View Mobile Site
Text Size: Smaller Larger Normal
Friends 2 Follow photo f2f banner_zpsxhrst2or.jpg

Local skaters mix it up roller derby style

Local skaters mix it up roller derby style

Two members of the SINtral Valley Derby Girls team get caught in a jam with the Merced Castle Bombers.

POSTED March 19, 2010 11:35 p.m.
This isn’t your mom’s roller derby. SINtralValley Derby Girls skate fast, hard and rough. These women are no strangers to broken bones, bloody noses and other injuries. They have seen it all, but the love of the game keeps them rolling back for more.
SINtralValley Derby Girls is a non-profit, flat track roller derby league. They will celebrate their second year as a team in August. The 20 or so current team members are as diverse a group of women as can be found in any sport.
Roller derby has been around since the 1930s as a spectator sport. Five players from each team skate around a track, either banked or flat, forming a “pack.” The teams score points when one team member, called the “jammer,” laps the pack. It is the job of the other four team members, called “pivots” and “blockers,” to help their jammer through the pack while blocking the other team’s jammer from passing the pack. This is often done by body checking another player. Injuries are common from falls and collisions with other players.
Roller derby has seen a revival in popularity in the past decade. The re-born sport is made up almost entirely of independently started, non-profit, women-only teams. The sub-culture of roller derby is characterized by a very tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Roller derby skaters often dress up in costumes inspired by rockabilly, goth and punk fashion. Rainbow colored dreadlocks or a tutu over fishnet stockings are not uncommon on the track.
Derby girls go by aliases, usually a pun or innuendo. Some SINtralValley Derby Girl names include Sk8tie Gaga, Hell Raze Hurr and Penalty Pin-Up.
The teams and the new all-women teams have been featured in documentaries on ESPN and HBO. Pretti Wicked, a local woman, watched a documentary about the sport and it sparked her interest. She then founded her own roller derby team two years ago, and the group has been growing ever since.
Hell Raze Hurrr, whose real first name is Vanessa, said that the team is made up of a very diverse group of women.
“We have law enforcement officers, housewives and teachers. It’s truly a sisterhood,” she said.
The 20 or so members of SINtralValley Roller Girls are between the ages of 18 and 40. Most of them work and live in Modesto, Turlock and surrounding areas. They come from different backgrounds and walks of life, but Vanessa said that the love of the sport brings them all together.
“I’ve played other sports before, and this is the most draining sport I’ve ever played. But it’s also the most personally triumphant sport I’ve ever played,” Vanessa said.
The SINtral Valley Derby Girls recently started training for their 2010 season. Their first bout is April 10 in Santa Cruz. The team is always recruiting new members, and they also welcome non-skating officials.
For more information about SINtral Valley Derby Girls, visit their Myspace page at They can also be found at or on Facebook.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting is not available.

Share on Facebook Bookmark and Share
Commenting not available.

Please wait ...