Roller Derby Girls | SubCultures

Roller Derby Girls | SubCultures

-What is there not to love
about derby? The elbowing, the knee-shoving,
the [laughs] I know it sounds so barbaric,
but I love it. -It is badass. A lot of people can’t take
a full-contact sport, and you need to be able
to just take it and get back up and keep going. -You see a girl coming up. Like, that perfect hit
you can go in for — You can just take her out
with all your might. I love hearing the crowd
go crazy on a good hit. That’s awesome. -I’m straight-up addicted
to roller derby. [ Chuckles ] -I started out as a blocker, and once I got my endurance
up and was able to keep up a little bit more,
I started jamming. Basic crash-course explanation
would be that you would have
four blockers from each team. They make up the pack. [ Whistle blows ] The first whistle starts
and they go and then you have a jammer
from each team. The second whistle, they go. -You stop the opposing jammer, and then
you get your jammer through. They get points
after the initial pass for passing the hips
of each opposing blocker. You want to get your jammer
lead jammer status so they can get all the points that they want
and then end the jam. -My very first game was an away
game played out in Tucson. I’m nervous.
This is my first game ever. I got this one hit. She was the one that everyone
was telling us before — “Watch out for her.
Watch out for her.” She came through as a jammer and I just kind of, like,
sidestepped and took her out and she went flying
out of bounds. There’s a picture of it, too. This guy in the background —
His face is like… -I was jamming. Another blocker
came up to hit me out. We just hit
in a perfect triangle. Thankfully, it was just my bone. And that was
my first broken bone ever. I was like, “Wait. Cool.” [ Whistle blows ] I was a substance-abuse
counselor, but I got really burnt out
and I needed an outlet and I needed a break
and derby provided nothing but solace for me as far
as getting out my aggression, getting that challenge, like, that mental challenge
to push yourself. It’s an outlet for me, like,
to be a little bit girly when I want to be
and tough when I need to be. -It’s a release. All that pent-up stuff,
the junk from your day — I find myself at work
being just as positive, just as outgoing,
just as confident. So it’s helped me a lot. [ Laughs ] -I moved from New York to L.A.
with my then-boyfriend. We were living together
and broke up. My leg was broken, actually,
at the same time, and I had a death in
my immediate family all at once. I got nothing but love
and support from my sisters — flowers sent to my house
in New York, people putting a roof
over my head when I was transitioning between
places that I was living — Things that you expect
from a sister or a best friend from everybody. It just kind of gives you this
camaraderie and this confidence. And you know you have
150 women who got your back. And now I have 15 guys
who got my back, too. So it works out pretty well. -I would summarize the presence
of men’s roller derby in modern roller derby as
a small fish in a big pond. I guess
that’s how the phrase would go. I love roller derby because,
to be quite blunt, it’s the first sport
I’ve ever even cared a little bit about,
and I care about it a lot. -I think because there’s such
a strong feminist backing for women’s roller derby
that there’s actually this kind of reverse sexism
that happens, and it’s really unfortunate. There are entire leagues
of amazing skaters of men, and they are backed strongly
by their sister leagues. -I see myself being involved
in roller derby for a very long time. It’s only getting bigger.
It’s only getting better. It’s helped me stay athletic. To be honest, I’m pretty
sedentary outside of roller derby.
I’m lazy. I like sitting in front
of my computer all day. So this is my “gym membership.” -When you do something
as fun and awesome as derby, you can go through changes
in your personal life because you invest so much time
and emotion into this sport. This takes over.
It really does. We all come together because
we love this game and we want to keep it intact and there’s
this serious camaraderie within our community. -We do a lot with the community. We’re always doing, like,
fund raisers, volunteer work. I feel like I’m getting
something and giving something. It benefits everyone.
It’s great. -And we got a winner!
Winner, winner, winner! -I really don’t like
being around girls that much. I’m not a girly girl. But all the girls
that I’ve met — All the women, I should say, that I’ve met
through derby are awesome. It’s an awesome family. -We’ve got girls that are in,
like, public health, people like me with a desk job. We got some stay-at-home moms,
teachers. [ Laughs ]
That cracks me up, though, ’cause I think, like,
“How bad are your students?” I just want people to know that
it’s not as scary as it seems. -It can change people. It can bring out
a lot of confidence. You get in better shape. You take care
of your body better. Your priorities shift
a little bit to being healthy. We really are athletes
and it’s an amazing sport and I can’t believe
that corporate America has not gotten behind this yet. Like, nobody wants to watch
the WNBA. Let’s be real. I think everyone, once they see
derby, wants to watch derby. At least that’s my opinion.
I was hooked. [ Laughter ]

Antonio Breitenberg

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82 thoughts on “Roller Derby Girls | SubCultures

  1. gabscer says:


  2. GoriBore says:

    aaahhhh, learning made fun πŸ™‚

  3. The0Vivacious says:

    But this is still dangerious… fun and cool but dangerious… watch out!

