Keweenaw Roller Derby is Back for the 2020 Season


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!

x Luna

Season Closer Results in a WIN for KRD

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’

Spilling the Gravi-tea on Solar System Smackdown 7

Last Saturday, the day dawned like many other summer days in Michigan’s beautiful Copper Country. Except this wasn’t an ordinary day. Last Saturday was Keweenaw Roller Derby’s seventh annual Solar System Smackdown mixer: the Aurora Assassins and the Ultraviolet Valkyries were preparing to do battle at Houghton’s Dee Stadium.

Open skate was amicable enough, however the atmosphere turned serious once warm-ups got under way. Assassin’s captain Payne Thretzky (alter-ego of KRD blocker I Love Skatin’) lead her blue shirts through a series of stretches and scenarios as the Valkyries waited on the sideline for their turn. Soon, they took the track, lead by captain Lt. Baldavich (pseudonym of KRD jammer AfroDisiac) as she put the Valkyries through their paces.

Head referee Otto Korrect (kindly visiting from Chippewa Valley Roller Derby) had his crew assembled and at the ready, while head NSO Gore Mae Cupcake and her peers stood at the ready. The bout was soon underway, with the Assassins pulling into an early lead, thanks to skillful jamming on behalf of Glory Sparks (Dead River Derby), Starbuck (KRD), Radiosmacktive (Madison Roller Derby), Pippi StrongWhomping (KRD), and T. Slam (Minnesota Roller Derby, formerly of KRD). In spite of this early lead, the Valkyries’ jammer corps responded strongly, kicking asses and taking names. Lead by Lt. Baldavitch (KRD), the Valkyries’ jamming duties were shared by McMauler (aka. Kim Kong of KRD), Leaf Cutter (aka. Princess Fury of KRD), and Switch Please (Minnesota Roller Derby). The entire bout saw the lead go back and forth, as both teams jockeyed for intergalactic roller derby supremacy- a true nail-biter.

Newer skaters Wall-EE (Kingsford Krush) and Fifi (KRD) laced up their skates for the Valkyries in what was their second and first bouts respectively. They truly held their own on the track, with both skaters performing skilled blocking and assisting in the formation of solid walls. Not to be outdone, the Assassins also had a strong defensive showing, with KRD’s Princess Bubblebutt, Rowena RaginClaw, Jeffrey Dahminator, and Kansassin (Madison Roller Derby) joining forces, creating smooth, strong blocking formations. Visiting Canadian skaters Vodka ChaseHer and Chasing Wolf from Thunder Bay Roller Derby both skated like champs- Vodka in purple, and Wolf in blue- blocking jammers, and landing some punishing hits each. Speaking of hits: KRD’s Amelia HitsHart , Payne Thretzky, Famke Jams’em, and Mae Rollin Gung Ho (Chippewa Valley Roller Derby) were not shy about getting physical- each of them played effective and stealthy offensive blocking; surprising skaters and landing some punishing body checks.

Overall, it was a close and exciting bout. The final result saw the Assassins emerge victorious 172 over the Valkyries’ 147. Both teams fought hard and enacted the true spirit of roller derby: fair play, support for fellow skaters, and athleticism.

Bout MVP trophies were true works of art, kindly created by injured KRD skater Luna Stormborn and her partner Joey Voldarski. They were awarded to Valkyries’ jammer Leaf Cutter, and blocker Mae Rollin Gung Ho. The Assassins MVPs were earned by Pippi StrongWhomping (jammer) and Kansassin (blocker). MVP zebra award- chosen by the NSOs- went to Boba Thrett (KRD) and MVP NSO – chosen by the referee crew- was awarded to Angela (KRD).

Many volunteers came together to make this event a success; too many to name here. A galaxy-sized thank you is extended to you all.

In closing, Solar System Smackdown 7 is now part of roller derby history. The friendships and alliances formed by events like this are not to be understated: they are what roller derby is at its core. Skaters coming together, playing their hearts out in a sport that we all love so much. Supporting each other. Having each other’s backs. Dancing our asses off at the after party. The world needs so so much more of this.

Be good to each other and keep turning left. Over and out.


International Derby Excitement

The weekend of June 21: not only was it some of the longest days of the year, but it was also a momentous time for Keweenaw Roller Derby. For the first time, Keweenaw Roller Derby crossed the Canadian border to take on Thunder Bay Babes of Thunder. We all headed up on Friday, and the eight-hour trip flew by as it was non-stop conversation and laughter. The morning of the bout, most of the team ventured to picturesque Kakabeka waterfalls and walked around the provincial park- It was a perfect way to move about and see some of the wonderful natural beauty that Canada had to offer. We all came back together for an in-room taco party (you really can’t go wrong with a taco party), collected our thoughts, and rested for the bout.

Fittingly for June, the bout was Pride themed, and so we donned our rainbows and in typical KiKo fashion I did some wild rainbow bout makeup. When it was time to bout KRD took to the track with just eight skaters, some blockers going three or more jams in a row! Everyone skated with heart, pushed themselves, and nailed it. I am so proud of my team! Our bench coaches, Afro, Fifi, and Luna, were our rocks: they helped us hold it together in addition to keeping everything moving smoothly and communicating with us as to what needed to be done. This was one of the most exhausting games that I have ever skated (my teammates can probably agree) but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you, Thunder Bay, for the wonderful experience!

-Kim Kong

Bubble’s Perspective or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Roller Derby

Keweenaw Roller Derby invited Traverse City Roller Derby’s Toxic Cherries knowing it was unlikely we would rock the scoreboard. And this mentality is how I know derby is uniquely my scene.

Saturday was my first bout on skates, but I’ve been working up to this moment since September 2017 when I first strapped on skates and duck-walked onto the track at an intro to derby bootcamp in the Calumet Colosseum. I’ve never been athletic, never been on a team, but this sport is an unrelenting inspiration and the people involved even moreso. We skate, we hit, we train, we fall, we laugh, and we get back up. We smile at our competitors and they smile back. KRD plays to win, but we never value the win more than the experience.

Up until Saturday, I’d been involved in bouts on the sidelines: filling volunteer holes, directing, coaching, and wrangling skaters on the bench. Despite my slow mastery of the skills, there has always been a place for me in the league. I have watched my team learn and grow through tough matchups with stellar opponents. This weekend, I got to join them.

It was awesome.

We took some hits, we struggled against their offense, and we often failed to counter their defense. Traverse City was the stronger team, but you don’t gain muscle by lifting lighter weights. We pushed our bodies, found skills to work on, and witnessed new strategies to try. Best of all, we had a great time testing ourselves against a team of excellent skaters, coaches, and staff. This sport encompasses a world-wide community of teams that respect and lift up one another and this weekend was a prime example.


We had a couple of intro to derby bootcamps this week and we’ll be starting KRD new skater training at the end of this month. If you missed the opportunity to try us out and you’re ready to be a part of something empowering and fun, please reach out to and we can work with you to get you enrolled in the program. If you’re looking for a way to get involved but don’t want to play, you can train to be a skating official, non-skating official, or help us out by volunteering at a bout!

Princess BubbleButt