Bravin' it with Bryan: Roller derby

Nampa's Beet City Bombers roller derby team let KBOI2's Bryan Levin practice with them. (Photo/Shutter Thug)

It's just human nature for us to want to get out of harm's way.

That's not the case though in roller derby.

"Because it's so much fun," explains Abby Ruthless, a member of Nampa's Beet City Bombers roller derby team. "It's for the thrill. It's to feel stronger than you've ever felt in your life."

The team is comprised of extraordinary women with ordinary careers: bankers, lawyers, teachers, moms.

The team has been around for four years and the club has a multi-level training plateau that any interested member must go through before actually competing in bouts.

Ruthless and the Bombers were kind enough to let me go through a practice.

"You are probably like 'What did I sign up for?!'" Ruthless jokingly said about me.

First things first, you have to skate. But just as important as that is learning how to properly fall.

"I make people fall all the time," Ruthless said. "You just have to get it out of your head."

Ruthless explains that you don't want to put your hands on the ground if possible, since other skaters will be going full speed and that won't end well for you.

"You look like a derby skater already," she said. "You have a big grin on your face."

But I learned all this was just the warm up.

"It's okay to hit him," Ruthless told her teammates.

Roller derby features two teams that compete in one-hour matches. Each side has four blockers.

"It's like football on skates."

To compare it to football, the blockers act as an offensive line. Their job is to create holes against the other team's blockers, for their jammer. The jammer is like a running back, for each opposing blocker they skate past they get one point.

The Bombers have a roster that includes names like Cupcake Killa, J'Sicka Rabid and Tankerbelle. Ruthless says some members come up with their own, while others are given to them, but they have to match their style and personality.

The team was kind enough to come up with one for me.


(Photos for the story courtesy of Shutter Thug)