Jumping on skates! (onto grass)

I was first introduced to jumping on skates two or three sessions after I first joined BladeSoc. For an hour or so of the 3 hour session, we had a jump stick which was a light wood cane which could be moved up and down the floor stands. At this time, I was too afraid to jump on skates and instead of jumping over the cane, spent the session jumping small hops stood still, and then progressed to moving at low speed. I then had a cane on the floor and tried to work up the confidence to jump over it at floor level, but never found the confidence back then. So after that session, I have been pretty scared to jump on skates and only jumped (hopped) on rare occasions.

HOWEVER! I recently visited Nottingham from my home town (Dudley) for a few weeks and one day out skating with a friend decided to practise jumping again. Compared to the first few sessions of BladeSoc, I think I have improved drastically and am now pretty confident with basic jumping up and down/ with little speed. The only thing is, I don’t think I can jump that high off the ground- so that skating session was dedicated to trying to jump high and then eventually jump up over a curb.

So a few minutes spend jumping around a car park later, I was confident enough to try jumping curb height (onto some grass). Even though this doesn’t seem like a big thing, it’s a good stepping stone to where I want to be (being able to jump over the jump stick at a BladeSoc session at a good height!).

I think I’ll mention here a tip about jumping too: be sure to keep your knees bent, and always land with your feet in a scissor position in order to be more stable. (There are obviously other techniques for jumping, like tucking your legs to the side for maximum height on higher jumps, but I’m not at that level yet! But those two points mentioned are the main ones you need to remember if you are going to attempt jumping- it’s not as scary once you do it a few times! Oh, and be sure to wear pads when first starting out).

Here is the video I recoded of jumping up onto the grass (unfortunately in really bad quality, sorry!):

Looking back at the video, I thought that was pretty high! The amazing thing is, I am pretty sure I could jump higher if I went for it, and over a longer distance. So the next step in the jumping progress, is to jump up onto a paved curb, over speed bumps, over drains, and anything else in the urban world that I can work towards jumping over (before testing all this progress on the BladeSoc Jump Stick!). I will definitely post another post of jumping progress when it comes to it!

…So what is BladeSoc?

The majority of the event posts I’ve written (in fact all) so far have mentioned BladeSoc, so I thought I’d explain a bit about BladeSoc and why it’s so great.

BladeSoc is my university’s rollerblading society (or maybe its ex-university since I am now a graduate!). They organise weekly skating sessions (Saturdays 13:00-16:00- indoors and outdoors dependent on weather), Hockey sessions (Wednesdays 19:00 – 21:00), and Slalom sessions (Sundays 20:00 – 22:00). (Though these times may change- check their SU page for up-to-date information!) They even provide the skates and pads to hire each session for free, or offer year long hiring for a small cost. As with all societies, there is a membership joining fee but at £6 for the whole year you can’t really complain!

BladeSoc slalom sessions  Bladesoc hockey3 bladesoc hockey2  bladesoc football bladesoc jumping  BladeSoc basketball

Outside of the weekly sessions, one-off skating events are also held such as a slalom competition, ice skating, Ice Hockey Varsity, and an end of exams rollerdisco! (As well as the events I have already written about- London Santa Skate, Preston Roller Marathon, and Le Mans 24hr Roller). Non-skating events are also held such as bar crawl socials, themed club socials, picnics, treasure hunts (to name a few). They also team up with the local skating group “The Nottingham Skaters” on Tuesdays to skate around the city!

bladesoc slalom
BladeSoc’s slalom competition!
Rollerdisco event
Hugely popular roller disco event!
BladeSoc club social!

BladeSoc is the friendliest society I had the pleasure of joining, and it was a privilege to have served as a member of the committee during my final year (I definitely recommend joining the committee for a society or activity you love!).  Not only has it allowed my skating skills to advance, I’ve made a huge bunch of friends along the way, found through our love of skating!

BladeSoc group photo
Some of the BladeSoc group!

