Equipment wise, the scariest thought about going on the road for away bouts is equipment failure. I can buy clothes, hair products, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc. on the road. Purchasing skate equipment, on the other hand, can be dicey. That’s why on-the-road bouts make for meticulous packing.
Personally, I make a list and over pack for everything – extra bearings, wheels, tools, duct tape, shoe laces, athletic tape even Band-Aids. Here’s why. Our first time in Denver, we had one of the worst equipment failures you can imagine: General Grant Slam’s plate broke right where the toe stop goes on (picture your spine breaking at your neck so your head falls off). You have no idea how important a toe stop is until it’s gone and you’re trying to get a running start off the jam line. It’s akin to attempting to paddle in a canoe except the paddle is gone and you’re dipping just the handle in the water trying to gain speed. Grant Slam eventually went on to stay on the track and score that jam which is a testament to her athleticism and determination, but I digress.
While you can’t pack for every possible problem, you can check your skates before hitting the road to limit the likelihood of up-the-creek situations and pack extra equipment for the just-in-case’s. If not for yourself, then for your sister skater.
Equipment isn’t the only area I over pack. Let’s face it, women can push the limits of luggage with clothing options for every occasion (my breakfast shirt can’t possibly be the same as my pre-bout dinner one, right?). Not all women, mind you. Ginja Snap and Nikki Six Shooter have packing down to a science: essentials only, please. No matter how often I try to be kind to limited space issues in a vehicle, I end up with a bag for food, one for clothes, my (over packed) gear bag and then one for road entertainment which includes books, magazines, and whatever else makes hours of travel easy on the attitude. That makes four bags if you were counting. Four. Just for me.
I mentioned a bag for food. That is just about as essential as packing your jersey and skates. You can eat terrible food (i.e. crap) on the road so it’s important to pack some healthy snacks to keep you away from the temptation of junk food. Since I pretty consistently travel with Goldy Blocks, Ginja and Nikki, we kind of have a system. We take plenty of water, fruit, granola or nuts, M&Ms to feed Goldy’s chocolate habit (it’s still healthier than gas station donuts, don’t judge) and Emergen-C.
Don’t forget that some of us are moms and we occasionally have to take our kids with us to away bouts. The luggage will just keep piling up.
L to R: Ginja Snap, Goldy Blocks, Hell Paseo
We travel this weekend to Denver for our first-ever Colorado Cup.
We are the only out-of-state team that was invited to this tournament. We’re excited to represent CCD and New Mexico, which means we better pack not just the above-mentioned necessities but also our best strategy, endurance and attitudes. You can catch live streaming of the bouts in the tournament by visiting the Derby Network News website. Cheer us on and make sure to get your tickets early for our May 4th home bout against Taos.
-Hell Paseo, #7