You’ve probably seen teams of (usually American guys) taking frisbee very seriously in London parks, but if you really want to take your disc-flinging to the next level Croydon is the place. That’s because it’s home to the city’s only 18-hole frisbee golf course. It follows the idea of normal golf pretty closely except for the baskets-on-sticks that replace the holes and the slightly cooler clientele. Think it’ll all be too complex? No problem they do some excellent beginners’ classes.
Where: Lloyd Park, Croydon, CR0 5RD
Travel: Lloyd Park tram
What started as a bit of an east London hipster joke where a gang of fixie fanatics would use a Brick Lane car park to invent a new sport is now a burgeoning, and very friendly, pastime. You’ll need to check the website for details because times and places can change but at the moment the weekend Hackney Downs session is nearby and very friendly. As befits such a social sport they welcome newbies. You’ll need a bike, hired or otherwise, to take part but the old hands will help you out with mallets, advice and the best spots for a post-chuka pint too.
Much is made of the fact that cross-country-skiing is just about the best exercise one can take. It’s low-impact, full-body and very aerobic. It is also, unfortunately for us Londoners, best done in snowy countryside. Well, no matter. With a little ingenuity and as long as you don’t mind pointing and laughing at you you could get many of the same benefits from rollerskiing. Parks in all four corners of the capital have seen rollerskiing classes spring up recently so if you want to get ahead before your next Norwegian holiday, or simply are looking for a new way to get fit, this could be one for you.
The name kinda gives it away. It’s the ultimate workout for body and mind, alternating speed chess with rounds of boxing. If you just want to watch (and that’s probably best at first) there are monthly events in London with an atmosphere that is quite like any chess match the world has ever known. If you’re inspired by the heavyweight grand masters though the training sessions that you can join are a great way to keep fit (and smart!)
Where: Islington Boxing Club, 20 Hazellville Road, N19 3LP
Travel: Archway tube
If you’ve watched Rollerball, or Whip It, you know what to expect here; high-octane skating on a cycle track, plenty of bad-ass female fighters and an atmosphere that’s hard to beat. The bouts themselves are a blast, alternating between fierce competition and real cameraderie, and it’s worth the price of admission just to feast on the puns that make up the girls’ noms de guerre (current favourites are Impaler Swift and Sophia-Ann Loathing). And if you want to join in it’s a fast-growing, friendly sport with some of the funnest training sessions you could imagine.