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  • Staff gear highlight: Dani (Smax)

Staff gear highlight: Dani (Smax)

Staff gear highlight: Dani (Smax)

(Image credit: Alex at Banked Shots.)

Playing roller derby since 2012, and getting to work at Bayside means I've had the opportunity to test and try out a number of different bits and pieces over the years.

My go-to boots for the last 6 years have been semi-custom (gotta have colour!) Bont Hybrid carbon fibre; my first pair lasted more than 5 years and they survived having several different sets of plates mounted to them during that time (the base looked like swiss cheese by the time I retired them, and yet they were still super strong!).
I love the Hybrid boots due to them being so incredibly light and responsive, thanks to the monocoque construction using a carbon fibre base and lightweight leather and durolite uppers. 

My current boots are set up with the Bont Athena, a 20-degree action, lightweight aluminium plate that performs beautifully and turns on a dime.
I've tried three different plates over the last few years, and the Athena are by far my favourite. They have a few more moving parts than some other plates on the market, which means they take a little bit more maintaining but, thankfully, I have a shopful of tools at my disposal which means I'm able to keep an eye on them and adjust them regularly as needed.
The standard 88a cushions have been perfect for me, nice and soft for loads of manoeuvrability without being sloppy.

The Bont Royal Assassin's in 88a and 92a are the wheels I use most regularly, I very rarely use anything else now I've experienced the roll and response of an alloy-core wheel. The urethane on the Assassin's is second-to-none; it's grippy without being slow or sluggish and has the best wear of any well I've yet to try. 
The Bont 688 mini-bearings are one of the only bearings on the market that work with the Assassin wheels due to their mini-hub.

Keeping with the Bont theme, the Bont ToeGo toe stops are nice and big for lots of stability, with a grippy and long lasting rubber formula.

My current protective gear lineup includes S-One Pro kneepads, loads of padding to keep my knees safe without impacting crossovers, 187 Slim elbows, compact and comfortable, K2 Moto wristguards, supportive with a flat palm-splint which my teammates thank me for, an S-One Lifer helmet with a terry cloth liner and a dentist-made mouthguard to help protect me against concussions.

You can email me directly at if you have any questions or would like advice on your next setup.

(Yes, that is a unicorn embroidered on the side of my boot.)