Monday, 17 December 2012


Taken from - A Southend based Sponsored Downhill Longboarder:

Dec 18th: Sign this petition! Southend Skaters Need you!

Hey all! Just a quick piece about a petition I'd really appreciate you to sign.

Basically, I run a Southend based community of skateboarders, helping guide and developing downhill Longboarding in the area.
Visit the page and you'll see there's plenty going on and we promote a good, healthy message.

PAST: There is a concrete road along Clifton Avenue in Southend which was a CLOSED (open for public access but gated) maintenance road leading down to a cliff slip, which has been left for years. There were dangerous stairs at the bottom which lead to the seafront. 
People still went in the fenced area to smoke weed and drink etc,(classy), but this problem was mostly ignored by the authorities (FACT)... However, the ONE real shred of POSITIVITY in this area, was the skaters and bands of people using the road leading down to this area. This included weekday, weekend friendly sport practice, unofficial organised competitions and bringing tourism to Southend alongside young people following their passions in terms of filming and photography.
With a good week of weather you'd see 50+ mainly young people enjoying, 
practising  developing and exercising through skateboarding. Alongside older and experienced members of the community, a good ethic and morality developed around the space, leading people to CARE for a disused and abandoned space. Good links were built with local residents and businesses.

Being a closed road, it offered skaters a SAFE place to practice, rather than on OPEN ROADS in Southend and neighbouring towns. We have gained media coverage from local newspapers, and support from local and national businesses.

PRESENT: Currently the road comes to a dead end, blocked off where the council had set up barriers/fences around the cliff slip area to hide the problem of the slip. The entire road and walkway is BLOCKED OFF except for heavy trucks and works vehicles for the redevelopment of the cliff slip. (POSITIVE GENERALLY) - 
This road is, according to planning posters, to be made LONGER and thus better for those who regularly skate there.

We believe a few outcomes may occur.
1. We are concerned that the road, once work is completed, will be deliberately ruined for skateboarders to devoid the council of responsibility, under the false-illusion of " Ensuring Safety".

2. Reopened as a public walkway, and skateboarders will be told off for skating in this space by authorities, due to public lack of pedestrian awareness.

3. Specifically banning the use of skateboards on this hill on ground of safety, but not amending the hill itself.

These options lead to: a removed provision in the area, creating something which was pro- socially approved of (Police were in support of us while on the beat), to become an anti-social activity, actually adding to A.S.B and wasted police time. The above also gives the message of discouraging physical activity from young and older people in alternative sports alongside many other negative outcomes.

These are all short sighted, naive and negative options to what could be a positive, nurturing and simple choice to develop a first in the UK and an easy to manage shared space for the community as a whole.

Suggestion of what SHOULD happen with the space: 
1. Keep the road as it is going to be according to plans, enable a good and consistent surface for all users in terms of safety, look and function.

2. Spray-paint or signpost that the hill is a "SHARED SPACE" clearly marking "skateboarding  allowed" at top, bottom and along the hill. - This enables public to be aware of space users.

3. Work with local skate community group, Southend Longboarding, to develop an agreed code of conduct for users of the space, INCLUDING, things like wearing protective equipment, being respectful to other users of the space, not doing anything that would put others at risk and skating within limits. etc etc. - This gives authority figures i.e, public servants and police to clearly see who is practising safely or not, as prescribed by those 'IN the know'.

We understand our request is not conventional, and that there are factors in terms of liability and maintenance to consider, but both, in reality are minimal asks for a positive outcome in many areas.

Firstly, People ARE aware of their own actions, sign it up and people agree to it be practising, no-one would do bungee jumping and not realise there is no risk involved.... We care and love what we do, better here and accepted, then on open roads and forbidden.

 Secondly,Southend has made a huge deal over it's redevelopment, and creating so-called, "shared spaces" for pedestrians, cyclists and transport systems to live and move harmoniously with one another.... How about we see this concept become a little bolder; daring and support SPORT in the area. BE THE FIRST town in the UK to enable downhill skateboarders to practice in a safer space.

We are, after-all  in the post Olympic boom.... lets see the money and time put into sport in our "great"Britian, doing something really great, for the people to whom this space means a whole lot to.


Friday, 27 July 2012

No to crack! Yes to Roller Skating!

