Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers will finally have their chance to take to the track in competition, as their first bout of the season hits the floor at the Complex on Friday night.
“Sinful De Mayo” will be the first West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby League event at the Castlegar Complex, and the third bout since the league opener last September in Rossland.
Like most teams in the league, the Dam City Rollers got their start after attending the first bout between Rossland’s Gnarlie’s Angels and Salmo’s Babes of Brutality.
That event, aptly named “Mountain Mayhem” broke the attendance record for the Rossland Arena as more than 800 fans packed in to see what roller derby was all about.
Castlegar soon formed a team, starting with three girls.
“I joined in November and there were eight of us,” Kitty Karnage said.
Now, the team has had to turn prospective players away because they’re full.
Other teams that got their start after the first bout were two Nelson teams: the Killjoys and Lumber Jackies as well as the Valley Vendettas from the Slocan Valley. The league also has a “tournament” team made up of the best players (Kootenay Kannibelles) and a junior league for girls.
The Dam City Rollers began skating at a warehouse in Brilliant before moving to the Robson Hall. With the ice out of the Complex, the team is able to skate there for the summer, but when hockey starts up again they don’t know what they’ll do.
“We’ve been in such a small space but now we’re in a space similar to what the other teams have,” Karnage said.
Until the bout, the team is practising three times a week, and they’re practising hard.
“Yes, the hits are real,” Karnage said. “We have had some injuries but nothing major.”
Playing against one of the most experienced teams in the league, the Babes of Brutality, the Castlegar women know they have to prepare, but they’re not too worried.
“I don’t know what the outcome will be,” Karnage said. “The bottom line is to have fun.”
Sinful De Mayo will be a double-header with the Dam City Rollers and Babes of Brutality playing first, and the Killjoys playing the Gnarlie’s Angels afterwards.
“Frankly, we want to be able to enjoy ourselves and watch the rest of the bout,” Karnage said about their choice to go first.
The doors open at 6 p.m. with the first whistle at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $15 and available at MountainHigh Lighting in Castlegar, Gericks in Trail and Phat Angel in Nelson. They’re going fast though, so make sure you call ahead.
You can show your support at the bout by purchasing Dam City Rollers merchandise and partaking in the beer garden, which will be held on the main floor of the Complex.
For more information, visit kootenayrollerderby.com.
What to expect at your first roller derby bout
Courtesy of the Nelson Star
So, you wanna watch roller derby? Here’s some handy advice before you attend your first bout.
All seats are not created equal: While you’ll still have fun from the bleachers, for the best view of the action grab “suicide seats” on the track floor. If you really want in on the fun, try to sit by a corner — the spot where you’re most likely to come face-to-face (or elbow-to-face) with a derby girl who’s been knocked off course.
Dress up: Not required, but how many sporting events can you attend in fishnets and a tiny top hat, as Zorro, or while dressed as a caveman? All these clothing options were spotted at the last Rossland bout.
Get educated: If you’ve never been to a derby bout before, the most important thing to know is that the players with the stars on their helmets are scoring the points, and it’s everyone else’s job to hinder or help them. If you’d like a longer crash course, we suggest picking up 2009 indie-flick Whip It or checking out the numerous derby how-tos on YouTube — but keeping an eye on the stars should get you through the night.