Lights, Camera Ska-ction: Roller Skates In Pop Culture

Since the first recorded use of roller skates in 1743 roller skating has meandered through many obstacles to remain the top casual fitness activity. Ironically, the great depression played an influential role in motivating people to think “Outside the box” for new forms of entertainment.

In fact roller derby got it’s start in a popular pastime recreational activity by the name of Endurance Races. But soon after the great depression something called WWII broke out and most of the roller derby men had to kiss the sport goodbye.

They definitely kept their skates stashed in the closet as evidenced by the come back that roller skates made after the war. In 1948, roller derby debuted on New York television with a 13-week series of matches between New York and Brooklyn. The big screen is responsible for the revival of many sports and hobbies and roller skating is no exception!

In 1995, roller skates were first promoted as fitness skates and this trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Let’s glance back at the big screen and take a look at the influence that pop culture has had on roller skates.

Charlie Chaplin at his best in the 1939 comedy film Modern Times

Roller Skates Go Western

Not so long after, the epic western film from 1980 Heavens Gate, brought us one of the most epic scenes with roller skates. Did you know the roller rink in the film is called “Heavens Gate”? Unfortunately, the entire roller skating dance scene didn’t make the cut for the slimmed down 149-minute version.

Rock On At The Rink

2002 saw the best collaboration of pop music and roller skating when Matchbox Twenty transformed New York City into a giant roller disco for a music video. Even though the song they chose isn’t in their top three best, can we agree that the video definitely is?

“In Manhattan now, there’s this unbelievable underground roller disco scene,” Thomas said. “We went out and cast these kids, some of whom were from this off-Broadway show that’s a roller disco show, some of whom are just Wednesday-night-at-the-Roxy skaters, street skaters. There’s a whole other world that goes on in the middle of the city that people don’t know about.” ~ Lead singer Rob Thomas

Skateland: Sundance On Roller Skates

Only grossing $19,411 in the north american box office is the 2010 movie Skateland. Come on! Every movie involving roller skates should be a blockbuster hit, right? It’s your typical teen movie and it premiered at the Sundance Festival. Were not movie critics here at Roller Skate Nation but we give the roller rink scenes a 10/10. Check it out!

Essential Safety Equipment For Roller Skates

If you’ve stumbled on our Skate Talk  roller skates blog, then we assume these four things;

  1. You’ve strapped on a pair of roller skates before and the experience you had made you more passionate about the sport.
  2. You’ve roller skated in your previous years and are interested to do it again.
  3. You’re passionate about roller skates and are always looking for new ways to improve your skills and stay in the loop of all things roller skating.
  4. You’ve never roller skated before but it seems like the coolest physical activity this world has to offer!

There’s one thing we forgot to mention and this tends to be forgotten most often in regards to roller skating. You’re probably not here to learn about safety equipment because afterall it can be pretty boring.

Until now!

Our passion for roller skates combined with our priority to keep you safe is our obsession at Roller Skate Nation. This is why we stock the latest trends in safety equipment including the essentials and most sought after protective gear.

Let start from the top and work our way to the bottom. In other words, from the head to the legs. But first, here’s some food for the brain;

Did you know, according to Rochester Medical Research that:

  • More severe injuries occur during individual sports and recreational activities.
  • Children who are just beginning a sport or activity are at greater risk for injury.
  • More than 47,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for roller skating-related injuries.

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Top 10 Accessories for Roller Skates for Kids

We always dread the phrase “Batteries not included”. Thankfully when you give the gift of roller skates for kids you don’t need to worry about this. On the other hand however, there are many roller skate accessories that pair up perfectly with roller skates for kids.

Here is our top 10 list of the most popular roller skate accessories we have in stock and ready to ship!

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The Best Roller Derby Apps To Download For Derby Officials

Welcome to the third post in our series about integrating your smartphone with roller skating. We previously learned about the great apps out there for both Android devices and the iphone (iOS). These apps are made essentially for everyone on roller skates and we recommend that you get your thumbs on one asap.

But what about the apps that target a certain user such as a roller derby referee? Whether you are a roller derby official an active member in your derby community, it will be worth your time to download and spread the word about the following apps.

 

roller skate nation roller derby apps

Roller Derby Penalty Timer is the best mobile app created specifically for roller derby officials.

This is a hefty claim stated by roller derby nation straight from the Android App Store and we believe its’ backed by user reviews and an easy to navigate interface.

This penalty tracker provides a reliable way to track penalties with built-in-knowledge of the WFTDA rules to help you manage any jammer situation that gets thrown your way. This app makes it easy for just one person to manage the full penalty box.

Features:

  • Manage any configuration you’d like: two blockers, two jammers, four blockers, or even the full penalty box!
  • Stop all timers simultaneously between jams.
  • Tap-edit allows you to quickly edit a time or add a minute for a double-penalty.
  • Paid Version contains NO Ads. Plus it helps support further development!

Roller Skate Nation rating and feedback: 5/5 stars. A must have app for anyone on a derby team! It’s developed by the renowned roller derby nation and is frequently updated to keep up with the fast pace sport.

The major downfall is that this app is only for Android devices. Don’t worry, keep reading!

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How To Follow The WFTDA Roller Derby Championship

The whistle has blown and the 2013 Flat Track Roller Derby Championship has begun (November 8-10) in Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you love roller skating and want to get in on the action, it’s now easier than ever. You can check out the bracket below and even watch a live stream of the of 2013 Roller Derby Championship right from your sofa! If you roller skate and are on the brink of becoming a thrashing and bashing derby gal, this is good opportunity to learn all about the sport in its entirety. And FYI, Roller Skate Nation just launched a brand new website packed with all the roller derby gear you need!

