Alan’s holiday pic from Burma

From Alan's holiday in Burma

From Alan’s holiday in Burma

Alan is not in the picture – he has probably been arrested again.

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Where to buy equipment

Kit

Under Water Hockey requires standard snorkelling equipment, a glove and a stick. You can buy all of this from the British Octopush Association shop (quote your membership number to get a discount) or get everything except for a stick from your local dive shop.

Unlike most sports equipment snorkelling gear is an investment that will last you years and may see use on every holiday you take. Most kit  is of a very high standard and will last years if washed in clean water after use. My mask and fins are over 20 years old and have seen action on beaches all over the world.

You will need (purchase in this order if skint)

  • Mask (~ £20 – £ 60)
    • I recommend a mask with two windows (called “low volume”) and a clear silicone skirt (the bit that fits to your face).
      • In a shop the assistant can help you select a mask that is a good fit to your face.
      • If you need prescription lenses (~£ 50 pair) ask the assistant to recommend a mask to you.
  • Snorkel {~ £10 – £ 30)
    • The snorkel should not have any valves or similar at the top where it is in the air. You may find a blow valve at the bottom useful but a snorkel is a snorkel. You might want to colour match it to your mask.
  • Stick (~ £ 30)
    • Get these from the BOA shop. They come in right or left hand versions and you always get a pair, one black and one white.
  • Glove (~ £ 3)
    • An orange nylon give aka “boat handlers glove” costing a couple of quid will get you going. The BOA shop sells nice ones and some people make their own.
  • Fins (~ £ 30)
    • You want comfortable slip-on fins (sometimes called “pool fins”). It is up to you whether you want to wear socks for extra protection against chafing. Most don’t, some do.
    • If you already have a pair of buckle on fins for diving you can use them (I do)
  • It is a requirement of the the BOA and the rules of Octopush that you have personal safety equipment
    • A cap with hard protection for your ears (~ £ 18 for two, one blue, one white)
    • A mouth guard for your snorkel (~ £ 3)

Dive shops

There are many dive shops in London and one is sure to be close to you or on your commute (Ocean Leisure at Charing Cross is very convenient) worth a particular mention is Amphibian Sports which is only a couple of miles from Forest Hill Pools.

Here is a Google Map showing them all the dive shops in London. Simply click a marker to learn more about them. If you are planning a visit I recommend that you call them first and explain what you want and then they will ready to help you when you arrive.

Game Report 10/01/2014

Yesterday we had the most players I’ve ever seen here. 10 new members, enough players to get a real game going.

For a group of people who had never played before, even if all had snorkelled, it went swimmingly, with most people getting the hang of moving the puck within minutes.

We had a good game with people switching out although we may need to go over the rules next time: no grabbing! And do try not to stand on the puck while in play, it’s rather frustrating for the rest of the players.

Well done to all those who scored, blocked, tackled or even managed to hold their breath long enough to get down there. We’ll be doing passing practice and game awareness next week and it won’t be long before we are all playing proper games.

Anyway, that went better than we could have hoped and I hope you all turn up again next week.
Francesca Bayley