What to Look for and Think About When Buying Derby Skates

The answers seems obvious at first and you’d probably say “I need to look for a colorful and fashionable pair of skates” to kick some butt at roller derby.

While this is a valid answer and we think you should buy skates that match your style, there is much more to consider prior to buying derby skates.

Read over this quick list of questions below and then follow our derby skates road map below! First, ask yourself;

  1. Will I use my derby skates if I don’t pass tryouts and make the team?
  2. How much am I willing to invest in a pair of skates at the moment?
  3. Should I start out on top notch skates or just buy a decent pair for now and make the upgrade later.
  4. Should I use a high-top boot or a low cut?
  5. Will I skate mainly outdoors or indoors?
  6. What’s all the lingo about wheels and which ones should I buy?


Essential Safety Equipment For Roller Skates

If you’ve stumbled on our Skate Talk  roller skates blog, then we assume these four things;

  1. You’ve strapped on a pair of roller skates before and the experience you had made you more passionate about the sport.
  2. You’ve roller skated in your previous years and are interested to do it again.
  3. You’re passionate about roller skates and are always looking for new ways to improve your skills and stay in the loop of all things roller skating.
  4. You’ve never roller skated before but it seems like the coolest physical activity this world has to offer!

There’s one thing we forgot to mention and this tends to be forgotten most often in regards to roller skating. You’re probably not here to learn about safety equipment because afterall it can be pretty boring.

Until now!

Our passion for roller skates combined with our priority to keep you safe is our obsession at Roller Skate Nation. This is why we stock the latest trends in safety equipment including the essentials and most sought after protective gear.

Let start from the top and work our way to the bottom. In other words, from the head to the legs. But first, here’s some food for the brain;

Did you know, according to Rochester Medical Research that:

  • More severe injuries occur during individual sports and recreational activities.
  • Children who are just beginning a sport or activity are at greater risk for injury.
  • More than 47,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for roller skating-related injuries.

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Top 10 Accessories for Roller Skates for Kids

We always dread the phrase “Batteries not included”. Thankfully when you give the gift of roller skates for kids you don’t need to worry about this. On the other hand however, there are many roller skate accessories that pair up perfectly with roller skates for kids.

Here is our top 10 list of the most popular roller skate accessories we have in stock and ready to ship!

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The Best Roller Derby Apps To Download For Derby Officials

Welcome to the third post in our series about integrating your smartphone with roller skating. We previously learned about the great apps out there for both Android devices and the iphone (iOS). These apps are made essentially for everyone on roller skates and we recommend that you get your thumbs on one asap.

But what about the apps that target a certain user such as a roller derby referee? Whether you are a roller derby official an active member in your derby community, it will be worth your time to download and spread the word about the following apps.


roller skate nation roller derby apps

Roller Derby Penalty Timer is the best mobile app created specifically for roller derby officials.

This is a hefty claim stated by roller derby nation straight from the Android App Store and we believe its’ backed by user reviews and an easy to navigate interface.

This penalty tracker provides a reliable way to track penalties with built-in-knowledge of the WFTDA rules to help you manage any jammer situation that gets thrown your way. This app makes it easy for just one person to manage the full penalty box.


  • Manage any configuration you’d like: two blockers, two jammers, four blockers, or even the full penalty box!
  • Stop all timers simultaneously between jams.
  • Tap-edit allows you to quickly edit a time or add a minute for a double-penalty.
  • Paid Version contains NO Ads. Plus it helps support further development!

Roller Skate Nation rating and feedback: 5/5 stars. A must have app for anyone on a derby team! It’s developed by the renowned roller derby nation and is frequently updated to keep up with the fast pace sport.

The major downfall is that this app is only for Android devices. Don’t worry, keep reading!

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How To Follow The WFTDA Roller Derby Championship

The whistle has blown and the 2013 Flat Track Roller Derby Championship has begun (November 8-10) in Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you love roller skating and want to get in on the action, it’s now easier than ever. You can check out the bracket below and even watch a live stream of the of 2013 Roller Derby Championship right from your sofa! If you roller skate and are on the brink of becoming a thrashing and bashing derby gal, this is good opportunity to learn all about the sport in its entirety. And FYI, Roller Skate Nation just launched a brand new website packed with all the roller derby gear you need!

