Derby Fact #1: Let’s Whip It

I’m sure readers who bother to check back here for updates on roller derby, has definitely heard of the movie “Whip It” in 2009, directed by Drew Barrymore. It was based on the book “Derby Girl” written by Shauna Cross, who also wrote the screen play for the movie. It stars Ellen Page as the lead character in Bodeen, Texas, who discovered roller derby and goes against all odds to pursue her newfound passion and freedom.

Did you know, that the title of movie is actually based on a real derby technique call ‘Whipping’? It involves two people to carry out a ‘Whip’. Person A will act as the pivot for person B to hold onto as she swings herself forward. With the help of Person A’s push, alongside with the momentum they have from skating, they will be able to propel person B forward even faster. They is what they call a whip.

There are also more than one kind of ‘whipping’. There is the normal whip, which is the one I just described to you. And there is the leg whip, and also, there is a backwards whip. The concept of the other whips are basically the same idea – using another person as a pivot to push yourself forward faster. The person that is receiving the whip, or for a lack of a better word, the person being ‘whipped’ is usually the jammer as they have to get past the pack quicker in order to score points.

It may sound confusing, but it is actually very simple logic in boosting one’s speed on the track. While it takes quite a bit of core strength and stability while being the pivot to push the other skater ahead, it is extremely fun being pushed or ‘whipped’!

So there you go! Add this to your Derby Facts 101! Also, if you have not checked out this movie, do so!


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