Those aren’t very good choices, unfortunately.
The Anarchy skates just don’t hold up to derby - not even in the short term. Even if they don’t break, the plates flex so much that it will make it very hard to skate on them. Search “Anarchy” on this blog, you might find a couple reviews for them.
Sine I have not personally used these, here are some quotes from people who have dealt with them:
“Anarchy’s; the plates are so flexible you can bend them with your hands, the trucks are prone to breaking and bending, the cushions often don’t sit on the truck properly and because of the extreme plate flex often get all chewed up, the toestops regularly strip their threads, the pivot cups don’t actually fit into their holes in the plate and the kingpins work themselves loose and cannot be tightened back up (in every single pair I have ever worked on). In summary they are a broken bone waiting to happen. R3’s are a massive step up in quality for about £20 more.”
“My friend was tightening up her trucks and getting no effect. I asked to have a look at it, and sure enough, the king pin was wobbling about freely in the plastic hole.
First pair was on a slim tall guy, first night he skated on them the kingpin was loose and (I think) his wheels were touching his boot on the corners, making a loud screeching noise. Second pair on an average height girl after a couple of months of use. Neither of these people I would say were “heavy” skaters in weight or usage of the skates.” - Shone, Granite City
Now the Triple 8 3 pack is all of their lowest end protective gear. You could get away with using the wrist guards and elbow pads for a while, but the knee pads are 100% not suited for derby. You should get the absolute best knee pads you can afford. The lowest I’d recommend is the Triple 8 Streets (and that is ONLY if you put volleyball pads under them as well).
I honestly don’t know much about the SFR helmet, but it seems ok to start out with.
As for the shorts, you don’t need those right now, so don’t spend your limited money on them. When you first start practicing, just wear whatever cheap shorts and tights you have around or can get for super cheap.
If you’re on a tight budget, stay away from packages like this, and instead look to buy gear used. Get as much as you can used, and then look for good deals for the rest. eBay is a great spot to find used gear, and there are groups on Facebook dedicated to selling used derby gear. For your skates, look into getting a Riedell starter skate (like the R3 or Carrera) if you have narrower feet, or a Sure-Grip starter if you have wider feet.
Also, this kit doesn’t take into account that you would also need a mouthguard (though you can get decent ones for very cheap) and will need to upgrade the wheels on your skates virtually immediately.
Starting out in derby is definitely not cheap. It completely stinks, but if you slowly build up your gear over time and take advantage of what good deals you see around, you can do it for not that much and have gear that will last you at least a few months (unfortunately, that’s the lifespan of most starter gear. In less than a year, you’ll have replaced everything)
I’m glad you find the blog helpful!
Basically look for a tall wheel around 78a in hardness - and don’t spend a lot of money on them, the cheap ones work just fine and you’ll be trashing them outdoors anyways. You should also try to look for one with a hub or a plastic bearing insert, but that’s not a dealbreaker.
I personally use Radar Energy wheels and I like them quite a bit. They are cheap, come in lots of colors, roll over bumps in the road pretty well, and take a beating. A lot of other skaters love Atom Pulse wheels. You can also use longboard wheels, as long as they have flat backs (as in the back bearing sits flush or virtually flush to the rest of the back of the wheel).
I don’t see why there would be. The Avenger plates are both very strong and reliable plates. The aluminum (black) version will flex a little bit under a lot of weight, so if you are particularly heavy, the magnesium (white) version might be a better choice. Basically, very heavy skaters should avoid any plastic plate and low quality aluminum plates, such as the Triton, Dynapro, or Revenge. High quality aluminum plates should not flex much at all under weight, and magnesium is even stiffer. The trucks on Avenger plates are also very tough.
Skaters of all sizes skate on Avengers and love them.
There are a couple posts here that discuss some of their products, but not too many really intense reviews (Readers! We need Triple 8 reviews!), however, I can give you a basic rundown of most of their stuff.
Their “Saver Series” is pretty low quality. If that’s really all you can afford and you can’t find anything used, go for it, but the knee pads need to go. Not only is there not enough padding, but the plastic cap is way too small. The elbow pads also have a small cap, but they’ll work in a horrible pinch until you can save up for something better. The wrist guards will most definitely do the job, and are probably the best gear in the series, but I’ve gotten a lot of reports that they are super uncomfortable.
For their wrist guards, the ones I recommend are either their Undercover Snow (I wrote up a review on these) or their Roller Derby ones. Both have a very similar design that is comfortable, secure, and provides a lot of protection without impeding movement too much. Some like the Hired Hands, but others complain that the fingers get very uncomfortable. If you want something really low profile (but with less protection) go for the Anti-Glove.
For elbow pads, my favorite elbow pads I’ve ever seen are their EP 55. They are incredibly comfy, don’t slip, and offer a ton of low profile protection. If those are too expensive (they run around $30) the Street pad is also pretty solid. Keep in mind that both have a lycra sleeve. For me, it improves comfort and keeps them from slipping, but skaters with sensitive skin sometimes find it very irritating. I definitely do NOT recommend their Second Skin pads.
As for knee pads, the absolute cheapest you should ever go is the Street. And that’s only if you put volleyball pads under and know you’ll be upgrading very soon. The only Triple 8 knee pad I recommend for longer term use is their KP Pro. While it doesn’t offer as much comfiness and protection as other higher end knee pads, it still does the job and keeps your knees fairly safe without being too incredibly bulky. I absolutely 100% do not recommend their D-Tec (being marketed at derby skaters). Any knee pads with a kevlar covering do not slide, and sliding is what reduces the impact of a fall and makes it easy to get back up. You can seriously hurt yourself with those pads.
I hope this helped and feel free to ask any more questions about these pads, and submit a review of whatever you end up getting!
By clicking on it, you can get to posts about typical starter setups and gear, questions asked by fresh meat and people wanting to become fresh meat, and other posts that would be specifically useful for fresh meat.
I hope it makes the site easier to navigate!
Let me know what you think.
The R3 boot can be uncomfortable and wear out very quickly. It’s made of a very low quality vinyl with low quality padding on the inside that breaks down painfully over time. The plate and trucks are also not that strong either, and for a setup you’ll be using outdoors very often or in rough settings, I would definitely NOT recommend this setup.
However, if you are going to be using them occasionally, or on fairly nice outdoor surfaces and you protect them well, they might work for you.
You can also get decent outdoor wheels for much cheaper than those Pures, so unless money isn’t a factor (in which case you could get something way better anyways) I’d look for a way to get some cheaper wheels on those things. Radar Energies can be found for $20/$30, whereas the Pures sell in the $60s.
Also, note that Riedell R3s fit skaters with narrow feet. If you have wider feet, look into a Sure-Grip setup.
There is a pretty comprehensive R3 review I wrote a while ago. It is written more from a derby perspective than outdoor, but I have used them outdoors quite a bit as well. Here’s a link to it in case it helps you out further
Definitely don’t pull the padding out. It’s specifically designed to protect your head - synthetic dreads are not.
I honestly didn’t know which helmet to suggest to you, so I started looking at size charts for different brands that I know derby skaters have had a lot of success with. Unfortunately, depending how big the dreads you’re getting will be, you might not be able to find one that fits perfectly. However, your XL Triple 8 fits a 24” head size, and Nutcase has an XL that fits a 25” head size (I recommend getting the Crossover in their street line. They are high quality, very adjustable, and come in awesome colors). Also, as more derby players are moving to hockey helmets instead of skate helmets for added safety, I looked into a few hockey helmet and found out that Bauer has 3 models that run even bigger than 25 inches. The Bauer 5100 and 4500 both have an XL that will fit 25.6 inches, and their 9900s and 9500s fit 25.2.
I really hope that helps and I hope you can find a solution that includes both awesome dreads and ultimate brain safety.
The harder the wheel, the less grippy it is, so typically you can’t have a hard wheel AND a grippy wheel. If the surface you skate on is really grippy (a lot of wood floors are, but there are many that are actually pretty slick), then you don’t need as grippy a wheel, but if the floor is slick then you need something much grippier (softer). Find out the general hardnesses your teammates are skating on, and that should help you with the specifics. That being said, there are some wheels out there that use urethanes that grip better than others at the same durometer. The key to getting to your fastest is to find a wheel that grips and rolls perfectly for the surface you are on. You want the hardest wheel you can skate on without sliding all over the place.
