InsideOutdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | SUMMER 2018 32 In-Season S pend a significant time on a lake or city pool this summer and you’re likely to encounter … wait for it … log rolling — a fun water activity and fitness trend that is quickly ris- ing in popularity among consumers and athletes of all ages. Just as it sounds, in log roll- ing participants climb on top of a floating log — synthetic or wooden — and compete to see who can stay on the longest. The sport may sound simple but give it a try and you will find it requires a mix of balance, stamina and core strength. The sport also requires a fair amount of skill, as it’s possible to maneuver the log to knock the other person into the water. Inside Outdoor recently spoke with United States Log Rolling Association (USLRA) board member Shayna Magnone, who shared some insight on this backyard activity and competi- tive sport. As Magnone explained, log rolling is deeply embedded in the fabric of American lake culture. “People usually start log rolling because it’s a family tradition,” Magnone explained. “It gets passed down from generation to generation. Kids usually spend their summers log rolling, grow up and then come back to the lake to compete and have fun.” As it turns out, the roots of log rolling stretch back all the way to the 19th century when about 13.5 square miles of trees were being cleared every day in the U.S. “Log rolling was born out of necessity, from lumberjacks driving logs down river to keep them from getting stuck,” Magnone added. “Competition developed while people were sitting around the campfire, as a way to pass the time.” The sport has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and today you can find a mix of both USLRA-sanctioned and less formal, non- sanctioned log rolling competitions. USLRA events have an official ranking system and offer athletes the chance to go on and compete in the log rolling portion of the annual Lumberjack World Champi- onships in Hayward, Wis. There is even an organized effort taking place to make log rolling a future Olympic sport. Wooden vs. synthetic logs While some participants still use traditional ce- dar logs, others have switched to modern devices made from dense plastic. Key Log Rolling, for in- stance, offers a synthetic log made from hard poly- ethelyne, a material commonly used for hard shell kayaks. The Key Log measures about 12-feet long. Wooden logs are often enhanced with carpeting for grip, while Key Logs can be augmented with pro- prietary “Trainers,” which wrap around the log. Key Log’s Trainers add resistance, to slow and stabilize the log in the water. Key Log describes its Trainers Let it Roll by Gerald Baldino Time to take log rolling for a spin