Sober roller skating may not be your first choice when you start planning their Freshers’ week but I can solidly vouch for it as a unique night out. As fun as it is to get drunk and go out and dance, roller skating has just as many perks without the crippling hangover the next morning.
Four friends and I went to the Roller Disco on Sunday night that was located in the Cube from 7 pm until 9. We were all excited about the prospect of having a roll around until it got the Sunday afternoon and we realised what we had signed up for… sober skating… in the Cube. Knowing that the bar would not be open for health and safety reasons (you can’t have some smashed Freshers’ falling over left, right and centre across the Cube whilst on wheels), we had a quick cider beforehand to settle the nerves as we were determined to enjoy ourselves at this event.
For the all-inclusive price of £8, you are provided with wrist pads and your own set of skates which were surprisingly comfortable. You’re given a raffle ticket so that you can collect your shoes without the faff when you want to leave. You can leave at any time, you don’t have to stay until 9 pm either. I was slightly comforted by the fact that we were given industrial wrist pads so that when the inevitable fall did happen I would be ready to punch the ground with my weight without breaking any bones. A quick pre-skating selfie and we were off into the chaos that was novice skaters attempting to travel in a simple circle to music…
I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t take me long to fall and I managed to get one of my friends to crash too due to laughter! The ‘Roller Crew’ were either in the corner of the Cube poised to help a ‘faller’ or skating around, making it look like the easiest thing in the world and putting everyone else to shame. They were extremely smiley and not patronising at all when they immediately came over to help you back up. Not a hint of a smirk or scoff between colleagues when they helped up a Fresher looking like a turtle stuck on their back. It’s a small thing but I really appreciated it! After all, it’s roller skating in the Cube and not the Olympics!
I would like to warn any potential skaters out there that as fun as a roller disco may be, it is hard work! My friends are very active and sporty and they were sweating so you can imagine the state of my pits as someone who has a heart attack after Zumba. I found it really hard not to be moving in some sort of way whilst skating because the tunes were going off. Props to the Union for actually organising a DJ to sort out a nice combination of cheese and chart music and photographers were there to take some actually good quality photos of you in all of your skating gear. This made the event so much better as opposed to simply being left with someone’s playlist plugged into the speakers and having to take your own selfies as mementos of the night!
The only downside to the night, I found, was the location. Size-wise it was great but the big cement bit in the floor of the Cube made skating a bit riskier and potentially dangerous. The ridges on the edge of the floor caused everyone to wobble or fall at least once whereas if the surface was all flat then it could have been slightly easier for us newbies. However, if the floor surface is the worst thing I can find to say about the night then I would count it a success!
I had a really fun night with my friends and my skates and would recommend this to anyone who is up for something new and is potentially tired of the monotonous night out ritual. My friend said: “That was the best £8 I’ve spent in a while” as we left so that should be enough for you!
If you’re at all interested in learning how to roller skate (the people that could actually do it looked incredible) then Southampton City Rollers offer lessons for those 18+ who can provide their own QUAD skates and helmet, knee, wrist and elbow protection. The lessons are every Thursday, 7-9pm at Blighmont Army Reserve Centre.