Featured Skater Archive

Featured Skater Archive

I love being able to play and I so recommend more people play. Derby lets girls and guys express themselves in many different ways. I love that I can be myself when I am with my team.

Septembember 2017

July 2017

 

 

April 2017

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West Coast Junior Knockouts

 

 

West Coast Junior Knockouts

Rogue Runner

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1)          What does Derby mean to you? 

Derby is more than a hobby to me, it’s a passion. I’ve found a second family in my teammates, and can’t imagine my life without roller derby in it. I’m a self proclaimed derby nerd and love everything about this amazing sport and the people involved in it.

2)          How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCDK/WCDK Jr.?

I had zero skating experience before roller derby. I skated fresh meat with another league before joining West Coast, and am in my 4thseason Skating with WCDK. It is also my first season Reffing for WCJK.  

3)          Do you remember your first experience with Derby, what was it?

I first saw derby in northern California while visiting some friends. I was a spectator for quite some time before I got up the courage to join. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  

4)      Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

Breakfast with my teammates.

 5)   What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

It has never been a question for me, once I became a knockout I knew I was home. I bleed pink and black and love everything about this league. 

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6)      What do you remember about your first bout?

I was a newbie for quite some time, so my first bout was much anticipated. I remember appreciating how many people from my original league came out to support me, and how much hard work it took to get to that point.

7)      Do you have a derby wife?

 My wifey is busty Keaton, we cheered each other through fresh meet, and to this day she remains a great friend and positive force in my derby & non-derby life and I am very lucky to call her my derby wife. 

8)      Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still involved and obsessed with derby, very likely still playing and reffing. Somewhere down the line, I also have aspirations of coaching. I just can’t picture a future that doesn’t involve derby in some capacity. 

9)      What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why? 

Pivot, I’m an offensive minded blocker and like being a relief jammer when needed.  

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Barbie Crash #666

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1)      What does Derby mean to you?

Roller derby means a lot to me. It gives me the chance to play the sport I love and communicate with my teammates.

2)      How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCDK/WCDK Jr.

I have been skating for over 4 years. I have been skating with West Coast Junior Knockouts for almost a full year now. 

3)      Do you remember your first experience with Derby, what was it?

My first experience with roller derby was when I watched the Denver Derby Dolls game around four and a half years ago.

4)      Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

Before bouts I like to eat healthy foods to keep me energized and I like to think positive about the game.

5)      What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

What has inspired me to remain a knockout is my teammates and how much we have grown individually and as a team.

6)      What do you remember about your first bout?

What I remember about my first bout is how I was so scared to play in front of others.

7)      Do you have a derby wife?

Yes I do have a derby wife, her name is Poison and her number is 77

8)      Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself playing derby and working hard in school so I can become a dentist when I'm older. 

9)      What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

My favorite position is jamming because I feel more comfortable about it and I love to feel accomplished as I score points.

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10)   Any closing thoughts?

I just want to say thank you to my coaches and teammates for helping me become a better player and helping me express myself 🙂

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KnockHers #33

 KnockHers

 What does derby mean to you?

I've always played sports growing up, derby is another sport for me where I can hit people. I always got in trouble for being too aggressive in spoets growing up, derby is the perfect fit because there is no such thing! Plus the group of people surrounding this sport are amazing.

WCDK

How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCDK/WCDK Jr.?

I've been skating all my life, my friends joke that I came out the womb with skates on. I've been with WCDK for 6 years now.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

I went to a fit no hit skate clinic with a scrimmage afterwards. I jammed first and back then there was minors, the ref called my number and I stood up confused if I needed to go to the box or not (I didn't) and a blocker hit me so hard I flew up against the wall.

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

Team breakfast and a salad from wood ranch.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

Our sluggers and any girl that just starts scrimmaging or skating their first game. The look on their face of excitement, nerves, and love inspires me every time. And of course our junior league, those girls love the sport and to skate. Their passion is so incredible you can't not be inspired by watching them!

WCDK

What do you remember about your first bout?

It was in San Diego and we had to wear pink tights. I was so nervous to go out there then someone hit me off the track and I thought hey that wasn't so bad and my nerves went away (for the time being.)

Do you have a derby wife?

Yes I do. Fearless Bueller she skates with SFV Roller Derby.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully still skating. I'd love to see WCDK go to D1 or D2 playoffs. And I'd like to still coach the WCJK and Drive-By City Rollers (Men's Derby in LA. Bang Bang!)

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

Pivot, which is a blocker who can take a panty pass if needed. I like to be there if my jammer needs to pass the panty to me, or help her get through a wall and then stop the other jammer.

Any closing thoughts?

I'd like to thank all the volunteers for this sport! Skating officials, Non-Skatkg officials, photographers, coaches, etc. Without you this sport of derby could not happen. Also I'd like to thank Skating Plus for being our rink to skate and play at, most leagues aren't as fortunate as we are. We have a great relationship with the employees and management who treat us with respect.

WCDK

WCDK

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Nanie Knock-U-Out #0803

What does derby mean to you?

To me derby is a sport that you can have fun doing, while making friends and just love what you're doing because it's unique.

NanieHow long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCDK/WCDK Jr.?

In August I will have been skating for four years. I have been with WCDK since January so maybe 6 months, almost 7.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

My first experience with derby was, my mom took me to a Ventura County Derby Darlins game. After that I kept begging my mom to let me do it.

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

Before every bout I always try to keep a positive attitude and focus on working together with my team.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

The people here are really nice and I learn something new almost every practice.

What do you remember about your first bout?

My very first bout was at Orange County and I couldn't even keep up with the pack. It was sort of funny.

Do you have a derby wife?

I have lots of derby sisters.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself still skating derby, trying out for team USA, and going to high school.

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

BLOCKER!!!!!! I love being able to work on new blocks and I love hitting the jammer out.

Any closing thoughts?

Overall I can't believe it will be and I love skating at WCJDK.

 

 

Hoodie Ninja #225

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Fast and Furious #45

What does derby mean to you?

Derby is a way for you to be in a different sport that no one really knows about, it means I can be different.

How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCDK/WCDK Jr.?

I have been skating a long time, since I can remember, I am only 9 now so it’s all my life feels like. I have been on WCDK Jr’s since early September until now. It’s been almost 8 months.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

Yes, I was afraid until I got out there and just did my best.

