Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Build a Kubb (Viking Chess) Set

This summer we helped plan an extended family reunion with Mark's family. In preparation for the week, we asked our youngest son to come up with fun activities that would appeal to the broad range of ages that would be attending. Along with croquet, badminton, boche, and other great ideas, he suggested that we bring along Kubb, a Swedish lawn game. The Swedish connection is significant since Mark's paternal line is pure Swede. Kubb was entirely unknown to me, but oddly enough, I have heard it mentioned by other young adults since then, so it must be a growing trend.

I checked out the links he sent us, and we were on our way. Kubb, or Viking Chess, as it is sometimes called, is an outdoor game made of wood and consisting of six throwing batons, 10 kubbs (chunks of wood), a king (a larger chunk of wood), and four stakes to mark the corners of the kubb field. (Just fyi--I used colored flags that we had left over from our "do it yourself" sprinkler system project years ago. They work great--easy to see and inexpensive to purchase at hardware stores. A bundle of fifteen costs $1.79 at Home Depot.)

my home made kubb set

null 15 in. Irrigation Flags (10-Pack)

Following the instructions from this site, Mark and I set about making our own game.

My drop saw worked well for cutting the batons--so easy. The king and the kubbs were a little trickier. Since we don't have a table saw, Mark used his circular saw. It was doable but definitely required more work, and the results were probably a little rougher. However, because it is an outdoor game where you are throwing pieces of wood at each other, rough isn't really a problem. (If you purchase your 4x4 post from Lowes, they will cut it into 6" lengths without charge, which eliminates one step.)

I won't take time to review all the rules here since they are available at this site and others online.
Basically, the goal is to use the batons to knock down the other team's kubbs before they knock down yours so that you can take pot shots at the king who stands alone in the middle of the field. The first team to take out the king, after all the opponents' kubbs are vanquished, wins!

This game was a hit with all ages; the other outdoor games we brought lanquished unnoticed for the entire reunion. Here are a few action shots:

Just for fun, I checked out ready-made sets on Amazon. They range in price from $33, for a set that appears to be a smaller size, to $130, for an Italian-made, official U.S. Tournament set. Our homemade set cost about $20. 

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