 A Brief History of the WFTDA Roller Derby Championship

Hydra: The WFTDA Championship Trophy

Hydra: The WFTDA Championship Trophy

Dating back to 2006, the first flat track roller derby championship was called Dust Devlin and held in Tucson, AZ. For every year since then, roller derby teams from around the world battle it out on the flat track for the ultimate Hydra trophy award.

Did you know? The Hydra is named after the first president of the WFTDA and was first awarded to the WFTDA Champion in 2008.

Watch The Roller Derby Championship From Home

Ticket prices to the roller derby  championship vary depending on your choice of seats but they range from $23.25 to $110.25(VIP) for those 13 and older. However, there is an alternative to sitting in the bleachers. If you’re not a diehard roller derby fan like those following the London RollerGirls overseas or if you are out of the vicinity of the cheese state, listen up.

For just $20 you can watch the Roller Derby championship from the comfort of your home. You can even take it to a higher level and pay $100 for a watch party viewership plan. This plan is great for roller derby leagues interested in live streaming the event at a bar for fundraising events.

Roller derby is slowly but surely rolling into the spotlight of pop culture and has even gained the attention of ESPNw, the sports network focused on sports played by women.

Who are you rooting for? Drop a comment below!

2013 Womens Flat Track Derby Association Championship Bracket

2013 Womens Flat Track Derby Association Championship Bracket

A Guide To Create Your Own Custom Roller Skates

Shopping for roller skates can be like creating your own made to order hot sundae. It’s a sweet experience and you can choose all the ingredients. From the wheels, trucks and boots to the shoelaces we give you the option to pick your favorite colors and materials. On the other you can have a fast food kind of experience; just pick the made to order item on the menu and you get it faster than you can _______*. Please fill in the blank with a lighting fast action.

custom roller skates at roller skate nation

In order to help you take home the perfect pair of roller skates we think it’s best to lay down some ground rules aka teach you how every part of the skate works. Our ready to order roller skates are preassembled with high precision and we do all of the heavy thinking for you. Our indoor skates come with indoor wheels and vice versa and we pair heavier boots with lighter trucks etc…

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How To Play Roller Derby In Your Living Room

Yes, you read that title right and now that we have your attention we will reveal the secret method for pushing your furniture aside to make room for the ultimate Flat Track Roller Derby, right inside your home!

roller derby board games roller derby board games

Actually this would be fairly impossible to pull off but thanks to a couple great ideas backed by KickStarter, you can bring the strategy, excitement and competitive edge of roller derby right to your living room with the two recent roller derby board games called Impact City Roller Derby and JammerUp. If your not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a website that gives people with ideas the opportunity to bring them to life through raising funds. In the case of the board games, the required funding was mostly for manufacturing and design.

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So You Want To Be A Roller Derby Referee?

Ever wanted to call the shots?

Do you have a keen eye for girls that break the rules and get out of line?

Did your girl friend or wife join a derby league that leaves you home alone 24/7?

Can you skate backwards, sideways and practically inside-out?

Want to join a fun community to party, travel and boost your social life?

Wouldn’t you just look awesome dressed up in a zebra stripped wardrobe?


If you answered YES to the majority of these questions then it just might be your time to conquer your fears and join the WFTDA  (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) as a roller derby referee. Actually, there’s really nothing to be afraid of except the raft of a few derby dames teaming up to dispute your unlawful call. So learn the sport and learn it well!

[Read more...]

The Roller Derby League Resource: Where To Join & How To Start A League

So you think you know roller derby, eh? Maybe you’ve seen the movie Whip It about a girl that found herself through the sport or you decided to join a local roller derby league to fill up your free time with some adrenaline laps of speed. It’s even taking off as a recreational sport across college campuses.

roller derby leagues

However the sport grabbed your attention or even if you’ve been playing for a few years, you will be happy to know that it’s up for consideration for the 2020 summer Olympics. When you put in the effort and support required to play the game and maintain a roller derby league, your hard work will pay off and you never know, someday you might skate your way to a gold medal.

