Roller Derby play­ers gear up be­fore they get rolling on skates

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FIT FRIDAY - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @MichileaP on Twit­ter

Roller Derby is a com­pet­i­tive con­tact sport on skates that can get very in­tense which is why one of the first things play­ers learn is how to pro­tect them­selves.

Aleigha Wag­ner, of the Dutch­land Derby Rollers in Lan­caster, said learn­ing how to fall cor­rectly was a very im­por­tant skill she learned after join­ing the team.

“The first two weeks, you’re lit­er­ally just throwing your­self into the floor,” she said.

Wag­ner said peo­ple want to nat­u­rally fall on their bot­tom but since Roller Derby play­ers fall of­ten this can lead to a bro­ken tail­bone.

“You want your nat­u­ral re­ac­tion to be go­ing down on your knees,” she said adding that this is why pad­ding is im­por­tant. Wag­ner said the gear that Roller Derby play­ers wear is all very im­por­tant and has a pur­pose.

SPEED SKATES

Wag­ner said most Roller Derby play­ers use speed skates which come be­low the an­kles. Th­ese spe­cific skates al­low the player to cut eas­ily dur­ing games and be able to make bet­ter lat­eral moves.

WRIST GUARDS

Wrist guards are im­por­tant for when play­ers fall since the in­stinct is usu­ally to put your hands out. The guards help pre­vent any­thing from break­ing.

PAD­DING

Pro­tec­tive pad­ding is worn on the el­bows and knees be­cause the ac­tiv­ity in­volves a lot of fall­ing.

HIGH KNEE SOCKS

High-knee socks are of­ten worn to help pro­tect the shins and pre­vent rashes. They also come in re­ally cool styles and help play­ers get creative with their look.

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