The Un-Official Los Angeles Thunderbirds
Roller Games Repository & Tribute

HistoryT-Birds Team Photos

Legends of the Banked Track

America’s Roller Derby Team

The Los Angeles Thunderbirds were ‘America’s team’ (along with the Bay Bombers) during the heyday of roller derby (the 60’s and early 70’s) and were the most popular and prolific international roller derby team in the history of the sport. Top Thunderbirds skaters were household names and the team often drew more fans than the Lakers (NBA) & Kings (NHL) both in game attendance and television ratings.

Hall of Fame Talent

The team was loaded with skating talent on both the men’s and women’s squads including many National Roller Derby Hall of Fame inductees. Games were exciting, fast paced and high scoring. There was a great deal of mayhem and showmanship on display to spice things up between jams. Never a dull moment. Fans were given a full dose of athleticism and entertainment and got their money’s worth.

The World Champion LA T-Birds

The powerful Thunderbirds were the perennial world champions of Roller Games, winning the title 18 times. But professional roller derby in this era was never about winning and losing; it was the spectacle and excitement of the game itself; the journey, not the destination. And year after year the Thunderbirds provided a splendid journey for their fans.

Vintage Roller Derby

How Roller Games History Unfolded

The Thunderbirds brought new highs and lows to the sport of roller derby. There were two distinct phases in T-Birds history: The seminal period was 1960-1974. The 2nd phase was 1975 to 1993. We showcase each of these legendary teams with at least one image on our team photos page. A brief chronological history of the T-Birds and the Roller Games league is contained on our history page.

Thunderbirds and Bombers

This site was created to honor the great skaters involved with Roller Games and to provide an accurate history of the Roller Games league to today’s new generation of skaters. If you are browsing this site to gain an understanding of the history of this great American sport, start with our history page and then watch some game footage of both the T-Birds and Bay Bombers from the 1960’s and early 70’s.

Surviving Video

Unfortunately, 99% of the recordings from this era no longer exist. But the few that remain will give you an insight into roller derby in all its glory. Our video page has some helpful links. If you really want to go deep, check out some pre-Thunderbird tapes from the 1950’s when the skating talent was at its very zenith. That exceptional 50’s talent spilled over to fill the rosters of the Bay Bombers and L.A. T-Birds in the 1960’s which led to unparalleled success for the sport and spectacle of roller derby.