Now, I've heard of the redemptive quality and positive lifestyle changes attributed to a passion for sport, I think this add clearly shows it in action ;p


Monday, 23 July 2012

Eastbourne Extreme '12: Roller Derby Tournament Review

Eastbourne Extreme – by Ginger Dread Man (aka Brad Moss - Seaside Siren's Roller Girls Referee)

Another grey, wet, day in the UK as we bounced along the motorway and made our way to Eastbourne. I came along for the ride to watch and support my team who were participating in Eastbourne Extreme, a yearly event showcasing what Eastbourne has to offer all in terms of sports, using the epically beautiful Eastbourne beach, its watersports offer, and those slightly more niche activities and sports including roller hockey, artistic skating, Parkour, and of course, Roller Derby amongst many others.

If I’m honest, I wrote the day off for being any good, I thought on our bumpy coach journey…
…I mean, bleak weather, outside gameplay, on a concrete sport court didn’t conjure the general idea of Derby in my mind and was surprised to see so many teams signed up to play.

I did however, thoroughly eat my words and wished to write a little about the event.

When we arrived the locals from Eastbourne were sweeping the puddles off of the wet track in order to aid the drying process as the Sirens arrived as one of the first teams there, curious faces looming on wondering if things would go ahead. Slowly the other skaters from Croydon Roller Derby, Beasts of Bodmin, Big Bucks High Rollers, Oxford Roller Derby and Bristol Harbour Harlots arrived. Sirens were on for the first game of the day against the not too distant Croydon team. The derby contingent of the event being arranged by the Bourne Bombshells.

The track was still wet, so warm up time prepped skaters for the newer skating conditions, getting used to their edges and the feel of the track, working out how to approach the game. The tournament was set for a 5-major limit and one thirty minute period for each game. There were no team time-outs and the games would be decided by overall points differential, highest making their way to the final.

My concern and feel, under the parameters and setting was that those who braved the weather and watched any of the games through the day would see a watered down and weak example of what derby as a sport actually looks like, not doing it any favours as it steadily pushes itself forward into more UK towns and peoples and vocabulary and dialogue.

The first whistle went and starting out slowly the game progressed surprisingly to the game I know and love. Pace quickened and hits solidified as the bout continued and skaters gained confidence. Players were going down on occasion as per regular indoor gameplay, but without any observable major damage. The sun kept poking through the cloud and the track started getting a little patchy which, as I know from my longboarding escapades, doesn’t bode well in the corners, but skaters were like ducks to..water (wet track etc…hehehe) in adapting to the temperamental track

Mosquito from Croydon was the first of the noticeable tournament victims of the grippier concrete, looking as if she’d whiplashed herself a little and she made contact to the floor, resulting in the jam being called off. Gameplay resumed shortly after and finished with Croydon, who went on the win the tournament, scoring well over the Sirens.

The court dried up at a good pace and bout after bout, gameplay was of a high standard. All teams seemed to forget they were outside and on rougher concrete and, from a spectators perspective, it did make a pleasant contrast against the usually indoor sounds and sights. This was clearly appreciated by those who walked by the ‘Derby Cage’ and watched some for a while, others for longer, no doubt being aided by the announcers’ commentary as to what’s going on and how it all works.

Sirens were back on after a few hours in a stark comparison to the mornings conditions. As per the other games, the dry conditions meant skaters moving faster and more confident leading to great gameplay with no visible difference from that of an indoor bout. Oxford Roller Derby were next to face the Sirens in the cage. Due to some power jam situations and Force Ten Gail flying around the track scoring one of the highest scoring Jams in the tournament, Sirens scored 135 by the end of the 30 minutes aiding to their differential and the well determined tight blocking of the Sirens did a stunning job of keeping Oxford at bay at 29 point

Croydon and Big Bucks faced off in the final, a really close game til the end, but Croydon managed to claw the victory by a mere 4 points over the very strong team from Buckinghamshire to win the tournament.

I came feeling tired and reluctant, but I wished to take my metaphorical ‘hat’, off to all of the teams involved and who competed against one another on the day. The derby spirit and the determination of those who clearly have a genuine passion for the sport and for each other in the derby community shone through. All battled hard and through tough opposition and terrain and some now indeed really have the scabs and soon to be scars to show for it.