  4. Jess Reynolds says:

    Dangerous to a degree, but appropriate safety attire is worn, and believe it or not, we spend a lot of time learning how to fall, as to keep both yourself and everyone else safe! There are also penalties to keep people from doing sketchy hits. Not as dangerous as you'd think! πŸ™‚

  5. The0Vivacious says:

    Oh, glad to hear that then. Sorry about my spelling lol

  6. Teagz93 says:

    Soulpancake is my favourite subscriber on youtube. I love all the videos you bring out πŸ˜€ <3

  7. thespeck says:

    I can't wait to do this when im older. Definitely on my bucket list.

  8. micro-babe says:

    I've always wanted to try roller derby. I fence and this would only add to the bruises I get, haha.

  9. AveQSCTWWU2015 says:

    You guys should cover one of the IQA quidditch teams in California!!!!!! Or any quidditch team for that matter.

  10. Taylor Gentry says:

    You guys should do a video on winter guard

  11. JustSayTony says:

    Let's say you wanna get ahead in your career.

  12. NegativeAge says:

    Dunno about anyone else but ladies who get out there and do stuff like this defiantly do it for me.

  13. 1zalex1 says:

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a subculture you could cover. A little vulgar, but I know a lot of people, including myself, that use the event as a stress release.

  14. Minikatz97 says:

    That actually seems like it would be really fun πŸ˜€

  15. Mimmi Bie says:

    I wish I was this cool.

  16. brianpburch says:

    epicly awesome πŸ™‚

  17. helloyadi says:

    i agree. nobody watches or wants to watch WNBA

  18. Bailey Cook says:

    Really eye-opening, I've never even heard of roller derby here in the UK! Looks like an absolute blast, awesome to see women involved in contact sports.

  19. TheFezzik says:

    My wife is a derby blocker for the Peoria Push Derby Dames. The games are awesome.

  20. S Crutchfield says:

    yo they should interview gotham girls roller derby in nyc

  21. Kelsey Peters says:

    Love Derby! Go Gotham!!!

  22. alisha victorine says:

    love, love, love!!! Thanks Soul Pancake!

  23. BTS Disi says:

    Super interesting it makes me want to watch (would it be called a match? game?)

  24. harmonymelodypress says:

    That was awesome. I have always wanted to know more about derby culture. Thanks for the glimpse. Hopefully I will get to go out and watch it someday.

  25. Grace Anderson says:

    My sister is a derby girl. She is in a band and has three kids. And she is my role model.

  26. ChopRamen says:

    You would not believe the incredible community comes with derby. You can knock a girl flat one moment and be asking her for a place to crash the next. It's amazing and I'm so in love with this sport.

  27. Joshua G says:

    I love this sport. It's really interesting. If you guys want to watch a great movie (not documentary) centered around this sport I recommend "Whip It" it's an awesome film and it stars Ellen Page.

  28. Jennae Kent says:

    IEDD baby!!! Derby=love if you've never tried it then what are you waiting for? get your ass on the track

  29. Jennae Kent says:

    its a bout

  30. Jennae Kent says:

    Why wait? there is derby for every age. Im 22 years old and i know a girl MonkeyMess who is 8 years old and bad-ass.

  31. PsychedeliDuck says:

    is that YACHT in the background OH HELL YEAH

  32. Jack Lee says:

    very cool!

  33. keladry12 says:

    I want to do this now…
    I totally should have found out about this during high school; the biggest disappointment of my hockey career was when they moved us girls to a girls team and then said that we would no longer be allowed to check. LAME. πŸ˜‰

  34. keladry12 says:

    wtf man. honestly.

  35. jawara blake says:

    I need to do this.

  36. Liebe Bryna says:

    I'm too much of a sissy to play contact sports, but AGH GO FOR YOU GIRLS YOU ROCK.

  37. J.I. says:

    Ever since I saw that Ellen Page movie, Whip It, I've been ever so interested in the world of Roller Derby.

  38. Flexmeister says:


  39. Flexmeister says:


  40. radarronan says:

    Now, I must admit that 'Whip It' was the first time I had ever heard of roller derby, but being English, I hope you can forgive me… I digress, because I have started watching it online and it is so much fun to watch: a true spectator sport. I just hope it keeps on increasing in popularity and I am glad it is a female-centric sport that is not just a watered-down version of a male sport (netball: I'm looking at you…) and I hope that more sports are recognised as being female-centric or equal!

  41. stimela1000 says:

    There are Roller Derby leagues all around the country. i've just started the fresh meat training with Kent Rollergirls. If you're interested check it out, you likely have a league near you.

  42. stimela1000 says:

    Derby is one of the sport under consideration for entry into the 2020 Olympic games. So you may yet see derby girls in the olympics.

  43. Leon Herperger says:

    i wonder how early derby enthusiasts can feel good about revitalizing a sport in the name of counter culture that was quickly swallowed by popular culture, right along with tattoos and rockabilly? you are celebrating the very monster you initially stoog against.

