An hour long session of bubble football is much like the journey of life crammed into 60 minutes. For the first 10 you all stumble around finding your feet, getting accustomed to your new abilities and physical restrictions unsure exactly how to go about things. Then it steps up, the expectations are raised and now you are struggling against the odds, aiming to take down others while trying to reach your goals ( score a goal ). Then finally the inevitable decline, your knees hurt and you've got a bit of a headache, but you feel cheerful and can see the brighter side of things having survived for so long.
Running around, with what is probably the same amount of plastic a supersize paddling pool is made of, wrapped around you can get a little heated in the English summer sun. Especially as recently it should have been officially declared 'sweltering'. But regardless of a few degrees thermal increase when you get taken down hard, when your feet are suddenly thrust upward and parallel with your head that is skirting along the floor, then you really appreciate every bit of protection it provides.
You could see it more as a portable sauna.
We ran around for an hour, played a bit of football then some games specifically chosen to maximise collisions. Footie skills are definitely not required, that ball rolling around is more a helpful marker of the next target and we struggled to see that ball all that clearly behind the plastic.
It feels great to knock opponents over but one sad dis-advantage to bubble football is that size does matter. I found it became quite disheartening run at the taller bigger Scottish fella quite handy with his feet and scoring goals against my side only to bounce off him watching his composure remain fully intact while I fell backward to a defeated bounce.
We did feel pretty nervous as we waited for our session watching a stag-do beforehand slamming into each other like, well , rutting stags. The way one of the Welsh entourage went down made us all wince, but it looks way way worse than it actually is, I can now safely say that.
Putting the balls on isn't too hard but you will find yourself rolling around like a helpless tortoise when you get knocked over the first couple times ( and the majority after that ), trying to find a good way to get back up, so single peoples don't go hoping to impress future soul mates.
But still, it is a massive amount of fun, hurtling around with the same gusto and speed as rugby pros but with 0.00001%* of their injuries.
We tried the session via a Bristol Meetup group but is definitely the kind of activity well suited for a stag-do prior to the traditional day of getting wankered. And for those trying it in Bristol one big plus is the country style pub 10 minutes walk from the Bristol sports academy where we headed to hydrate.
Oh and with bubble football you don't feel it the day after , it is the day after that you feel like Pinocchio with no strings attached.