Roller derby is one of those sports you generally associate with corny B-movies. Maybe you've seen it live before -- it's full of badass, beer-swilling punk rock babes with aliases like "Blonde Bomber" and a penchant for fishnets and in-line melees. The potential for camp is clear. This scene is only partially true for "Thirst for Blood," brought to you by the Bay Area Derby Girls. The B.A.D. Girls are the card-carrying cognoscenti of roller derby. Founded in August 2004 by a group of women that includes ex-derby star Lydia Clay, the lineup features brawny sirens like Bang-Bang Banshee and Nancy Drew Blood. This time around, the San Francisco ShEvil Dead battles the Oakland Outlaws in the bay's first all-female, flat-track roller derby tournament in quite a while. While it's all in good fun (halftime and post-game entertainment includes cancan dancers, male cheerleaders, and rockabilly crooners), the B.A.D. Girls and their pals give us a robust show that most sports fans would agree is bigger than any cheesy B-flick. And for those who don't know what roller derby looks like, there's no better way to find out. The bout starts at 8 p.m. at Dry Ice, 210 Hegenberger Loop (at Cairo), Oakland. Tickets are $12-15; call (510) 562-9499 or visit www.bayareaderbygirls.com.
-- Nirmala Nataraj
A Cold Classic
O'Neill opens a Steamer
Few spots beat Santa Cruz's Steamer Lane for watching surfing, with its peeling waves hugging the cliff-top park, affording spectators unparalleled views of the action. Regrettably, that action is tepid on your average day. But middling locals will be forced out of the water at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, where professionals from around the world (and a good many from Santa Cruz itself) will square off in the amphitheaterlike setting. Unlike the Maverick's contest, the Classic is all about tearing apart NorCal waves instead of simply surviving them -- and you won't need binoculars to see it. Heats start at 8 a.m. Wednesday (and continue through Sunday) at Steamer Lane, West Cliff & Pelton, Santa Cruz. Spectating is free; visit www.surfermag.com.
-- Michael Leaverton