Wheels on fire with the Hudson Valley Horrors

Hudson Valley Horrors (photo by Kelly Marsh)

You wouldn’t want to upset Rxy Ramalott, would you? What about Pinky Swears, R. Sovertits, Puffy Bangs, Honey Punches ‘nd Gloats, Señorita GonnaEatYa, Whiskey Lullabye and Goody to Bruise? Didn’t think so.

Grab your dollar bills and get ready for the thrills and spills of real-deal flat-track roller derby this Saturday night. On June 30, the Hudson Valley Horrors – the first non-urban flat-track women’s roller derby team in the world – and their zomBsquad take on the Long Island Roller Rebels at Hyde Park Roller Magic. “Hot Skates in the Summertime” will feature two knockdown, drag-out derby games sure to bring the Fourth of July fireworks on early. Doors open at 6 p.m.; beatings start at 7 p.m.

The Horrors – owned by the skaters, for skaters – are proud members of the Women’s Flat-Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and part of a grassroots derby revival. This ain’t your Momma’s roller derby: raised-track staged bouts from the 1970s. This is a hardcore sport, currently under consideration to be added to Olympic competition in 2020. It’s also serious fun.

Each game is comprised of two 30-minute halves, in which a “jammer” attempts to outrun the pack of blockers and pivots nipping at her skates in hot pursuit. “Jams,” or scoring runs, last two minutes each. A jammer scores when she laps the pack. Jammers can rack up upwards of 100 points for their team in the course of a game – if they’re quick.

“It’s so much fun it sorta hurts,” said Jenn Scarola, a/k/a Carcinojen, director of public relations for the Hudson Valley Horrors. “What can be better than watching girls on roller skates in little short-shorts rolling around hitting each other?”

And there are snacks. Roller Magic’s concession stand will be open for food and drink throughout both bouts. There will be a merchandise table, halftime raffles and roller derby girls galore.

A VIP Ticket costs $20 (while supplies last) and secures your chair at either end of the rink, plus a swag bag. A Suicide Seat costs $10 in advance, $15 at the door. They’re on the floor, in front of a wall just outside the ten-foot safety zone on the outer edge of the track. They’re called Suicide Seats for a reason: You’re liable to wind up with a skater in your lap. Sit at your own risk. Tickets can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com or from any of the Horrors.

The Horrors work as hard as they play. “It’s not just a sport; we’re a big family and we serve our community,” said Scarola. You may have seen the team out and about: participating in the Walkway over the Hudson Guinness World Record-Breaking Hokey Pokey; raising money for the American Heart Association in conjunction with Surviving Sisters’ Boutique; and tending to its Adopt-a-Highway stretch of Route 9, near Vassar Hospital. Coincidence or good strategy? The Horrors do occasionally wind up at the hospital, as documented in the “Track Splatter” section of their website, which features pictures of their bumps, bruises and broken bones.

“I think people also really enjoy seeing women play a full-contact sport,” said Scarola. “We’re being strong and using our minds at the same time – we’re not just smacking each other around. There’s strategy there.”

For more information visit www.horrorsrollerderby.com or the Horrors’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HVHRD. Hyde Park Roller Magic is located at 4178 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park; call (845) 229-6666 for more info.

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