OG Balboa Bandits

October 2016 Skater of the Month

AMERICANHURL DOLL
#83

Tell us about your name.
I chose my name because it was a play on those super expensive American Girl dolls that my daughter was obsessed with at the time I joined the league. She had three of them, collected all the accessories she could afford and even had a birthday party at the store (which was pretty awesome, actually). I usually go by Hurlie. :-)

What’s your favorite derby position?
I'm a jammer and  I find it equal parts exhausting and terrifying. The adrenaline rush I get when I'm doing good things out there definitely outweighs the fear. I'm pretty fast and agile on my feet so it's natural for me to try to get through the pack and get those points, but in the beginning I couldn't go 10 feet without getting a forearm penalty or back block. 

Who inspires you on the track?
I'm in awe of many derby rockstars like Scald Eagle, Suzy Hotrod, Demanda Riot, and Quadzilla because of their amazing skills, talent, and longevity in this sport but I am mostly inspired by my fellow OMG teammates. I learned everything about playing roller derby from them. I still look to them for guidance and advice, and every one gives tough love (like REALLY tough love). They keep me inspired and eager to keep learning, playing, and improving.

What is your favorite derby memory?
In less than three years of skating I still have way too many to name just one! Some of my fondest memories are playing in two Freshie bouts, attending Rollercon in Vegas (where I got derby married to my wives, Agony Christie and Reapa Slayworth), traveling to tournaments with the Wipe Outs and LikeOMGs with all the team-bonding mischief. Most recently, our league trip to Catalina and getting to be featured in a magazine with my teammates were the standouts for sure! 

May 2016 Skater of the Month

Photo by ConJobb Photos

Photo by ConJobb Photos

SAMMI SMACKY-YAO
#480

Congrats on being SFV Roller Derby's May 2016 Skater of the Month!
Wow! What an honor! Everyone in SFV is so great. Shout out to all the super moms out there, my O.G. Banditas, my new Wrecking Crew, my GHOULS and the Sandlot! 

What’s your favorite derby position?
I love all things derby! I also love a challenge and so I'm going to go ahead and say that Jamming is my favorite. Although all positions hold various challenges, not everyone wants the star panty. It's like the unwanted step child.

What is your favorite derby memory?
The Ghoul Scouts vs Frankenbabes freshie bout. I was voted co-captain. It was such an exciting game, and pulling off the win by a few points felt like magic. From the coaches to my teammates and everything in between, it holds a spot in my heart and was awesome fun!

What's your super power? 
I am a SuperMom, so I have many super powers! My favorite is making wine disappear.

February 2016 Skater of the Month

BEAT-HER PAN
#5391

Tell us about your name. 
I am obsessed with anything Peter Pan. I have always identified with the character, not just the Disney version but the original as well. I always try to approach any new adventure or situation with child-like wonder and optimism, and I hope to always stay in touch with my inner child.

What’s your favorite derby position?
Jammer! But I've been trying really hard to be a better blocker.

Who are your derby inspirations?
Who to talk about first!? My boyfriend Jay is always proud of me when I play well and encouraging when I don't. Tokyo Takeout has been a strong motivating force for me since I started  -- always there to push me harder and to yell "DON'T TAKE THE MIDDLE!!" and "GET LOWER!!"  Twiggy Bones is not only the kind of jammer I aspire to be, but she's also been a huge help with my mental game. I still use her technique of focusing on how I want to skate and repeating it to myself before every game: "I am aggressive, I am mean, and I f*** s*** up!!"

What is your favorite derby memory?
I think one of my favorite derby memories was at one of our Wipeout games. I was jamming and I was about to beat my record for most points in one jam and from the crowd I hear a bunch of SFV skaters and supporters yelling "RU-FI-OOOOOOO!" and it really made me feel good. 

Photo by Con Jobb

Photo by Con Jobb

October 2015 Skater of the Month

Back in 1989, the singer Michel’le released a song called “Nicety.” Some people think I'm nice, some people think I'm nasty, and if you really want to know just ask me ... And I'll say I'm nicety.

My sister once told me “You’re the nicest person I know AND the meanest!” She was right! My nickname became “Nicety”. For the most part, I'm 90% nice and 10% nasty.  On the derby track, it's the opposite (at least in my mind).

My derby number comes from the 152nd day of the calendar year -- June 1st, my mom's birthday.  In 2014, my mom passed away. At the same time, my daughter stopped playing sports after ten years -- sports that helped both of us cope with the death of her father. I was at a loss. What would I do now? Then I thought, it's my turn to do something for myself!  Just what that was, I didn't know.    

One morning, I was watching KTLA news and Gayle Anderson was doing a segment on SFV Roller Derby at The Lot. Hmm, maybe this is what I need ...  I showed up to First Date and I feel it was one of the best decisions of my life.  

The people who inspire the most are the derby skaters over 40. We all struggle at every level, but it’s inspiring to see those hard-core skaters don’t give up. Age means nothing! Practice, determination, and perseverance will prevail.  They inspire this 45-year-old to work harder, never quit, hustle faster, and never use the excuse that I'm too old to do something because I see that they can do it!  

I used to think I wanted to be a jammer -- the "star" of the team. After the Freshie Bout, I realized blocking is my strength.  I can still be one of many stars that make up the galaxy that is my team!  Go Bandits!  

