We believe everybody should be able to learn to skate in a safe place. No experience necessary! Just $6, gear, and a positive attitude. New Skater is for everybody, 14 and over, who wants to learn to skate and stop safely—regardless of gender or goals.
New Skater is a great practice for seasoned skaters to work on stopping better and faster, and to work on form. It is also a great place to come and help newer skaters.
New Skater practices are mandatory for new PFMers to come to before attending a regular practice (we do make exceptions for skaters who already know how to stop safely and are stable; email firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you are in this area to possibly get a pass). This is a practice that focuses on our new skaters, and you will get all the help you need for that time. This practice will teach you the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) standards of how to stop and fall properly and safely, and if time allows we’ll go over a few basics on how certain drills are run. Our goal is to have new skaters prepared to safely and confidently skate right into a regular practice as soon as possible!
Depending on your skill level, expect to attend two or more of these practices. But the more you skate and work on your balance, strength, and endurance outside of PFM the faster you’ll move on to regular practices, which are twice a week. Unfortunately, you will not see much improvement attending only the one or two PFM New Skater practices a month, so get out there and have fun skating! If you see somebody at a rink with safety gear on, they likely skate derby, and are generally very open to answering questions and helping.
To make our practices safe for you and those around you, in order to pass New Skater we look for the following things (these are NOT necessary to master before you come, we will teach you):
- Ability to skate with balance and control. Not flailing, constantly falling, grabbing, or holding on to anyone or anything to stay upright.
- Controlled and proper use of the t-stop OR plow stop, and one-knee slide.
- Positive attitude and ability to take feedback and criticism (while you don’t need to be cheerleader, a negative attitude or unwillingness to take advice won’t get you very far in derby.)
What happens after you pass New Skater? That depends on your goals. You may always come back, whether you pass or not, to get more skate time and work on stops. Once you pass New Skater, you can come to open practices if you are: 18+, identify as female (or are compatibly nonbinary), and have a supportive and positive attitude. If you identify as male we encourage you to come to our non-contact practices, learn to referee at our scrimmages, and/or join a men’s derby league.