Minnesotan To Meet: Log Roller Abby Hoeshler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some families spend their summers around the campfire. Or maybe the kids go to summer camp for a week or two, be it basketball camp, hockey camp, or art camp.

But have you ever spent a summer day log rolling? It’s a sport that maybe you’ve watched at a fair, but trying it out is a whole different story.

Abby Hoeshler comes from a long line of world champion log rollers. Her mother is a seven-time world log rolling champion.

Hoeshler is making it her mission to make sure that athletes across the world have an opportunity to try the sport she loves so much, and that’s what makes her a Minnesotan to Meet.

Sunshine, swimming and plenty of sand is what you would expect to see at Cedar Lake for quick stop at Hidden Beach, not log rolling.

Hoeshler is just trying to make sure others aren’t afraid to try the sport she loves so much.

“My family, they weren’t log rollers or lumber barrens but my mom grew up in Hayward, Wisconsin. That’s where the world championships were held,” she said.

Hoeshler learned how to roll at her local YMCA in Wisconsin.

“I think there is something about balancing on a spinning log in the water. … It really feels like you accomplish something when you learn how to maneuver the log in the water,” she said.

After college at the University of Vermont, she wanted to pursue her goal of making Minnesota the mecca of log rolling, so she moved to Minneapolis and started Key Log Rolling.

“It’s exciting, it’s easy to produce, you don’t need a ton of fields, all you need is 2 feet of water and 20-by-20 space,” said Hoeshler.

Her goal is to grow the sport’s popularity, but in order to do that she needed an easier way of getting 500-pound cedar logs to the masses. Cedar trees don’t grow everywhere and the logs aren’t allowed to be shipped outside the United States; that’s why she started making them.

“We actually manufacture the logs here in Minnesota at Winona Canoe,” Hoeshler said.

The key logs are 65 pounds and can be shipped anywhere in the world.

“Key log is made out of same material of a plastic kayak,” Hoeshler said

The logs are even equipped with training wheels so the young and old and can give it a whirl.

“Now we’ve flattened the learning curve. Now people step on they can kind of get the hang of it. They see success right away then the progression comes; they can start to take the trainers off one by one,” she said.

Hoeshler travels across the country trying to expose as many new athletes to this sport as possible. She’s shipped logs to places like Australia and France.

“That history is rooted in the north woods of the United States, but people have been moving logs down waterways for centuries,” she said.

Hoeshler said she hopes the historical roots will send these logs to waterways all over the world.

If you were thinking about adding a log to your lake house, they are expensive. The cost is $2,150 and it comes with training wheels.

You catch Key Log Rolling at the Minnesota State Fair. Hoeshler will be doing log rolling demonstrations on the south side of the North Woods. That’s on the East side of Cooper St. between Lee and Randall Avenues.

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