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

No, because all I want to do is do my best and try to get through walls and not worry about remembering a ritual.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

That it is a very rare sport, and very little people know about it.

What do you remember about your first bout?

That I was very nervous, but once I went out there I was tired and that once the jam was done I was happy I got a lot of points.

Do you have a derby wife?

No.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

At a great school and still doing derby.

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

I like being a Jammer because most of the drills we do have a lot to do with jamming so when we have a game or scrimmage I am ready.

Maddie Mayhem #429

What does derby mean to you?

Derby means doing something that other people can't really do. It makes me happy every time I enter the floor.

How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCJK?

I have been skating for two years and it's been about a year I've been with WCDK juniors.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

My first experience with derby was watching these big girls skating super fast and I wanted to be like that.

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

I have my own pre-bout ritual every bout I say to myself that I can do 110% and try my hardest.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

What inspires me to remain a knockout is that this is a wonderful group of girls and they can't get replaced. It would be different without them. They're unique in their own way.

What do you remember about your first bout?

What I remember from my first bout is a lot of people cheering for our team and we may not have won but I felt that we played our hardest.

Do you have a derby wife?

No I don't have a derby wife.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself as a WCDK adult and I'm with the older girls and I'll learn more from them.

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

My favorite position is being a jammer because I love when it comes to fast thinking, and I made it through the pack and I can make the points.

Any closing thoughts?

Roller derby is the right place for me and I've never done anything better in my life. Guys aren't the only strong people out there, we can be too.

 

 

 

CineR.G. #7

How long have you been skating?

My earliest memory of skating is going full speed down a slanted driveway falling on the asphalt. As a teenager all my free time was spent at Skate Palace. Once my friends and I could drive Skating Palace was the place to be. 18 years had passed when I found Roller Derby. Been skating ever since.

Do you remember your first experience with derby? What was it?

I watched Derby when I was younger, but it wasn't until I watched "Rollergirls" the TV show that I had the feeling that I am going play roller derby.

What do you remember about your first bout?

My first bout was a blur and don't remember anything. My second bout I do remember. I was an alternate to play for an away bout. I was called up to play. It was great working as part of a team with other skaters on the track and having all the drills finally click.

Do you have a Derby Wife?

No.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

If my body is willing I hope to continue to play.

What is your favorite position?

I prefer blocking.

Fanny Smackiao #147

What does derby mean to you?

It means being daring, doing something unexpected, having fun, living life.   There is a bumper sticker floating around out there that reads "Roller derby saved my soul".  This is so true!  Without this sport, I really don't know where I'd be today.  It has given me a sense of self worth, physical and mental strength and confidence.  It means having a second family to turn to when I need support.  It has also given me an amazing group of friends that I am lucky to have.

How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCDK?

I have been with WCDK SINCE 12/2010. Before that, I hadn't really skated for about 25 years.  I grew up at the Skate Palace in Port Hueneme!  I was a wee little figure skater under the tutelage of Johnnie Barber.  I never imagined I'd be able to put some of those skate skills to use in my adult live.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

One of my friends had been bugging me about wanting to "do" roller derby for over 2 years.  We finally decided to go to a recruitment night for a different league.  We got all the information and heard the pitch but, knew that wasn't the right place for us.  The next weekend,  WCDK had a home bout so we decided to see the game in action.   I still was not sold.  The following week we went to open skate at Skating Plus.  KnockHers was working that night and started telling us all about derby and invited us to the next night's practice.   I honestly believe it was her enthusiasm for the league and the game that sold me.  We went to the next practice and I never turned back!

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

TEAM BREAKFAST!  Having breakfast with as many of the rostered skaters as possible puts me in the teamwork mindset.  After that, I take a nap!

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

I honestly love skating.  I wish I had more time to free skate.
Also, seeing all the new skaters coming into the league.  I know what they're going through.  I've been there and remember all the feelings of being the "new girl".  I always get re-inspired when I see them have their "a-ha!" moments and thinks click for them.

What do you remember about your first bout?

I was terrified!  I barely understood the game.  I could barely take a hit without falling.   I had only been with the league a little over 2 months.  It was also exhilarating.   I was definitely hooked after that first game.

Do you have a derby wife?

No.  I had one when I first started but she got injured really early in our journey.  She was the one who wanted to do this so bad but I was the one who ended up falling in love with it.  She is still one of my closest friends and she supports me when she can. Love you G!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully still involved with the sport in some capacity.  Possibly reffing or helping coach.

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

Blocker! I don't need the spotlight of being the point scorer to enjoy playing.  I love trying to stop the opposing jammer, hitting her out of bounds or better yet, knocking her on the ground.  Soul crushing a jammer is a delicacy I relish!

Any closing thoughts?

I have seen so many people come and go through our league.  Some exits make you cry, some leave you feeling indifferent.  I have to remind myself every time that I am here for myself.  I am here because I like skating and playing this sport. I am here to learn how to be a better player for my team.   If I happen to make a few good friends along the way, that's the bonus round.
Lastly,  if you've ever wanted to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new,  DO IT!  Never have regrets for not taking that first step.

 

Lunacy #97

What does derby mean to you?

Derby means everything to me! Everytime I put on my skates I learn so much and have so much fun. I always look forward to practice, and I can’t imagine life without derby. I love working hard with all of my supportive friends.

How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCJK?

I started roller skating in July of 2014, the first time I put on roller skates I couldn’t even stand up in them. I joined the WCJK on recruitment night, August 29th, 2014.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

My first derby experience was on August 29th, 2014, I went to Skating Plus to roller skate, and it happened to be recruitment night for the junior team. I really wanted to join but I didn’t think I was good enough at the time. Summer Shovin’ and D-monic approached me asking if I was there for recruitment night, I told them that I wasn’t and they encouraged me to join. That night I registered for the team, and I have been in love with derby ever since.

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

I try to focus and think strategy with my teammates, but I always get really excited, I have such a wonderful time at bouts. I always like to keep myself occupied before, so I don’t have time to overthink it or fixate on negative things.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

I love everything about being a knockout! All of my teammates, coaches, absolutely everyone, or everything that is derby related. I feel at home when I am at practice, and I never want to stop skating!

What do you remember about your first bout?

In my first bout I was very nervous, but as it got closer and closer those nerves turned into excitement. It was so fun, the last jam I was the jammer and our team’s blockers were fantastic, they always made holes for me, and I scored 12-16 points. One girl hit me out super hard and I got a big bruise on my hip, it was awesome.

