Food & Culture

Is the Future of Logrolling at the University of Washington Campus?

Get ready to roll and learn a truly Pacific Northwest sport.

By Stephen Strom July 18, 2017


This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Logrolling, a fast-paced balancing act born during the lumber drives of the late 1800s, has been kept alive at logger festivals like Sedro-Woolley’s annual Fourth of July celebration, Loggerodeo and the Morton Loggers’ Jubilee, August 10–13. But its latest incarnation is taking place on college campuses, including at the University of Washington (UW), which is offering logrolling classes as part of its Friday Night Activities program and an intramural logrolling tournament. The new spin on this sport is that it’s being done on synthetic logs made with high-density polyethylene. Ready to roll? UW Aquatics & Safety manager Justin Berry, who was instrumental in launching the UW program, offers these tips.

1. Get Ready. Place the log perpendicular to a dock or pool edge in water at least 2 feet deep and designate a safe area for a “fall zone” (giving at least 10 feet of space around the log).

2. Get Set. Have a buddy hold the log until you gain your balance; feet should be hip-width apart, perpendicular to the length of the log, with knees slightly bent (think “athletic stance,” which you may have learned in soccer or T-ball).

3. Get Balanced. Look at the opposite end of the log; this helps with spatial awareness and enables you to visually track the horizon line with your peripheral vision. Hold your outside arm slightly forward in front of your body and your inside arm slightly back.

4. Get Moving. Roll the log by lifting your feet lightly up and down (think “shuffle step” or “fast feet” drills in other sports). Always keep your feet moving.


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