Wondering what a derby wife is?

You're not alone. Maybe you're new to roller derby and aren't quite sure what to make of all this. If players pledging their undying love to each other gets you a little green in the gills, maybe we can help clarify.

This isn't just a plan to freak out your Catholic grandparents into thinking you're gay, it's a real(y fun) way to make a lifelong friend and guarantee someone will always be watching your back. Here is the official origin story of the derby wife:

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Loving your derby wife is easy

Finding a Valentine's gift worthy of her jaw cracking hits? Not so much.

We've got this. Our Derby Wife Water bottles make a statement while simultaneously keeping both of you hydrated. What more could a pair of kick-ass derby girls like you two need?!

Love Hurts!

We want to hear all about why your Derby Wife is the GREATEST in the land. My wife will rack your jaw and ring your bell, and wonder where the bus that hit you went. How about yours?

Let's hear your best love song, your sappiest poem, your undying love to your favorite derby human. Gush all about her.

The Origins of the Derby Wife

by Kasey Bomber, L.A. Derby Dolls

"The tradition started in November 2003, when a load of Derby Dolls went to see the first AZRD bout and the derby wife concept was born.

Now, see, we Derby Dolls (and I imagine/KNOW a whole lot of the rest of you out there) really like to drink. Some of us have been a little further in the barrel than others, and some of us have done so on a 6 hour van trip to Phoenix. Well, my dear friend Evil E and I initiated both the world’s most ill-advised drinking contest and what was very likely the first verified pairing of derby “wives” called as such on that very trip. Yes, yes, a fifth of Jim Beam a piece is likely to not only be accompanied by many “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”s, and all kinds of wall-eyed hooey, but before those bottles got too empty we realized something.

A derby wife is quite simply this –

1. She is the one person in this whole sport of roller derby that the very instant you looked at her, you felt like you’d known her since you were a fetus. She looked just like your best friend from fifth grade, or something she did reminded you of all the things you ever liked in anyone else.

2. She is the first person you’d call if you ever need to get bailed out of jail. (Or in my case, ever need to have an entire legal crusade started in your name.)

3. She’s the one who will be holding back your hair when you puke after drinking too much, and she won’t let anyone take your picture while doing it.

4. She’ll ride in the ambulance with you when you lose a tooth, break your wrist, or tear your ACL.She’ll make you laugh the whole way to the hospital, try to steal your pain medication (lovingly), and sneak your favorite food and a beer into recovery.

5. She’ll make her actual husband understand that if he loves her, he’s gonna have to put up with you, too, no matter how many times you come over forcing him to revisit all the derby-related shows on his Tivo that you missed.

6. She may not even be your best friend in the league or the sport, but she’d be the one you know will be the first one to back you up, even if you’re dead wrong. She’ll just tell you you’ve lost your fucking mind later in private, possibly kick your ass a little bit, and then be the only one who could ever talk your hotheaded ass into some reason.

If you can find more than one derby wife who can meet those needs, then you are lucky indeed, but myself? I’m a one derby wife gal."

Kasey Bomber, LADD
Mrs. Evil E

The Derby Wife Vows

Because what's a wedding without vows? Every year, hundreds of ladies and gents propose to their derby wives before and during Rollercon then come together to celebrate their love, friendship and drink until 5:00 AM and dance the night and early morning away... because that's allowed and encouraged in Vegas.

Dearly Beloved, Ladies and Broads...

We're gathered here tonight to honor the union of these skaters in the grand tradition of derby marriage. As you look to your future wife or wives next to you, know that you are entering a very unique and special union.

It is one based not only on friendship, honor and loyalty, but also on tricking each other into ill-advised late night situations, reminding each other to always recall with relish your best takedown if ever you doubt your skill before a bout, and advising you to always select the "daily digest" optiion on all 29 of your yahoo groups.

The skater or skaters beside you may not be your best friends, but they have that special quality that no other in roller derby possesses for you. They are the ones who "complete you." They are also the ones who will not hesitate to punch you in the mouth if you ever said that out loud. So, without further ado, please join hands and repeat after me:

I (insert name here) take you, (insert name here) to be my derby wife.
I promise to ride with you in the ambulance if you ever break your arm in a bout even if the EMTs are all ugly.
I will always tell you when your pads start to smell like a goat's ass in summer.
I vow to always take pictures up your skirt at afterparties, and to hold your hair back if you get sick on the sidewalk.
I will always be your first phone call from jail, even if I was te one who got you there in the first place.
I will always remind you about the amazing last bout if non-skating matters start to annoy you.
I promise to be your biggest fan... unless we face off in a bout.
I promise to hit you harder than anyone else on your team, because I'd never insult you by going easy.

So, with the power vested in me by Ivanna S. Pankin and the Rollercon Convention,

I now ponounce you Derby Wives.
You may kiss the brides.

Derby Wives Rollercon Photo
Roller Derby Wives Mug Set

Really awesome derby wife gifts

Because you're both completely awesome in every way.