What Is Roller Derby?
Roller derby is a fun, physical sport where the aim of the game is to skate around an indoor oval rink and lap the opponents. A variation of this sport was invented in the US in the 1930s, but today, is played all around the world. In total, there are already more than 1250 teams, known as leagues. Most roller derby games are played on flat tracks rather than banked tracks. The sport is known for a high level of women players and for being welcoming to all kinds of people across the board.
Roller derby players wear boots with four wheels that look similar to classic roller skates. When competing, players choose their own name, which acts as their alter ego whenever playing derby. Furthermore, players are known for adding flair to their uniform, wearing for example vibrant makeup, face paint and fishnets.
Derby skating is known for being a very physical activity, and wearing protective gear is a must. Despite this physicality, junior leagues exist for younger players.
What Are Roller Derby Skates?
Roller derby skates are designed to give you an agile skating experience when taking part in a bout of roller derby. Derby skates are known for being low cut and with a short wheelbase, allowing for more movement and flexibility. The skates contain padding to ensure a comfortable fit and provide you with protection against any hard impacts.
Roller derby roller skates can be made out of leather, vegan-friendly artificial leather, or nylon ensuring a quality, durable boot.
How Should Roller Derby Skates Fit?
With derby skates, it is important to get a tight fit while at the same time not squeezing your feet. Depending on the model, some skates can be heat moulded to provide the perfect fit, however, be sure to check with the individual product before doing this.
So, what size roller derby skates should I buy? Remember that all brands develop their skates slightly differently, so it cannot be generalised if roller derby skates run big or small. Therefore, it is important to check the individual model’s size chart to make sure you get the right fit.
If you want to read more about derby skates and wheels, read our guide on How to Choose Roller Derby Skates.
Lap Your Opponent With Roller Derby Wheels
A bout of roller derby requires you to skate at speed but also stay in control on hard surfaces. Although derby wheels come in a huge variety of cool designs that will be sure to fit in with your derby look, there are some technical aspects to consider before buying.
Roller derby skate wheels are designed for use on indoor surfaces and because of this are usually harder than the sort of quad skate wheels that you would use outdoors. Players will usually go for a durometer of between 88-99A, but the biggest factor here is what surface you will be playing on. If you know that you will be playing on sticky floors, then go for a high durometer of 94A and over. Likewise, if it will be a slippery floor then choose a lower durometer. A good all-round wheel will have a durometer of around 90-93A.
What Size Are Roller Derby Wheels?
The measurements you need to consider are the diameter and the width. A diameter of between 59 and 62 mm is most common for skating indoors, and you will see most roller derby players use this size so they can accelerate fast. When it comes to width, wider wheels (over 40 mm) will offer more stability while narrower wheels will be more manoeuvrable.