Do you have a derby wife?

Of course, Stinkerella is my derby wife. She is temporarily out from derby because she broke a few bones. Stinkerella always works hard and stays positive. Whenever we do hitting drills at practice we are always partners, I like the challenge, and she enjoys hitting me, because I always go flying.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself on another derby team kicking butt wherever I decide to live in the future.

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

When I first started derby my favorite position was jammer, but now my favorite is pivot. When I am pivot and have a wonderful time, I love being a blocker, but, as a pivot, you can be a blocker and still have the possibility of becoming a jammer.

Any closing thoughts?

Derby means so much to me, it is such an accepting community where everyone is welcome. I love the girl power in derby, I love my team, I love everything about derby. Derby inspires me to be who I am, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

 

Queen B of Destruction #619

QueenB_FB_JonCobb

What does derby mean to you?

Derby to me means sisterhood. I love working together with like minded women for a common goal. I love the competition. I have always loved organized sports but as I have gotten older I found it difficult to find something I truly enjoy. I found that in roller derby.

What was your first experience with roller derby?

Funny thing is I hadn't skated in over 20 yrs. My roommate at the time had went to Skating Plus to get a party scheduled and she saw the Wcdk flyer and " Said we're doing this!" We signed up the following week. The rest is history...

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

I remember skating as a kid. It was fun and always a great experience. Birthday parties at skating plus and jr high and high events great memories.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

All of the amazing skaters and consistent drive to be better. Great coaching and the opportunity to work hard to accomplish my personal goals. Roller derby is a huge commitment. I have learned over the years you get what you put in. Life happens but Wcdk are always there and very supportive.

Do you remember your first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

I was so nervous. The floor felt like I was skating on ice. All I could think of was don't get knocked down, because it took so much work to get back up!

What kind of skates do you use?

Rydel wicked

Do you have a derby wife?

Miss Demeanor 5150. She is an amazing wife and skater. She is so encouraging, supportive and hard working. Love being on and off the track with her.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would love to still be skating and part of WCDK.

What is it like to be a BLOCKER?

I love it! So exciting to be on the line and hearing the whistle blow, working together with my team. Love the rush of when it just clicks and u connect that hit and it makes a difference.

Any closing thoughts?

I would just like to thank Wcdk for being an amazing league, and giving me an opportunity to find something I love, enjoy and I'm passionate about! So excited to see what this season holds!! You know!!

 

Tw!sted S!ster #88

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What does derby mean to you?

Oh man, I don't think I have enough words to answer this. Roller Derby means pretty much everything to me. I look forward to every practice and get really upset when I have to miss( I admit I do cry probably 80% of the time). I honestly believe I wouldn't be the person I am today without roller derby.

How long have been skating, and how long have you been with WCJK?

I have been roller skating since I was 8 but started roller derby when I was 13, so two years ago. I've been skating with WCDK Jr. Since the team was put together a little over a year ago.

Do you remember your first experience with derby, what was it?

Yes I do remember my first practice!!! April 28, 2013. I remember getting on the track and already feeling like I belonged there. Everyone was so nice to me and actually talked to me and helped me out! Oh! I also remember how difficult it was for me to walk up the banked track on my toestops haha I had to use Natalea to keep my balance! Everyone was amazed with how well I skated on the track my first practice and many asked if I had skated derby before and when I said no they said I was a natural... even though I strongly disagree xD

Do you have a pre-bout ritual?

Um well I always wake up super early so I can mentally prepare myself! And on the drive I listen to P!nk because hello P!nk is my idol. And right before the bout I repeatedly quote Raq in my head by saying "stay out of your head." Because I tend to get nervous and overthink what I'm doing and get upset.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout?

Everything. The sport. The girls on my team. My coaches. Just everything about it. Being a Knockout gives me something to look forward to twice a week. I feel more alive on my skates than I do anywhere else.

What do you remember about your first bout?

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Okay, so my first derby bout was at Battle on the Bank VI and at the time I had only been skating for a month or so and I was so terrible xD some girl hit me and I probably flew 20 feet! It was great!

Do you have a derby wife?

Yes of course hehe! D-Monic!!! I honestly look up to her so much. She's only been playing for a year and I've seen her improve so much and she always works her butt off and knows how to calm me down when I start to feel bad about how I'm doing at practice. D-Monic inspires me to be a better player.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully kickin some booty on an adult team in whatever city I decide to move to for college!

What is your favorite position jammer or blocker, why?

Ahhhh I used to say Jammer but blocking has really grown on me. I love hitting, it's plain and simple. Nothing feels better than knowing you're doing good stuff for your team.

Any closing thoughts?

I think I'm in love with derby so much because it's not like all the other sports. The derby community is so accepting and loving and that's something I haven't seen in other sports. And it's a women dominant activity and my inner feminist loves that! Oh and to any one who says football players are tougher than us derby girls... Bring it on, ill hipcheck you into next week!

 

Dee Daye Dolli #429

Dee Daye Pinup

What does derby mean to you?

Derby means a great deal to me. Its all about teamwork,camaraderie, and sisterhood. And I am so glad that I made it a part of my life. Before I joined, I was needing something new and exciting in my life. Derby definitely lifted my spirits and helped me to believe that I can do anything when I work hard and put my mind into it.

What was your first experience with roller derby?

My first roller derby experience was when I saw "Whip It." After I saw that movie, I said to myself "I can do that and I will do that!" And I bought a pair of roller skates soon after and started to practice skating before I signed up to join West Coast.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

My mom bought me my first pair of roller skates when I was five. I think they were "My Little Pony" themed. I would have my mom take me to the skating rink in Northridge, CA almost every weekend so I could skate with my friends. Not many people know but when I was in my early teen years, I used to play roller hockey. I was a super tomboy and used to play street and roller hockey with all the boys on my street. Of course I played on inline skates, but it didn't take me long to get used to quads when I started to gear myself up for derby.

Dee Daye Stay DownWhat has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

I love my team! I wouldn't trade them for anyone else. This team has been like a second family to me and that's the main reason why I have remained a Knockout all this time. Everyone is there for me when I'm down and there to encourage me to keep pushing forward. My favorite part of the week is when I get to go to derby practice and have fun with my girls.

