We talk to many customers that are thinking about Roller Derby and either don’t know where to start or are just plain overwhelmed by all the details of getting started. We are here to help. Roller Derby is AMAZING and you will not regret joining such a welcoming and fun organization. Don’t get frustrated by the massive amount of details, read through the information below, educate yourself, ask questions, and get going. If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please review our Skate Information Page or our awesome Roller Derby Article Section for more questions that require longer answers. We are also available to answer more specific questions, just shoot us an email or give us a call at 480-335-7447.
How Much Does Roller Derby Cost?
This is a really big question that many of our customers have asked. There are probably some things you’ve thought of and may have a pretty good idea about and then there are some things that haven’t even crossed your mind yet. Here is a nifty chart with the black and white answers and then each major section is broken down below for even more awesome information about those sections.
Try Outs don’t really require an investment, usually just a $10 to $15 fee to help the league you are trying out for pay for the rental space of the skate rink (typically a banked track thing – newbies don’t know how to skate on a slanted surface yet). What’s really nice is that skate rental (if you need them) is usually covered by this fee too.
All leagues need to maintain and pay for their home and dues cover such things. Your dues will pay for things like rent, utilities, repairs, and typically an emergency fund in case a skater needs assistance in any way. Skaters help skaters, that’s what this is all about. League Dues usually range from $30-$45 per month, however each league is different.
Gear – The Needs
This is the BIG one (insert sweaty smile here…)
- Initial start up gear – This includes everything you will need to actually start skating within your league. You will need a helmet, mouth guard, elbow, wrist, and knee pads, and skates (with the proper wheels for the surface you will be skating on). These are the must haves, and depending on which route you want to go (higher quality to start, or just enough to get you through fresh meat), you will spend between about $350 to $600. Whatever you decide, we have an awesome Roller Derby Rookie Package to fit your needs!
- With all of this being said, if you are able to, do yourself a favor and get the better gear to start. Derby is an intense sport not just for our mind and bodies, but for our gear as well. We put it through the ringer. The better gear you have, the less likely it is to let you down and the less likely it is to wear out quickly. Better gear will last longer, and inevitably take better care of you.
- BETTER GEAR – get yourself some leather boots, or high quality nylon, and an aluminum plate. Our current favorite high quality skate setups are the Jackson Competitor Viper Alloy and the Phreakskate Predator! As for wheels and such, these will change over time, so the best of the best isn’t necessary right off the bat, but again, why learn on something just okay, when you can learn on a set of wheels that you will master and become a frickin’ skating unicorn in. We are constantly updating our Best Wheels for Roller Derby Article so when you’re in the market for something new, check it out for all the information you need to pick the hottest wheels for your skating style!
- PLUS an additional add on, which you may already have at home, is a bag for your skates. Now, we don’t mean a “skate bag” (which is fantastic, but NOT a must), we literally mean something to hold all of your stinky awesome gear in. This can be a duffel bag, a backpack, a rolling suitcase… If you don’t have something like this lying around, go to a thrift store, or your local discounted retailer and simply pick one up. Your gear is going to be stinky, kind of heavy, and will be tossed around all of the time, so don’t worry too much about getting something fancy – if you’re going to make the bag your skate bag, it’ll stay that way for the entirety of it’s bag life.
Gear – The Wants
There will always be wants. You will need to choose which items are wants and which items are true needs (you can reference above if you’d like).
- Skate bags (specific for skates – not just a bag)
- Outdoor wheels (may be considered a must if you want to practice all the time – which you should)
- Bearings for your outdoor wheels (a must if you decide to get outdoor wheels)
- Tools – these can be a necessity if you don’t have standard tools at home, but for those of us that weren’t quite ready for the above price to be listed, the tools can hold off for a bit. Basically you’ll need a couple of socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench, and maybe an allen wrench
Now, if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to try out for your league’s travel team, and you can financially maybe do it, DO IT. Your Derby career will sky rocket, and you will learn so much. You will see so much! You will grow tremendously, and you will gain a whole new respect for this incredible sport you’ve decided will take over your life. Being on a travel team obviously has a few more expenses to think about, but maybe not as much as you may think.
- Hotel – typically split between four girls… makes biting the bullet a lot less dramatic, and you get to know your teammates better.
- Flights – probably the most expensive bit of all of this. However, from experience, we have a favorite airline…. Southwest. Southwest may be slightly more expensive, but you get two free checked bags plus a carry-on (you will need to have your skates as a carry on with you!), AND if tournament plans change, Southwest won’t charge you to adjust your dates…. Coming from experience, it’s pretty grand to have an airline that can be flexible without taking a hit in the pocket book.
- Food – depending on how long your stay is, go to the grocery store in the city you’re visiting. Pick up food you can have at the hotel for the few days you’ll be in for. If you get a place with a kitchen, even better! Cook in! Have the gang over and enjoy the gut wrenching, hysterical laughing times!!
- Souvenirs – it’s always nice to bring home a shirt or a pin from whichever league hosted your bout. It shows that you support them, as they support you. Spread the Derby love! Typically the most needed is $20, and that should get you a t-shirt 😉
What you may never have thought you’d want and now can’t wait to have…
- Hair dying – home job $15, professional $200
- Tattoos – Friday the 13th – $13, full sleeve $600+
- Piercings – $65+ (done right)
- GLITTER!!! – More money than you ever thought you’d ever (ever, ever) spend on glitter!
Newbie v. Veteran Roller Derby Skaters
Because we LOVE Roller Derby art and know you do to. Check out these awesome images done by Elektra Q-Tion from the Carolina Rollergirls, Team North Carolina, and WDRBY.