Believe it or not, my favorite derby memories are all the times I've volunteered.  I truly enjoy helping the league that has helped me so much emotionally, just by allowing me to skate.  The love, encouragement and support I receive surpasses any therapy I could get elsewhere!   

NICETY
NICE N NASTY
#152

September 2015 Skater of the Month

SMASHA GREY
#2005

My name is based after Sasha Grey, the adult film star/actress because I find women who take control of their own bodies and sexuality to be very powerful. Plus, she's a huge babe. 

I originally thought I would be more into jamming because I'm on the smaller side but I'm learning not to underestimate the power of my booty and I really enjoy hitting people! 

The freshie girls are the most inspiring people to me. It takes a lot of resilience to be new to something that takes so much practice and those gals do not give ever up. 

My first advanced practice is my favorite memory because it terrified me and I got beat up a bunch and I felt so accomplished when I survived! 

When I'm not skating, I'm a zoology student and a waitress at an 1890's-themed ice cream parlour. I also have watched the entire It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia series six times.  

August 2015 Skater of the Month

Photo by Matthew Becker Photography

Photo by Matthew Becker Photography

SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL
#38

Tell us about your name.
I'm really not very clever or "punny" in general, so coming up with a good derby name was a little difficult. My first ever bout was just two weeks away (yeah, I know. Crazy), so I needed to pick something quick. Not sure how or why I came up with Saturday Night Special, but it grew on me. I like to think my derby name found me. 

What position do you like to play?
There's no better feeling than launching a jammer off the track and recycling her back over and over, knowing you're completely ruining her day. Okay, so maybe I'm a little twisted, but it works. 

What inspires you?
As corny as it may sound, my teammates and league mates inspire me, even the freshies. I want to be the best I can be not only for myself, but for my team,and my league. My success is their success, and vice versa. 

What is your favorite derby memory so far?
After playing derby for close to six years, I have many wonderful memories and experiences, but my fondest with SFV was our trip to Australia for The Bont Invitational. Because of SFV and the OMGs, I had the incredible opportunity to play roller derby in a beautiful far away land with some of my favorite people. It was a once in a life time experience I will cherish always.

May 2015 Skater of the Month

CLEO-PASSYA
#30BC
 

Photo by David Costa Photography

Photo by David Costa Photography

Tell us about your name
The funny thing about derby names is you're told to pick a name when you're going through Fresh Meat and you don't really know how important your name is. When I started derby, I wanted to be a jammer and I wanted my name to represent a strong historical female figure. So why not the most famous female ruler and seductress in history, Cleopatra? As I started to play derby, I realized I'm a stronger blocker and sometimes I think I should have gone with "Cleo-blocksya". But it's never too late! You all may see me more and more on the jam line with that star panty on. 

What’s your favorite derby position?
Seriously, I just love to play! I'm stronger at blocking, but love jamming, too.  I'll play what ever position gets thrown at me. 

What inspires you on the track?
I have always roller skated, as a teen at Skateland, as an adult around Balboa Park for exercise. I know this is cliche, but I took my kids to see Whip it and I was like "I want to do that!" Unfortunately, it wasn't until years later that my friend Alicia took me to my First Date with SFV Roller Derby. 

What is your favorite derby memory?
Nothing beats traveling to Australia with the Like OMGs. NOTHING.

Any pre-bout rituals?
I find if I watch a little derby before a game, it gets my head in the game -- I start thinking about all the tools I have and how and when to use them. 

December 2014 Skater Of The Month

TOKYO TAKEOUT
#1-800

Photo by Rottsy Media

Photo by Rottsy Media

Tell us about your name!
My father actually came up with my derby name. I originally wanted Sake Bomb because I wanted something relating to my Japanese heritage. Lucky for me it was already taken because I think that Tokyo Takeout suits my skating style better.

What’s your favorite derby position?
My favorite derby position changes based on who I am playing with and against. I love blocking because it was the first thing I was good at in derby; hitting and positioning myself on the track effectively comes naturally to me because of my soccer and basketball background. The pivot panty makes me think more strategically and forces me to be even more vocal on the track. I like jamming, but I think what we have is more like a tumultuous love affair. I love it but I don’t think it always loves me back. That may be a mental thing.

Any pre-bout rituals?
I don’t drink alcohol a couple days before. I drink a lot of water. I like to lay in bed doing nothing until I have to get ready. Black wingtip eyeliner and my hair in a braid to the right side is a must on game day.

What inspires you on the track?
To be honest, when I first started I struggled to find inspiration on the track other than just trying to not be that one skater who clearly doesn't belong. I don’t feel like I truly blossomed until I joined the Like OMGs and became a coach for the Jawbreakers in the second Freshie Expo Bout. Most importantly, the Balboa Bandits voted me as the team captain and trusted me as a leader to build and structure the team. I realized that what inspires me on the track is inspiring others to reach their potentials. I push myself so that I can push others.

What is your favorite derby memory?
I can’t pick just one, because they are all pieces of my experience. The good, the bad, the happy, the painful (both emotional and physical!), the serenity and the blessing of finding SFV Roller Derby … I can’t appreciate the positive without the negative. The derby community, especially the wonderful women (and men) of SFV Roller Derby, has given me a confidence and a love for myself that I didn't think was possible.

Although travelling to Hawaii and Alaska with my OMGs to play derby is probably more of the answer you are looking for.