 

Do you remember your first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

My first bout with the Knockouts was pretty scary actually. I was so nervous. The coaches got us all prepared for the game and for some reason when I stepped out on the track against Central Coast Roller Derby I lost all of that. I had a great time playing them and I learned a lot that day. It definitely prepared me for what was to come in the future.

Do you have a derby wife?

Yes I do have a derby wife and its Miss Luna Graveyard. She is such an inspiration to me and to our team. No matter what comes her way, she never gives up and I love her for that. When she asked me to be her derby wife, I had no idea what it was since it was close to when I just started. But I am really glad that she did because we have really gotten very close over the years and I feel like we are sisters for life. Luna has such a big heart and she is our team's biggest cheerleader. I am so glad to have her in my life

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I hope to still be playing derby. I have some goals that I hope to accomplish in that time (buying a house, and having a baby), but I hope still playing derby will fit in there somewhere.

What is it like to be a BLOCKER?

I love being a blocker. Every bout I learn something new about myself and what I am capable of. I get better and better each year and I hope to continue growing as a blocker. Every now and then I will be a jammer when we scrimmage. I actually like jamming a bit. It definitely pushes me to work harder and I need that always in my life.

Dee Daye JammerAny closing thoughts?

To anyone who is thinking about playing roller derby or becoming a Knockout..... DO IT!!! It has been the greatest thing in my life and I hope that it will be for you.

 

 

Luna Graveyard #1031

Luna 1

What does derby mean to you?

Derby means many things to me. Most of my family is out of the country so my teammates have become my second family. It's an awesome way to stay fit & active, which I wasn't doing before. I couldn't find any exercise that kept me interested and I have always loved skating. Derby has made my life so enlightened

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

I learned to skate when I was three years old and basically spent a good portion of years 3-13 on skates. I was raised here in Ventura and Skating Plus was where I came to skate. I loved the races!!! I had a few roller skating birthday parties there. The roller skating movie Xanadu was my favorite. To say I was in love with roller skating is an understatement.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

I love the game! I love my friends! Every day I play I only want to get better at it. My teammates and other derby friends continue to cheer me on and inspire me to be at my best despite my obstacles. The knockouts are a close knit team with amazing women who I am lucky to know.

Luna 2

Do you remember your first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

I remember the first bout that I attended when I first joined the knockouts. I traveled with them to Bakersfield and it was super hot and indoors. I couldn't believe the girls actually played in the heat!!! My first bout was with CCRD. I was so nervous and I really don't remember much. I think I was just trying to block and keep from falling. It was an incredibly happy moment for me.

Do you have a derby wife?

Yes I do, her name is Dee Daye Dolli and we are very close. She is one of my best friends. She is one of the best people I have ever met and I am totally lucky to have her in my life. I remember getting to know her and thinking " that's who I want to be my derby wife" and then I had to ask her...I think it was like a real marriage proposal.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well it's fine by me to be in derby FOREVER, but that's not completely realistic. I've been in derby for the last 4 years so another 5 seems reasonable. Sometimes I can only take life day by day. I want to continue to be surrounded by my teammates and always want to have skates strapped to my feet.

What is it like to be a BLOCKER?

It is a great challenge. It's taken me years to learn and I'm still learning. I have to be in the right place at the right time. Getting girls out of the way to get my jammer through is a difficult. I'm still working on my hits. I'm better at being in the way of the opposing jammer right now but it's a work in progress.

Any closing thoughts?

When a friend said "We’re going to sign up for Roller Derby" I NEVER could have imagined it would have turned into where I am today. I never thought this would completely change my life and I couldn't be happier. At the end of the night at our West Coast Cheer I can't wait to come back again!!!

Sugar Free #723

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What does derby mean to you?

Roller derby has literally changed my life.  I was trying very hard to find something to do for exercise after having my son and I happened to go to Skating Plus for one of my daughter’s friends birthdays.  I looked up and saw ‘Home of the West Coast Derby Knockouts’ and I immediately pulled my husband aside and said, ‘I could do that’.  The next day I went to my first practice and I was hooked.  The fitness, the competition, and most of all the amazing women I get to skate with keep me coming back for more year after year.  I’d say that roller derby is a huge part of my life and I could not see life without it.

What was your first experience with roller derby?

I remember in great detail going to my first practice.  I had my husband drive me there because I was terribly nervous.  He had to force me out of the car and walk me to the front door where all the girls were getting ready.  Everyone was so welcoming, especially RegulateHer who introduced herself right away.  It just so happened that I was wearing a red sweatshirt and I heard someone yell out, ‘Hey, this isn’t a VCDD practice!’  I took off the sweatshirt as soon as I could and got my skates on.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

I’m what they call a ‘rink rat’.  I spent most of my childhood and teenage years roller skating.  I flea-hopped, trio-skated, and ate pickled pops (frozen pickle juice with a toothpick) until I was sick.  I am so grateful to have had so many great times at the rink and I really feel a part of the skating history around here which has gone on for a very long time.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

Without a doubt it is my teammates that continue to push, motivate, and keep my competitive spirit thriving.  I love my teammates and any time there has been even an inkling of doubt in my mind, they bring me right back to where it all started – pure, unadulterated derby love.

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Do you remember your first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

My first bout was against CCRD in Paso Robles.  I was an absolute mess, nervous and unsure of myself.  Yeah, I was doing okay at practice, but this was a real bout.  I was out the first couple of jams and then all of the sudden my name was called and I lined up.  Right as I made the first turn I saw the jammer and I put a good hit on her knocking her down.  The crowd exploded in cheers and I immediately felt better, like I belonged.  I of course took some serious licks too, but loved every minute of it. We lost by a few points but I was so relieved to have survived my first bout.

Do you have a derby wife?

My derby wife is Sasha Fierce and I love her to pieces.  She is my wife, my best friend, the one who is always there for me.  A lot of people call her a giraffe and I couldn’t agree more as she always puts her neck out for me, supporting me which I appreciate so much.  Outside of the derby world she is married to the lovely Joy and they are expecting their first baby and I could not feel more blessed to have them both in my life.  Auntie Sugar coming soon!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Most of the time I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next five minutes, so five years seems like a lifetime away.  However, I don’t see myself in a different place then I am right now.  Very involved in the league, surrounded by my teammates, and skating my little heart out.