Warning: The sport is definitely not for the faint hearted and some girls are out there to really hit hard!

Before searching for a derby league to join it’s important that you have your basics down. This includes being able to skate with a cross over stride, squat while skating and roll at fast speeds. There are leagues for all types of skaters but the most important requirement is that you can skate with confidence.

Thanks to the internet, you can find a roller derby league in no time and be the first one to start a league if your community doesn’t have one. Many roller derby leagues have their own website and/or Facebook page to connect with and most leagues require tryouts before joining.

Here is a breakdown of the different roller derby leagues played around the world. Like cheerleading, some men like to play this sport too.

  • WFT: Women’s Flat Track
  • MFT: Men’s Flat Track
  • JFT: Junior’s Flat Track
  • COED: Coed Flat Track
  • REC: Recreational
  • BT: Banked Track
  • SL: School League

The most popular roller derby leagues are found in major cities but the popularity of the sport has caused a trickle effect that spread derby to smaller leagues and college campus’s. The United States roller derby league list is a great resource to help experienced skaters find a league.

Each roller derby league is different. Some leagues are free to join but require volunteer hours. In general, the roller derby community is self sufficient and operates from the inside out. This mean that each team is responsible for raising their own funds, purchasing their own jerseys, paying the referees, renting out practice space etc…

Do you have any experience joining a roller derby league? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Socialize Your Roller Derby League With Facebook

Roller Derby is gaining momentum around the world and this can be attributed to the help of social media. Yes, roller derby leagues are on Facebook and are sharing the success and added value that it brings to their organization and you should be too. If you already are then you know how important it is to connect with your community to turn fans and followers into ticket buyers.

roller derby social media

Just like every other form of entertainment, word of mouth marketing and people are the driving force behind such concerts, festivals and in this case derby bouts. The social sphere is huge and complicated so this article will focus primarily on Facebook tips and tricks to kick start your league on the web to help build a following for support.

Great Tips For Roller Derby Social Media

1. Establish & Reinforce Your Derby League Identity

Your derby league is a brand and needs to be consistently portrayed on Facebook. One of the biggest mistakes a derby league makes it posting irrelevant content that is not associated with their league. Always be sure your logo is on display through your profile photo or cover photo. These images make a powerful impression and can be used to display derby bout events and times. Remember to incorporate your leagues colors into the design of your photos!

2. Show & Tell: Make Your League Easy To Contact

Facebook is a great platform to promote your fundraising activities and league events and people have began to search out a league on Facebook before a personal league website. You need to use the “About Us” section to teach your fans the most important parts of your league. Here you should include your mission statement and a link to your leagues website and blog. You should also include a contact number or email to answer your fans questions. Remember to direct most of the conversation to your timeline via posts and pictures (Facebook is for building a community around your league) but there will be times when communication should be done in private.

3. Balance Your Activity With Relevant Content & Updates

Who are you trying to connect with? Your local community or the roller derby community in it’s entirety? Facebook is a perfect platform to showcase your league and to reach out to fans but you must put a strategy in motion. For example, if you are hosting tryouts for next years derby season, your main target will be people most interested in joining your league. Understand your demographics so you can connect with the people most likely to join such as girl/guys that live within 20 miles of your practice space. In other words you don’t want to waste your time promoting posts about your tryouts to your fans that live in another country.

Keep your Facebook page active with videos and pictures of your league. A good idea is to designate a girl for each practice and bout to capture some live action. Host a derby team jersey design contest and award the winning designer with season tickets to each derby bout. Maintain a live score feed during a derby bout and post the score every 10 minutes. Remember to share the love for roller skating and talk about news skates and roller derby tricks

The key to creating a successful Facebook page for your derby league is to create interactions and conversations around roller derby with a focus on your league. Stay positive because no one “Likes” a “Derbie Downer”. We’d love to be your friends too and welcome welcome you to our social skating community.