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How to Choose: Roller Derby Wrist Protection

How to Choose Roller Derby Wrist Guards

One of your hands has 27 bones. There are 8 in your wrist alone. All told, your two hands account for more than one-quarter of all the bones in your body. Wrist/hand injuries are common in roller derby. When you fall, it’s instinctive to put out your hands to try and break your fall. In fast-moving tumble of skaters, what might look like a routine fall can put a huge amount of force on a single joint. And roller derby wrist guards take a lot of other abuse. Not only do you fall on them, you grab onto them when you get a “whip,” you clap with them, and wipe the sweat off your cheek with them. Derby wrist guards help stabilize your wrist and prevent fractures when you fall. You'll most likely end up replacing your wrist guards more often than any other roller derby protective gear.



Roller derby wrist guard basics

Roller derby wrist guards are available variety of different lengths, from glove style that covers all of your palm as well as the bottom portion of your fingers to "anti-glove" designs that cover only a minimal portion of your palm. For instance, some wrist guards cover all of your palm but stop just short of your fingers, while others fit like a pair of short-fingered gloves. 

The other main variation is whether the wrist guard has a double or single splint--in other words, whether the guard has a hard plastic brace on both the palm and top of the hand (double) or just a single palm splint. Due to the sometimes rough-and-tumble nature of roller derby, we recommend derby wrist guards with double splints and that cover as much of your palm as possible.

Full glove-style wrist guards are popular, however, they don’t breathe well, so you’ll likely end up with stinky, sweaty hands. They also help prevent burns to the heels of your hands when sliding across the floor.

When choosing roller derby wrist guards:

  • Look for wrist guards that fit comfortably and securely. You don't need to be distracted from the jam by how uncomfortable your wrist guards are.
  • Look for a wrist guard that prevents your wrist from flexing very much
  • Look for a wristguard that will wick sweat as well as absorb impact
  • Slip-on wrist guards or those with a full neoprene sleeve will protect you against slide burns but will absorb more sweat (and thus smell worse) than an open, ventilated style; make sure to wash them regularly

Shop our collection of roller derby wrist guards today!