We believe everybody should be able to learn to skate in a safe place. No experience necessary! Just a positive attitude. New Skater is for everybody, 18 and over, who wants to learn to skate and stop safely—regardless of gender or goals.
New Skater practices are mandatory for new PFMers to attend before dropping into regular practices. We do make exceptions for skaters who already know how to stop safely and are stable. Everyone should email email@example.com to get started and we will let you know when to join. New Skater is also a great practice for seasoned skaters to work on stopping better and faster, and to work on form.
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 additional derby drills. 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 to New Skater, 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 nonbinary and comfortable skating in a female-centered space, and have a supportive positive attitude. Male identifying skaters are encouraged to come to our non-contact practices, learn to referee at our scrimmages, and/or join a men’s derby league.