1. Are your toe stops unscrewing themselves even though you have screwed in as tight as possible? You could consider using some Teflon plumber's tape and wrapping it around the stem of the toe stop to give it a snugger fit. Teflon tape might save you from having to get the toe stop hole re-bored in the future.
2. A dab of sunscreen on a wash cloth will get rid of those pesky permanent markers numbers on your arms without scrubbing your skin raw. Of course, some people like to wear their numbers on their arms like badges of courage; but if you're in a wedding the next day, use that sunscreen!
Lita Revolution also shares that Vaseline will take permanent marker off your arms without ruining your manicure; I wouldn't know anything about that because I haven't had a manicure since 1999.
|Yes, I like my sunscreen strong and my skin pale and pasty.|
4. It looks like deodorant might be the new jack of all trades, because here is another tip! According to Gillie O'Tene, her fellow skater Agenda "puts Secret deodorant on her wrists, elbows and knees before she puts on her pads and they NEVER smell!! Of course she could be a freak of nature with non smelly sweat but it apparently works. It must be Secret though, she told me Degree doesn't work as well. She uses the scent changing kind that goes from powder fresh to Watermelon when you sweat. Yes it really exists." It makes a weird kind of sense, but I've never tried it. If you're feeling brave, let me know how it worked!
5. Cheesecloth makes a great wheel cleaner, and it is cheap. With a little bit of water, cheesecloth can scrub away gum, gunk, and even help take the "finish" off of your brand new wheels. I always keep a sheet of cheesecloth in my skating kit for messy wheel emergencies. Daisy DoWrong adds that cheap hand sanitizer and a rag will work to clean your wheels off trackside. Personally, I feel like you can't go wrong with hand sanitizer in general in your skating bag. Sometimes we don't have the option to wash our hands!
Percy Q-Tion shares that gum can be taken off of wheels with mayonnaise, which sounds gross, but I guess it's effective! Just be sure to clean the mayo off of your wheels after!
6. Always have duct tape. Ah duct tape, what can't it fix?
7. Dryer sheets placed on or in your wet elbow pads and gaskets can help freshen up your gear in between washings. You can stuff them into your skates if they get stinky too! (This works with smelly shoes as well.) Rockaway Beatch filled two old socks with crystal cat litter, and sticks them in her elbow pads to dry them out quickly; she says it works like a charm, and I would have never thought of that because I don't have cats!
KG Bebe reminds us that vinegar in the wash can cut through the stinky pad smell, but make sure you dry your gear thoroughly, or you will smell like a Massengill product, and nobody wants that.
8. Old socks make amazing arm gauntlets that keep your skin from coming in direct contact with your elbow pads and wrist guards. The more I skate, the more I hear about people developing contact dermatitis from the plastics in our protective gear. Put a barrier between yourself and your gear if you can!
Electric Cher passed on her tip of using her daughter's outgrown tights to repurpose as fingers-less wrist/arm warmers to wear under wrist-guards. "They help trap some of the stanky sweat and can be thrown in the wash after every use. Simply cut the legs off the tights as well as the tips of the toe area. Then simply make a little slit for your thumb. Works like a charm!"
Speaking of re-purposing clothing for derby, Celia Fate and Misanthrope the Mordant cut the sleeves off of their t-shirts and wear them on their heads. Fate swears the sleeves are the only hair accessory that actually stay in place!
9. Dee Spies shared one of the most hilarious tips ever: Panty liners hide the camel toe in Derby Skinz. I know that a LOT of derby girls worry about that one.
10. Buy your own skate tools. People are tired of lending you theirs, especially if you don't give it back! Also, if you buy new plates or skates, find out what tools you might need to maintain them. Spare parts are always good to have on hand, just in case! My dream is to have each skater have her own tools, and to stop relying on coaches to have them. Remember, our motto is For the Skaters, By the Skaters, not "rely on your coach to do the mechanical stuff."
11. Ever get bad foot cramps? Beth Row keeps packets of mustard she takes from fast food places in her skate bag. Evidently, something in mustard counteracts muscle cramps of all kinds; the same chemical is in pickle juice, but that's not as portable.
|Imagine your skates smelling like this!|
12. Levee BreaksHer carries a shoe horn with her to put her skates on. "Fellow skaters sometimes laugh at me because I use an old one my grandma gave me, but the heels and heel spline of my skates is pristine 2.5 years later so suck it haters. I take care of my $#!+" I've had my boots for four seasons without issues, but I also wear Miracle Wool socks that don't cause friction issues.
13. Are you getting blisters? Dujuana Keys uses make-up pads for blister cushions. Dell swears that rubbing deodorant on your feet BEFORE you get a blister can prevent them. See? Deodorant is the new duct tape!
14. Finally, one for our awesome NSOs! SmackTavish, a penalty wrangler, shares "We use a small wipeoff board to relay penalties to the trackers. As an eraser, I wear one stretchy kid's winter glove on my writing hand." That's pretty smart thinking!
I want to thank everyone who shared one of their derby tips with us. If you have any you would like to share, please post it in a comment! I know I'll probably end up writing another one of these derby tips blogs.