Saturday, March 07, 2009

Up a Creek

I'll admit to having an unhealthy obsession with Dave Mordal's Wreckreation Nation (the Shark Week of recreational sports) which covers the wide world of jackassery in the name of sporting fun. The most recent episode (that I saw, anyway) features the eye-opening world of FREESTYLE INTERPRETIVE CANOEING! How did I live without knowing about this sport, which I predict, will soon replace professional wrestling and NASCAR in America's heart.
American Freestyle canoeing is the art of paddling a canoe on flat water with perfect control of its movements. The canoe is usually leaned over to the side to help the boat turn sharply and efficiently and paddle strokes are taken on either side of the canoe depending on the individual move. Balance, paddle placement and turn initiation are a few keys to this control. Since the movements seem dance-like, some practice this art timed to music, which is the ultimate in control.
The center of the freestyle world is Peninsula, Ohio, home to the Midwest Interpretive Freestyle Championship. In the 2007 competition, top athlete Jonathan Hammond created the above routine, a paean to Broadway and the great outdoors that isn't likely to be matched soon. The good folks at the Freestyle Championship aren't really hip to the whole idea of video editing, so you'll have to forward to the two minute mark to get to the good stuff.

Watch out, Extreme Ironing! Freestyle Interpretive Canoeing is gaining on you!