Jan 16, 2012

How to become a roller derby girl...

So we have finally decided on a new date to get new girls into Stockholm Rollerderby!
On Monday the 19th March we welcome everyone that want to try rollerderby and have the ambition to become a skater for Stockholm Roller Derby to come and try rollerderby in our practice space. There is more info on it on Facebook - but there will also be more info popping up at our website.  There will be some skates and gear to borrow at the try-outs.

You really don't really have to be able to skate, we can teach you that, but you have to be willing to take a few falls and willing to learn. Of course it is a plus if you know how to skate, and I encourage everyone that want to try-out to get their own gear and find a parking garage and start practicing now... Because the faster you learn how to skate - the faster we can teach you to play derby.

I had never roller-skated when I started derby - but I went and practiced just skating three times a week right before I joined Jet City Roller Girls, because being able to skate forward and to stop is so important.

So here are my tips for you who want to start derby, but is waiting for try-outs:

1. Get your own skates, skates don't have to be superfancy - but seriously, get a pair of rollerskates that you will be able to play derby with Riedell R3's and Sure Grip Rebels are both skates that will take you through the first year, maybe a little longer... I prefer R3's - that is what I started in, they are a little more narrow than the Rebels and mine have lasted forever. When I got new skates I kept my R3's for outdoor skating, and then Kix DeVille from Stockholm used them for her Fresh Meat period, and now a Malmo skater is using them for her fresh meat period.

2. Get your own gear, and spend some money on kneepads, when you start derby you will be spending lots of time falling, especially on your knees. So get big padded kneepads for the first year, if you later on decide to go with less padded kneepads, I don't care. But for the first year - get something fluffy to protect those knees. Other gear you kneed for derby is: elbowpads, wristguards, helmet and mouthguard. Most derbyshops offer some sort of rookiepackage - a deal where you can get the skates and pads for a good deal - uppgrade the kneepads...

3. Now you can start skating... I recommend to find a parking garage, during the less busy hours (if you live in a country where there is snow/rain and no skating rinks) and just get used to being on skates. If it's summer, just go outdoors on smooth asphalt...  There are some instructional videos online of different quality that will help you with things like crossovers and stops... those are probably hte two first things you want to learn after you just just have learnd to propel yourself forward. Think about that you really want to bend your KNEES to find balance, NOT your torso. And learning to fall does not mean that you throw yourself on your knees, a friend of mine that skates in US - likes to call it controlled lowerings. Derby is alot about control - controlling your body on skates...

4. Just wear your skates at home, one of the hardest things when you learn to sakte is to feel comfortble on your skates, and to find the balance. So why not just put those skates on when you are cleaning your apartment, I promise it makes it lots and lots of more fun! When I started I used to walk stairs in my apartment building, this might be a little on the dangerous side, and I think my neighbours might have feared for my life a few times. But bottom line is - that the more you wear your skates, the more you will get used to it and you will become more balanced...

5. Start working out - rollerderby is a fun sport and sometimes you forget that it is a demanding sport -and the more fit you are when you start - the faster you will learn, but also you are more likley not to get injured... I cannot say that I love off-skate, but I know it is a really important part of roller-derby - it will make me last longer as derby-player.

6. Find other girls that want to start rollerderby - and start practicing together in that garage, basement or park...

7. You are always welcome to ask me questions if you don't know anyone that does derby, I will try to do my best to help out! Or if YOU have any tips... please let me know and I will share it with the rest of the world!

Oh, and I also want to tip you all of about this blogg Fresh Meat Chronicles - it's a few Gothenburg fresh meat girls that been bloggin about their journey of learning to play derby.

Ok, I am off to work now...


  1. Du snodde mina tights din jäkel! Nu finns de inte kvar! =)

  2. Kul läsning! tack för alla dina tips, du inspirerar mig!

  3. Hard to believe you were ever fresh meat. <3 Jax