The resurgence of roller derby is rolling in Kitsap — known as Slaughter County until July 13, 1857.
Since October 2006, the Slaughter County Roller Vixens have been circling the flat track at either Sk8town in Port Orchard or Skateland in Bremerton, forging the first-ever women’s roller derby league on the peninsula. Still in the planning and fund raising stages, the league is building itself with the goal of dividing into teams and hosting league and inter-league bouts, or competitions.
This weekend, putting in their financial practice time with a fund-raising benefit, the Vixens will be hosting a Late Nite Skate Date featuring skating from Slaughter County’s
best, music from Hawaii’s Hell Caminos, and plenty more aesthetically hardcore fun at the cost of $7.
It all kicks off at 11:30 p.m. May 4 at Skateland. Pre-order tickets are available from individual Roller Vixens, at Sk8town in Port Orchard, or Online
“What you are going to see is girls getting vicious,” said Slaughter County fund-raising committee chair Nicole Pike. “It’s not a pansy sport, this is full contact, it’s a real sport.”
For those intrigued but not quite fully educated on the intricacies of roller derby, here’s short a run down.
Lilly Warner, one of the founding members of Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls (est. 2004), called derby a full-contact race of sorts.
Competitions are called bouts and divided into four 14-minute periods which host a series of two-to-three-minute jams.
The jam is where the action is. There are three positions for each team: a pivot, a jammer and the blockers. The pivot sets the pace at the front of the pack while the jammer is a sprint skater that tries to pass through the pack for points. Jammers score points for each opposing team member they pass, therefore blockers don’t want the jammers getting by at any cost.
Enter: organized chaos.
But with safety in mind, a host of referees circle the inner track, keeping watch for elbows, tripping and dirty play along with the typically anticipating audience.
While the Slaughter County Vixens aren’t yet ready to bout for the public, at the May 4 Skate Date, they will still be exhibit a few competitive drills for show like “Last Woman Standing.”
“Last Woman Standing is a no holds barred, no out of bounds drill,” Pike said. “It will be a little bit more brutal than most bouts are. We’ll be in full gear, it’ll be real deal.
“Besides the fact that you can see chicks in there, giving it all, bleeding and breaking bones … they are dressed cute,” she added.
Short skirts, seductive stockings … and also on the evening, a psychobilly band that’s been known to take the stage au natural. The Hell Caminos, hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii, will be making one of the first stops of their inaugural west coast tour to rock at Skateland.
“Since no psycho bands ever came to Hawaii, we kind of had to learn on our own,” Michael Camino, bassman, said of the group’s formation. “We’re like the turtles of the Galapagos Islands, we’ve evolved into our own genre of psychobilly.”
The Hell Caminos take the typical psychobilly backbone — a rockabilly polka beat mixed with country swing — and throw it out there with a fun-loving surf rock, punk, ska delivery complete with burlesque-dressed babydolls stage dancin’.
“Since this is our first time out of state, no one really knows what to expect from us,” Camino said. “We can promise an amazing stage show and music you can either dance to or punch someone in the face to.”
Sounds like the perfect soundtrack for the ferocious fun of roller derby.