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What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

I love being in the pack as a blocker.  As I’ve learned more and more about roller derby the blockers play an integral part in the game, setting the tone, opening and closing holes and letting the other team know how aggressive the game is going to be.  I love the contact, sending jammers flying, and helping my jammer through.  I sneak in as jammer from time to time, just to see how it feels but my heart lies in smacking people around in the pack.

Any closing thoughts?

It has been amazing being a part of this growing, evolving, and promising league of driven, passionate women.  There is no limit to what we can achieve if we work together.

In the words of our founder Ooh Sarakuda, ‘Thank you and good night!”

Sasha Fierce #25

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What does derby mean to you?

To me, derby means everything. It means friendships, it means trusting, it means pushing when you don’t think you can push anymore, it means laughing, loving, bonding, family, and friends. It means commitment, it means long weekends and late nights, it means smelly pads and broken bones. It means that I have finally found something that I cannot imagine my life without.

What was your first experience with roller derby?

One night some friends and I went to a local bar in town, where I ran into some girls from VCDD. They were all there after day 1 of Battle for the Coast back in 2010. I decided the next day I was going to go and watch some roller derby at the fairgrounds. The next day I went, and my jaw dropped and I was instantly in love with the sport. I discovered WCDK through a friend of a friend, and the rest is history.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

I wouldn’t consider myself a rink rat per say, but I was at the rink almost every Friday and Saturday night, and at most of the all-nighters. I went there to skate, to hang out with my friends, and to jam out to the tunes and attempt to flea-hop, which I never fully mastered.

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What has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

I have fallen in love with this sport, and with every single girl on my team. I haven’t been there from the beginning, but I have been there long enough to see how far we’ve come as a league, as skaters, and as positive members in our community.

Do you remember the first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

I was not a knockout yet when they skated in their very first bout, but I was there when we had our very first home bout. We managed to fill Skating Plus with 700 + fans. It was so nerve racking and exciting at the same time. I don’t remember if we won or lost that bout, but I do know that everyone had an amazing time, and to me, that is what derby is about.

Do you have a derby wife?

The ever so lovely, Sugar Free. Sugar Free and I are not only derby wives within roller derby, we are best friends outside of derby. To me she is that friend that laughs at the same stupid things you do, that has the same likes and dislikes that you do, and that would get caught doing something stupid with you. Roller Derby has brought us together, and I could not imagine my life without her in it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I plan to still be involved with The West Coast Derby Knockouts in some way shape or form, if not as a skater, then as a league rep or something to that nature.

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What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

To be a blocker is one of the greatest feelings ever. To see someone from the opposing team, and just be able to hit them as hard as you can is an amazing feeling. All of the frustrations you have from just everyday life, you get to take out on another girl, that you may not even know, and you can’t get arrested for it.

A jammer is different. There is a lot of pressure when you are a jammer. To score points, to be fast, to take hits, at times be able to give hits, to not fall, to get lead, to not go to the box…but all of those things get thrown out the window, when you’re a jammer and you score points that help your team win the game. It’s an indescribable feeling. One that I think every single derby girl should experience at least once.

Any closing thoughts?

Before I found derby, I was sort of stuck. I grew up playing sports all the way through college. Once college was over, something was missing. I didn’t discover what it was until I put on my skates and skated my first practice with WCDK. The drive, the push, the sweat, the tears, the hurt, the pain, all of that was missing from my life before derby rolled in. And now that I have it back, along with lifelong friends…there is no way I am letting go of that again. West Coast Derby Knockouts….You Know!

Geni Sydal #187

What does derby mean to you?

Skating is my life. It has always been a part of my life in some way, shape or form. Roller Derby has become both a hobby and a life-long sport. It is difficult to explain, but when I am on the track, it is like nothing else matters. When I am skating, nothing can bother me.

What was your first experience with roller derby?

My very first derby experience was at an Adult Night at Skating Plus where I was reunited with some old skating friends. The team had just finished practice and many chose to stay and skate the session. There I spoke with an old friend and skater, Shiloh, aka RegulateHer, and I was hooked at that moment. My friend and I immediately chose to attend the next practice. My most memorable derby experience was attending March Radness at LADD and that was when derby officially became my life.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

From the moment I laced up my skates at five years old, I was hooked. My mother set up my fifth birthday party at Skate Palace in Oxnard. There I met John Miller and was recruited for the Competitive Artistic Team. I grew up in rinks like Skate Palace, Roller Gardens, the CBC Base Rink, and Moonlight Rollerway after that birthday. I continued competing with John Miller's team until sixth grade when I took time off for hip surgery after a skating injury. After a year off and the unfortunate passing of John, I continued skating with the Glendale team at Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, CA. By high school, I transferred to the team at Skating Plus under the watchful training of Pam Grenier and Tom and Leonard. I retired from artistic during college and luckily found the West Coast Derby Knockouts. I have also recently been introduced to park skating by the one and only Collin Ambulance. There I am able to push my limits and attempt new elements of skating.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

Coaching and being part of a team has inspired me. When I started assisting Sarakuda with training, it completely changed my perspective for the sport. I saw the strategic side to derby and was no longer just there to skate and learn to hit. I was there to play the game and do it well. We, as a team, have progressed so much over the years and it makes me so unbelievably proud to see the joy and excitement when we learn a new element and use it successfully. Being part of this team is amazing. We love and fight like a family. We push each other and console each other. One phrase I tend to repeat is, when we (WCDK) play together we will always win! I have my own special derby family and they are some of the best people in the world. Special THANK YOU to Collin Ambulance for always challenging me, pushing me, and supporting me.

Do you remember the first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

I was honored to be part of the very first game. I had just become part of the team and they were nervously excited to skate against our neighbors from Santa Barbara, The Mission City Brawlin’ Betties. Unfortunately I remember all the embarrassing moments for me. I had to wear fishnets for the first time ever and to make it worse, we had HOT PINK tights on with BLACK FISHNETS over those tights. I still wore my glasses while skating and lost them more than once on the track. I was knocked feet first into the crowd sitting in the "danger zone" and was sent to the box several times with absolutely no clue why. Although I remember how much I was a "newbie" to derby, I also remember the pride and joy on all of our faces. The amazing cheering section we had and the realization that we had finally done it....West Coast played their first game and we had survived and had FUN.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would love to still be skating and coaching for the Knockouts. I hope that I am continuing to learn and grow as a skater. Seeing WCDK ranked and possibly in place to play in the Division games would be a dream come true. One of my major personal goals is to improve my skate park skills so that I am always trying to push past my limits and try new things.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

My favorite position is the PIVOT. I tend to enjoy blocking since it is both a physical and mental game. Being a part of the pack (BLOCKER) is an amazing feeling because you truly have to work as a team to succeed. I especially love when we have what I like to call the "Matrix Moment" and the game seems to be happening in slow motion. It is when everything falls into place and you know you are successfully shutting the other team down. When it comes to JAMMING, although I am definitely a blocker at heart, I will never refuse the star. I am here for my team...I will play with any line and in any position.

