Oh my, Eastborune Extreme was the funnest. So much so, in fact, that I give exactly zero fucks that ‘funnest’ is not a real word. If you haven’t heard of it before, Eastbourne Extreme is a free extreme sports festival based in (you guessed it) Eastbourne, down on the south coast of Blighty. Before starting roller derby I’d never heard of it, but when one of our coaches mentioned a while back that it was coming up and us rookies should come along, I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to watch some outdoor roller derby and spend some extra time on skates. With a bit of wheedling, I managed to rope a couple of fellow rookies into booking a super kitsch, bargainous B&B with me, and the rest is history.
Here are some of the things that made it such a bloody good weekend:
We saw a bunch of cool non-roller derby stuff. People doing ridiculously impressive stuff on bars that made me feel terribly inadequate as a human being. BMXers taking their bikes off some sweet jumps. Cute kids doing martial arts demonstrations. VW camper van enthusiasts showing off their pimped rides. And dogs – everywhere dogs!
We skated TONS. I reckon we had our skates (and protective gear!) on for about 5 hours each day, and skated up and down the shoreline for miles (on designated bike/skate paths!) checking out the various bits of the festival. Looking at the route on MapMyRun, I reckon we easily skated 12 miles over the course of the weekend. Learned that I find outdoor skating both fun and terrifying in about equal measure. I didn’t roll over any children or small dogs though, so I’m counting it as a win.
We watched LOADS of roller derby. A-teams, B-teams, male roller derby, co-ed roller derby… basically all the derby. Outside in the sunshine. For free. It was brilliant.
We got to see our own teams play. On Saturday, our B-team was playing in knock-out rounds which meant they played 3 bouts in total (!!)… and they won! Watching them in their final game was such a brilliant experience. I’ve never been a Sports Fan, so have never really got invested in whether a particular team or individual wins or loses something. Watching my league-mates play was an entirely different experience. I cared SO MUCH! (Maybe too much). I almost lost my voice from cheering them on. As well as being fun to watch and support, it was incredibly inspiring to watch the team I’m working towards being a part of one day. (One day!) And even though our A-team didn’t win their bout on Sunday, it was just as enthralling to watch.
We got to hang out. I haven’t had a chance to hang out with the other rookies that much outside of practice yet, so having a weekend to be skate-wearing, sweaty, giggling goofballs together was awesome.
Did you go to Eastbourne Extreme this year? BRING ON 2016!
Images my own, except for the 4th, 11th and 12th which are courtesy of Robyn Vinter with permission.