Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Post Season Gear Roundup

I figure that postseason is a good time to assess gear, and get new gear so that it's broken in by preseason. Here's what I'm sticking with, and what I wasn't so enchanted with or found I could live without:

Bauer 7500 hockey helmet
Love my helmet, should last me the rest of my derby career.

custom mouthguard, courtesy of Dr. Michael Harada
Love my mouthguard (lower picture). I've had it for a year, it's saved me twice, actually, from losing my front tooth. I should get it checked for fit and it should be good for one more season.

Rector Proformer wrist guards, Fat Boy elbow and knee pads
Okay, these. I know, I know, these wrist guards and elbow pads needed to be replaced three weeks ago. But I wanted them to serve through the end of the season, I reconstructed the palms of my wrist guards with gaff tape and also pretty much have been taping on my elbow pads what with the lower velcro straps all worn out. I could have replaced the velcro, but I didn't feel like it with just three weeks to go and not really liking them. I did mend the knee pads like new with some scraps of t-shirt fabric, where the velcro from my knee gaskets tore the lining up. They've lasted nicely otherwise for a full season, and I like them quite a bit. Since the wrist guards and elbow pads are falling apart and it's been a year for the knee pads, I'm trying all 187 gear next. TK!

wrist and elbow gaskets
These were so worth getting. I think my wrist guards would have lasted better if I had worn these gaskets all season, I started wearing them about halfway through. I'll tell you something, I haven't had to wash my wrist guards since I started wearing the gaskets and I used to have to wash them religiously every week. Both the wrist and elbow gaskets themselves are totally washable. I have twelve pairs of each, wear a fresh pair for every practice, and then throw them in the laundry. They've held up very well in multiple washings.

Gladiator knee gaskets
I had to replace my knee gaskets halfway through the season, I was hulking out of my mediums. Probably I am a little bigger than medium and a little smaller than large, I've been wearing the larges for half a season and they still look pretty new and haven't torn at all. They aren't totally snug, though. They're good to go for a while longer, maybe they'll last all next season.

Ezeefit ankle booties
I think I've had this one pair of ankle booties for two years, and finally they're falling apart. So I need a new pair. I started wearing the booties over, not under, my socks, which has helped them not smell so bad and also I think not fall apart so much. So my new pair might last even longer.

Riedell Vandal skates with 265 boots and PowerDyne Thrust nylon plate
I have had these skates since April 2008, so they're three years old. And you know how I love gear, I've been drooling over Sirens all season... but these boots just fit me better and better, and I'm not sure that I'm going to like any other boot better for my duck feet. And I'm still skating on Thrust nylon plates, I keep hinting to Steve that I might like to try Reactors and he keeps telling me to try just changing up my cushions.

Powerdyne white/black cushions
Switching to yellow magic cushions at the beginning of the season was a major fail, I went back to the new old white cushions that I had and it was like getting my skates back. But those old cushions are being phased out, I figure I had better learn how to make these magic cushions work for me. Steve thinks the yellows were too hard for me, they're rated for 170 lbs and I'm 145 lbs and should probably be on oranges. I had such a bad experience with the yellows, I didn't want to experiment during the season. Summer project, TK!

Snyder round toestops
These toestops wore down so fast at first, I figured I'd change then up when I saw metal poking through in two weeks; but then they sort of stabilized, and they're probably fine to go for months. I have Gumballs that I've wanted to try since January, though...

Bones Swiss bearings
Love my bearings, I've had these since I started rollerskating and they're still rolling strong.

Atom Juke 95 Slim wheels
Love my wheels, I was a wheel junkie until I tried these wheels. I dunno, they just get me. They're even getting bald and a little rounded on the edges, but I always know where I am with them. I'm almost getting a little superstitious about getting new ones, which are going to be green (pooh). But I suppose I must, get them broken in before preseason...

The only thing I tried this season that I decided not to bother with was shin guards. Which you could tell from the state of my shins, so use your judgment.