Player Profile: Tyler Wood

Photo of Tyler Wood playing kubb.Name: Tyler Wood

Age: 25

Team: PHNQ, The Settlers of Baton

Where are you originally from?

Sturgis, Michigan

What’s your day job?

I am a substitute teacher. Still figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.

What do you like best about kubb?

I like that it is you against the kubbs. Only you can stop yourself from hitting the shot you want.

What’s your kubb specialty? (short, long, king, etc)

I throw the batons hard, so I have gotten better and better at blasting. But I still think my best skill is the 8 meter shot.

What’s your favorite kubb memory?

When I was finally beat my brother in a game one on one. Not that I had tried and failed that many times. But before going to US National Kubb Championship in 2015, I never took kubb that seriously. And after being there and coming home I felt like it was a personal challenge to get better. And after a few weeks a hard practice I had a very good match and was able to beat him, much earlier in my ongoing training then I expected.

What’s your biggest kubb goal?

Play on Sunday in a US National Kubb Championship. Wouldn’t even need to play well but just to get to Sunday and play alongside many of the best in world would make me feel vindicated. Where do you see the future of kubb? I’d love to see kubb become an accepted community event, where leagues take place all over the country, not unlike horseshoes or shuffleboard. And that will start to be realized when there become permanent pitches, and no longer have to use other sports fields.

What are your interests outside of kubb?

I love following entertainment and sports. Particularly I love Baseball, College Football, and the NBA. And enjoy a wide variety of Movies and Television. Also I like video games, Nintendo will always be close to my heart. I could spend all day just surfing the internet and reading reddit about those things.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I like to walk around in public with earbuds in, even if I’m not listening to anything. Because people are less likely to talk to me, I’m not that anti-social, but very introverted.

2015 U.S. Nationals Live Team Draw

I recently relocated from Kalamazoo to Minneapolis. I still consider myself part of Kalamazoo Kubb, and I’m still playing (and hope to continue playing) tournaments with fellow Kalamazoo Kubbers. Basically I’m the Minneapolis chapter of Kalamazoo Kubb now, or at least that’s what USA Kubb‘s Eric Anderson called me last weekend.

One of the nice things about moving to the Twin Cities is the proximity to so many Kubb events. That long seven and a half hour drive to Eau Claire is shortened to an hour and a half now. That’s why I was able to head there this past Saturday for the annual live team draw. This is an event held at Lazy Monk Brewing (a great Eau Claire brewery I would highly encourage you to check out). Many people of the Kubb community come together to watch this year’s groups get put together. There is quite literally a bowl of team names being selected and seeded into groups on a big board. You can even tune in live online and be treated to various interviews and discussions led by Eric Anderson.

I knew that since I was close enough now, I wanted to check it out in person this year. My wife, Abby, and I made the relatively short drive east and settled in with a beer for some good conversation with fellow Kubb fans and to find out where my team was going to end up this year. As the “show” got underway I realized it was a little tough to hear Eric over the crowd so I moved in closer. He saw me and motioned for me to join him at the webcam. Before I knew it, I was having and interview about Kalamazoo Kubb and my nationals team, The Settlers of Baton. It was a lot of fun. Abby and I even got to draw a few teams out of the bowl. To top it off, I got a text shortly after from fellow Kalamazoo Kubber, Jesse Fraim, who was just as excited to watch me online as I was to be there.

Christopher Jones and Eric Anderson talking about Kalamazoo Kubb at the 2015 U.S. National Team Live Draw.

The Kubb community never ceases to amaze me. It’s such a great group of people from all over, from all kinds of backgrounds, coming together for this great game. Kubb really does unite people.

I had a great time at the live draw, but the main event is really next weekend’s national tournament. I can’t wait!

2015 Rockford Swedish Historical Society Kubb Tournament

2015 Rockford kubb tournament trophyThis past weekend Kalamazoo Kubb members Jesse Fraim and Christopher Jones (half of The Settlers of Baton) competed with friend-of-the-club Phil Dickinson at the 2015 Rockford Swedish Historical Society Kubb Tournament in Rockford, Illinois.

After a strong first match, the team, playing under the name Kubbigans, struggled to stay consist throughout the qualification rounds. It wasn’t until the team fell to consolation bracket C that they finally found their groove.

In the consolation bracket it was “win or go home.” The Kubbigans managed to stave off the competition and hit that all-important final king shot to bring home some trophies. Congrats, guys!

The Kubbigans pose with their consolation bracket trophies.

Player Profile: Joey Wood

Photo of Joey Wood.Name: Joey Wood
Age: 30
Team: The Settlers of Baton

Where are you originally from?

Sturgis, Michigan

What’s your day job?

I have the pleasure of working with kids at Battle Creek Central High School as they learn about history, government, and economics.

What do you like best about kubb?

I am a very social person. Kubb is an incredibly social game. What is better than a yard game that encourages you to play a game outside, with friends, where every game is different and everyone can contribute to the team? As much fun as I have at tournaments, I think I have more fun at friendly get togethers  where we are able to convince everyone to play Kubb at some point. Winning is fun, but the face on a “newbie” after they hit a big shot is priceless.

What’s your kubb specialty? (short, long, king, etc)

I always joke during games that any scum-sucking yahoo can inkast 9 kubbs. I am pretty sure that is why I do some of my team’s inkasting. To me, there is nothing more satisfying in than inkasting 8 or 9 kubbs really well. Over the last two years I have tinkered around with my technique and have become more consistent. After attending the U.S. Championship, it became very apparent that the difference between the very good teams and the championship caliber teams was inkasting. I would like to think that someday I could help inkast a group of 8 or 9 that could put our team in a position to win a big game at Nationals.

What’s your favorite kubb memory?

My favorite Kubb memories center around teaching the game to new players.  A few summers ago we were at a baby shower and set up the kubb pitch. The game was a hit as there were quite a few “newbies” who played with us. One of the newcomers was a boy who was around 8 years old. After a few group games, I challenged him to a one on one game. Lo and behold, that kid had me on the ropes the whole game and had the back row cleared with 7 in play before I finally turned the game around and won. Some would consider almost losing to someone a quarter of their age a terrible memory, but that game showed me how much fun you could have with a complete stranger playing the game of Kubb.

What’s your biggest kubb goal?

I would like to throw a perfect game (even though they are not allowed in most tournaments).

Where do you see the future of kubb?

I would like to see variations of kubb take root. For example, last summer we had set up two kubb pitches next to each other (with about 2 meters in the middle). After a few games we decided it would be fun to play a game of MEGAKubb. 12 dowels, 20 kubbs, 2 kings. The rules kind of made themselves up as we went along. Throwing up on one pitch onto the other field became common. When a teammate hit a really cool field / back-line double from the opposite pitch, we all lost it. That is when I knew we were on to something really fun. I would like to see more fun variations of Kubb develop.

What are your interests outside of kubb?

I love reading non-fiction, trying to solve the worlds problems, designing (hopefully) engaging learning opportunities for teenagers, playing board games that require more strategy than luck, hanging out with friends, playing any sort of trivia game, watching or playing baseball, watching college football, running, biking, and helping people move (I like to think of my self as a packing expert).

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have kept book on every Major League Baseball All Star Game since 1994 – a tradition that started with my father that someday I hope to share with my child.