Monday, March 14, 2011

Hawaii Island Embraces Roller Derby!

I know that most of my posts are about food, but some are about Hawaiian Culture and our island has whole heartedly embraced Roller Derby, hence it qualifies as a Hawaii Lifestyle Report. The Paradise Roller Girls have become Hilo's Sweethearts. Their second bout Saturday night was another sell out at the Hilo Civic Auditorium. The ladies on quads rocked the house. And that house was extremely diverse; everyone from Bikers to Red Hat Ladies filled the 3,000 seats and Standing Room Only in the Civic. Families sat above rows of wheel chairs and handicapped people. TuTu’s and Uncles cheered alongside teenagers and toddlers. In short, this sport has captured the hearts of our town in a big way.
 The contenders last night were the Kauai's "Garden Island Renegade Rollerz." And while the Paradise Roller Girls put on quite a show in the end, Kauai rolled away with a win of 131 to 101. This was only the second bout for the Paradise Roller Girls and they put on quite a show.

 Roller Derby is not what it was in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, nor what it was like in the brief resurgence it experience it enjoyed in the 1980’s. Today’s skaters have better skates, wheels and safety equipment. The Roller Girls work diligently at honing skills and being in top physical condition. I have been following them for many months, attending their practices and bouts. These ladies are serious athletes who sacrifice time and energy for the team. There are strict rules in today’s bouts and there may be some playful banter, but there are none of the staged fights or faked falls that there were back in the day. Gone too is the banked track. Roller Derby is done on flat tracks here.
 Last night’s bout actually began well before the official time of 6 pm. The two teams arrived at the Civic at noon to prep and practice. Vendors started arriving at around 2 and the tailgate parties began at 2:00. The doors opened at 4:00 and the stadium filled quickly with the fans.
 There was pregame entertainment of dancers and a brief education of how the game is played and then the fun began in earnest.
 The Kauai team was decked out in pink and wearing some interesting accessories.
 The Roller Girls also had some very cool looks going on.
 Both teams removed their helmets and solemnly sang along with the National Anthem.
 I guess the refs and scorekeepers did not get the memo about removing hats! 
At half-time we were entertained by more dancers, a fun fan contest which was one by a very athletic young lady who had competition of hot teen girls dressed in retro outfits in the Paradise Team colors as well as a flag waving Darth Vader, There was also a contest to dress up as a Roller Girl as fast as possible and then run around the rink. And we were treated to a Ballet Folklorio dancer!  It was an eclectic and fun break from the action.

When the bout resumed the Paradise Roller Girls came very close to evening the score, but the Kauai team had an edge with their tiny bombshell The Tamminator playing jammer scoring right and left when she was not sitting in the Penalty Box for breaking a rule or two. The Garden Isle was well represented with a strong team including Captain Pussy Go Score, Pink Poundcake, Miss Isle Launcher, The Warden and Kaiser PermaMento & Clamity Crush among others.

Several of the Paradise Roller Girls were not only “Dressed for Success” but showed their stuff on the rink. Von Schlappenbitch, D’evilD Megs, Ava Tart, Smash Yo Face Stace , Fyrefly Fatale, Captain Anita Whiskey and Reba Smack N Flyer were star players in the bout and supported by the rest of the team and a huge battalion of support staff. Coach Irish-I-Was Bashin’ Ya led the support staff with panache.

All in all, we were treated to an exciting night of slammin’ and jammin’ and good clean fun. It was more than just entertainment; it was the biggest thing to hit Hilo since the Tsunami! 

1 comment:

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