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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pads and Sizing

Check out the difference between these two girls’ elbow and wrist guards. One looks like she has a good 6 or 7 inches of skin showing between. The other has none. Which is correct?

 Any ladies out there hate bikinis that are sold as a set? Just because my ass can fit into a large doesn’t mean these itty bitty titties can fill out that large triangle top. When I was younger I thought selling two piece bathing suits separately was a ploy for companies to charge more for a swimsuit, (and it is) but I am also grateful that I can get a large bottoms and a small top without having to pull some Ross-style tag switching antics in the dressing room.

The same should ring true for protective gear. This next part just makes good sense. Not all women are built the same when it comes to swim suits, and the same is true for roller derby skaters. You see, we all got big fucking legs. Big, muscley, bear thighs- and I’m sorry but marketing pads so that all medium knee and all medium elbow pads are bundled together is at the least, just poor marketing strategy and worse- shitty foresight with a lack of expert input and consultation from real skaters in the corporate office.

One thing that has always looked just wrong to me- is when a girl appears to have about 1 inch of skin visible between the end of her wrist guard and the start of her elbow pad. There should be more skin showing! (First of all, don’t even get me started on wrist guards, we all know how I feel)- but I think the bigger problem is the elbow pads. I think they are too big.

I am starting to realize this- as I self analyze my own situation. I got new pads about 6 months ago- and I realized this right away, but thought it was just normal since I upgraded to better pads and everyone seemed to have the same problem. You see, I NEED medium knee pads, so I bought medium elbow pads.


And they SEEMED like they fit. At least, I thought they did. Oh wait, that’s right, I don’t have any god damn clue how they’re supposed to fit because I am not an expert and no one ever told me. But that is how one becomes an authority on a subject, through experience. So in my amateur expert opinion, I think this is wrong. Don’t you? 

Here’s a picture of Quadzilla. He is an experienced roller skater and a very good derby player. Look at his elbow pads. 

And below is a picture of Pia Mess, whose wrist guards I mention in my Wrist Pissed blog. She also has quite a bit of room between her elbow pads and wrist guards, (and she's also and accomplished skater and coach). 

I'm not saying I necessarily know what is right, I'm saying that as skaters we should think about these things. Open a dialogue. Don't just accept that the skates, pads- whatever-  are top of the line just because they are what the majority of what consumers are using. It doesn't make sense that pads designed specifically for sports retain sweat and stink so much. The aluminum trucks on $400 skates should not just break in half. Wrist guards shouldn't hurt. These are legitimate things to think about. It is a wonder to me how skaters of today's modern resurgence will repeatedly point out that society does not understand what modern day roller derby is and then blindly accept inconsistencies and crappy products from manufacturer's who don't know what roller derby is either.

Question these things. It is we who decide how things will change and where things will go and this doesn't stop at committee meetings. It includes what we wear on the track. Your opinion matters in everything from league set up to how your skates feel on your feet. Do not discredit your gut feelings about these things. Sure you may not be an expert, but who really is? Trust yourself and speak up. Safety and the sport's integrity is at stake.


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