for the first men's roller derby world cup.
Red's been around the derby scene in Ottawa for so long, it's hard to remember a time without him. The surge in skating and competitive skill in Ottawa can be partly attributed to that man who is a member of Team Canada Men's Roller Derby, the Head Coach for the Capital City Derby Dolls, Slaughter Squad team captain, guest coach for numerous teams in the East and a genuine all around good guy who personifies the most sportsmanlike approach in sport: get under your teammates, not on them.
Doing a gear profile on a skater like Mike is pretty difficult. Despite being a brilliant engineer and amazing athlete, he's not super hung up on what he puts on. In my YEARS at Neon, I don't actually think I've sold that man a set of wheels.
His rather casual approach to gear should be of tremendous comfort to any skaters who strive for comfort, because that's essentially all Red's after. When I asked him why he chose what he chose, his answer was always, "because it's comfortable." So, without further ado, Red.
Skates and plates
Roller Derby Elite Stomp Factor 1 skates with Revenge plates. The engineer in Red reinforced the plates to prevent the plates from breaking. To be fair, Red's an aggressive player with an agility that can challenge any equipment. Better safe than sorry. He uses Gumball toe stops and rotates them frequently so that they wear evenly, something he feels really strongly about.
"To suit the floor." No further information given except that they are preferably 57 mm off the lathe.
Easton helmet, because he believes in hockey helmets for safety, Scabs knee pads "because they fit great," 187 elbow pads, 187 derby wrist guards, and a green "cheese grater" mouth guard (AKA the Sisu 1.6).
Now, for a little bit of extra honesty, those of you who've seen men play derby know that it can be delightfully hard-hitting. It is this one writer's thought that the men's track should be about three feet wider than the women's track. But, opining aside, I did ask Red about EXTRA, "gentlemanly" protective gear during this gear interview, to which Red responded, "None, I like to live dangerously." If I were to offer an interpretation of that statement, Red's careful. Being coached by Red not only includes how to awesome all over the place, but it also includes how to protect yourself from other people's awesome. Frankly, that's some pretty sound advice.