Typically, the most popular narrow wheels for derby are the Atom Jukes and Heartless and Reckless (the latter two are made by GRN MNSTR - the same company that does Antiks and Gumballs). However, Heartless and Reckless wheels tend to bald and wear out fairly quickly, and Atom has definitely had their fair share of problems with wheel breakage.
Currently, the wheels that fit your description that I’m seeing the best reviews on are Rollerbones Nylon Speed wheels and Rollerbones Turbos. Rollerbones is the same company that makes Bones bearings. Rollerbones Turbos are kind of pricy, but they roll really fast and have a strong but lightweight aluminum hub that’s great for heavier skaters or skaters hard on their gear (they also look very rad). The Nylon Speed line are nylon hubbed, but use a urethane similar to the Turbos. They are pretty cheap, and come in quite a few durometers so you can get something perfect for you. Keep in mind that since the Turbos are aluminum hubbed, they’ll feel harder than another wheel at the same durometer that has a plastic hub.
I hope you find the wheels perfect for you!
While some wheels are marketed as “hybrid” (meaning they should be able to be used indoors and outdoors) the simple answer is no. You will need a set of wheels for most different types of surfaces you skate on. Indoor surfaces typically require harder wheels, and outdoor surfaces require softer wheels. Also, outdoor surfaces can tear apart your wheels and cause them to wear much faster - so you won’t want to use a nice, expensive set of wheels outside.
Wheels marketed as hybrids (like the Atom Poison) are typically very, very soft indoor wheels. You can use them outside, though the ride will be a little bumpier than on a real outdoor wheel (softer wheels absorb the shock of all the bumps in asphalt and concrete) and the ride will be much slower indoors, on most surfaces (the harder the wheel, the faster you roll).
However, outdoor wheels can be found for pretty cheap. A decent set runs around $40, and though you should also use different bearings indoors and outdoors, you don’t need any fancy bearings outdoor so the cheapest ones you can find will be just fine. Look for a wheel around 78a in hardness for outdoors, and 86a+ for indoors (depending on the surface, your weight, your preference, your skating style, and a ton of other factors).
A lot of skaters have been submitting their reviews on these plates, so I figured it’s time to write my own.
I have skated on 3 plates in my derby career long enough to actually form opinions about them. The nylon Powerdyne Thrust, the Powerdyne Revenge, and my current plate, the Sure-Grip Avenger in magnesium.
To be completely frank, I hated the Thrust (that’s the plate that comes on an R3), I hated the Revenge ($200, but barely better than the chuck of plastic my R3s came with AND it felt like a brick under my feet), and I am in love with my Avenger. I really feel like I’ve found the plate that is best for me.
The Sure-Grip Avenger is one of Sure-Grips newest plates, and it comes with 2 options - aluminum or magnesium. The aluminum version is cheaper, black, and slightly heavier than the magnesium, which is white stiffer, and more expensive. Both plates use the same aluminum DA45 trucks, which you can get with 8mm or 7mm axles.
While the magnesium Avenger is lighter than a Revenge by a few grams, it feels like a feather compared to my Revenge. My theory is that when you fight your skates and have trouble turning and cutting, they feel heavier than they are. When your plates work with you and make movement easier, they feel much lighter. Both Avengers are cheaper than a Revenge as well, and have less breakage problems.
The turnability is a DA45 plate’s biggest selling point - especially in the derby world. Being able to turn on a dime and cut across the track quickly and easily is very important in derby, and it’s just not something you can accomplish as well on a plate with a shallower kingpin angle. A lot of skaters swear by their Powerdyne plates, but I gave them a fair shot and wasn’t impressed. I’ve gone the DA45 route and I’m not going back.
I have mine mounted to a soccer shoe, a sort of build that this plate is ideal for, since it is light, stiff, and has a very wide base offering lots of support for the boot. I currently have a mix of blue and yellow Sure-Grip Super cushions in. I’ve been skating this setup for a few months now and love it. Getting used to a DA45 plate does take some skaters a bit of time, but it’s well worth it.