What to Look for and Think About When Buying Derby Skates

The answers seems obvious at first and you’d probably say “I need to look for a colorful and fashionable pair of skates” to kick some butt at roller derby.

While this is a valid answer and we think you should buy skates that match your style, there is much more to consider prior to buying derby skates.

Read over this quick list of questions below and then follow our derby skates road map below! First, ask yourself;

  1. Will I use my derby skates if I don’t pass tryouts and make the team?
  2. How much am I willing to invest in a pair of skates at the moment?
  3. Should I start out on top notch skates or just buy a decent pair for now and make the upgrade later.
  4. Should I use a high-top boot or a low cut?
  5. Will I skate mainly outdoors or indoors?
  6. What’s all the lingo about wheels and which ones should I buy?


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.


  • 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!

[Read more...]

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

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.

Socialize Your Roller Derby League With Facebook

Roller Derby is gaining momentum around the world and this can be attributed to the help of social media. Yes, roller derby leagues are on Facebook and are sharing the success and added value that it brings to their organization and you should be too. If you already are then you know how important it is to connect with your community to turn fans and followers into ticket buyers.

roller derby social media

Just like every other form of entertainment, word of mouth marketing and people are the driving force behind such concerts, festivals and in this case derby bouts. The social sphere is huge and complicated so this article will focus primarily on Facebook tips and tricks to kick start your league on the web to help build a following for support.

Great Tips For Roller Derby Social Media

1. Establish & Reinforce Your Derby League Identity

Your derby league is a brand and needs to be consistently portrayed on Facebook. One of the biggest mistakes a derby league makes it posting irrelevant content that is not associated with their league. Always be sure your logo is on display through your profile photo or cover photo. These images make a powerful impression and can be used to display derby bout events and times. Remember to incorporate your leagues colors into the design of your photos!

2. Show & Tell: Make Your League Easy To Contact

Facebook is a great platform to promote your fundraising activities and league events and people have began to search out a league on Facebook before a personal league website. You need to use the “About Us” section to teach your fans the most important parts of your league. Here you should include your mission statement and a link to your leagues website and blog. You should also include a contact number or email to answer your fans questions. Remember to direct most of the conversation to your timeline via posts and pictures (Facebook is for building a community around your league) but there will be times when communication should be done in private.

3. Balance Your Activity With Relevant Content & Updates

Who are you trying to connect with? Your local community or the roller derby community in it’s entirety? Facebook is a perfect platform to showcase your league and to reach out to fans but you must put a strategy in motion. For example, if you are hosting tryouts for next years derby season, your main target will be people most interested in joining your league. Understand your demographics so you can connect with the people most likely to join such as girl/guys that live within 20 miles of your practice space. In other words you don’t want to waste your time promoting posts about your tryouts to your fans that live in another country.

Keep your Facebook page active with videos and pictures of your league. A good idea is to designate a girl for each practice and bout to capture some live action. Host a derby team jersey design contest and award the winning designer with season tickets to each derby bout. Maintain a live score feed during a derby bout and post the score every 10 minutes. Remember to share the love for roller skating and talk about news skates and roller derby tricks

The key to creating a successful Facebook page for your derby league is to create interactions and conversations around roller derby with a focus on your league. Stay positive because no one “Likes” a “Derbie Downer”. We’d love to be your friends too and welcome welcome you to our social skating community.

Raising Dollars For Derby: 4 Ways To Roll In Cash To Support Your Derby League

Roller Derby made a comeback at the grassroots level in the early 2000′s and like most grass root endeavors, they rely heavily upon fundraising and donations. As most roller derby leagues are managed internally and self organized, roller derby fundraising ideas become the leagues responsibility to keep the bouts alive. There are referees to pay, practice and bout space rental and travel costs just to name a few expenses and the average dedicated derby girl can spend up to $600 a year to play.

roller derby fundraising ideas

Whether you are two years in to your derby league or just creating your derby name, these fundraising ideas will have your league rolling in the right direction and rolling in some cash.



Before planning any type of roller derby fundraising event it’s important that you set up your channels to help promote it. Social media is the best place to start and Roller Skate Nation recommends creating a local business Facebook page for your derby league. Name it after your derby team and invite all of your friends to like the business page. Once you plan a fundraiser event, this will be the best channel to advertising it. Don’t forget to also spread the word about your “Page” throughout your derby community. 

A great fundraising event is the Target Tarp aka Chuck-A-Duck contest to host at your derby bouts. This event will take place during your bout half time and require a large tarp with a target painted on it. Just purchase about 20 rubber ducks and use a sharpie marker to number them. Sell the ducks before and during the bout (1 duck/$2 3 ducks/$5) and roll the tarp out at halftime. Announce the rules to the audience to toss their ducks onto the tarp and award a prize to the numbered duck that lands closest to the target.

Garage sale’s usually prove to be successful and the most important decision for this event is the location. Be sure to agree on a high traffic area in a neighborhood and then promote it with signage and social media. Remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure but don’t just collect your old junk. Be sure to display nice things that you have not used in awhile. These items will attract attention to the entire display. You can host a themed garage sale around skate sports and collect anything you have on wheels that’s just collecting dust.

