Back to Derby!
The season is back for some, almost back for others.
The sweaty off-season has brought us too much food, skate park adventures and plenty of time to review footage and make sweet Gifs.
I mean ... we've all done lots of off-skates fitness over Christmas, haven't we?
Have you got everything you need for that first session back?
If you hide your mouthguard from your teammates, it might be time to replace it. We learned recently that you're meant to replace them every 12 months, so... freshen up that smile!
Let's be real, they're never going to smell great. If you washed them well over the break, congratulations! You're the best team mate in the league. If not, check out the 187 Slim Elbows for a great snug replacement.
Can you believe 10 years ago a lot of us thought the Hired Hands were the best wrist guards for derby? They possibly were back then, but wrist guards have come a long way. If you have a team mate with the Ennui City Brace guards, check them out - designed by an Occupational Therapist, they're very much like the brace you wear to protect your wrist after an injury. Super comfy and very robust.
Everyone is different when it comes to knee pads. There's no wrong or right, only what is right for you. When washing your pads, make sure all the velcro is covered or wrapped to itself. Cold wash only, hand wash only - machines and hot water can overstretch every part of pads. Knee pads that fall down aren't a fun, safe idea - some people use gaskets to keep them up, some people fit their kneepads super tight on day one so that they don't slip down.
If you go through laces, get a spare set of laces. Check your innersoles and if you use them, Barefoot Booties. This definitely needs its' own subsection:
Tighten everything. Tighten your kingpins (at the base of the plate), check your mounting bolts, adjust your toe stops, get your wheels to the perfect tension. Make sure none of your bearings are rusty or super dirty.
Wipe any gum or built up dirt off your skates - a Wet Wipe can usually do the job.
Should last a long time, like elbow pads. Once they've done all the stretching they can handle, however, it might be time for a new set. No one wants to go back to writing on their arms with a permanent marker.
Make sure everything is in your skate bag! Swap wheels in a breeze, rotate toe stops and adjust tension on your trucks when you've got everything with you. Speaking of skate bags...
Is this the year you get a trolley bag to hold everything? Or a Strap'N'Go to keep your skates away from your sweaty pads?
Chuck a waterbottle, scrim tops and a towel in there. If you're someone who takes notes (or coaches), don't forget a pen and paper.
Finally, don't forget your Determination, Team Support Vibes and Positivity - start the year prepared to let your skating take the next leap!