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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old February 19th, 2016, 01:24 AM   #1
MischiefNotManaged
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Location: Valdosta, GA - USA
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Default Newbie Buying Skates & Gear

Hello!

I'm new to skating (like, I only skate once every 1-2 years and even then it is NOT pretty), but I've decided to really stick with it and see it through since I need a new activity / hobby since I've become more sedentary than I'd like. Plus, I don't enjoy many sports (I get bored easily) but for some reason I really, really like roller derby.

What blows is that the closest rink to me is open at super inconvenient hours and is an hour away. The closest derby team to me is 1.5 hours away (not too far, but I'm in college and can't always afford a day trip. Plus, it's in the next state over and IDK about driving around those toll roads? I get weird when I'm driving to unknown lands, lol.), BUT when I'm back home for the summer after this semester is over, the Atlanta Rollergirls are only 30 minutes away! So I'm really, really hoping to learn to skate - outdoors due to a lack of a rink nearby and all by my lonesome, unfortunately - from whenever my skates come in up until May, since that's when they are having their beginner session for the rec league. And I want to go! Even though I still can't really skate... yet.

SO! I'm looking into buying the "Bully Package" from Bruised Boutique just to get me started. I have a fear of falling in general, so I'm thinking the extra padding and helmet will help me learn faster. You may find the package here:
http://bruisedboutique.com/onlinesto...roducts_id=672

It comes with:
- Riedell R3 Skates
- Wheels: Either a 95A or an 88A (I'm leaning towards getting the 95A for indoor skating and buying the $15 Sonar Zen wheels [85A] for when I'm learning to skate outside. This will help since the rink in my hometown doesn't allow any wheels inside that have been used outside.)
- Triple 8 Sweatsaver helmet
- Triple 8 KP22 Knee Pads
- Triple 8 EP55 Elbow Pads
- Triple 8 Wristsaver Wristguards
- Riedell Leather Toe Caps
- Mini Skate Wrench
- Stock mouth guard

In total (including shipping), it will be approx. $250. Does this seem like a good deal for a newbie? Even if I attend the rec league over the summer, I will not be able to join a league until I pass their requirements, which will have to happen after I graduate college next Spring. So I've got an entire year+ to really learn my stuff on skates.

I'm not looking to break the bank, but I want something worthwhile. I had originally bought cheap Chicago 400 (I think?) high tops, but I dislike the high top boot cutting into my calves. So I'll be returning those. I also bought super cheap pads ($20 total for knees, elbows, wrists), and I'm waiting for them to come in the mail to see if they'll fit and if I'd want to keep them or return them and stack that $20 towards the above package.

Is the package worth my while? Or should I buy the skates by themselves, use the cheap protective gear I have coming in (no helmet other than my old equestrian helmet, no mouthguard, no toe covering)? I know this might be more of a thing for ME to mull over, but I appreciate input from y'all.

I'm hesitant to buy everything only because I don't know if I'll stick with skating, but I also know that I will never really know unless I give it my all. So I'm tempted to throw all caution to the wind and just go for it, buy the package, and throw myself into learning everything.

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? Advice? xD

NOTE About wheels: I read somewhere that if you're a bigger girl (above 200 lbs?), your wheel durometer number should automatically be considered lower than what it's labelled as because of the weight being put onto it by your body. So, if this is true, the 95A will turn into a 93A and the 85A will turn into an 83A
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Old February 19th, 2016, 04:15 PM   #2
llama of death
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The sweat saver helmet is practically garbage, it is intended to soften light blows to the head not to protect you from a concusion. It's basically a shell with a soft padded liner (think of a kid wearing pillow on their head and a collender to hold it on). Similar situation with the kneepads. I can't advise enough to get a "hard" foam (usually eps foam) helmet and good kneepads. Go for scabs vert knee pads at the bottom barrel, or 187s or even tsg. Yes they cost more but if you tried both you'd wonder why triple 8 even sells the "basic" ones.

To the package, it's ok to get it if you are not sure derby is for you. The R3s skate well for what they cost and many rink rat used them for years. They will not however last very long in derby so there is that.

There are a few threads of people successfully repairing or upgrading the strength of the sole on the R3 boot so it isn't a lost cause.

If you're serious about derby and know it is what you want to do for a long time but are short on cash. Spend your money in this order.

Helmet -S1 or other multi impact hard foam helmet (hockey helmets work) DO NOT buy used unless it is practically unworn. You get one head protect it.

