Valentines day is fast approaching and you may well be scrabbling around desperately wondering what the hell you are going to buy for your darling partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/secret crush/beloved friend/dog/cat etc as a thoughtful little gift to say ‘I love you.’
Chances are you have clicked through here because your partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/secret crush/friend/hamster is particularly into roller derby so you are looking for some inspiration.
So, what kind of gift could you buy for someone who loves roller derby?
Well, if you already know the world of roller derby pretty well then you probably have a few ideas, but if it’s all a bit of a mystery to you and you regularly find yourself asking your loved one how ‘that rollerblading thing’ is going or how they got on in ‘that roller hockey match’ then you need some help.
Don’t panic. I am here to give it to you. Thanks to some help and inspiration from my fellow Kent Roller Girls, here is a whole list of gift ideas for the roller derby addict in your life. I’m sure you’ll choose something they’ll love.
Pins, Badges and Patches.
I am not a very trendy roller derby player, but I’ve noticed that the ones who are tend to collect these cute little pins, badges and sew on patches for attaching to their jackets. It’s what all the cool kids are doing and here’s some links to particular favourites from our league.
Roller derby players care about their skate laces. They send each other diagrams about it and give each other tips. They get upset when their skate lacing is not working out well. Get some lovely new laces for them and they will be well pleased. Get waxed or non-slip if you can. Here are some options;
Roller skate necklace.
Bleaurgh, heads are sweaty things. Especially if you are working hard and wearing a helmet. I’ve never been into bandanas. They look a bit piratey on me, but since I started roller derby I always wear one under my helmet to soak up all the sweat (vom) and to stop my helmet from slipping around. Cotton ones are best. I’ve discovered you can buy them in art shops as a craft material in any colour and they are only a couple of quid. A handy little gift for any roller derby player’s kit bag.
When you play roller derby you have to either draw on or wear your skater number on each arm. At every scrim or bout there is always someone after a sharpie. A pack of black sharpies is the perfect way to say ‘I love you.’
Same with hockey tape. It only cost a few quid, but it’s so handy for taping on pads that have lost their Velcro stick or for taping over your skates so they don’t get too scuffed up.
Posh Water Bottle
I always use an empty squash bottle and I’m jealous of everyone else’s posh water bottle at training. A tiny one won’t cut it though, I’d recommend you go big or go home.
Roller Derby First Aid Kit
Arnica/Foot plasters/Freeze Packs/Pain killers/Physio Tape/Bruise Camouflage Make up…
This would make a thoughtful little package for a roller derby player, especially if you know they are the kind of player (like me) who has a very special relationship with the floor. Apparently, arnica helps bruises heal, plasters for hurting/blistered feet can be a great thing to go in a kit bag. A gel freeze pack to stick on your arse after a particularly bad knock can be a god send and I swear by some thick colour corrective concealer to help cover up the bruises for the next day at work. The Physio tape is for performing some kind of magic taping up of certain joints and muscles. I don’t fully understand it, but I know we get though a lot of it and that everyone seems to be covered in physio tape all the time. It’s also available in team colours!
Speaking of make up, why not find out their team colours and buy them some face paints to match. As a mum I would recommend snazzaroo for great colours, coverage and ease of washing off at the end of the day.
A lot of people are really into glitter in roller derby. As a parent I know that glitter is actually the snot of satan but hey, roller derby players like to stick it to their faces a lot before games. Get them some glitter. They’ll love it.
Ugh, the protective gear that roller derby players wear gets sooooo stinky. Some people’s pads literally smell like death. Apparently, this foam fresh stuff works wonders. It’s a great gift that their team mates will thank you for too.
We all need a little extra lubrication from time to time and there’s no shame in that. This goes onto the skate bearings and helps those wheels turn faster. A great little gift to show you care.
Some people are really into funky knee-high socks. Some prefer good quality thick sports socks or blister proof socks. What do you reckon? Do they seem like the kind of person who would like sparkly unicorn socks or serious high-tech sport sock type things? Either way I’m sure they would appreciate a nice fresh new pair to stick in their kit bag.
Here are some tools that are really handy to most skaters;
- Allen Key 5.0mm
- T shaped Skate tool
- Adjustable Spanner
- Bones Bearing tool.
Roller derby pads are expensive, but wrist guards are normally a very reasonably priced bit of kit you can get and are often replaced so they make a great gift. There are a few different brands to choose from but here is a particular favourite.
As I mentioned earlier, each skater must display their skater number on each arm in a way which is clearly visible to the referees. You can buy these wearable, washable number bands for around £10-£15 and they will be well received and used regularly. You just need to find out their skater number, but that shouldn’t be too hard as it’s likely that you can find it plastered all over their bout photos on facebook/Instagram.
Roller derby skaters rely on their toe stops to help them sneak around the track or make a quick getaway. If your skater also likes to skate out doors in the summer or visit concrete skate parks then the chances are that their toe stops are wearing down fast. Here are a couple of favourite brands used in my league and they will fit most roller derby skates.
These are protective caps which are usually made out of leather and prevent your skates from getting really scuffed up. Strawberries and Scream on Etsy is one of the best places to look;
Crazy Sports Leggings
Crazy prints and bright colours are pretty popular. Everyone seems to enjoy a pair of crazy leggings. You could probably pick something up from somewhere like H&M but this shop is a particular favourite and has some amazing designs;
These are the spinney round bits inside the roller skate wheel. So handy to have an extra set. Personally, I don’t think you have to spend a fortune on them. You need 16 to make up a set and this brand have served me very well so far.
A Voucher to spend at Double Threat Skates
If you want them to be able to choose their own bit of kit then you should get them a voucher for this great roller derby skate/kit shop in London. It’s so easy to get to as it’s right around the corner from King’s Cross and they’ll be impressed that you know about it and have bought a voucher to choose something from here. They also sell online if you are not close enough to London.
The concept of these things makes me feel a bit ill, but um basically they are these flaccid sort of banana lookalike things that go into your skate boots when you are not wearing them and they soak up all the . . . . *wretch* . . . foot sweat . . . and you know when you need to get some more because they start to turn . . . *vomm* . . . brown . . . like a real banana. You can buy them in outdoorsy type shops or on amazon or ebay.
Mouth guard Case
Nobody wants a soggy mouth guard floating around their handbag, eh? Collecting postage stamps from three years ago, dismembered pom bears and hairgrips? A mouth guard case can solve that problem and is such a romantic gift.
Skate pack/wheelie case
These rucksacks look great for putting all your kit in and have handy little pockets for your skates to stick out of the back (except what if it is raining?) but if you want to push the boat out a bit you could go for one of these snazzy wheelie suitcase things? It doesn’t have to be too big. In fact smaller is better. I’d like a wheely suitcase. At the moment I’m using a bag for life. The wheelie suitcases make it sound like we are all heading off to the airport for some kind of girls holiday when in actual fact we are all just heading towards a rather grim looking leisure centre to beat each other up.
I know these are a bit pricey for a mouth guard, but trust me that this will be a much appreciated gift and that this brand is the most popular and the most comfortable.
And finally, this amazing Kent Roller Girls vest top with original artwork from ‘Tank Girl’ creator Rufus Dayglo
But seriously, who would not want this awesome top? So cool. Such a bargain. Also available in men’s or women’s sizes as a t-shirt.