 A Brief History of the WFTDA Roller Derby Championship

Hydra: The WFTDA Championship Trophy

Hydra: The WFTDA Championship Trophy

Dating back to 2006, the first flat track roller derby championship was called Dust Devlin and held in Tucson, AZ. For every year since then, roller derby teams from around the world battle it out on the flat track for the ultimate Hydra trophy award.

Did you know? The Hydra is named after the first president of the WFTDA and was first awarded to the WFTDA Champion in 2008.

Watch The Roller Derby Championship From Home

Ticket prices to the roller derby  championship vary depending on your choice of seats but they range from $23.25 to $110.25(VIP) for those 13 and older. However, there is an alternative to sitting in the bleachers. If you’re not a diehard roller derby fan like those following the London RollerGirls overseas or if you are out of the vicinity of the cheese state, listen up.

For just $20 you can watch the Roller Derby championship from the comfort of your home. You can even take it to a higher level and pay $100 for a watch party viewership plan. This plan is great for roller derby leagues interested in live streaming the event at a bar for fundraising events.

Roller derby is slowly but surely rolling into the spotlight of pop culture and has even gained the attention of ESPNw, the sports network focused on sports played by women.

Who are you rooting for? Drop a comment below!

2013 Womens Flat Track Derby Association Championship Bracket

2013 Womens Flat Track Derby Association Championship Bracket

A Guide To Create Your Own Custom Roller Skates

Shopping for roller skates can be like creating your own made to order hot sundae. It’s a sweet experience and you can choose all the ingredients. From the wheels, trucks and boots to the shoelaces we give you the option to pick your favorite colors and materials. On the other you can have a fast food kind of experience; just pick the made to order item on the menu and you get it faster than you can _______*. Please fill in the blank with a lighting fast action.

custom roller skates at roller skate nation

In order to help you take home the perfect pair of roller skates we think it’s best to lay down some ground rules aka teach you how every part of the skate works. Our ready to order roller skates are preassembled with high precision and we do all of the heavy thinking for you. Our indoor skates come with indoor wheels and vice versa and we pair heavier boots with lighter trucks etc…

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Why You Should Visit The National Museum of Roller Skating

In this day and age, there may just be a museum for everything you can think of. From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum to the National Museum of Computing you can rock out and fulfill your technology fix through amazing collections of memorabilia and industry breakthroughs. There is even a National Museum of Roller Skating located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

National Museum of Roller Skating

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How To Play Roller Derby In Your Living Room

Yes, you read that title right and now that we have your attention we will reveal the secret method for pushing your furniture aside to make room for the ultimate Flat Track Roller Derby, right inside your home!

roller derby board games roller derby board games

Actually this would be fairly impossible to pull off but thanks to a couple great ideas backed by KickStarter, you can bring the strategy, excitement and competitive edge of roller derby right to your living room with the two recent roller derby board games called Impact City Roller Derby and JammerUp. If your not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a website that gives people with ideas the opportunity to bring them to life through raising funds. In the case of the board games, the required funding was mostly for manufacturing and design.

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So You Want To Be A Roller Derby Referee?

Ever wanted to call the shots?

Do you have a keen eye for girls that break the rules and get out of line?

Did your girl friend or wife join a derby league that leaves you home alone 24/7?

Can you skate backwards, sideways and practically inside-out?

Want to join a fun community to party, travel and boost your social life?

Wouldn’t you just look awesome dressed up in a zebra stripped wardrobe?

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If you answered YES to the majority of these questions then it just might be your time to conquer your fears and join the WFTDA  (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) as a roller derby referee. Actually, there’s really nothing to be afraid of except the raft of a few derby dames teaming up to dispute your unlawful call. So learn the sport and learn it well!

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The Roller Derby League Resource: Where To Join & How To Start A League

So you think you know roller derby, eh? Maybe you’ve seen the movie Whip It about a girl that found herself through the sport or you decided to join a local roller derby league to fill up your free time with some adrenaline laps of speed. It’s even taking off as a recreational sport across college campuses.

roller derby leagues

However the sport grabbed your attention or even if you’ve been playing for a few years, you will be happy to know that it’s up for consideration for the 2020 summer Olympics. When you put in the effort and support required to play the game and maintain a roller derby league, your hard work will pay off and you never know, someday you might skate your way to a gold medal.

Warning: The sport is definitely not for the faint hearted and some girls are out there to really hit hard!

Before searching for a derby league to join it’s important that you have your basics down. This includes being able to skate with a cross over stride, squat while skating and roll at fast speeds. There are leagues for all types of skaters but the most important requirement is that you can skate with confidence.

Thanks to the internet, you can find a roller derby league in no time and be the first one to start a league if your community doesn’t have one. Many roller derby leagues have their own website and/or Facebook page to connect with and most leagues require tryouts before joining.

Here is a breakdown of the different roller derby leagues played around the world. Like cheerleading, some men like to play this sport too.

  • WFT: Women’s Flat Track
  • MFT: Men’s Flat Track
  • JFT: Junior’s Flat Track
  • COED: Coed Flat Track
  • REC: Recreational
  • BT: Banked Track
  • SL: School League

The most popular roller derby leagues are found in major cities but the popularity of the sport has caused a trickle effect that spread derby to smaller leagues and college campus’s. The United States roller derby league list is a great resource to help experienced skaters find a league.

Each roller derby league is different. Some leagues are free to join but require volunteer hours. In general, the roller derby community is self sufficient and operates from the inside out. This mean that each team is responsible for raising their own funds, purchasing their own jerseys, paying the referees, renting out practice space etc…

Do you have any experience joining a roller derby league? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.