Any closing thoughts?

Derby is an amazing sport. It empowers everyone to be involved. Although it is a female dominated sport, it welcomes men to have their own teams and create co-ed teams. It allows kids to skate and they are showing that derby will continue to grow with the next generation. Derby has been around for a very long time and it is only going to continue to grow. If you want to make new friends, get an amazing workout, feel empowered and competitive, then maybe just maybe you should check us out or your local team. Derby love is forever.

 

Blonde Zombie

Where did you grow up?

I’ve been in Ventura all of my life.

What does derby mean to you?

Empowering women of all ages who come together in a sport they love.

What was your first experience with roller derby?

I was 49 when I started – WOW! Right??  That was almost 4 years ago … and although I have transitioned from skater to referee over the last year … time sure flies when you’re having fun!

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

I grew up skating at Roller Gardens (later at Skating Plus) … that’s all I did on the weekends was skate – all day & all night!  I even met and dated (well for like 3 months) my husband – Eric aka I.Lykit Ref - at Roller Gardens – we didn’t know then that 30 years later, we’d be married and spending a majority of our time in roller derby.

What has inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

I love everything about the Knockouts – the sport, the workout, the camaraderie … but especially the people.  I am so glad I’ve been able to meet and become friends with everyone involved with this league.  Derby has made my life better.

Do you remember the first bout the Knockouts had and what it was like?

I totally remember our first bout … it was an exciting mess!  The Knockouts have come a long way since then.

Do you have a derby wife?

I have the best derby wife ever – Bruisemup Bettie.  She’s hot, she’s sweet, she’s feisty, and I know she would be there for me anytime I needed her.  That’s what having a derby wife is all about.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years – I’ll be 57 and, hopefully, still involved in derby as a referee.  I also see myself & Eric living part time in Italy and traveling around Europe.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

Playing derby is hard – it’s fun, but hard!  There are a lot of rules (that are constantly evolving/changing) . . . it takes a lot of focus . . . and it takes a lot of physical stamina.  All of those things are completely out of the norm for me – but it has been worth every minute of time I have spent out of my comfort zone.

Any closing thoughts?

In my time spent in roller derby, I have met some of the most genuine people ever.  I love my derby sisters (and brothers) and I hope to have a friendship with them for years to come.  Sometimes LIFE gets in the way, but there is a connection between people in roller derby that no one else can understand and that will never go away – I love that!

 

 

 

Bruisemup Betty #9

Where did you grow up?

Ventura, CA

What does derby mean to you?

“I bust mine to kick yours.”  Pretty much explains me to a T 🙂

What was your first experience with roller derby?

My first exposure to roller derby was some pictures I saw on a friends Facebook page.  I contacted her and asked where/when she did it…came to a practice…and never left.  Fell in love with this sport from the moment I put those rentals on and stumbled out on that floor like a baby deer on ice.

Do you have a derby wife?

If so who? What does she mean to you?: I have an amazing derby wife!  That would be our league President Blonde Zombie!  She is the sweetest, most thoughtful friend and I am so lucky to have snagged her as mine <3

Do you have a derby crush?

I have several…but I would have to say Suzy Hotrod would be at the top and Demanda Riot is a close second.  They both are such amazing players and I can only hope someday that I can grow up to be as awesome a derby player as them!

What skates do you have and what wheels do you skate on?

I have beautiful custom red white and blue Antiks and I usually run green Diamonds. They are really the best wheels for most floor types.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I might be returning to play with WCDK from some baby leave.  If not playing, then definitely coaching or helping in some capacity.  I have so many amazing memories and friendships with these women that I could never just walk away for good.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

Awesome!  I love being able to play both positions.  I definitely prefer blocking but jamming is fun and rewarding too.  Both positions definitely complement each other.  I always tell new girls (and girls who play just one position) that dabbling in both really helps the other.  Jamming helps you understand, as a blocker, where you need to be and where Jammers like to go; blocking helps you understand, as a jammer, where blockers want to lure you and where you are safest on the track.

Any closing thoughts?

I hear a lot of women say that this sport isn’t for them, that they aren’t tough enough, and that they’ve never skated before so they couldn’t possibly learn at this point.  You can do anything you set your mind to!  I hadn’t skated since I was a little girl when I started.  I have a lengthy background in sports but I have seen women who are on our A team now that have never played a sport before this and are amazing skaters and some of the best at strategy.  So really, nothing is standing in your way but you.

WCDK has seen me through some very hard times and brought me up when I felt like I had nothing good in my life.  This is not just a team, but a family that you will join and never want to leave.  These women are some of the best I have ever met and I am so thankful they are in my life.  Roller derby is such a unique sport; there is a spot for everyone.  So come join the fun!

Gwen Tsunami #19

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lapeer, Michigan, which is about 50 miles north of Detroit.

What does derby mean to you?

Derby is more than a sport. The community that surrounds us shows how far our league has come. We’ve all worked tirelessly toward a common goal. When I started, we didn’t have 10 skaters. We couldn’t even scrimmage. We all believed we could build a league that would eventually be competitive with the long-established leagues that we idolized. We trusted that we could figure it out and that it was possible. It warms my little derby heart to see all that hard work pay off and our derby dreams start to come true. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our league and for derby.

How old were you when you first started roller skating?

I started roller skating in early elementary at school night skates and open session. I took a handful of classes on Saturday mornings when I was in elementary, although it sure didn’t feel like it when I started derby!

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

When I was younger, roller skating served an important social function in my life. You went to the rink to spend time with your friends, and that was maybe even more important than the skating. Roller skating also gave me a sense of freedom. When I was at the rink, my parents were never there. My mom would drop me off at the door and come back hours later to pick me up. The rest of the time, I was on my own.

What inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

The Knockouts are family to me. You can’t just leave your family! I also love being part of the league and building a close-knit community. We all need each other!

Do you remember your first bout as a Knockout and what was it like?

I do remember the first bout! It was in November 2009, though it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, against the Mission City Brawlin’ Betties. There was a lot of excitement throughout the league about finally skating in our first bout. Looking back, however, we barely had any idea what we were doing. We were inexperienced as skaters and as a team. Our strategy consisted of trying to skate really fast and hit people. You certainly wouldn’t have seen any of our big mean walls or 25-point power jams. It was exhausting and not the most effective way to score points, but every team has to start somewhere!

What skates do you have and what wheels do you skate on?

I’ve gone through several pairs of skates trying to find a pair that fit perfectly. It turns out that if your skates are too wide for your foot, your life is miserable! I currently skate on Riedell 495s, but I do have a pair of Antiks and 965s in my garage, which I use for street skates. At our rink, I usually skate on Radar Tile Biters, but I also really like the white Heartless wheels. On slicker surfaces, I usually just throw some Poisons on and call it a day.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I’m sure I will still be involved with the league in some capacity. This league has been such a big part of my life for so long, it would be impossible to completely walk away. I hope to still be skating in five years. I can’t see myself giving that up until my body literally cannot do it anymore.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

I only jam at practices. However, I’ve learned that it’s really important to be persistent, remain calm, and to stay out of the box! Blocking feels a lot more natural for me. I love how challenging it is to multitask—you have to know the location of both jammers, how to work cooperatively with your teammates, how much time is on the clock, and when to switch from offense to defense. I love the physicality of blocking. In order to be a successful blocker, you have to be comfortable with contact and the fact that you are running into other people!

Any closing thoughts?

Joining the West Coast Derby Knockouts is arguably the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. It was terrifying to show up at practice and join a group of women that had already been working together for several months. My fear was compounded by the fact that I couldn’t skate and didn’t know anyone on the team! The entire experience has been mentally and physical painful, at times, but more rewarding than I ever would have imagined when I first walked into the rink four years ago.

Elle Bow #29 Again

Where did you grow up?

Ventura, CA

What does derby mean to you?

Derby is what I do for myself.  I have made many friends and some special relationships have grown from those.  I love my derby sisters.

How old were you when you first started roller skating?

I started roller skating when I was five years old. On metal skates that adjusted to fit around my shoes.

What inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

I been with this team since the beginning.  I enjoy watching the way the team has grown and continues to grow.

Do you remember your first bout as a Knockout and what was it like?

I remember our first bout against the Brawling Berries.  It was full of hard hits and excitement.   I loved every minute.

What skates do you have and what wheels do you skate on?

My skates are Rydell Wickeds.  I have bee diamond wheels.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I hope to be watching my granddaughter play roller derby.  Maybe even coaching her.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

I get a rush from being a blocker when I knock the jammer to the  floor.

Any closing thoughts?

Derby is very hard to walk away from.  It's the place that you always belong to.  I hope to be involved with derby in some way for many years to come.  Derby love to everyone!

SteelToed Diva #14

Where did you grow up?

Dilley, OR

What does derby mean to you?

Family, Endurance, Camaraderie and Fun

How old were you when you first started roller skating?

26 years old when I started skating on a regular basis. Learned to skate to learn derby.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

I enjoyed skating around the rink at Skate World in Hillsboro, OR during birthday parties and school events. You could probably count on both hands how many times I put skates on as a child. I remember I would be skating around the rink thinking “dang I’m going fast” and then I’d start to freak out and almost crash because I realized how fast I was going.

What inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

My teammates and our team values; I have always been proud to be a Knockout.

Do you remember the first bout the Knockouts had and what was it like?

I remember more fondly the first scrimmage with OCRG. It was so nerve-wracking to be skating with these experienced girls but they were so helpful and generous with their knowledge of the game. They were not D.B.’s at all; in fact, they would point out things while we were in the pack, in the middle of the jam. I will always think of them as our Big Sister league.

What skates do you have and what wheels do you skate on?

Antiks with some seasoned figure wheels.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

As a skater on WCDK, I look as far as the next game. As the team accountant and Treasurer for WCDK, I look as far as my budgeting and forecasting takes me. Overall though, when I sit back and take a second to collect my thoughts, I day dream of traveling with WCDK, of the athleticism achieved by myself and my teammates. Of the camaraderie and friendship built between us and other teams. And of the commitment to our community and in how we can help outside of derby. As much as I’d like to hope that we could achieve all this tomorrow, I know this will grow over time, maybe 1 or 2 years, maybe 5 or more. But I’d like to be there through it all. I love being a Knockout.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

As a Jammer, things happen so quickly; your body moves and reacts quicker than you can conscientiously think “I want to go that way”. As a blocker, you are constantly assessing the pack, the skaters, your team and theirs; it all becomes second nature as experience progresses. But always, as either a Jammer or a Blocker, you need to stay positive to attain any goal and remember that every jam is a new jam no matter if you’re skating with the same group of girls or not.

Any closing thoughts?

“WEST COAST DERBY KNOCKOUTS! YOU KNOW!”

 

Loni Lock N Load #.20

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Santa Paula.

What does derby mean to you?

Roller Derby is my second family and it means the world to me.  The skating and the determination to be better is what we work for. It keeps me busy and gives me confidence in everyday life.

How old were you when you first started roller skating?

I was 11 when I started skating at the Plus. I used to go to the all night skates every Friday with all my friends. It's where I had my first kiss.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

Roller skating was always a challenge. I wasn't one of those rink rats with the fancy skates and bright multi colored laces. I was the shy girl that wished I could own a pair. Skating taught me to strive to be better, and gave me confidence to just be me.

What inspired you to remain a Knockout over the years?

I have remained a Knockout from the very beginning which is about 4 years. I have seen this team grow from 5 of us all the way until now. We skated without pads and didn't even know the game. I have met great lifelong friends and will never forget others who have left the sport. It keeps me grounded and it's apart of me. I am proud to wear the pink and black and to see how far we have come is amazing.

Do you remember the first bout the Knockouts had and what was it like?

I really remember our first scrimmage down in OC about 4 years ago, and it was a blast, mostly terrifying. I was scared to death and I had no idea what I was doing. The funny part is I would look around to my teammates and we were all in the same boat. We are very lucky that OC showed us the ropes and helped us through it. Watching the video now I have seen how far we have come. It's worth all the bruises.

