Editorial, Player Profile

Feminist On The Court: Women’s History Month

March 22, 2016
Feminist on the Court

“Feminist on the Court” is a bimonthly column giving voice to a variety of women, trans, and/or femme players (and those that support them) from around the world. This polo herstory is written by one of the longest-playing women on the West Coast, SF polo’s Jacki Rust. If you’d like to tell us your story, email genderinpolo@gmail.com.

The sun was beating down behind the Sound, the smell of fried fish and boggy air swilled in the Seattle evening as we gathered on the rooftop of an adult video store near Fisherman’s Wharf in 2005.  Matt Messenger, the ring leader of this eclectic group, encouraged me to play a game, so on a Frankenbike with homemade mallet (composed of a crutch for the shaft and PVC pipe for the head) I played my first game of bicycle polo.

I was really nervous on the roof of that downtown porn shop, because I wanted to be accepted by this group that I thought, at the time, were the coolest people I had ever met.  Turns out they are a bunch of nerds, but I’ll never forget Matt’s encouraging words, “Oh look, it’s Suzy Natural.”  Those five words kept me coming back for years after, and reminded me to welcome anyone one who is interested in the game, especially women.

Flash forward over a decade later to the World Championships in Timaru, New Zealand.  Participants now play with equipment specific to the sport, mallets cost around $50, bikes are custom made to a player’s specs, the budget for the tournament is $100,000, and professional cameras film the entire event.  There are paid referees (there are actually rules now) calling out fouls and penalties.  People flew in from all over the globe to represent their city, but with less than 10 women out of 108 players, I felt that I was representing women, not San Francisco.

In the first years of playing polo, I would never have dreamed it would evolve into what it is today.  At first only a handful of cities played, but now it has blown up, and there is a club in almost every major city in the world.  This is partly because of the ability to share information in the vast area of the internet, but partly the tone that was set by Messenger: “All are Welcome.”

The men are so accepting in polo, and the majority them do not see us differently in the sport, which in my mind is something as extraordinary and beautiful as electing a black president.

Product

New VANDALRGZ 5 Panel Hats

March 14, 2016
vandal 5 panel hat

VANDALrgz just dropped some of the most unique 5 panel camper hats to hit the bike polo scene. Hell, I would even go beyond that, these are some of the most unique camper hats that I’ve ever seen (outside of my own 5-panel cat hat). They have two styles, Galaxy print and Mesh. With two different Galaxy prints and three Mesh colors, any one of them would be great for some spring time polo. Find them all HERE!

Culture, Photos, Product

TBD Magazine by Kayla Story

March 13, 2016
tbd magazine

Kayla Story has been slaying around the court for several years, and if you had the privilege to get to know her off the court, then you know she has taken some of the best hardcourt bike polo photos. When her collection of photographs grew too much for one person to hold, she curated her first edition of TBD Magazine. The first edition has 60 pages of hardcourt bike polo photos spanning from 2011 to 2015. You can check out a preview and pick up a copy over her website HERE!

Product

Sneak Peek: Riding In Circles Hub

March 9, 2016
riding in circles hub

Last week the Italian custom bike polo frame builder Riding In Circles gave a sneak peek of this new hub on their Instagram page. They didn’t give much info, so all we know is that the hubs are going to be 48 hole and that Riding In Circles is producing a steel thru axle fork to go with the hub. We are stoked on all of this and we will keep you updated as we gain more information.