New Skater FAQ
Watch the Pirates take on Boulder County at the Big O in Eugene Oregon, USA
How old do you have to be to join?
Our adult program caters to everyone over the age of 18. Meanwhile, our juniors program (the Scallywags) takes skaters from the age of 8.
Am I fit enough to give it a go?
Absolutely! Our new skaters have a range of sporting and athletic backgrounds – from having played other sports at national level, right through to never having played sport regularly in their life. Our league and our coaches can cater to all levels of fitness.
What should I wear?
We recommend wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing that you can move easily in. We would also recommend bringing a thick pair of socks as these often make skates more comfortable. You’ll find that most of our experienced skaters tend to wear sports leggings and a singlet whilst skating.
What do I need to bring?
Simply yourself, a willing attitude, a mouth guard, and a bottle of water.
If you have your own skates and safety equipment, feel free to bring these along. Otherwise everything will be provided. However, if you have a particularly large or small shoe size, please let us know beforehand so that we can ensure we have the right size for you on the day.
Can I wear roller blades?
Whilst referees are permitted to officiate on roller blades, unfortunately the rules of the sport state that players must use Quad Skates.
However, our experience is that people find the switch from roller blades to quad skates relatively easy, and you’ll soon find yourself able to skate to the same standard on either type of skate.
Do I need to know the rules?
As a part of our program our skaters and officials will help you to learn the rules. New skaters often find it helpful to come along to our scrimmages (i.e. our game-based practices) to help officiate in order to learn more about how the game works.
How well do I need to skate to be able to attend?
You don't have to be able to skate at all! Whether you’ve never put a pair of skates on in your life, whether you skated as a child many many years ago, or whether you regularly skate, you are welcome to attend.
We will teach you the skills you need to skate, fall and stop safely.
Where can I buy Roller Derby Gear
There are loads of sites online you can buy gear from. Try Aotearoller!
How long till I can skate with the Pirates?
Everyone picks up skating/derby at a different rate. On average you would spend about 6 - 10 months learning to skate and take contact before you will be ready to scrimmage (play derby). In order to be cleared for skating you will need to pass the WFTDA minimum Skills Test.
How can I learn about the game?
Watch Roller Derby online. YouTube has hundreds to choose from!
When watching games try to watch games played in the last 12 months. Roller Derby is an ever changing sport so watching most recent footage is best. Also check out these videos where world class Jammers talk about the game.
What if I don’t want to skate, but want to get involved?
We are always on the lookout for Non-Skating Officials, Coaches, Volunteers and Supporters. Please see our OFFICIALS page for more details, or CONTACT US for more information about other roles.
What if I want to learn to skate, but don’t want to play roller derby?
That’s fine! We’re always happy to share the joy of skating and teach people the basics. However, our program is geared towards teaching people to play Flat Track Roller Derby.We also have on-skates roles within the league that don’t involve playing. Please see our OFFICIALS page for more details, or CONTACT US for more information about other options.