SORDA is a WFTDA based league, the following gear information is based on their requirements.  We do not currently endorse any roller derby gear manufacturer. However, please consider visiting our sponsor section for links regarding where to buy Roller Derby gear.


Required Gear:

  • Roller Skates– Skates are essentially an extension of your body, and they need to fit and function in such a manner that, when you are on the track, you never think about them.  Some parts will last for years; some will only last for months.  When you invest in your first pair of Derby skates, it’s crucial to get a good foundation (or the best you can afford) so that you only have to replace the consumable parts, wheels and toe stops, on an occasional basis.  There are many things to consider when purchasing skates, such as: material, plates, wheels, & toe stops.  Make sure you talk with whomever you are buying them from to ensure they are the right fit for you and most importantly your build.


  • Knee Pads – Knee injuries are a common Derby injury, and they can end your Derby career.  Even if they aren’t career-ending, they can result in months of pain and limited mobility, rehab, or even surgery.  This is definitely one area where you don’t want to go cheap.  Buy good knee pads from the start, and replace them regularly.  Look for pads that provide sufficient cushioning, fit well, and stay secure.


  • Elbow Pads – You’ll find that your elbow pads will last longer and take less of a beating than the rest of your gear.  Just get ones that fit well and are within regulation (WFTDA requires elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and helmets to have hard protective shells or inserts), and you’ll be golden.


  • Wrist Guards – Wrist guards tend have the shortest useful life of all protective gear, especially when you’re new to the sport.  Some brands last longer than others, but either way you’ll probably still end up replacing them a couple of times a year.  Just keep in mind that you want ones that fit properly and cover nearly all of your palm.


  • Mouth Guard – Yes a mouthguard protects your teeth but since it dissipates impact it also helps to prevent brain injuries, concussions, jaw breaking and injuries of the chin junction while also indirectly preventing cervical column injuries.  There are many types of mouthguards in many price ranges.


  • Helmet – A multi-impact helmet is needed, but other than that if it fits properly, it’s good.  How do you know if it fits properly?  It should be snug but not so tight it makes your head hurt or leaves marks on your forehead.  Your strap should be snug, and the helmet shouldn’t be wobbling around on your head.  Never use a second-hand helmet.


Optional Gear:

  • Padded shorts – These are great for new skaters or those that are looking for a little extra protection.  Many types are available.


  • Knee Gaskets – If you have already sustained a significant knee injury, are looking for extra knee support, possible prevention of injury, support for an untreated injury, or to help keep your knee pads from slipping, then you should look into getting a gasket.


  • Ankle Supports – Since Derby skates offer no ankle support and Derby is done on a relatively small track with tight turns, some skaters find it beneficial to use ankle supports.  This is more of an issue for those with previous ankle injuries or weak ankles, as well as for jammers who are taking the tight turns at a faster pace than blockers.


  • Other optional items are of course…fishnets, crazy knee high socks, hot pants and war paint 🙂


Disclaimer—The members of the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association are not experts on matters of safety gear or roller derby equipment, and all suggestions are offered for informational purposes only.  Everything in the world of Derby, including acting on gear recommendations, is “at your own risk.”