This to me, is a good and encouraging sign of things to come. As derby and the UKRDA gain weight and speed, exhibitions of derby like today show that those who are involved, given initially poor playing conditions and a different gameplay format, really made the day special, ultimately showing each other, the inquisitive general public, and this pessimistic young ref what derby and the passion that courses within it all, are all about.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Hog Hill Longboard Racing post by Brad Moss

Photo taken from
Hog Hill at Redbridge Cycle Centre is most often a place where cyclists practice road racing off the main road and on a purpose built space specifically for them.

What many don't know, is it also regularly plays host to Skateboarding events throughout the year. This past weekend saw the 2012 Razorback Games which allowed for some of the UK's best slalom skateboarders to wiggle their way through the regular slalom cones and giant slalom over two days. Octane Sport, as ever put up a lot for the slalom including prizes, slalom racing timing, ramps and more.

Saturday had a beginners workshop to allow newer boarders to get to grips with the basics, something which Longboarding, due to it's speedy difficulty and a lack of closed roads, tends to facilitate quite well and autonomously throughout the community pockets across the country.

I arrived on the Sunday as I was working Saturday and to get involved with the downhill racing that accompanied the UKSSA (United Kingdom Slalom Skateboarding Association) Slalom. Quieter than usual from the older regular downhillers, it was great to see so many younger riders pushing hard and tucking tight on on their planks. It's not a particularly fast hill or race but it's lovely to have such a smooth grippy road to play on with packs of riders, a real good one for those starting the downhill exploration,

The Mini-Moto races started off the friendly competition and a few heavy slams, as delivered by Jamie Tharp of Dangerous Decks. The mini-motos are micro boards set up for fun and carnage and always leaves a fair few people with bruises, scrapes and the occasional broken bone. The are raced on "the snake" part of the hill and this time round a slalom element was added to shake things up.

Timmy Peters as the head MC and supported closely by Moe (from XSS), arranged and deployed heat after heat of Open stand-up, Junior Stand-up and Buttboarding for everyone to get their fix of  racing and to potentially nab a few prizes or two.

The next event will be taking place in October all being well so keep your eyes peeled. Here's footage from the final race. Thank you to Newtons-shred for helping contribute to making Hog Hills Races happen frequently and run smoothly. Here's some footage of the final where I finished fourth. This is a glimpse of why I love downhill....

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Marcus Jenkins - Southern Discomfort Mens Roller Derby.

Post shared by Marcus Jenkins, Longboarder and Roller Derby Player/Referee from London.

Roller Derby is a niche sport that you've probably heard about, it's growing at an immense pace in the UK and all over the world. What you might not know is that is wasn't always an all girl's sport and isn't any longer. Derby was played by men and women from the 1940s to 1970s and was one of the few mainstream (it rivalled football in ratings at one point!) sports to have men and women playing side by side. The all girl derby revolution that came from Texas has spread across the globe with men (mostly) being referees and coaches. More recently these guys have taken their love of the sport and set up their own men's (and mixed) leagues so they can play too.

One such league is Southern Discomfort, based in London and now the largest men's league in Europe with around 30 members. With those numbers it's now possible to field two teams for a one off SDRD vs SDRD intraleague bout! Come next Saturday we'll see some of the best skaters in the country, playing alongside complete rookies which will be at the very least, spectacular. Men's derby is faster and harder hitting than women’s but, at present lacks some of the tactical finesse. This makes it exciting to watch, even if you've never seen a bout, just be careful of the “suicide seats” as skaters are regularly flung into the crowd!

It's only £5 so make your way to Windsor and prepare for a good ol' time!

Windsor Leisure Centre, Clewer Mead, Stovell Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5JB
Doors (and bar!) opens: 4:00pm
First Whistle: 4:30pm
All over: 6:30pm
Adults (over13): £5
Under 13s: FREE!

Tickets available from our Homepage

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Welcome to UKAltSport!

Welcome to the UK Alternative Sport Resource: First post because, well you've got to eh!?

What's the idea?
There are so many teams, individuals and groups across the UK who have a real and valid passion for what it is they do, but, so often find they find their sport pushed into the mainstream out of curiosity over a shared passion for what it is they do. This is for them to have a place for their team, their sport, and their perspectives to be followed, read and shared by like-minded individuals.

The site sucks!
Still very much work in progress, just putting this post out there for people to start subscribing and make sure we get a good reach... If you like the idea, SHARE!