KRD Giving Bean Coffee & Tea Fundraiser

Purpose: Increase access to roller derby by decreasing financial barriers
Funding: KRD Gear Library and Skater Financial Assistance
Goal: $2,000
Dates: 3/24/2024 – 5/4/2024

Buy coffee and support a skater! Keweenaw Roller Derby (KRD), a 501(c)(3) flat-track roller derby league in the Copper Country, is excited to share our upcoming Giving Bean Coffee & Tea Fundraiser. For every purchase made via this fundraiser, KRD receives up to 40% of the profit. These funds will be allocated to establish a KRD Gear Library and a Skater Financial Assistance fund. These programs aim to alleviate these financial deterrents and make roller derby in the Copper Country accessible to everyone.

To participate safely in roller derby, skaters must be equipped with appropriate gear. A full set of basic, new equipment (skates, pads, helmet, and mouthguard) costs a minimum of $350. This upfront cost to starting roller derby can deter individuals who would benefit physically and mentally from participation in an inclusive, supportive, and driven athletic community. Similarly, there are ongoing dues and insurance costs each skater must pay to maintain membership; the Skater Financial Assistance fund is designed to support skaters who may be facing financial hardship.

Keweenaw Roller Derby is excited to work with you to bring roller derby to more people across the Copper Country! To place an order for the Giving Bean Coffee & Tea Fundraiser, click or scan the following images:

For more information on KRD’s Giving Bean Coffee & Tea Fundraiser and how to support the KRD Gear Library, please visit keweenawrollerderby.com or contact Kara Paavilainen at communityrelations@keweenawrollerderby.com.

Keweenaw Roller Derby 2023 Drop-In Info Session: Skate With Us!

KRD logo on a blue, cloudy sky with the text "Skate With Us! Sunday June 4 drop in 1-8 PM Calumet Colosseum" written in white.

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.

Group photo of the Keweenaw Roller Derby team in full skating gear striking fun poses.

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.

No Obligations:
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.

Contact Information:
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 info@keweenawrollerderby.com.

So shake off those reservations, begin your skating journey with us this June 4th, and never look back! 

Photo courtesy Jim Dier Photography

Join Roller Derby in 2022!

Join Roller Derby Announcement!

We’re recruiting new skaters, referees, and non-skating officials. No experience necessary at all – we’ll teach you everything you need to know!

Keweenaw Roller Derby is a group of individuals determined to establish a thriving, committed roller derby community throughout the area that fosters self-esteem, community spirit, sportsmanship, and leadership skills in its members.

Attend one or both recruitment events:

Virtual Q&A
April 9, 4-5p
Drop in to get all your questions answered!
Please register in order to receive the virtual Q&A link.

Skating Meet & Greet
April 10, 1-3p
We’ll be at Finlandia’s Hirvonen Hall Gym (Downtown Hancock – the gym is on the first floor, just to the left of the main entrance). Drop in to try on gear, skate around, and get more questions answered! Registration not required but appreciated so we can have enough gear on hand!

Can’t attend any events or have questions? Reach out to us at info@keweenawrollerderby.com or via our Facebook page!

FAQs about Joining Keweenaw Roller Derby

What is the New Skater Program ?

This is the multi-week training session we offer at least once a season. If you attend you will learn basic skating and derby skills such as, stopping, blocking, transitions, skating in a group, and more. It is intended for team-building, to get you to a point at which you can safely join the rest of the team for full-practices and games. 

What if I want to officiate?

Yes please! Skating Officials can use quad or inline skates and are welcome to go through the New Skater Program in order to develop their skating skills and understanding of the game. 

When is the next New Skater Program?

Sundays starting April 24, 2022

Do I need to know how to skate?

Not even a little bit! We accept all skill levels into our New Skater Program and will teach you all the skating skills you need to know.

Any other requirements?

You need to be 18 or older and you should be in OK health. You don’t have to be crazy athletic, but derby is a rough, full-contact sport. You will be hit, fall down, and get bruises. Use your common sense! You are also required to have secondary insurance through the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association to skate with us ($75/year).

Do I need my own gear?

Yes. We’ll host a Meet & Greet where you can try on gear, and we may be able to provide loaner equipment for a short time. However, you will need to purchase your own equipment.

What kind of gear?

Every skater is required to wear a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, a mouth guard and quad roller skates. We can provide gear recommendations and may even have some used gear available for sale.

What happens after the New Skater Program?

At the end of the program, skaters who can skate safely in a group will join full-league practices while refs and non-skating officials will begin working with our Officials crew. Skaters who are not quite able to join practices yet will have ample opportunity to participate in practices without full-contact drills!

Because we are skater owned and operated, once you join the team and participate in full-league practices, you will be expected to make practice attendance requirements, pay dues (currently $45/month) which serves the league’s operating costs, and to work fundraisers and events whenever possible.

Quad-ing it up at the Skatepark!

Click here to see a video of Smush in action

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.

Smushella deVil

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