When you first skate with us, you can borrow pads from whatever we happen to have available at the time (with the exception of a mouth guard). But before you can graduate from Betty status, you must purchase your gear. Here is what we require:
Knee Pads: If you spend “extra” on one piece of gear, invest in good kneepads. Most new skaters get ProTecs, which are a great starter pad, but if you ask any of our veteran skaters who have experienced knee problems, they will tell you the extra money is well worth the higher end pads. Most of our vets use 187s. They last much longer than less-expensive kneepads and protect your knees much better! Make sure your pads fit tightly. Loose pads will slide off and leave your bare knees to take the brunt of falls. Trust us. It hurts and can keep you off of skates for a few months!!
Wrist Guards: Unless you have weak wrists, we really have no recommendation for these other than make sure they fit you properly.
Elbow Pads: Unless you have chronic elbow problems, ProTecs are a good elbow pad for the money. But they do tend to stretch out over time. 187s are more expensive but may last you longer and will definitely offer more support.
Helmet: Skateboard helmets are recommended. ProTec is a good brand. The Bomber helmet of choice seems to be the TSG Evolution. It is a little more expensive but fits like a glove. Just make whatever helmet you get fits snuggly. You don’t want it to move around when you shake your head. If the padding gets worn out you can buy replacement padding, but if the helmet shell cracks you need to replace the helmet.
Mouthguards: You MUST have one, period. During bouts, you will actually get called on a major if you remove your mouth guard at any time during play. That is important this piece of equipment is to skater safety. You will not be allowed to participate in regular practices without your mouth guard. Mouth guards are cheap and can be bought at department and athletic stores. Some girls like the upgrade ones with holes for easier breathing. Keep the strap on it so you can attach it to your helmets’ chinstrap. Some mouth guards come with forms to insure your teeth . Send it in just in case! Make sure to follow the instructions on the package to fit the mouth guard to your mouth before you attempt to wear it at practice because an improper fit can cause blisters. You can get custom-made mouth guards from your dentist, but don’t bother unless you have TMJ or other jaw issues, because the cheapies work fine.
Other Recommended Gear: The list above is the bare minimum you need to skate, and most girls do just fine with that. However, some skaters wear ankle booties to protect against blisters, some wear padded shorts to protect the hips and tailbone and others wear knee braces/gaskets/sleeves to give extra support to the knees.
A note on pads: Do NOT leave your gear in the trunk of your car in between practices. The heat of the Florida sun can melt and weaken any glue on your pads, so those Velcro capped kneepads may loose their caps on a hard hit. Also, the heat will melt your mouth guard so it no longer fits properly The stickers on your helmet will peel and roll, not to mention the hot sweaty environment of sun-baked pads is perfect for bacteria, fungus and other funk to develop. So let your gear air out when you get home.
Required clothing for scrimmaging: Once you have passed the required skills tests and are allowed to begin scrimmaging, you will need to start bringing and/or wearing a black and red shirt to all practices for scrimmaging. It is impossible to skate against one another when we are all wearing different shirt colors because it is too hard to tell who is on which team. Your shirts will need to have your number (at least 6 inches tall) on the back as well. It can be written in marker. No need to spend money getting scrimmage shirts made unless you want to.