A guy came into Moxi Skate Shop yesterday and was talking with his friends about an appropriate gift to get a girl he liked that was a friend and a co-worker who played roller derby. His friend said, “Aw dude, you should get her some wheels” and I could tell by the way they were talking that he didn’t know this girl very well so I intervened and said, “hey, wheels are pretty expensive and you don’t really know what she wants so maybe a better gift would be like, a pair of cool socks.” They all agreed that it was a better suggestion and it occurred to me that there are probably a lot of guys, (or gals, or parents, or fans) who could use some help in this department. So I compiled a list of the top 10 roller derby gift ideas, and arranged them in order of price and seriousness. (You don’t want to get a girl a diamond ring when you’re relationship is in the mix-tape stage).
A guide to buying your favorite roller girl a present:
1. Make her a sign: Go to one of her games and cheer for her. Make her a big sign with her name on it or paint her number on your chest. Nothing pumps up a girl’s ego more than having noticeable fans in the audience rooting for them. Believe me, we notice, and it’s one of the most inexpensive gifts you can give.
2. Laces: One of the quickest and easiest ways to snazz up your skates is to add a new pair of laces. They don’t even have to be cool, sometimes girls just appreciate spare black or white laces. They’re cheap, ($2-$6) so you can even splurge on two pairs, and the best part about this gift is it’s a platonic kind. You can easily get “just a friend” laces and play it off if she’s weird about it or uncomfortable. But make sure you get the right length, it’s important!
3. Socks, Tights, Leg Warmers: These can run you anywhere from $2 to $20 and you can find different kinds practically anywhere. Tights are a little riskier because they actually come in sizes, but socks and leg warmers are one size fits all. Nothing awkward there. And plus, you can pretty much pick out whatever you like or thinks look good and she’ll be fine with them. They’re socks, (or tights) and we ALWAYS need spares for practice. No matter how ugly - they will be appreciated.
4. Derby Mags: Even if she has a subscription to a derby magazine, she could appreciate back issues or a copy of an issue with a particular industry article or skater feature. Most derby skate shops have back issues for sale or you can order them online. They will run you between $5 and $12 and is a platonic gift that will make you look cool. Even if I had a copy of an issue a guy gave me, I would still think it was a pretty rad and considerate gift. Some suggestions are Blood & Thunder, Five on Five, or even HellaRad if you can find it.
5. Skate Tool: Depending on the quality of the tool you will spend between $5 and $15. The most versatile and commonly used tool is a Y3, but most girls also need an Allen wrench to adjust their toe stops. Since most girls have a tool already, I recommend the Vice Versa keychain tool. It works, so it’s practical, but it’s also adorable, so if she already has a tool she’ll still love it.
6. Toe Caps: While girls can be particular about toe caps, most won’t turn down having a spare pair around, especially if she likes street skating. They’re just plain good for protecting skates. Take a look at her skates and see if she already has a pair, even if she does you could get her a spare. They will usually run you about $20, across the board. I totally recommend the snap on toe caps available from fast girl skates.
7. Toe Stops: Your skater most definitely has a preference about these but will surely appreciate spares. Beware, SOME DON’T USE TOE STOPS ALL TOGETHER, so check before buying! They will run you about $15-$20. I definitely recommend the Gumball toestops. They’re $20 but especially made for derby, new to the market and chicks dig them. Even though you can find toe stops cheaper than toe caps, for some reason toe stops seem more personalized to me. -Like a skater would have more of a preference as to which she liked: i.e. you need to know the girl well in order to be buying her this gift. Hence why it is listed at 6, and not 5. (It’s all in the subtleties guys).
8. Pedicure: I am not suggesting you do her feet. I am suggesting you go to a local place and buy her a gift certificate. If she’s a derby girl she’s probably not TOO girly, and probably doesn’t care THAT much about her feet. But truth be told her feet are probably nasty and could use a tune up anyhow. If she’s your girlfriend, this gift is just as much for you as it is for her! This present is not necessarily romantic. Even if she isn’t your girlfriend this gift is a good birthday gift or could serve as a comparable platonic-friend gift, as long as you know the friend well enough to be dropping between $30 and $60.
9. Wheels or Bearings: This gift is equivalent to buying a girl jewelry. You will spend just as much money and she will be just as picky about the kind she wants. If she has not already hinted about which ones she wants, you can plan on spending a good thirty minutes in the store listening to the sales clerk describe to you all of your different options, and you’ll still probably leave the store uncertain if you got the right thing. Look, you’ll be spending at least $60 minimum, and $100 if you want to get her something really good, so just tell her you’re getting her this gift and take her with you, or discretely find out EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS.
10. Skates: If you’re buying a girl skates, she better already have a key to your place and a toothbrush in your bathroom. Enough said. If she’s not in the market for a new pair of derby skates, these are the CUTEST recreational skates to own, all girls love them, and they will run you between $200 and $300. (Don’t flinch, you said this was serious, right?). These are so cute and lovable you can order a pair in her size, sight unseen. But if you’re buying her skates for derby, you better find out all the details.
Another idea, if you have a good chunk to spend but do not want to get her anything too personalized like skates or wheels, is to make her a derby gift basket or goody bag, and fill it with several of the items on the list. For a gal to get a whole basket filled with socks, laces, a tool, toe caps and stoppers, …man you’d probably get a parade she’d be so happy. I hope these tips help!