I was lucky enough to get my first Mosquito t-shirt at Worlds this year in Timaru. I traded Mosquito team member (and killer ref) the shirt off of his back for one of my Prospectors jerseys. If you’re not lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to get a Mosquito bike polo shirt like I was, then you should head over to the Fixcraft website and snag one of the brand new Mosquito team t-shirts. These athletic fit tees are only $14.99 and are made with 100% cotton. Pick one up HERE!
“Saudade” and “chulé”
Two great words in Portuguese that don’t have exact one-word English translations, but both apply to my great experience with the ever-welcoming São Paulo Bike Polo Club.
I went down to visit my sister who lives in São Paulo Brazil last week, and on Saint Patrick’s Day, in one of the world’s largest cities, I was lucky enough to meet up with a second kind of family, one that at first were complete strangers, but through the magic of bike polo, welcomed me and made me feel like I was família.
“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 email@example.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.
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!