Tag Archives: Santa Cruz Derby Girls

To Derby or Not to Derby?

As long as we’re blogging, maybe I should mention that for the past few years I’ve been really wanting to play roller derby. The local league in Santa Cruz started when I was a junior or senior in high school, and my hair dresser was a derby girl. I thought it sounded ridiculously fun and wanted to try it out, but then I joined a band and went to college and moved a lot, and I kind of forgot about roller derby. Over the years I thought about it off and on, but I never pursued it. Then last week I finally went to my first bout – the Boardwalk Bombshells vs. the L.A. Ri-Ettes – and they announced that they were going to be having a training camp this summer. And that spark inside me came back.

I really really really want to do this camp. It’s only $150 for 6 weeks, it would be great exercise, and I could finally find out if I’d be any good at this sport. But I’d have to have all my own gear: roller skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, mouth guard. I’m sure I have some old safety gear hidden somewhere in the garage, but I’m worried that I’m going to spend all this money on gear and end up either hating the sport or sucking at it!

I think what intrigues me about roller derby is it’s innate girl-power qualities: it promotes community, team work, strong bodies and minds, grassroots organizing, and giving back to the community. Even the little derby groms who played during half-time were adorable, hard-working, and inspiring. I love that derby is about female empowerment, and it sends a positive message to young girls about body image, athleticism, spirit, and inner strength. Plus, kicking ass at a sport is fun.

My mom and all of her friends think playing roller derby would be ridiculously fun and bad-ass. The only thing my dad (who is a sports doctor, a downhill skier, triathlete, and surfer) said is that it sounds dangerous. It’s funny that the person who I thought would unconditionally support my interest in a sport turns out to be the only person against me playing roller derby. What’s up with that? I’m sure he’ll come around, but my gut reaction to his skepticism is that I just want to join the sh*t out of roller derby.

So, what do you think? Do you know anyone who plays? Have you ever been to a bout, and did you enjoy it? Do you play roller derby and have any advice/words of wisdom? Let me know in the comments!


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