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Rolling Through the Rain: A Thrilling Start to the GST Season in Portsmouth 2024

As the clock struck 12:45, the familiar Pompey traffic once again held us back on what seemed to be the worst possible day - the first skate of the GST season. Arriving at Wimbledon Sports Center in Portsmouth in 2024, I was greeted by the joyful sight of skaters gliding around the sports court, enjoying a few laps and lessons with the renowned German Ma and London Skate Life.

After a skirmish with the new banner stands and the distribution of shiny new uniforms to the marshals, a few snapshots later, I was thrilled to lay my hands on an unassuming grey box, courtesy of Rollerblade and TKC.

Taking the Twister 110 3wd out of the box for the first time was impressive. The fit was comfortable straight away, and I was enamoured with the burnt orange/red colourway, depending on how your eyes perceive it. After a couple of laps around the hall, I quickly realised I needed those footbed sizers I had chosen to ignore. After a brief moment of self-critique and some adjustments, I was back to rolling, thoroughly enjoying the fit.

Now that they were my size, I couldn't wait to hit the road to see what they were truly capable of, if only the rain would stop.

The lessons with London Skate Life were a massive hit, with a larger turnout than expected, and new skills were learned. Many benefited from the session, gaining confidence in skating backward and even attempting their first jumps. This energy carried into the roller disco, with excitement building to a crescendo, evident in the huge smiles and joyous atmosphere all around.

After a quick break, we transitioned to the D-Day museum for GST's first Beginners skate. Some nervous expressions greeted us as we explained the route and gave the initial safety brief. Off we went, embarking on what, for some, was their first-ever street skate. Despite a few tired legs and a mile or two later, the sense of excitement and accomplishment on their faces was palpable upon our return to the D-Day museum.

After regrouping, it was time for the main event - the first GST of the year. Excitement buzzed in the air, with some wondering how the wet roads would affect our journey. But off we rolled, music blaring, and shouts of "keep left" echoing through the streets of Portsmouth once more. With some prominent faces in the group, the scene was all the more special. Ten or so miles later, we rolled up to the D-Day museum for the second time that day, feeling a sense of fulfilment and camaraderie.

Speaking to fellow skaters along the route, it was clear that nobody wanted the skate to end - myself included. Before this account gets too lengthy, I want to express a massive thank you to everyone who participated. GST wouldn't be possible without you all. Special thanks go to our sponsors Rollerblade, Slick Willies, and, of course, London Skate Life. And a heartfelt mention to TKC for supplying our skates.

See you all in London on March 30th - it's going to be monumental.

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