By John Lauritsen


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When it comes to winter pastimes in Minnesota, we think of ice skating, snowboarding and skiing — but what about log rolling?

The folks at Key Log Rolling spend their summers on lakes and ponds, but when the weather turns cold, they go inside. And each winter more and more people join them.

In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen takes us to St. Paul where one family’s log rolling invention is helping the sport grow nationwide.

“It’s the closest you are going to get to walking on water. It’s like going for a run but it’s in the water,” said Abby Delaney.

Running on the log is what you do when you’re an expert. Baby steps are what you take when you’re just learning, and sometimes, that’s followed by a big splash.

Delaney’s mom is a seven-time world log rolling champion.

“It’s a very unique sport. Kids everywhere love it. So if your mom is a champion in it, why not take advantage of that opportunity as well?” said Delaney.

The sport runs in Delaney’s family. It’s the reason she co-founded Key Log Rolling and the reason she co-invented the Key Log.

Abby and her family use 500-pound cedar logs for competitions, but those aren’t easy to transport. So, with the help of some engineering students, they came up with a log essentially made out of hard plastic that can fit on your car and can be easily hauled into swimming pools.

“It weighs 65 pounds. You put it in the water, you fill it up with water — that gives the weight back to it so you can roll and stay on top of it,” said Delaney. “We developed training fins, which are training wheels for log rolling.”

They’ve sold more than a thousand logs across the country. Members of the Minneapolis Log Rolling Club train on them.

“People that like yoga; anything that calms your mind. I think log rolling is a great combination of a really good cardio workout and focus,” said Tamara Nascene.

“I think it’s really good for strength and core strength because you have to stay aligned with the log to stay on top,” Eddie Anderson added.

Some of the best log rollers in the world are from Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the sport doesn’t come easy. Core strength, balance, agility and concentration are vital. If you’re off on any of those, you’ll end up in the water. Small, quick steps are key.

But once you learn to just roll with it, it can become addicting.

“I don’t know what it is but there is something about log rolling that really captivates people’s imagination,” said Delaney.

Which is why Abby loves bringing an ancient sport to modern times. Her dream is to see it become an Olympic sport.

“Your heart rate spikes really high as you get on there and you start rolling, but it’s fun,” Delaney said. “We have families that are learning together. It’s really fun to have parents learn a new sport right alongside their kids. Normally, you are teaching your kids a sport. This is something the whole family can learn together.”

Key Log Rolling has started over 500 log rolling programs in 49 states. For more information, visit their website.

John Lauritsen

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