What skates do you have and what wheels do you skate on?

I have the she devil skates (saving for a new boot) and the white diamonds are what I am skating on.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself in a lot of places in 5 years. One, married two, baby and three still in derby <3.

What is it like to be a JAMMER/BLOCKER?

I love to jam and block. They are both so different and I love them equally. Jamming gives you this rush and blocking makes you feel so powerful. When I jam everything is in slow motion and the room goes silent. You see the crowd cheering and your teammates working to get you through the pack. It makes you value your teammates and learn how each skater skates. Blocking is a deep desiring feeling to do anything for your jammer and do everything to stop that other jammer.

Any closing thoughts?

I will look back on the memories I have made and the ones I will make in the future and glad I did every minute of it. What a great experience and how many cool people it has brought into my life. I love being a roller derby girl <3

Ooh Sarakuda #27

Where did you grow up?

Born and raised in Ventura. My mom used to say I should run for mayor since I know SO many people. I don't know about running for mayor, but, I typically can't go anywhere in town without running into someone I know.

What does derby mean to you?

Derby has so many meanings to me, but at the top of the list, is family. Derby has always been more then just short skirts and fishnets to me, its been athleticism, hard work, blood, sweat and tears along with a ton of self discovery. You learn so much about yourself and how much you can take when you look around and see 13 (or 30) other girls with the same drive and determination relying on you just like you are relying on them to get things done. Derby to me is synonymous with life, all of the wins and losses and all of the trials and tribulations you go thru, only in derby you can find strength knowing someone has felt those same feelings and is willing to share it with you, good or bad.

How old were you when you first started roller skating?

My youngest memory of skating is relived thru a picture of me skating when I was 5, I won a costume contest at Skating Plus and there is a picture of me dressed as a clown, rainbow wig and all, holding a trophy of a roller skate. I still have trophy somewhere =) Basically, skating has always been a part of my life.

How did roller skating shape your childhood?

Growing up as a "rink rat" you spend a lot of time doing what you love, skating. I could of been a part of some pretty bad things had I not wanted to spend my Friday and Saturday (and every other night) at the rink. A lot of people I knew went down the wrong path, the rink was always a therapy to me, and after a long week, rolling around that wood floor on a Friday night is better then happy hour. The rink to me has always been so therapeutic, I knew I could always go there and just be myself.

What inspired you to start the West Coast Derby Knockouts?

Well, I sort of just ended up here in a sense. The league was originally Pacific View Derby Vixens, but, after the typically derby drama, PVDV ceased to exist and West Coast Derby Knockouts was created. The inspiration was really given to me by the couple of girls who stuck with it, Loni Locknload, Elle Bow & Steeltoed Diva really were our first couple of skaters. Loni was the first of 3 girls who came in after hearing about us at a tanning salon by a lady who came in, paid, and never came back. There were a ton of times when I thought about just stopping the madness and trying to take the few girls we had to another league, but, those girls stood by me, and together we gained a few more girls and a few more girls and now we are growing with no signs of slowing down, and thankfully those 3 girls are still with the league. I have been really blessed, but, the inspiration has come from my teammates.

What was it like to start a derby league from scratch?

HARD. And not the good kind of hard, the type of hard that makes you sit back and really analyze if the pain is worth the pleasure. I have luckily ended up with some phenomenal people in my corner, the board and all of the skaters are so willing to do whatever it takes to be successful, and they really do see the fruits of their labor and understand that all the work is worth it, and when they work harder, it only propels me to work harder. Its a cycle of positivity that keeps me going, and I thrive from it.

Do you remember the first bout the knockouts had and what was it like?

HA! That is all I can say! Yes, our first bout was against the Mission City Brawlin Betties, and boy oh boy, it was quite the bout. We learned a TON and we really loved it. We lost, but, a loss in score is a gain in knowledge and the ladies of MCBB are very talented. I remember that game with fond memories, but I remember our first win with fonder ones! =)

What has the support of Skating Plus meant to the league?

Everything. I grew up there which helped them to have very few drawbacks about me and the league establishing ourselves there. I personally have been so supported by Sonny and the rest of the staff as a member of the family and the rest of the league has been as well. I am honored to be able to call Skating Plus our home, and in a round about way, it has helped us to harness the family friendly image and really establish our fan base in the community. I cannot say enough about the positive experience that Sonny and the rest of the staff as helped us to build for our fans and we are so thankful for it. Roller rinks are a dying breed and they were willing to take a risk on us with nothing for us to give back while we were getting established. I can safely say that without the support of the Sonny and the rest of Skating Plus's staff, we wouldn't be where we are now.

What skates do you have and what wheels do you skate on?

I skate on a Riedell 965 with a Powerdyne  Revenge plate. I skate on Powell Bones artistic wheels that are 98's. They are small and hard, and I have had the same pair for over 10 years. I love them. Anything off of our wood floor I skate on Heartless wheels. I swear by them on every surface! Im not much a wheel hog, I pretty much like the same stuff.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well, I am sure a lot will change, and I hope it all for the better. I will still be doing derby, although where and with who isn't up to me. I just know that they Knockouts will live forever, so I look forward to seeing where THEY will be in 5 years.

Where do you see the league in 5 years?

Please see above.. LOL.. The Knockouts will hopefully be established even more in the derby community and hopefully competing on a national level. We are at this point hoping to get thru the WFTDA apprentice program and become a full member, so in 5 years, we hope to be far beyond even what we can imagine now.

What is it like to be a JAMMER?

Scary against Tara Armov & Bettie 12 Gage. Amazing when your blockers part the seas for you and more amazing when it all comes together for a big power jam, or the last jam with the scoring points to take the win. It is a lot of pressure, maybe equal amounts pressure and excitement. You want to do well for your team, you want to score, you want to win. Time in the box as a jammer is the biggest let down, and it is a test of all your mental strength to get back out there for your team.

Any closing thoughts?

No matter what, I am always proud to be a Knockout. I have watched this league grow beyond my wildest dreams and every practice I learn something new, and appreciate my team and my sport a little bit more. I am blessed to have started this league, but I am even more blessed to have all of these amazing people run with it. I have always said, I am just the canvas for all of there paint, and these girls give picasso a run for his money. =) YOU KNOW!!