UNC students try out water log rolling

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UNC students try water log rolling. (WTVD)

If you've ever seen log rolling it probably involved a huge tree trunk looking apparatus and lots of unsteady feet.

Some brave souls at UNC are testing out the sport in a different form... in the water.

"Log rolling involves fun (and) excitement," key log rolling instructor Alex Beck said. "It's very recreational and it really involves fast feet, right? So, it's exciting because you're trying to knock the other person off the log, but you're not using your hands or anything.

"(The goal) is to outlast your competitors and stay on the log longer, and then to win it's best three out of five tries," UNC's Aquatics Director Catherine Ayers said.

There are 400 of these key logs across the country and Beck brought one of them to UNC for some first-timers to try out and practice with. And even though the aren't as big as the trees typically used, Beck said that they're great to train with.

"Slowly you would take those trainers off, and it would make the log roll faster and faster so that at the end, when you have all of them off, it's rolling exactly like a (500-pound) red cedar would," Beck said.

Experts said excess spinning also has some pretty hefty health benefits.

"It is a huge challenge," Ayers said. "You really have to have the right amount of balance. There's strength, there's cardio."

"The key log makes you really, really fit because it's a core activity," Beck said. "You're using a lot of muscles to hold yourself on the key log."

The incentive for these participants is to, of course, make log rolling a permanent fixture on campus.

"What I would like to see is some of our sports clubs to pick it up and compete with other universities," Ayers said. "I know there are a few other universities in the area that have also gotten key logs. (When we get logs) then we can start doing competitions with intramurals and then we can do competitions and see how it grows."

"Key log rolling is really trying to push it to the collegiate level right now," Beck said. "We've got some regional championships that we're trying to push for 2019 and a national championship."

But Ayers said the logs can be used in other recreational ways.

"I would love to see it used in a lot of different ways. It can be used in Greek Week and sorority and fraternity competitions. It can be used in intramurals. It can be used in camps."

That's not all, though. The end game... or rather dream for the key log is even loftier.

"Well, the ambitious goal is the Olympics," Beck said.

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