In December of 2015 I moved to Norfolk, Va for a new job. Unfortunately for me this moved me further away from the Kubb universe of Wisconsin. Luckily for me, I found Kubb was starting to grow in Charlotte, NC only 5-6 hours from Norfolk. So when April rolled around I contacted Mike Davids from Queen City Kubb about coming down and to see if he could help me find a team to play with. Mike was so excited to have me come down and he said he would help me find a team to play with. So on Friday night after work I headed to Raleigh, NC where my Aunt and Uncle live to stay the night and cut the trip in half. I woke up Saturday morning, I put on my official Kubb Squirrel jersey and hit the road by 5:30am.
I arrived about an hour before the start of play and saw some familiar faces. The Kubbstaches (Bob Hickes & Jake Leavitt) from Morgantown, PA had participated in the inaugural Burning River Kubb Klassic in October and won the championship. Bob and Jake are both great players so I was anxious to show them how much I had improved from October, we caught up real quick and then I went to the sign-up tent to meet Mike and get my team.
I would be joining Dan and Jason of the Woodchuckers, they had placed 2nd in each of the tournaments that they had participated in so I knew I had a good team and that I would have to bring my “A” game so I didn’t let them down. We all started warming up so and we learned what our strengths were so that we could decide on positions. Dan was usually the inkastare but when he saw me inkast he decided I was more consistent so I would be inkasting. I practiced with the batons a lot because the sets were much different from the Country Kubb set I’m used to playing with. This set felt 2-3 times as heavy so there was a learning curve with how to rotate my batons. The ground was also an adjustment, The grass reminded me of a golf course green except it was bouncy and the grass was flat offering no cushion for the kubbs.
Soon enough it was time to start playing. This was the first time I got to play a Klassic style tournament meaning that the better you do the better the teams you play. I was excited to see how it worked out, especially because we were planning on playing Klassic style at our 1st Ohio Kubb Championship in only a couple of months. Our first match was against… The Kubbstaches! Just our luck that we would have to play them first, before we would get a feeling for our team but we went in with a positive attitude. In the Klassic style you only play one game so we knew we had to come out strong, and we did. We were able to hang on for a while but the Kubbstaches were more consistent and hit the big shots and took the game.
We would go on to win our next couple rounds before we got to play against the Carolina Kubb Krew, the team that represented Queen City Kubb at the 2015 U.S. National Championships. The game was close, but the Kubb Krew held a lead for most of the game. The game went back and forth, eventually we caught up with the Kubb Krew and were poised to make a move in the next turn. But then the horn blew and the time was up and the game ended in a tie. It was an intense but fun game to play, we moved on with hopes we would get a chance to play them again later.
The rest of the qualifying rounds went well for the us, winning all our games. I noticed during the qualifying rounds was that there was some pretty good competition and there were some good players down here. Encouraging for the future of Kubb here in North Carolina.
After a quick lunch break and a king shot competition, we started championship competition. We, The Woodchuckers, were the 3rd seed and would take on the 6th seeded Das Kubb, a rowdy group of 3 guys with matching red shirts and beards. This team was way better than their seed, they had one of the best inkasters there and were nails at 4-meter shots. They took the first game of the match by being more consistent than us. Maybe we built up some rust over the break because over the second game we started to get better. It was a battle between the inkasters, going back and forth until finally we pulled out the win in the second game. By the start of the third game we were back to peak performance but Das Kubb wouldn’t go easy. Eventually Das Kubb gave up an advantage line that would be the end of a great long match. I even said to myself that that match itself was worth the trip, it was competitive and fun!
The next match was against Huey Lewis and the Kubbs in the Semi-Finals. We hadn’t played this team yet so we didn’t know what to expect, but we knew that they were the 2nd seeded team so they must be good. Luckily for us at this point we were playing very consistent Kubb. We came out strong in both matches, hit our 8-meter shots and won both games without too much trouble.
Next we moved on to the finals against the Kubbstaches again. We were more excited to play against them this time because we felt like we were playing some of our best Kubb and last time we were able to keep up with them and give them a good match. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way because the Kubbstaches were focused and although we played well, the Kubbstaches were just on a whole different level than us and beat us 2-0 fairly quickly. While we were disappointed we didn’t at least win a game against them, we still felt like we played good Kubb and we had a good time.
I had a good time at this tournament. Going in I was a little worried about how good the competition would be but I was impressed by the skill of the players. I really enjoyed playing the Klassic style, I felt like the whole time every team we played was pretty tough. I also loved my teammates, Dan and Jason, they were good players and even better people. Both asked me questions about the U.S. Championship and about the different skills of the game. This was my first time playing with someone I didn’t know and I really enjoyed it. In the future I plan on going to more tournaments and there is a good chance I will have to join a team of people I don’t know and now I feel much better about that. All in all this was a great experience, Queen City Kubb put on a great tournament and I hope to make it to more of their tournaments in the future.
If you have any comments or questions about my experience at the 2016 Queen City Kubb Spring Fling feel free to leave them below. I’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have.