I joined the society in late January 2014 and it is were my skating adventure began.

Follow them on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/UoNBladeSoc

Join the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bladesoc/

Le Mans 24hour Roller event 2015

My biggest skating achievement and most recent skating event completed was the”Circuit des 24 heures Du Mans” which took place at the Bugatti Circuit, Le Mans. The track is 4.185km long and the aim of the race was to complete as many laps in 24 hours as possible as part of a team.

BladeSoc teams photo at the peak of Dunlop hill during the parade!

It took place on the 27th and 28th June 2015 (starting at 4pm and lasting until 4pm the next day) and the rollerblading society at my university entered two teams into the competition: the Fast Team and the Fun Team! I was part of the Fun Team (as I am no way one of the experienced/faster skaters of the society!) made up of 8 team members.

The BladeSoc pit area- where we chilled out, ate and drank (tried to sleep for some) between laps. (Comes with a handy sink too!)

Before the race started, we did a parade lap where everyone skated around the course together which was useful to get a feel for it since I had never been there before. Then the first person to race had to complete two laps before passing on the relay baton to the next person (it was in the rules). We continued to cycle through team members (I was about 5th in the queue) until half of the team went back to the campsite for 5 hours sleep (10pm-3am – my bedtime shift!), then the other half slept 3am-8am. We then all continued to roll through the team queue until around 15:30 where the final person continued to skate the last finishing laps and completed the race (part the weird official rules again).

lemans done
24 hours on the clock! The race is over!!
finsh line
The finish line got pretty busy after the race was complete!

The BladeSoc Fun Team ended up with 103 laps (431.1km) meeting our mini goal of 100 laps! So we finished within the upper 3/4 of the rankings overall (not so bad!- also my tired head can’t remember the ranking). Whereas our BladeSoc Fast Team finished 64th overall (out of 449 teams!) with 149 laps (623.6km) and 1st in the student team category (and got a fancy trophy- so proud!)

Here is a picture of both BladeSoc teams on the podium! Fast Team got 1st place and Fun team got 3rd place! (Featuring London Imperial’s skate team who bagged 2nd place in the student category!)

Overall, even though you are completely shattered whilst doing it (or after about the 2nd lap for me!), it was a great experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering doing it. You are constantly sweaty, baking under the hot sun and super tired, but it is definitely worth it for the team spirit and personal achievement by the end (and the beautiful sunrise at the top of Dunlop hill — by the way, Dunlop hill is really steep but really fun to skate down (even if I t-stopped to half way down and only rolled down the last half of it!)).

I am definitely going to go next year!

Previous Skates

So my last post about about my current skates, so it’s only right to complete the circle by talking about my previous skates and how I got into skating!

At the start of 2014, a few friends and I decided to join my university’s rollerskating society (BladeSoc) where we attended the weekly sessions every Saturday from then on! We started out using the rental skates (Oxelo Fit 3 or something similar- a good starter skate at a cheap price), and then decided to buy our own!

After a bit of looking around on the internet and not really knowing what I was looking for, I ended up buying Powerslide Playlife F1 skates for around £50 (with postage). These ended up being too big after a few months of skating and breaking them in. I had bought a size 9 (with my normal shoe size being 8 or 9) – that’s the only downside with buying from the internet! So my boyfriend offered to swap them for his skate boot and frame (I kept the powerslide wheels). These were the K2 Exo 3.0 , also in a size 9 but fitted way more snug and was much better to skate in (also: handy dandy having a boyfriend with the same sized feet!).

k2 3
K2 Exo 3.0 from above (ft. knee pads- stay safe!)
Me and the K2s! Worked well for beginning slalom and outdoor skating on tarmac.

And those were my skates until I invested in my current Sebas (size 8)! The K2s served me well and are still in working order – mostly used now to borrow to my brother whenever he wants to skate with me! (Though he is a much larger foot size so they are quite snug).