  44. hamdan aziz says:

    it wouldnt be cool to make a sandwich joke here would it?:p

  45. Dizahab2 says:

    where's ellen page?

  46. Brad Rumble says:

    i wish i was born a girl so i could take part in this

  47. Brad Rumble says:

    i posted that comment before the dudes came up

  48. VictoriaCreeper says:

    There are men roller derby leagues!

  49. Chantal Opp says:

    This video is perfection. I do Roller Derby myself and I can relate to so many things they say.

  50. xlubu411x says:

    I've played roller hockey since I was six and I've always wanted to try this out. I really don't understand what its not a more popular sport it looks awesome.

  51. Alexander says:

    Unless you want to be hip checked into anthor LOL ^.^

  52. atelierfrost says:

    I can't believe the chick at the beginning talked about elbowing, considering that's likely to be a major penalty, especially with the new WFTDA ruleset with no minors…

  53. Austin Argo says:

    That looks fun and really painful at the same time

  54. cirilia says:

    Derby looks so awesome. I wish I had the balls to go out for a team.

  55. IdleDivas says:

    It exits here in the UK too! I know there's a team in Hull, and I expect there are a couple in London as well as other places..

  56. Hannah Halsall says:

    I do this for fun and I kick ass and I'm just nine and my aunty can jump to 6 feet high is cool and on my aunty team I pushed over a roller derby girl and I sed I was born for this and is so cool I'm going to get bench marck in Saskatoon is so I have all of my gear ready
    I play if I have to even if I get bone heart i m going to get up and say led play I was born to do this

  57. ashleylovesjill says:

    I want to do this so bad omg

  58. Sarah Baughman says:

    I'm going to a derby "bout" in Cambridge, MA on July 27th as a result of this video. Totally awesome.

  59. catastrophicized says:

    Who WOULDN'T love roller derby?

  60. camillaroseg says:

    Do it! I'm from the UK, and I was nervous to start, but I just went to my first session yesterday and absolutely loved it – I'm already addicted! πŸ™‚

  61. camillaroseg says:

    I hadn't either until about a month ago. I'm from Manchester, and I went to my first session yesterday and absolutely loved it. It's on the rise in the UK and believe it or not there's at least one team in every city πŸ™‚ There are three in Manchester alone

  62. Rafael Furtado says:

    I never knew that there was a men's league
    I discovered Derby on Whip it and I've been following but I don't know many channels where bouts are recorded so I can watch it.

  63. DJ Doc's Videos says:

    My favorite spectator sport.

  64. derbylove82 says:

    watch online derbynewsnetwork(dot)com πŸ™‚

  65. stimela1000 says:

    I started in October last year. I love it! Sadly I'm struggling with a pre-existing injury problem so I haven't managed to pass my skills test yet. Hopefully soon though πŸ™‚

  66. Molly May says:

    Roller Derby is an incredible sport! Ever since I saw the film Whip It I have been hooked on it! I would love to see this sport on TV as it's an amazing sport to watch!

  67. Fester D says:

    I'm a derby dad to a junior league blocker/pivot. Let me just say the sport has changed her life and our home. As a single dad, it's not easy raising a daughter but thanks to the women of our charter team that job got easier. Her esteem was boosted, her awkwardness went away, she began to get into shape and have motivation to keep it up. I guess you could say Derby saved her life. I can't express my love and appreciation enough for having Killamazoo ok our lives!! I don't mind sharing the status of hero in her life with the women of our teams!

  68. Jo says:

    I love the film whip it and I love the sport and skating

  69. Troy says:

    I'm a derby videographer and I love this video, I love the sport and I want to see the sport grow to new heights. "No one wants to watch the WNBA, Everyone wants to watch Derby"Β 

  70. Terrence Lufuta says:

    3:14 I see stone cold

  71. Maureen MacIntosh says:

    <3 derby!

  72. Cleo AtΓ³mica says:


  73. Livvy Busch says:

    I've always wanted to do roller derby

  74. Samantha Sunshine says:

    I'm so in love with this sport! I just started 1 month ago, and I'm on one of the teams featured in this video. GO DERBY DIVAS WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!! I can't wait to be on their level! I have to crawl before I walk right! They have been awesome cheerleaders along the way! Awesome!

  75. ass eater says:

    Why am I too young… this is so unfair

  76. Quynhthi Do says:

    le sexisme renversΓ© n'existe pas

  77. Big Bear says:

    4:33 THAT'S ME!!πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

  78. Eloise Elliott says:

    My feet always used to hurt in my skates and I found that if I did squats then it didn't hurt so much πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  79. Tudor Miller says:

    Roller Girls are so damn hot. πŸ‘©β™₯️🀘

  80. Tudor Miller says:

    I'd love to see Roller Derby on the BBC, rather than The Super Bowl.

  81. Paulina Guerrero says:


  82. r0ckinr0byn2085 says:

    What a perfect outlet

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