Hell on Wheels (2007) is a documentary film about a group of tattooed rock ‘n roll chicks who struggle to resurrect the sport of roller derby. The women overcome all obstacles to revel in undreamed of success, inspiring dozens of other leagues to start up across the US and launching a roller derby revival. The picture below comes from the film.
What isn’t explained is how spanking came to be so much a part of the culture of roller derby – especially all-female roller derby. There seems to be TWO distinct customs:
Hell on Wheels
For serious rule infringements, the ref blows his whistle and spins the Penalty Wheel. The pointer clacks past punishments such as Jousting, Pillow Fight, Tug O War and, hopefully, lands on either Spank Alley or Team Spank.
The Penalty Wheel
Spank Alley involves a skater rolling past a line of eager disciplinarians. Sometimes the spectators get to take part in this.
The picture below shows a “team spank” where the green team is getting to spank members of the black team with a paddle. Definitely a heavy-duty swat or two is landing here if the size of the spanker’s arms is anything to go by!
For the spectators at least, it looks like great fun and the spanking is a light-hearted part of the overall entertainment package that other sports would do well to copy!
But if their grrrrly backsides weren’t already red and sore enough after the matches, there’s also the second roller derby spanking tradition. This takes place at social events which seem to involve lots of drinking, rock music and “spanking booths”!
I first saw these pictures of rollergirls’ spanking booths on Spanker Bryan’s blog. They’re using serious paddles, complete with messages painted onto them and drilled holes. This makes me think that this form of entertainment probably arose from a cross-over with college fraternity and sorority traditions.
As mentioned above, roller derby has had a big revival in recent years and it’s popularity has spread to other parts of the world including the UK, where there are now leagues in the major cities.
Londonrollergirls were established in 2007, and I checked out their website to see how the rituals associated with this cultural import are being assimilated in Britain. Or to put it another way – to try to find some spanking pics!
Sure enough, on 30th December 2007, in a bar in London’s trendy Camden Town what may well have been the UK’s first ever roller derby spanking booth officially opened its doors for business. This picture makes it look like a brand of lager was sponsoring the event!
The only problem was deciding what implement to use. Sorority spanking paddles are a bit thin on the ground in NW1. You can’t really see it but the guy above is swinging a quite heavy strap.
Their hockey sticks also came in handy, but which end do you use?
The blonde seems to have got it right using the “wrong” end a bit like a cane. All the same, they must have found this to be a rather bruising and unsubtle tool for the job.
Eventually national stereotypes reasserted themselves and someone produced a, rather weedy looking, crook-handled cane. Probably from the fancy-dress shop down the road.
Surely no one could use that the wrong way round.
Again it’s hard to see, but the chick in the pink is now wielding an Anne Summers style riding crop. She is definitely into her spanking as she seems to be in nearly every pic.
This redhead looks a bit nervous, and for good reason.
She’s going to get the lot! – all at the same time!
Whack! Whack! Whack! The same laws are operating here as in any school playground. That’s what you get for being ginger I’m afraid!
Teething problems aside, the spanking booth was an overall winner, at least according to the write up on the website:
“The event was a great success, the bands were excellent, the spanking booth was a little more succesful and popular than we imagined, and the rollergirls raised some funds to go towards our first public bout.”
Later some interesting extra details emerged:
“The much anticipated LRG spanking booth went over hugely well, Jezebel Propaganda and Lady Frankenstein ruled the stage, turning into a fun and hilarious macho contest of who could hold out for the harshest whoopin’, guys and girls alike went up for the challenge.
Best results I’ve seen so far? While I have a heck of a nasty bruising it pales to the black and purple shiners gracing the bum of Ala, lovely specimen of body mod art and new LRG recruit that she is!
I was going to provide a link to the page where I found these pics, but a large number of them were of the guys getting spanked so I decided against it.
The men were all made to bare their butts too, but this is the only one I found where a roller girl at least drops her strides. Could it be the unfortunate Ala?
Love the tense anticipation captured in her pose, (and her buttocks!). Go grrrrl!!