Are you ready for an exhilarating and empowering adventure on wheels? Look no further! KRD is excited to announce our new skater info sesh, designed to introduce aspiring skaters and volunteers to the thrilling world of roller derby. Whether you’ve never skated a day in your life, have years of skating experience, or are somewhere in between—this session is the perfect opportunity to learn more about roller derby and have fun!
Date, Time, and Location:
The new skater program will take place on Sunday, June 4th, from 1-3pm (drop-in) at the Calumet Colosseum located at 110 Red Jacket Rd., Calumet, MI 49913
Inclusive for All:
This session is open to anyone aged 18 and up, regardless of gender. While league skaters must identify as female or non-binary, the program welcomes referees and non-skating officials of all genders. Roller derby isn’t just about league skaters, it’s a collaborative effort that requires a dedicated team.
Gear Fitting and Gear List:
When you consider starting roller derby, KRD understands that getting the right gear can be overwhelming. That’s why our experienced skaters have dedicated time to help you try on gear, determine your size, and provide you with a comprehensive gear list and info about our upcoming new skater program.
We want you to feel at ease, which is why there are no obligations to join the team at the end of the session. It serves as an opportunity for you to explore the sport, learn some basics, and see if roller derby is the right fit for you.
If you have any questions or want additional information about our new skater program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can email us at email@example.com.
So shake off those reservations, begin your skating journey with us this June 4th, and never look back!
Photo courtesy Jim Dier Photography
KRD jammer Smushella deVil is known in the roller derby world for her smooth moves on the track, however you might not be as familiar with her freestyle skate stylings. We’d like to change that! Smush is an avid aggressive quad skater, who frequents the Houghton Skatepark and other local sites in an effort to continuously improve her form and perfect some pretty impressive tricks. Here’s an interview where she tells us more about her love of skate.
Photo by Brockit Photography
How did you get started with park/aggressive skating?
I was introduced to the idea during construction of the Houghton Skatepark and knew I would have to try it. As soon as the park opened I began spending my free time learning the ins and outs of the park.
Where have you ridden? Any memorable rides you’d like to tell about?
Most of my skating has been at the Houghton park and around the Keweenaw. I’ve also skated at GBASO in Green Bay. It’s an indoor park with a lot of different features like a bowl and a larger half-pipe. My memorable moments mostly involve skating on new features. The feeling I get while flying around the park reminds me of jamming in derby. It’s the same adrenaline as in the moments between breaking free of the pack and approaching the reformed wall.
Who do you ride with?
I skate most often with my partner, Nate. He spent much of his youth skating aggressive inline and is a fountain of motivation and tips. I’d not be as good a skater today if not for him. He is not as shy as I am, and as a result we’ve made friends with other Houghton park regulars. I’ve found the majority of people that hang out there are very supportive and push each other to try new tricks and improve.
It’s not rare to spot the KRD crew if you hang out at the skatepark. Often, Tanner or Cael (Editor: KRD league member’s kids) are ripping it up on their scooters. With her return to the Keweenaw, Thimbleberry Slam has been a joy to skate with. Her motivation and zest are a welcome energy! Other KRD skaters including Kiko, Starbuck, Afro, Skatin’ and Fury have also tested their skills on the inclines.
Photo by T. Slam featuring herself, Kim Kong (L), and Smush (background) quad-ing it up at the Houghton Skatepark.
Can you recommend any resources for derby folks wanting to get more into park/aggressive skating?
The Chicks in Bowls crew website is a bountiful resource for anyone looking for more information. They have a collection of blogs and tutorials for new skaters, tips, and a “Tricktionary”. Since the owners of the company have roots deep in derby, much of their content is in the context of transferring over.
Do you follow any park skating social media accounts that you’d recommend?
Yes. Honestly too many to name. I love looking to instagram for trick ideas and tips. I’d start with @cibcrew for a central source, and our local chapter @cibupperpeninsula. Another central tap on the aggressive side of quad skating is the germany based Dog Days magazine at the handle @dogdays_magazine. Spanish skater @barbie.patin doesn’t disappoint. A couple other individuals I follow are @bomba_hache and @rollertravisreynolds.
Oh, and follow me! I’m at @smushelladevil.
If you’re interested in something motivational check out the all quad skate edit, Street Fighters. It’s 25 minutes of full fledged skating action featuring some really skilled skaters.
Any gear recommendations for these folks?
If you’re just starting out, put on your hardest wheels and go for it! Slide blocks are not a requirement. There are so many tricks, stalls ect to do, even without sliding. If you enjoy yourself, blocks are available for any plate. I still rock my roller derby set up in the park. (Standard Riedell 265) However there are definitely more ideal options to invest in such as Moxis or Antiks (made by Riedell). A high boot offers extra ankle protection and stability; Riedell has proven to make a quality product. If you’re serious about skating I would stay away from Powerslide brands such as Chaya.
