Skater Spotlight: Cin-Switch

Cin-Switch: Lady Zeeb!Part of the mighty undefeated Team Zebra, our latest skater spotlight shines on Cin-Switch!

How many years have you been skating?

It will be 3 years in November.

How did you get involved in roller derby?

My employer at the time was Aunty Aggro from CRDL, and she got me into it.

What is your favourite position?

Inside Pack Ref.

What was your best “lightbulb” moment?

When I was learning to do cross overs. I was just cruising around the track and thinking about something else and all of a sudden I realized that I could feel my kneepad on the back of the other knee, and was super excited because I’d never been able to get my legs to cross over enough before!

Do you have a pre-bout routine?

Just, y’know, whatever I feel like at the time.

Do you have a favourite song to get amped pre-bout?

Not really; I like to listen to whatever the DJ is playing.

What was your favourite bout moment?

Would have been one of our League Scrimmages, when we had first become a co-ed league. I was a Jam Ref, trying to keep up with my jammer, and one of the male skaters, AstroBoyd I think, was knocked off the track towards the inside, straight at me! My immediate reaction was to put my hands out, grab him, and I basically just chucked him backwards and kept going. Was kinda hilarious when I thought about it afterwards. Good thing I’m not a player or that would have gotten me in trouble!!

How did you choose your derby name?

I was trying to come up with something suitably tough sounding, but Aunty Aggro and Isabelligerant from CRDL laughed at my short list, mostly because I’m not that tough a person, so everything I picked just sounded silly for me. I ended up picking ‘Cinnamon Switchblade’ being as Cinnamon is my favourite spice and switchblades sound tough. But, I figured I needed something shorter, and so I abbreviated it to ‘Cin-Switch’

What skate set-up do you have/Do you have any gear recommendations?

I would recommend Nutcase helmets, absolutely. They have more layers of protective goodness in them and so look bulkier on your head, but they’re comfy. I’d still be wearing one if they made them in the colour I had wanted!!

What is one piece of advice you would give a freshie?

If you feel as though you’re not improving, don’t get discouraged. Sometimes it takes a long time to get something set in your head, depending on how many risks you’re willing to let your body take. If you need to do the bootcamp two or three times, that’s fine. It took a year and a half for me to get my White Star, so if you don’t get yours in 8 weeks, that’s okay. <3

Did you play sport before derby?

Nope!

Who are your derby heroes and why?

Game Over and Bonedancer, because they’re both really experienced lady refs, that I think Australian Roller Derby needs!

How would you sum up your derby playing style in three words?

“Oi! You! Bad!” (I mess up people’s numbers aaaaaaall the time!)

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Skater Spotlight: Raging Bull

Raging Bull in jammer mode - photo by David Mackie

Raging Bull in jammer mode. Photo courtesy Soul Hunter/David Mackie

This Skater Spotlight features one of our Capital Carnage skaters who’s going from strength to strength and pulling no punches along the way – it’s Raging Bull!

How long have you been skating?

I started fresh meat just over a year ago. I had skated a few times in my teens.

How did you get involved in roller derby?

My daughter skates in CRDL, so my wife joined VDL to try it out, and then pushed me to give it a try.

What is your favourite position?

Jamming is a thrill when it comes off, but it’s so incredibly exhausting I can’t do much of it, so at the moment I’m more comfortable blocking.

What was your best “lightbulb” moment?

I think it was realizing how incredibly useful toestops are.

Do you have a pre-bout routine?

I just like to unwind, and take the time to make sure all my gear is ok and I haven’t forgotten anything. 

Do you have a favourite song to get amped pre-bout?

No, I’m not a big music listener

What was your favourite bout moment?

In the Smash bout, pushing someone out all by myself and recycling him was pretty special!

How did you choose your derby name?

My wife is Mad Cow, so when I suggested ‘Raging Bull’ in jest, everyone was insistent that I take it.

What skate set-up do you have/Do you have any gear recommendations?

I still have my original beginner skates, and they seem to do well enough. But you do have to change the rock-hard bushings they come with so that you can manoeuvre, and I’ve gone for some softer wheels for more stickiness. I used to get sore wrists, so got some good quality wristguards. And I have absolutely no padding on my hip bones, so padded pants are a godsend.

What is one piece of advice you would give a freshie?

Don’t feel pressured to try more than you’re comfortable with; master the basics and build on them gradually. Steady progress can achieve impressive results.

Did you play sport before derby?

I was a puny non-sporty kid (except for table tennis), but joined a gymnastics club at Uni, and discovered that I actually could be athletic. I started playing social squash a few years later, then competitive squash for a few years, then social squash while overseas. I’ve never cycled as a sport, but have often cycled to and from work over the years, and found it helps with stamina and strength. I played mixed netball for a few years when I came back from overseas, took up competitive squash again about ten years ago, and I’ve recently done a couple of years of rowing, but have dropped it for now so that I can concentrate on squash and derby. (Oh, and there were three years of skydiving in there too, if you consider that a sport…)

Who are your derby heroes and why?

I’m inspired by Whippasnappa, who proves that you don’t need to be big to be good! (I’m huge compared to him). I aspire to Skateslinger’s level of agility. And, really, I admire all the girls and guys who aren’t natural athletes or in perfect shape, but have the courage to push themselves to be better every week.

How would you sum up your derby playing style in three words?

Can only come up with two: agility, determination. 

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