I've played my share of smelly sports. I remember soccer cleats that never quite dried out after game upon game in torrential downpours. Or what about the four years I spent drenched in scum from the Erie Barge Canal? We definitely must have had some kind of funk emanating from us, which was probably why no one other than crew team members sat together after morning rows. But these derby pads seem to have taken on a life of their own...they may even have giant microbial mold growing in them.
At my first few practices with SCDG, I remember taking whiffs of my shiny, new Pro-Tec pads -- Ahhhh! Fresh from the packaging! And then I would happen to be next to a seasoned player during drills and my nostrils would flare a bit at the derby girl reek. But now, after a month and a half of sweating profusely into my pads and occasionally forgetting to air out my gear bag, I am blending right in.
I can't quite describe the smell. It's part stale sweat, part bottom of the laundry pile, and part three-day-old wet towel sealed in a Ziploc. I have really tried to be good about at least opening the bag after practice, and I always regret not doing so when slipping on cold wet elbow pads and wrist guards. In fact, the wrist guards seem to be the worst olfactory offenders. My hands stink for hours after wearing them, even after frantic scrubbing sessions a la Lady MacBeth.
So I decided to do something about my stench and soaked the pads in a half-water/half-white vinegar solution as per the suggestion at this post. After a night of soaking, they are now hanging in the sun to bake all day. Hopefully this will get out some of the stink and hopefully I won't smell too douchey at the next practice.
And for those of you who remember #1 from my Derby Wish List, please rest assured that I have purchased a very strong Dove deodorant and my own personal underarm odor problem seems to have been fixed. If only I had known about this product made especially for girls on skates: