Welcome, or fuck you, depending.
I'm not here to tell you how many calories you can burn roller skating, I'm here to incite and entertain.
Take me or leave me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

RollerCon: Here come the brides

RollerCon is this week (July 28th-August 1st). If you don’t know what that is, it is exactly what you think: a convention devoted purely to Roller Derby.

I have never really had an interest in going to RollerCon because it is in Las Vegas Nevada. How na├»ve of me! I don’t like to gamble and I’ve never been to Vegas, so I guess it took a few years to convince me there was actually other stuff to do there, (isn’t it the only thing people talk about: gambling?). This is the first year I really have a desire to go, so maybe next year I’ll make it.

In honor of RollerCon week I thought a little bit about derby wives would be a pertinent topic.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DIY Derby: Make Up

Modern derby seems to have developed an underground feel, and with it- unique and creative personalities. Maybe it is because the skaters are  funding  a  lot of the sport  themselves that  much  of derby  has  a do-it-yourself feel, but I like to believe it’s more than that. I like to believe roller derby attracts creative people. 

One way skaters differentiate themselves is make up. Here’s some photos to give you ideas, and I found some neat tutorials to get you started: 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Roller Derby sure ain't what it used to be!

As Larry Smith said in the documentary Rolling Thunder in reference to the Roller Games Organization, I too am disheartened to admit the sport seems to have evolved into “show first, derby second”. Actually, a more accurate statement would be roller derby of today is something like “women empowerment first, derby second”.  First of all, let me just make one thing clear. There is nothing wrong with roller derby being an avenue for the women’s movement. But how is operating as an amateur sports league funded by the players and requiring their free labor empowering? If roller derby is a facet of the women’s movement, it should not be one in which women have mid life crises and need to wear lingerie in public. It should be one of strong women operating successful powerful enterprises that dominate both the entertainment and sports arenas, (and look good doing it).

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's "I Love Roller Derby Day"!

 Today is "I Love Roller Derby Day"
In its honor I have prepared my very own:
Top 10 Reasons why I love Roller Derby

10. Fans buy me drinks and little kids tell me I'm cool

9.   Makes exes jealous

8.   No one knows my real name, (they'll never catch me!)

7.   I don't have to hide when I'm a bitch

6.   It's fast and full contact

5.   Leg warmers, enough said!

4.   I don't have to worry about going to the gym

3.   Strong women kicking ass

2.   It is 100% American

1.   I'm good at it

There you have it, my top 10.

Happy "I Love Roller Derby Day" Everyone!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wrist Pissed: An In Depth Look at Wrist Protection

I am no expert; I am only recording what I have witnessed, experienced and what makes sense to me. Therefore, what you read is my opinion alone; consult your own physician or whatever. My philosophy regarding protective pads first and foremost is: if it hurts IT’S NOT RIGHT. The biggest area in which I have experienced this problem personally is wrist guards so I will focus on them primarily.

Wrist Hist(ory): I have broken my left wrist 3 separate times in different locations, and each time due to roller blading. The first time I was 10, the second time I was 13 and the third time I was 18. Every time I was not wearing wrist protection. It took me twice to learn my lesson and by the time I was 18 I had made wearing wrist guards a regular practice and had literally failed to remember to wear them that day. Now I NEVER forget to wear my wrist guards. Not surprisingly, I have some opinions on wrist protection. Number one is obvious; always wear your wrist guards. I have formed some conclusions on what makes a good wrist guard and what makes a bad wrist guard and compiled them here for you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pushing the Envelope: Part 1

Roller Derby was cutting edge from the start. The sport was always integrated, paying blacks equally and accepting single mothers, homosexuals and other unconventional lifestyles long before society would. It has always been an exciting ruckus. Roller Derby people are supposed to push the envelope. We’re supposed to be antagonists.

What happened?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

5 Point Formula for Success

I have compiled a 5 point formula for success that I feel encompasses the vital aspects required to establish a professional, nationally recognized roller derby team that showcases talent, skill and athleticism.

1. Skating ability must always take TOP priority. Athleticism and talent will sell tickets when promotions and marketing fail to.

2. Ensure safety while preserving the integrity of the game. Concentrate on showmanship but abandon fake cat fights and encouraged aggression. Strive to earn the respect of a professional athletic team.

3. Promotions and Marketing. The best way to promote roller derby is not to cling to the dated and failed ways of the past, but to find cool, hip ways for it to be relevant now. Roller derby presently lacks the management, promotions and marketing talent to get the revenue required simply to fund the sport. A staff of non- skating, committed individuals are required in order to organize and run a professional level promotions and marketing campaign. Skaters alone cannot do it.

4. High tech advancements and closer attention to detail, track personas and entertainment. Fans are paying customers. In addition to excellent skaters, roller derby needs to step up its level of entertainment. Visual aids to help the fans understand the game, like digital derby tracks that portray point scoring in real time, or choreographed half time shows to further the total enjoyment of the experience for the audience. $10+ is a lot to pay for amateur sports. A compromise would be good skating in return. At the very least, an entertaining experience.

Check out the Sun State Roller Girls' helmet cam video:

5. Marketing and entertainment are integral components in the development of a local fan base. The fifth element for success is a greater focus on cultivating new and return fans. One reason why roller derby died was because not enough attention was paid to training and developing new talent. In addition to creating solid fans whose commitment to the sport will span decades to come, roller derby needs to recruit and teach young talent.

Monday, July 5, 2010

You know what's sexy? Talented Athletes.

The largest problem holding roller derby back from big time success is also one of its best and most fun qualities: Sex Appeal.

The ultimate goal of a successful, professional league of today, would be to straddle a fine line of preserving this aspect, and capitalizing on it, while still being taken seriously.

The way to do this is to focus first and primarily on skating ability and recruiting good athletic talent. Where athletic talent does not exist but the drive to skate does, skating skills ought to be developed first, and nurturing the woman within second. Let me explain:

Friday, July 2, 2010

True Freedom is: Being Me.

SO FUN! Just now: I had the pleasure yet again in partaking in one of my all time favorite things: NIGHT SKATING! Oo ,and on a cool summer night no less? Delightful! And as it JUST so happened, I left my house at the PERFECT time to catch a fireworks show the Alameda County Fair was throwing early for the 4th of July. I mean, it was perfect...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back to Basics

After joining yet another league I am back where I started. I guess I knew this would happen. And  technically, I got what I told myself I had initially come for: back into skating shape, and reacquainted with the sport and its rules. Admittedly however I think I was hoping for more. I must have been, in order to reconcile my issues of the past and join a league under someone else’s management. But here I am again, abstaining from the one thing I love most, out of principle. As much as I love skating, I love roller derby more. All I have ever wanted was to improve the future of the sport for skaters and its fans. There is a saying that “roller derby saved my soul”, and for me it couldn’t be more true...