Monday, November 17, 2008

roller derby mania

What an incredible weekend.

The Rosebuds won their first game ever, against Eugene's Gems, and they put up a good fight against Washington's All-Stars, a mix of Seattle and A-town junior derby girls. And I think they made enough cash selling Rosebuds merch to get some team jackets.

I have two new derby crushes- Rice Rocket from the Texacutioners and Suzy Hot Rod of Gotham City fame. It's interesting that they're both jammers since I don't jam much. They are both incredibly fast and skate really low and have the most incredible awe-inspiring footwork.
(photo from
(photo from

And I invested in a new pair of knee pads which is the real reason for this post. When I first started derby I wore Bullet knee pads from Cal Skate, but those didn't last long. Then I graduated to 187 Pro knee pads from Rebel Skates. I wore them until one of the plastic pads flew off. The velcro never worked again after that jam, so I got a pair of 187 Fly pads from Oaks Park. They were less cushy but the plastic was riveted on. I tore my PCL while wearing 187's, so I've been in the market for new knee pads. I have very bony knees, and I always felt like there was too much room in the 187's for me, even with volleyball pads underneath.

After physical therapy, I shopped around for hockey pads, but I never found any that felt right. They slipped down my shins until they rested on my ankles and didn't offer much padding. I tried motorcycle knee and shin guards that Mizguided wasn't using anymore. I wore those for a few weeks until I started knee slides and scrimmaging again and had bruises on my knees under the pads. I need more protection that that. For the last two weeks, I've been skating with an old pair of Protecs I borrowed from the lost and found, and they've been okay, but they're mediums and they slip down a bit even with my gel padded gasket underneath. So I originally headed to the vendor area of Northwest Knockdown intending to pick up a pair of small Protecs and call it a day. However, there were vendors selling every brand of knee pad I'd ever heard of, and some I hadn't, so why not take the opportunity to try on every brand? I tried on Triple Eights, and I tried Triple Eight second skins under Triple Eights, Protecs, and 187's, I tried on Rector Fatboys. I tried on Protec street and park knee pads (I liked street better), and they seemed like the best choice until I stopped at the Cruz skate shop booth and talked to Sandy Motley Cruz.

(the photo is from
A derby girl with a bum knee just like me, she was helpful and honest about the products she had to offer, sharing their pros and their cons. She asked what I liked and didn't like about knee pads I've tried in the past before she gave me a recommendation. She let me practice knee slides on a shopping bag over the smooth concrete to see how my knee felt. She was awesome. I eventually decided on this pair of TSG Force III Knee Pads.

They're lower profile than 187's and they have a snug fit. They've got a combination of velcro and clip on straps to help keep them from sliding. They've got memory foam that fits to my knee and isn't too roomy. They make me feel safe, protected, and confident. And really, what more could you want from a knee pad than that?

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