My best friends (a.k.a. My roller derby gear)!

Today I want to share the gear that I am using. Certainly, I’m not suggesting that this is the right gear for everyone, but given my size, budget, skill level and dedication, this is what I have selected.


To start, my skates. I purchased my skates in January, after two months of derby and rental skates. I selected Riedell’s Divine skates, which is essentially a vegan 265 speed boot. However, because of my weight, I elected to upgrade the plate to aluminum, and I wanted one that was high quality and would last me for a while, so I didn’t have to continue to buy boots and plates if I wanted to change things up. At the recommendation of RollerGirl, a Canadian skate shop based out of Vancouver BC, I opted for the Sure Grip XK4 DA45 plates. I am currently using Radar Flat Outs, although I will be purchasing Atom Omegas when we switch back to our grippy surface in the fall. My skates are rounded out with purple laces, 81″ long, and black hockey tape to protect the toes.

My outdoor wheels are lilac coloured Radar Pures.

For protective gear, I use a Triple 8 Brainsaver helmet (size Medium), which was the very first thing I purchased for roller derby. It has awesome removable terrycloth padding, so it can be washed and destinkified.

Add to that my 187 Pro knee pads in XL, Triple 8 wrist guards in M, and brand unknown elbow pads that I had laying around. I use a blue Shock Doctor mouth guard that I purchased at a local sporting goods store as well.

Of course, I also need tools to keep up those pretty skates! My xk4 DA45 plates require a skate Y multi tool (for removing wheel nuts and king pin nuts), a 17mm wrench (for a different king pin nut), a 13 mm wrench and a 3/8 wrench (for adjusting pivots). Not pictured, an alan key for the lock nut on my toe stops (which are standard issue Carrera toe stoppers right now, hopefully soon to be the gumball toe stoppers).

I also keep both black and pink hockey tape in my bag for those times where skates need taping. I am still on the look out for a blue hockey tape that will match my helmet.

So there you have it. The gear that I chose reflects a combination of needs (plates for my weight, good quality kneed pads) and my budget (elbow pads I had laying around, standard wrist guards, entry level wheels).

The skates were the most expensive part (obviously?), with taxes and shipping making them over 500$, but costs were a bit higher for me due to the necessity of a vegan boot. My favourite piece of gear is my helmet, due to its sentimental value of being my first derby related purchase, and its awesome colour (in a sea of black helmets, I really stand out!).

So I pose the question to you readers, what gear are you using? Do you have suggestions for other plus size derby gals and guys? Share your thoughts in the comments!


About Alicia

TV addict. Activist. Burlesque Dancer. Political Economy MA. Queer Theorist. Feminist. Cat Lady. View all posts by Alicia

3 responses to “My best friends (a.k.a. My roller derby gear)!

  • Eryka

    I just bought some Radar Zen outdoor wheels and I am really enjoying them!

  • Serena

    Quick Question: When you started, did it matter that you didn’t have aluminum plates? I’m just starting and want to purchase some skates, but I don’t want to blow a ton of cash on the upgrade at first if I don’t have to. Your blog rocks, BTW.

  • Jessica

    hi, i was curious… at 260+ do I NEED metal core wheels?

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