Roller Derby is hot in Buffalo. Just like hula hooping, the pastime has gone from a sleeper to a full fledged way of life for many. Over the years, the Queen City Roller Girls league has taken off, so much so that they will soon be playing at their new custom digs at Riverworks (see here).
While the major roller derby league in Buffalo continues to thrive, another league is just starting to make some waves in town.
The effort is being led by Psyko Kupkake, who recently moved back to Buffalo from San diego, after being away from Buffalo for many, many years. Being an experienced roller gal, who didn’t necessarily want to jump back into the thick of things, Psyko (Aimee) decided that she would cultivate another, different, league in Buffalo – one that was a bit more lighthearted and chill ( a lot more like the roller derby teams of the ’70’s). “We are the first East Coast Renegade team in the Renegade Rollergirls league (see more info here). Most importantly I want to make sure that it’s known that everyone is welcome (over 18) at every skill level and that we train. We pride ourselves in being drama free, on and off the track so it’s a lot less intimidating for newer girls to just show up and learn to play. The games themselves are a lot more fun to watch than traditional “rules” derby as they are fast paced with no whistle blowing and no penalties. We don’t have refs – we have brawl busters to keep the game moving.”
Almost as quickly as Psyko established her Nickel City Renegade Rollergirls, she also found a skating rink/track to practice. It turns out that the owner of Skateland on East Ferry, Sue Goggins, was more than happy to accommodate the new skaters. In fact, Sue has been busy sprucing up Skateland and now has a large skate rink/track as well as a kiddie loop. I stopped in last night to take a few laps around the track and was excited to see all of the work that was being done to the place. “We’re making it colorful, painting the walls,” Sue told me.
“At this point, Skateland has been for kids and families. We rarely see adults skating here unless there is a private party. The roller derby thing is new to us, although we have had some derby skaters practice here before bouts. Generally we offer open skate nights, and we rent skates out for those who don’t have them (every size available). My husband was in the roller skating business for many years – I love this place, and am excited to see the enthusiasm from the skaters.”
Now that Psyko has taken a liking to Skateland, there will be a different kind of buzz coming from the facility. Not only will derby skaters be showing up to practice, there will be some fans hooting and hollering as well. “I played traditional rules derby for years and although “I’m grateful for the training and friendships I made, it was never quite what I thought the sport was going to be,” added Psyko.
“When I found the renegades in San Diego 3 years ago it was everything that derby was supposed to be, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it sooner. For anyone who wants to come play, we practice Mondays from 8-10:30 PM at Skateland… I have guest coaches coming in the spring from the West Coast. Our first game will be in April.”
Nickel City Renegade Rollergirls | Facebook
If you are interested in coming and skating with the Renegade Rollergirls, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skateland | 33 E Ferry St | Buffalo, New York 14209 | (716) 882-2104 | Open skates and private parties!
Psyko derby photos: wilmunny.com