Films and television portray roller derby girls as rainbow-haired rebels from all walks of life with a do-it-yourself work ethic. As it turns out, that’s not a far cry from real life. The Leahi Diamond Dolls is a women’s flat track roller derby team out of Mililani. Their members consist of stay-at-home moms, military wives, nurses and students. Their bright uniforms and colorful tattoos create quite a spectacle as they compete against other teams in the Pacific Roller Derby league, and make no mistake: these athletes are getting an intense workout.
The matches consist of two bouts, lasting an hour each. The team also practices from one to five times a week and most of that time is spent on skates, giving teammates a cardio workout. After watching a scrimmage of blockers pushing up against jammers, it’s obvious that they’re really using their quadriceps, too.
Injuries are common in any contact sport and according to Leahi Diamond Dolls blocker “Melee Antoinette,” 85 percent of them in roller derby are related to the knee. To prevent such injuries, the team focuses on stretches that target ligaments around the area. On their rare moments off the skates, they also practice high-impact workout routines for strength building.
While their piercings and body art may seem intimidating, the team is a supportive community and members encourage other women to join. Girls can start in the junior league from as young as 6 years old. Pacific Roller Derby referee “Drewbacca” said when it comes to sports for women, options almost completely drop off after college. He also added, “Roller Derby is attractive to women of all varieties because if they are competitive in nature, and they’ve had that in the past, or maybe they’ve never engendered that before, it really speaks to that and gives them an outlet – to perform physically and excel on a team level. It’s a lot of fun.”
- Quad skates
- Kneepads, elbow pads
- Wrist guards
- Mouth guard
This evening we’re at a scrimmage for Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby. These ladies are are getting some serious instagr.am/p/Qlj0rnBdLE/
— being808 (@being808) October 10, 2012