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Preparing for an Ultraskate: Part 2 - The Lead Up




In the first article of this two part series, Preparing for an Ultraskate: Part 1 - Training, we considered the preparation several months in advance of your first ultraskate. Great, training is progressing well, now let move on to the lead up of the event, and getting yourself ‘raceday’ ready.


So first and foremost, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to register to an upcoming Ultraskate event!


Ok. So now we’re all registered, and training has been progressing well, lets get ready for the event.



General:


  • Firstly, as highlighted previously, in the weeks leading up to the event its important not to ‘overdo it’ as this can lead to injuries, and to taper your training, finalise your gear and nutrition list, and ensure you’re mentally and physically ready for the challenge.  

  • If you haven’t already done so, organise support - Inviting a friend (or family) to support you throughout an ultraskate is highly advisable. Find someone who’s willing to support you both mentally aswell as physically throughout the event, replenishing water, supplying food, and more, hopefully where a nice back rub or foot massage is on the cards. - Some ultraskates will permit a single supporter to occasionally ride a few ‘support laps’ with the participant for moral support, but be sure to read the rules!

  • Depending on the location of the event you may be having to travel nationally or internationally. Either way you will need to make accommodation plans on where you are going to stay the night before the event (if camping isn’t made available at the event), and the night after, as unless you live close by and have someone to drive you home, you probably won’t be able to drive home safely. Campsites & campervansites can be a good budget option if you have a campervan, but if you have a tent this will require a fare bit of willpower if you’re doing this on your own after having ridden for 24 hours. If you are travelling with a few people, airbnbs can often be a good option. Alternatively, if in the UK, B&B’s can be good affordable option.

  • If you’re traveling internationally, make sure to check the basics:

  • Passport expirary date

  • Visas (if required)

  • Covid (if applicable)

  • Travel insurance (consider cover of particularly valuble items and health cover - International medical fees can be extremely expensive! So dont take the risk.) - (European individuals travelling within the EU, who hold a valid European health card, are covered by a statutory social security scheme of the EEA countries, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom)

  • Important: Bring clothes for various weather conditions - Including waterproof. And don’t forget sunscreen to!

  • And a pro tip: Seems obvious, but make sure to cut your toenails.


Riding Gear:

Make sure your riding gear is in good working order. (See list below) 


Kingpins have a tendency of ‘going’ first, so its always advisable to replace them before an ultrakstate. Moreover, its always advisable to bring spare parts, and even spare boards just in case. If you’ll be riding new wheels make sure to break them in before the event.


If travelling internationally and flying, transporting boards safely can be a bit tricky. So I would suggest ideally travelling with a bracket setup as these will often fit into your luggage when disassembled. Travelling with longer topmounts will often require your board to be ‘checked-in’, which will require a case; or some creative wrapping up, and some airlines may charge for ‘sports items’.


Riding gear checklist

  • 1x Longboard complete

  • 1x Spare longboard if needed

  • Helmet

  • Skate tool

  • Spare hardware / kingpins / bearings

  • Headlight or Flashlight - Prepare to ride at night, and rely on your own lighting in the larger part. (Most ultraskates aren’t lit at night)

  • Water bottle (0.5l) | Hydration pack (1-4l) | Water bladder - Keeping hydrated throughout an ultraskate is extremely important. Hydration packs are highly recommended! If on a budget, a backpack and water bladder can work.

  • Riding shoes 

  • A spare pair of shoes to alternate with. (Ideally, make sure to have a pair of shoes that are waterproof for any possible rainy patches. Riding with wet feet for several hours really isn’t fun.)

  • Riding sports clothing: Sports shirt | Shorts | Pants/legging | Lightweight waterproof jacket - ‘softshell’ & ‘hardshell’ | Warmer items for the night - Jumper & Collar neck warmer | Compression socks

  • Additional protective gear if required: Gloves | Palm/elbow/knee-protection


Camping Gear & Other:

Make sure your camping gear is in order, and that you have everything else you might need. (See the list below)


Camping gear checklist:

  • Tent

  • Foam sleeping mat | Air mattress and pump

  • Sleeping bag

  • Lighting - Whilst a headlight is a must for riding at night, having an additional light for your tent often comes in handy.

  • Cooking equipment

  • Sunscreen

  • Spare clothes - After long periods of riding, theres nothing quite like jumping into a set of dry and warm clothes.

  • Easy footwear for after the ultra

  • Towel & Toiletries

  • Foldable or inflatable chair - Whilst not necessary, having something to sit on, can make life a bit more enjoyable after having ridden for several hours. 

  • Gazebo - Again, whilst not necessary, they can offer good shelter to retreat to in periods of high sun or rain.

  • Water container (10l+) - Some ultraskate will not have running water available close to the track, so having a large water container or reservoir can be extremely beneficial when refilling water containers throughout an ultra whether on track side or at the tent. Moreover, having several smaller 0,5l-2l bottles on track side can be useful for quick refills of hydration packs or to ride with for quick stops. 


‘Other’ checklist:

  • Food & Drinks - Seems obvious but you will require food & drink. Other than the Miami Ultraskate, all other ultraskates will require you bring your own food. Some events will on occasion have food vendors on site, but don’t rely on this unless otherwise indicated by the event organisers.

  • Suggestions: 

  • Energy gels and snacks, shakes, and water supplements with electrolytes - Isotonic drink powders and tablets. 

  • Bananas are always a firm favourite.

  • Purees are easy food.

  • Nuts

  • Pasta, noodles, and dried foods are often easy ‘camping’ options. 


Conclusion: 

Thats it. It might not be absolute, but this should certainly help get you going and ready for your first ultraskate.  


Have Fun on your adventure! Happy riding! And hope to see you at this years edition of the UK Ultraskate (2024).


PS. After the Ultra, don’t forget to take it easy, but make sure to keep moving to help with recovery (otherwise you will cease up, just maybe best not to ride for a few days), and don’t forget to attend to your board if the weather has been wet to prevent rust (disassemble your complete setup). 



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