Pumpkin kayaking voted world's weirdest sport

Obscure hobby involves hollowing out giant squash plant to use as raft to paddle

Grant Bailey
Thursday 07 December 2017 22:27 GMT
The pastime is most popular in Canada
The pastime is most popular in Canada

Pumpkin kayaking has been voted the world's weirdest sport.

The bizarre event which is most likely to be seen in Nova Scotia involves hollowing out a giant pumpkin to use as a raft to paddle across lake in a race against the clock.

The self-explanatory mud-pit belly flopping - which is a much-loved sport in Athens, Texas, US - was second in the poll with underwater hockey making third place.

Trying out bog snorkeling - voted one of the weirdest sports in the world

Other unusual sports to make the top ten include bog snorkelling, which is practiced in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales, extreme ironing, and professional gurning.

Chess boxing which combines the mental dexterity of chess with the physical test of boxing with alternate rounds of each sport to create a bizarre hybrid sport also made the list.

Greg Tatton-Brown from Online Casino Casumo.com, who carried out the study to launch their Play Absurd campaign, said: “We’ve made it our mission to uncover the country’s most absurd games and celebrate the people who play them.

“From bog snorkelling in Wales to egg tossing in Lincolnshire, the UK is a hotbed of inventive sporting activities which seek to test our physical endurance as well as the limits of our imagination whilst building friendships that last a lifetime.”

Underwater hockey, also known as Octopush, was considered the most dangerous of the absurd sports in the countdown

It involves two teams battling it out to manoeuvre a hockey puck into their opponent’s goal – along the bottom of a full swimming pool.

While a number of the sports appear self-explanatory from their names, others are less obvious with unusual rules and equipment.

Bossaball proved baffling, with only 17 per cent of those surveyed able to identify the sport, which has an inflatable court and use of trampolines to score points against your opponent.

Over two thirds of those surveyed had no idea what you would use a braffin for, and only five per cent linked the piece of apparatus to gurning, where participants are required to wear the item around their necks while contorting their face to its limits.

Despite their prominence on UK shores, more than seven in 10 of those surveyed are yet to try any of the top weirdest sports the world has to offer.

Of the 2,000 people asked, only 58 have placed themselves inside a giant inflatable hamster ball to go Zorbing, and 17 have attempted Harry Potter’s favourite Hogwarts pastime Quidditch, though their feet and broomsticks remained firmly on the ground.

However, enthusiasm for more absurd activities is growing.

One in 10 would like to try their hand at egg-throwing, which originates in Swaton, Lincolnshire, and dates back to 1332.

And half of those surveyed would happily go along to watch one of these weird sports if a tournament was held nearby.

One in 10 would like to go along to watch a dog surfing contest, and would be intrigued to see what a mud-pit bellyflop involves.

Casumo’s Greg Tatton-Brown added: “Over the course of the next four months we’ll take you on an episodic tour of the UK and show you just how wonderful some of these pastimes can be when people #PlayAbsurd.

“In our first set of videos we’ve sent internet funnyman Anto Sharp to Wales, to take part in a bog snorkelling contest to see how he gets on.”

Kabaddi, which came twelfth in the list of most unusual sports, was founded in India, and is a game of tag where 14 players must hold their breath and tag out the rest of the participants before they run out of breath.

Outhouse racing, which came eleventh in the countdown, requires teams of three to race their decorated toilet down a Virginia City street to reach a toilet paper finish line before their opponent.

Top 20 most absurd sports in the world

  1. Giant Pumpkin Kayaking
  2. Mud-pit bellow flop
  3. Bog snorkelling
  4. The Extreme Ironing
  5. Professional gurning
  6. Dog surfing
  7. Football Zorbing
  8. Wife carrying
  9. Chess boxing
  10. Underwater hockey
  11. Outhouse racing
  12. Kabaddi
  13. Bossaball
  14. Cheese rolling
  15. Quidditch
  16. Unicycle polo
  17. Parkour
  18. Egg throwing
  19. Pillow fighting
  20. Wheelchair rugbY


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