Roller skating is a fun yet exciting sport that can transform into a competitive category called roller derby. In case you haven’t known, roller derby is one of the original entirely-for-women games. The sport grows extremely fast among women’s sports to the point that it has its leagues worldwide.
That’s how you know a simple activity such as roller skating can be seen as a professional sport. If you are into skating for a long time and want to experience competitive roller matches, this is the sport you should take on immediately.
Well then, how to get started in roller derby? The answer will be revealed in this article, so you don’t want to miss any piece of it!
What is Roller Derby?
Roller derby is a roller-skating game that involves competitive interaction and contact between two teams to create a race. The number of players at one time can differ from 5-15 members due to the play’s circumstance.
However, the structure in a team will always remain the same. Each side will include a jammer, who wears a helmet with a unique symbol that is detectable; four blockers to block and defend by skating counterclockwise around the playfield.
Two teams will head to head attack for the other team’s jammer while protecting theirs, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. Any team with the jammer who has the unique object safe will win the game. As you have already known, the unique thing is that everyone will go on full speed on wheels for this competition.
Watch the video below to see what these women have experienced as a roller derby girl for 30 days.
How Dangerous is It?
Concerning the characteristics of roller skating, players partaking in roller derby games have the high possibility of getting injured. Here are a few statistics on the injury of this sport:
- Out of 1070 respondents, 574 (~54%) detailed a physical issue that kept them from playing roller derby at least one time.
- Of those 574, 262 (~46%) reported a knee injury.
- Of those 262, 36 (~14%) explicitly noticed the Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury.
However, this sport doesn’t appear to be totally different or significantly more dangerous than skiing or snowboarding or playing in exceptionally forceful soccer or hockey class. If you equip yourself with a sufficient amount of qualified skating gear, injuries will not be the thing that is likely to happen often.
What Type of Gear Do You Need?
Stepping the first steps into roller derby can initially cost you a fortune as you have to spend a considerable amount of money purchasing all the necessary equipment.
However, it will be worthwhile in the end if you truly have a passion for this kind of sport. Not to mention when you have reached a certain level during practice, you may want to have an upgrade on your gears as well. Therefore, what exactly are the gears you need to prepare for a derby game? And how much do they cost?
Skates are undeniably the most crucial gears in your collection as fresh meat. As you will wear these skates most of the time, from training to competing, it’s vital to go for the comfortable skates that fit your feet entirely.
Before purchasing skates, try them on and skate a few rounds to see if they have any problems. Refrain from choosing any hard plastic ski boot-style pair of skates that can make you taller. You don’t want your ankle to get twisted because of these high-fashion skates.
In case you do a lot of practices outdoors, purchasing an identical pair as an alternative will be a great deal in protecting your main pairs to stay intact.
If you need some suggestions for beginners, check out our reviews of the latest roller derby skates.
As you skate, the upper body part, including the head, has the highest potential to get injured. In that case, a skate helmet would be the wise choice to protect your head.
You can use any cycling or skating helmet. Ensure they can fit and tight your head safely without being loosely detached whenever you make a move.
This sport involves interaction and collision between players, so it’s likely for you to fall over. To keep safe in those hazardous situations, pads cannot be missed during any practice or competition.
The pads that are inevitable must be placed in elbows, wrists, and knees since they are the parts that endure most of the collisions.
For even more protection, purchase some extra gaskets and put them under the more vulnerable areas than others for better safety, such as your knees and elbows.
After every game, dry-wash your pads to prevent mold and odor from growing.
Roller Derby for Beginners
If you haven’t been recruited into any crews yet, it’s best to stand on your own feet and start practicing as soon as possible.
Get the gears together and start skating on any flat surface where you can feel like you are in a potential skating place. Try to skate as much as possible to understand how well you have skated already; what are your strengths and weaknesses; how to enhance those skills and overcome those obstacles, etc.
These learning tactics can benefit you a lot when you start to skate in a team since you have had time understanding your own skating style. In that way, when it comes to a team practice, you will soon adapt your skating personality to the team, making the training process more efficient.
If you are not confident to practice on your own, it’s advisable to find someone who is professional in skating to help you deal with your difficulties.
Or even better, you can conduct research in the team you intend to participate in. They might have some classes or workshops that share experience for newbies like you. There must be quite a few girls out there seeking for skating partners as you are!
No matter what way you utilize to practice skating, do not refrain yourself from skating harder and harder every day. Skating seems to be reasonable to you, but when it comes to roller derby, it’s a whole different story since this sport involves more than just skating around.
The more time you spend on your skates, the more comfortable and elite you will become, turning you into a more efficient skater in no time.
There will always be a campaign or skate camp where you can step out and meet new friends who share the same hobby with you. Once you have come into the world of roller derby, you will see way more things that are out of your comfort zone, and that’s when you must reach out of your circle and go bold.
Take some trial classes or workshops, interact with others to find out their cool moves, etc. Remember that you are surrounded by many energetic girls just like you, so what’s the risk of making new friends and sharing the same interest?
3. Watching Roller Derby Matches
You can always proceed to attend other groups’ sessions since it’s the most ideal approach to learn. Witnessing skillful skaters’ tactics and techniques in real matches can help you understand their styles and abilities more realistically. What’s a better way of learning than going on a field trip?
4. Your Roller Derby Skate name
Once you’ve earned a spot in a league, it’s time for some serious training. But don’t worry, you won’t have to be a loner anymore as you will train with the whole team through a specific approved training program. The trainers will give you the chance to bring your skate-using skills to another level.
To officially recognize yourself as one of the skating league members, a skate name is needed. It is preferable to have your own unique name. Read our tips on how to pick a cool roller derby name.
You can check the availability status of a name on this website: twoevils.org/rollergirls.
Once you have chosen your name, restate it to your leader so she can fill it to a form and finish the process of approving you as an official member of the team.
The Final Word
And that’s how fresh meat becomes a roller derby player. As a matter of fact, it is definitely not the same sport as others. Once you have enjoyed roller skating, you can not deny the charisma of roller derby.
Stop thinking that you are not going to make it into any league. Keep on practicing along and going outside to seek experiences, and you will soon enhance your skills to get yourself into a derby match.
One way or another, roller derby is all about the fun and exciting game between diverse girls who adore skating with new challenges. Push yourself forward every day and you will become the best derby player, at least for yourself!