The special delivery fundraiser will put your skating skills to the test and raise some funds for the rest! Here’s your chance to serve the community up some ice cold beers at a local bar. Ask to help volunteer on a busy weekend to serve menu items to guests and ask for a percentage of the evenings earnings. You can decorate a derby themed jar and ask the restaurant to put it out for donations too. Every bit adds up.

Did you know that your local Chic Fil A designates a night for fundraising that can benefit your derby league? Just get in touch with a location nearest you and organize a fundraising event. You can work out a drive through sales percentage event for which an amount of sales goes to your league each time a customer mentions the keyword or phrase that you create. Post the keyword up on your Facebook page to inform your fans and wish for the best.

At the core, fundraising is about creating relationships with the community and raising money to support your derby league. The more involved you are, the more successful your efforts will be. You can designate a member of your league to organize fundraising events or trade off between members each month!

Have more great roller derby fundraising ideas to raise money for the rink? Let us know in the comments below!

Roller Skate Nation Photo Contest Winners

Roller Skate Nation recently hosted a photo contest on Facebook and Google+. Check out some of our best submissions and feel free to comment. Thanks to all those that participated!

1st Place 
Tiffany Howard

CAPTION: Pacesetters My daughter, a munchin in The Wiz Skate Show 2013!!!

Lusea Griffiths

Sarah Hexapus Deathriage

Martina Cordova

Lindsay Wright Brian

Derby Your Way To Health!

When Regina Frazer put on her first pair of derby skates, little did she know that she would one day be on Cnn.com for all the world to see. Yet that is exactly what has happened!

Regina joined the Fairbanks Rollergirls in 2009 to give her something to do in the harsh Alaskan climate.Soon Regina was better known by her derby name, saBOBtage. She was well loved by her teammates and soon held leadership positions on her team. In 2011, she was voted to be co-captain of the team. It was then that she decided that to be a good example, she needed to be an athletic leader as well.

When Regina Frazer started the team she weighed 260 pounds and could barely skate 25 laps. Through both roller derby and a complete overhaul of her diet, she has gone from a size 22 to an 8. She can also easily skate 100 laps! So, one might say that it is completely possible to derby your way to health!

An Inside Scoop On Roller Derby And 2 Quick Tips

The sport of roller derby has a history rooted in American culture that dates back to the 1930′s. If you can imagine a heap of folks on wheels rolling around a track amidst the great depression and among the dust bowls, it’s not too hard to imagine what present day roller derby has become.


Modern roller derby is far more sophisticated, widespread and competitive than it used to be and derby girls have taken it to a whole new level. The roller derby community recently began requesting funds for a kick starter project to create a roller derby board game..Now that’s serious.

Being a roller derby girl comes with many advantages but nothing in life is free. To say the least, it is worth exchanging every drop of sweat and road rash for a tight knit community that will keep you in shape and on your toes (no pun intended).

Let’s put the rubber to the track and outline a day in the life of a roller derby girl but first, get to know the famous Ann Calvello, a roller derby hero that traveled the world with her skates. This hot tempered roller derby role model is not for every chick to look up to but if you search her name, you are bound to discover that this sport will toughen you up, perhaps break your nose 12 times like it did for her and create a stronger you.

The ideal day in the life of a roller derby girl starts with a Do It Yourself Attitude. Roller derby bouts are organized by skaters, for skaters. It sound cliché, but it’s true.

Securing a spot on your derby squad may be the easiest part of roller derby and you will put in hard work on and off the rink. Members organize derby committees for fund raising efforts to help pay for referees, rink locations and additional costs.
Prepare for big time commitments and plan your schedule to make time for practice.

Express yourself, be yourself and have fun

  • What’s better than using your imagination to create your own funky outfit and roller derby name. Roller derby is a new dimension of fashion and if you like to get funky with fabric, you’ve come to the right sport.
  • Most girls represent their femininity through the outfits they wear and their costumes take on the looks of rockabilly and burlesque fashion.

Wear what’s importan

  • Who said mouth guards aren’t sexy? Buy one and boil it down to custom fit and put it in to protect your fierce derby grin.
  • Helmet, wristgaurds, elbow and knee pads and mouthguards are mandatory.
  • Here is a list of additional protection we highly suggest to wear: Ankle support, Shin gaurds, tailbone protectors, turtle shell bras, padded shorts and shin gaurds.

Strip away the pom pom’s and replace the skirts with high socks, fish nets and leather pants. Who said girls can’t “Go-fight-win” on their own turf called a roller rink?

The first Derby bout of the season!

I had the privileged of going to my hometown Derby leagues first bout for the season. It was between the Muscogee Roller Girls and the Marietta Derby Darlins.

The bout was at the Gr8 Sk8 skating rink in Phenix City, AL.

The bout was very fun and entertaining. I talked to a couple of the derby players after the event and one of their main concerns at each bout was if the audience was engaged. From what I could tell, they put on a pretty good show.