If shopping was an Olympic sport, and not the mundane grocery type but the full on retail therapy type, then I would be a contender for a gold medal, especially if I was sponsored. When taking up a new sport, especially a full contact one, I needed to be prepared to spend some money, clubs do have loan kit that you can borrow until you decide to commit and buy your own (and I would recommend this), but from past experience I know that if I am borrowing kit I tend to drop out of the sport after a few weeks, and for me having my own gear is a sign of my committing myself to whatever I am doing. I am an ‘all or nothing’ type of girl and roller derby is an intensive and serious sport and I know that I am more likely to stick it out if I have spent money – the upside of this is that I have kit I feel comfortable in, that suits my style and it means I can SHOP and indulge my inner ‘Retail Demon’, the downside, I never have any money.
I had already been recommended skates and hubby had kindly got them for me as an early Christmas present, I just went for some cheapish Anarchy Mayhems as OWG have those as spare kit and they would be good enough for learning to skate and passing my mini-skills, at which point I assume I will upgrade, and have already been virtual shopping and bookmarked some Super Grip Rock Flames in Purple (nom nom). But anyway, that is jumping the gun a bit, and it will be a while before I am ready to upgrade let alone have the cash to do so, but a girl can dream, and I have a birthday in July.
Anyway I digress so should get back on track (no pun intended). In reality you don’t really need that much kit to get started and some websites do some great ‘Fresh Meat Packs’ where everything is in for one price – so your basic kit will be:
Knee/Arm Pads – (Aggressive skating)
When you are a newbie, there are other optional extras you can get too, like knee gaskets to give extra protection and support, padded shorts, and of course you will want to buy a team t-shirt (I am so looking forward to rocking up to the pub in my OWG Tee) and going forward your full team kit and some scrim t-shirts. If you want to skate outside of training you will also need to invest in some outdoor wheels. Then there are all the ‘frivolous’ things you can buy, OK you don’t really need it, but for a shopaholic like me it is great fun finding things I like and then saving for them, or persuading darling hubby to treat me. My frivolous purchases have included no fear eyes for the back of my helmet, leg warmers, and more recently a lovely purple no fear 18″ suitcase for carting my gear around… and I still have a list of things that would be nice/fun to have.
Now luckily for me I found roller derby in November, and up till that point did not have a Christmas list, so one suddenly appeared, and by donation the mother in law bought my pads and helmet, my hubby got me my skates and Father Christmas bought me a whole stocking of roller derby inspired gifts – stripy tights, funky pants, a Workout DVD, an RD Book, a balance board and a skipping rope (apparently great for working on core stability).
So for now I have everything I need, not everything I want, just everything I need and I will just keep on dreaming and pinning all the lovely derby things I would like onto my Roller Derby board on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/shazziegee/all-things-roller-derby/
To finish off here are some Shopping Tips/Lessons Learnt:
* Always buy the best you can afford
* Ask your team what they like/recommend
* Special deals – ask your team and look on forums for any special deals (I got a half pricestarter pack of pads thanks to a link Pina Collide Her posted)
* Borrow different skates and Pads
* There are some good groups on Facebook where you can get advice/recommendations – try UK Derby Dialogue
* When it comes to mouth guards go for one like a potech dent™ – you will be able to talk and not have to keep emptying out spit.
* Google Shopping – enter the product into google search and then hit the ‘shopping’ tab – a great way to see who sells what you want and compare prices.
* Team Discount – ask your team manager as some teams have arranged discount with retailers.
I ordered most of my stuff online going for the lowest price seller for the product I wanted so ended up buying from different companies/stores. In all honesty they have all been good, quick delivery, no complaints or problems with the gear.
Coming soon, Part 4 – Training.
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