Uh, what? Outside? Madness! There's sun
|Photos by Glenn McGregor|
It turns out, that yes. They definitely were taking the training seriously. Even though it rained the two nights we were there, both the tournament and the training went on as planned. It was great! Getsome Athletics did an amazing job training us, and the tournament was a blast too. The Kill Devil Derby Brigade made sure there was plenty of water and hydrating drinks on site, and they really were the perfect hosts. This whole experience really changed my mind about playing derby outside, but I had some follow up questions about why this league was practicing outside.
I asked Blazin' Cajun to explain why and how the Kill Devil Derby Brigade started skating outside, and how they dealt with all of the crazy things that can happen when you don't have a roof over your head and the wind in your face. My comments are italicized.
|Yes, I'm wearing a sun shirt. Yes, I'm the whitest white woman ever.|
"Being located in a resort area, the real estate is is very very expensive; the 2 or 3 buildings that might have been available on the beach were not large enough for a track or in good condition The Outer Banks is a peninsula so the amount of land available is very limited also. We would have to go inland to find a building. In the beginning of KDDB, we only had ten skaters, so funds were very low. Due to those factors it was decided to make the best of what was available."
"The obstacles we face are all brought on by Mother Nature. You (speaking to me) got to see first hand what rain or a heavy mist will do to the track. We have gotten pretty good at drying it the best we can!" Boy, they are good at drying the track, by using towels, leaf blowers and a giant squeegee. It was quite impressive!
"We skate there year round. We have delay practice by an hour a few times in the summer due to the heat; with the heat index, it is not unusual to skate in 98 to 103 degrees. We get a lot of guest skaters in the summer due to this being a tourist area. The guest skaters are always shocked and affected by the heat. We stay hydrated as much as possible and yes there has been some puking on the track due to heat more than once. We are very good at monitoring each other, and we let a teammate know when they are looking like they need a break. We have skated there for almost 3 years. It is very hard to schedule teams here due to only having an outdoor track. I don't blame a team for not wanting to commit the travel time, money, etc and then it rains and they are out all of that." The sun is what got to me. I was sunburned the first day and trying to stave it off during the second day. If you're going to skate outside, I recommend some serious sport sunscreen, the water proof type!"
|Blazin' Cajun at summer practice. Photo by Roy Edlund|
"Our track is very hard on gear. There is several of us that have skates that are only 1 to 1 1/2 years old but if you look at them, they look five years old. Our pads wear very fast too. The hardest thing to get used to is the hardness of the surface when you fall When we travel and skate on indoor tracks it is like falling on pillows. You really have to be aware of how you fall, make sure gear is good condition, and stay in derby stance to avoid impact injuries due to the concrete. We practice 6-8 hours a week (weather permitting) so your body takes a beating at times." She's completely right, because my body felt way more sore than it normally would after that amount of skating. I was also mourning the grinding down of me toe stops; that rough surface was having its way with them.
"The past year our team has gotten a lot of great exposure so I hope that will led to some opportunities for an indoor facility." Thanks Blazin' Cajun!
How hardcore is that? I know that there are other teams that practice outside, but it just seems amazing to me that they can keep it up year round in crazy Carolina weather. These ladies are dedicated to derby, and they make me feel kind of wimpy when I bitch about our practice space issues. Obviously, the Kill Devil Derby Brigade ladies have shown the world what a lot of determination and a little thinking outside of the track can accomplish. So, what's keeping you from getting your butt to league practice?