Knee pads - expect to spend about 60 to 90 to get a good set new. Used is ok here IF you get 187s TSG or any of the thicker pads on the market.

Skates - used, buy used if you can. Getting a used mid term skate should cost you 160 to 180 but it will be worthwhile. If you're less sure about derby or on a serious budget get a vet or Sk8 logger to help you find a pair of vintage boots in your size, or get used R3s. Either will often be under 100 for the skate and require little in the way of upgrades or maintaince to serve you well for a year or so.

Used is fine on the rest of the safety gear as long as it isn't cracked or anything.

Zens are ok but most derby players prefer route 65s if you can afford them or suregrip Arobics if not.

Btw, my curent skate is a high top I rolled the ankle over (folded it down) if not you don't have to lace it all the way up.
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Old February 19th, 2016, 08:22 PM   #3
MischiefNotManaged
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Thank you for the reply! Those are good points that I needed to hear. I'll look into those gear options.

In terms of a skate, what do you think about the riedell spark? There's someone two hours away selling a practically new pair for $180. They still have them (I checked with the seller). They have the Sonar Flat Outrageous Wheels - 88A, I think they are.

http://www.roller.riedellskates.com/...ductName=Spark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxnkDXqU6yc

I'm considering either the above or the following:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A1JBQEFQ4Y3R1J
Because purple is my favorite color. But if there is a big difference between the R3s and the Spark that is worth the $40 + driving to pick them up, that'd be good to know! I think the only difference between them is the boot and the wheels?

I'm visiting a derby league tomorrow morning, so I can also ask about proper beginner skates and gear while I'm there. I figured going to a practice (even if I can't skate) would give me some idea of what I'd be getting into.

Last edited by MischiefNotManaged; February 19th, 2016 at 10:20 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2016, 04:34 AM   #4
llama of death
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MischiefNotManaged View Post
Thank you for the reply! Those are good points that I needed to hear. I'll look into those gear options.

In terms of a skate, what do you think about the riedell spark? There's someone two hours away selling a practically new pair for $180. They still have them (I checked with the seller). They have the Sonar Flat Outrageous Wheels - 88A, I think they are.

http://www.roller.riedellskates.com/...ductName=Spark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxnkDXqU6yc

I'm considering either the above or the following:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A1JBQEFQ4Y3R1J
Because purple is my favorite color. But if there is a big difference between the R3s and the Spark that is worth the $40 + driving to pick them up, that'd be good to know! I think the only difference between them is the boot and the wheels?

I'm visiting a derby league tomorrow morning, so I can also ask about proper beginner skates and gear while I'm there. I figured going to a practice (even if I can't skate) would give me some idea of what I'd be getting into.
Similarities:
Same plate and stopper

Differences:
Boot on the spark is a 122 which is their lowest tier leather boot from Reidell. Being used is a bonus for you as they will be broken in a bit (less painful breaking period). They will out last the r3.

The R3 is acceptable, it is a man made (vinyl boot),I know plenty of people who skate them long term (have to fix them once and while).

At those prices your in the mid tier range for used gear. Check out rollerderby recyclables on face book. You may find an even better deal. Post a seeking ad for your size and price range, you may get a few offers from people looking to sell.

In the end ask yourself how serious are you and get the one that matches your commitment. (R3 for one year (maybe more if you know someone handy with repairs), the Spark for 3 to 5 (you'll upgrade the plate if you stick around that long), or a used intermediate skate with an aluminum plate if you never plan on giving this sport up)
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Old February 21st, 2016, 02:18 PM   #5
Kassus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llama of death View Post
The R3 is acceptable, it is a man made (vinyl boot),I know plenty of people who skate them long term (have to fix them once and while).
I'll be looking to finally upgrade to new (leather) boots this summer, but I've somehow managed to make my R3's last up until now - I've used C-Clamps and Gorilla Glue on the soles multiple times, and finally just ended up drilling little holes all the way around the sole and double-threading triple-braided fishing line through the holes to have "stitched" skates as opposed to only "glued" skates. I've also taken leather strips and punched holes in them and sewed them to the insides of my skates to reinforce the grommets (because they were starting to get loose and fall out). Looks terrible, but has given me a bit more time to save up some money.
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 05:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kassus View Post
Looks terrible, but has given me a bit more time to save up some money.
Not in my book! You made those skates yours! Sounds like an improvement to me...

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