Have you mastered any tricks? Any tricks that you’re working on?
I have mastered comfortability when it comes to the basics like dropping in, and moving around the park in general. It was an amazing feeling when I realized I could carve around a bowl without focusing on my feet. I’ve also got a decent repertoire of stalls and airs. Lately I’ve been working on spin tricks and inverts. I’ve been trying all the cartwheels. In the ramp, out of the ramp, into the ramp, over the hip, cartwheels everywhere!!
Any unique or funny stories from your time on wheels that you’d like to share?
I’ll never forget the last time I was at GBASO in early March (pre-covid). I finally got the knockers to sit into the large halfpipe and I did it!! Afterward, I had Nate go get the camera so I could share my wonderful accomplishment. Well, cue the beginning of a short video I made. It’s the first clip (editor: check it out at the start of the post!).
Your favorite joke?
My favorite joke is so nerdy that you need mathematics symbols to write it. So instead:
Q- What kind of shorts do clouds wear?
A- Thunderwear! 😉
Smush jamming in 2019, photo by Lost Creek Studios
Hi, Luna Stormborn here to let you know Keweenaw Roller Derby is back in action preparing for our first bout of the 2020 season. It will be an away bout in Duluth Minnesota versus Harbor City Roller Derby on April 11th. I broke my ankle mid season last year, some of you may have seen me hobbling around on a walking boot during our last few bouts, and I am finally back on skates after six months! I was injured back in June and have not really done much on skates until this month and I cannot even begin to explain how exciting it is to be skating once again and hanging out with my derby family. KRD have been doing our minimum skills testing, a test to determine if we can skate safely during game play, and we are all killing it. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pass any of the things or get my laps but I surprised myself and passed everything. It’s still a work in progress to get my footwork and endurance back to where it was but I am hoping I will be back in tip-top shape by the time we are ready for our home opener in May! Come welcome me and all the other kick ass derby folks back onto the track on May 9th as we play against our Yooper friends Kingsford Krush at the Dee in Houghton!
The atmosphere in Houghton’s Dee Stadium was electric last Saturday night, as Keweenaw Roller Derby faced off against visiting skaters from Duluth’s Harbor City Roller Derby league. The bout was filled with exciting, close jams and skillful blocking that kept the substantial crowd on the edge of their seats.
Saturday night was KRD jammer Afro Disiac’s triumphant return to the track since breaking her finger in the May bout versus Team Unicorn. In spite of taking time off for surgery and healing, her moves were as inspired as ever: her footwork on point, and her strategy deft. This resulted in Afro being named MVP jammer for the home team.
Number 731 Kim Kong is also emerging as a double threat and force to be reckoned with for KRD: she is one of the rare skaters who is versatile enough to be an effective blocker and jammer. As a blocker, she provided some valuable offensive blocking; clearing the way for her jammers. As a jammer, she was often able to clear the way for herself and was in the position of lead jammer frequently. As a way to honor her skill as a jammer and blocker, HCRD skaters named Kiko best overall skater.
It was also new skater and Copper Country native FinnFire’s debut bout with Keweenaw Roller Derby. Her background as a hockey skater is definitely evident in her quad skating style, and although she only joined our Fresh Meat program in June, her skating is fluid, smooth, and strong. I’m personally looking forward to see where she’ll go on eight wheels!
Head referee Melissious Intent (or M.I. as she is affectionately called) as usual called a fair and controlled game. Her many years of experience in the roller derby community are an asset to us… thanks for keeping us in line!
HCRD was in the unenviable situation of having a short roster, skating with only eight skaters. Despite their short bench, the Duluth skaters fought hard and hustled admirably. One of our away bouts (in Thunder Bay Ontario) this season also saw us with a short roster of eight skaters- it’s not an ideal position to be in and is a true test of physical and mental fortitude.
The after party at Bill’s B & B was lively and fun. I think we’re lucky enough to say that KRD made some new friends on Saturday.
Many skated hard and left it all on the track. The score at the end of the bout was 151-83 for KRD.
This bout wraps up the end of our 2019 season. Gigantic thanks go out to our tireless volunteers and officials who have helped make this season (and those before it) the great success that it was. We truly couldn’t do it without you!
Keweenaw MVP jammer: Afro Disiac
Keweenaw MVP blocker: I Love Skatin’
Keweenaw overall MVP: Kim Kong
Duluth MVP jammer: Hanarchy
Duluth MVP blocker: Roadkill Bambi
x I Love Skatin’