Culture September 13, 2012

Death Row Demolition

roller derby south africa
The pimps and prostitutes are whizzing by in the limited glow of an occasional street light as I desperately try to find my way out of dodge central. There’s a Death Row Demolition to get to and I have no intention of being late.

Braving the seedy side of Joburg South on a Saturday night is no easy feat, but my optimism is spurring me on. My roller derby cherry is about to be popped by dozens of hot chicks on roller skates. With names like the The Thundering Hell Cats vs. The Raging Whoremones, this can only go well.

So what’s the lowdown on roller derby? In a nutshell, five ladies from two teams have two minutes to get one of their members (the Jammer) around the track as many times as possible while trying to block the other team’s Jammer, scoring points each time a Jammer passes an opposing team member. Did I mention that roller derby is a contact sport? So biting the dust is guaranteed.

roller derby johannesburg

roller legs

Game on, the crowd is pleasantly eclectic as the echoes of one collective “ooooooh!” after another drown each other out. These ladies are tough. Not breaking a nail and not crying about it tough. We’re talking about bailing on a polished hard surface, having your fingers stomped on by roller skates and then getting straight back up and on with the game tough. There will be time for counting broken nails when the game is done.

Half time strikes and a local band take to the stage. The oversized sound system constricted by the intimate venue, lends itself to the thick hard tunes. A few tracks in, the ladies return to the arena to finish what they’d started.

The evening continues in a flurry of pink Raging Whoremones and yellow Hellcats streaking round the track. The game is most definitely on as the score is too close for comfort. Tensions are running a lot higher than earlier in the match. The ambulance outside is waiting eagerly for its first broken and battered passenger, but waits in vain. It’s going home with an empty belly tonight.

roller derby south africa

The final whistle blows and it’s all over. The Raging Whoremones have taken a narrow 118 to 111 victory. After a night of guts and glory, the victors stand tall on their roller skates.

I’m hooked, and although these ladies are dressed to kill, it is vastly overshadowed by the gruellingly fun sport that is roller derby. These chicks are wickedly tough, immensely fit and dead serious about winning. Not so sure I should even be calling them “chicks”, as it may lead to the demise of my manly bits under four hard little pink wheels.

Keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground for a roller derby event in your area. It may not be the Olympics, but it’s a damn side more fun.

Related news

4 thoughts on “Death Row Demolition

  1. Looks like epic fun.

    There’s also a league in Cape Town.

    Cape Town vs. Joburg – when’s that happening ?!

  2. I must be hiding under a rock because i didn’t even know this existed

  3. cannabinoid said:
    I must be hiding under a rock because i didn’t even know this existed

    This only started about a year ago, I know most of the JHB girls in the teams.

  4. Hey! This article is great. Our league is still very young but we’ve been working our but’s off to get the word out! We did try to organise a get together with CPT but shot happens 😛 stay tuned to c-max on Facebook to hear about our upcoming events

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *