All posts by Utah Kubb

Fun Fall Date Ideas

Fall Outdoor Date Ideas

Fall is in full swing and even though the weather may be cooling down that doesn’t mean your date nights have to suffer. This is a great time of year to try new things and make new memories, here are some ideas to make this weekend memorable:

  • Organize a game of Kubb

Of course at the top of the list: Kubb, also known as Viking chess is a highly entertaining game for a small group of friends and family to play in a backyard or local park. The entire set is made out of solid wood and requires some dexterity, however, this game is very easy to pick up with few rules.

To get started you will need to get a Kubb set.

  • Find a local corn maze or haunted house

 

One of our personal favorites during the fall season, some corn mazes even let you dress in your Halloween attire! Most cities will have at least one of these, go online or check the local newspaper to find out dates and times. One word of caution, make sure your partner is okay with getting a little spooked. Some people find haunted experiences too frightening to enjoy themselves.

  • Visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch

Enjoy the fall scenery by visiting a local orchard, pick an assortment of apples so you can make tasty apple pies with your significant other. Another great option if available is finding a local pumpkin patch. If you love carving pumpkins this can be an epic experience! Usually, grocery stores offer small to medium sized pumpkins, however, if you find the right pumpkin patch you can find super-sized pumpkins and in different colors. These rare finds can make for an excellent pumpkin carving.

  • Football tailgating

NFL or college, both can be very enjoyable events to attend. However, not every state has an NFL team, if you are in this boat search for college teams nearby. Don’t worry, many college football teams are just as exciting to be involved with as the professional teams. Bring your friends, camp chairs, and plenty of food!

  • Go for a hike or walk to see the fall leaves

Get outside and enjoy nature before the frigid temperatures of winter are here. If you have access to it, find a nearby canyon and go for a hike to see the majestic beauty of the multi-colored leaves. Also, if you like photography, bring your phone or camera and capture some great shots you can share on your Instagram.

  • Outdoor movies

Some cities offer fall movie nights in local parks, but you can also do this in your own backyard if you have the right equipment. If either of you is a classic movie buff, or just enjoy a good horror flick this one can be very entertaining. Make sure to bring a blanket and hot chocolate in a thermos to keep warm and enjoy each other’s company.

  • Romantic campfire

Arguably the most romantic of all the date night ideas, what’s better than snuggling up to your partner and enjoying the stars?  Bring blankets, camp chairs, and roast tasty treats! Personally, we think s’mores can be enjoyed any time of year but other treats work just as well. Check with the city to see if some outdoor areas are off limits for this, the fall time is beautiful but there are also lots of dry leaves that can cause a wildfire.

Kubb Terms, Vol. 1

learn Kubb terminologyMany of you learning how to play Kubb may sometimes wonder if everyone is speaking a different language. Well unless they are speaking Swedish, we can help! Each month we are going to highlight both some official terms and some slang terms that will help you understand both the game and what everyone else is saying. Since this is the first vocabulary post, we are going to start with the very basic terms and move forward from there.

Pitch: The whole field of play in a kubb game. From baseline to baseline, often pitches will have field-marking stakes to delineate the edges of gameplay.

Field-Marking Stakes: On the rectangular field, each of the four corners is marked by a corner stake, and two stakes on each side of the centerline (which is in the middle of the field, parallel to the baselines).

Base Kubb: A base kubb is one of the five kubbs spaced along the baseline on each side of the pitch. When the game starts, you must throw from behind the line of these kubbs. All of these kubbs must also be knocked over before you try to knock over the king!

Attacking Team: This particular term is pretty easy. On any given turn, the team throwing the batons is the attacking team, kind of like the offense in football or basketball. So, if you have a baton in your hand, you are part of the attacking team, and they are referring to you!

Defending Team: This team is not throwing batons. However they do get to “Raise a Kubb” if it is knocked over by the attacking team.

Inkastare: Okay, this word is actually Swedish! An Inkastare is a team member that specializes in kubb raising (see below), or throwing a base kubb back into play, making it become a field kubb! They only get two attempts to throw the kubb onto the correct side of pitch, so it is important you have a skilled Inkastare (we just love saying it!) Being an Inkastare on a serious team can involve a lot of precision and strategy, but in our opinion, it is worth it just to be called an Inkastare!

Kubb Raising: If a kubb is knocked over by the attacking team, then the defending team’s Inkastare gets to throw it to the other side of the pitch. The attacking team then gets to tilt the kubb over so it is standing. This is called raising a kubb. It then becomes 1) a field kubb, 2) the new temporary baseline of the team (if you don’t knock it over), and 3) you have to knock it over before attacking another team’s base kubbs. Which way a player chooses to raise his kubb can have a real effect on a team’s strategy and the game!

Footprint: When a kubb is thrown to become a field kubb, the kubb can be raised or put up onto either of its two ends. The position a kubb would take when righted on either end is called a footprint. These footprints are especially important when designating a kubb in/out of bounds, or a team’s kubb raising strategy.

While these are just a few terms to get you started, there are plenty more that you can just pick up as you are playing in a kubb tournament! Are there any important vocabulary words you feel newbies should know? Would you like us to enlighten you on any particular phrase? Comment below and let us know!

 

Kubb Training Techniques

Kubb Technique TrainingNow that the kubb summer tournament season has started up, the time is now to work on your kubb training! While we all love fun, relaxed games, the competitive spirit in you might want to practice acing your next tournament, or to show off a little for your friends. Whatever your reason, here are a few ideas to improve your Kubb game!

Baton Practice

Much like in other sports, the best way to get better at throwing a baton is to always throw a baton. Practice tossing up a baton into the air and catching it, to become more familiar with the weight and aerodynamics of the batons. Want to level up your baton tossing practice? Juggle your batons! Rapidly throwing your batons around gives you both the focus and constant familiarity with your batons’ shape and weight. Even after you feel like you are comfortable with it.

Once you are comfortable, practice with different rotations that you can mimick on the kubb pitch.  Start with 180 degree rotations, and then once you are familiar with those, move on to 360 degrees. See how well you can control your rotations for different types of throws! The more control you have, the better you can adapt to different situations! Keep on adding different throws and rotations to your repertoire, and you will be a dynamic and adaptable opponent on any pitch! But speaking of different throws, a great throw to practice is…

The 8 Meter Throw

In tournament play, the 8 meter throw is a crucial one! Though technique for that throw varies from player to player, the general consensus is that the most effective way to throw it is to have it rotate ½ a rotation, or 180 degrees. Many players feel like the best way to do this is to “choke up” on the kubb and hold it more towards the middle. With your hand on more of the baton, you have more control over your throw to get the perfect aim, toss, and rotation. By practicing this throw over and over, you can bring your game to the next level in no time!

Phantom Play

In order to practice all aspects of your Kubb game, a great way to practice your strategy is to play against yourself. By playing against your own throws, you learn the strengths and weaknesses of your own strategy, and can then work to play better against those strengths, and improve your weaknesses! By going through whole games and not just focusing on one aspect, you can have a more well-rounded practice session to figure out your personal play-style and strategy. Much like regular chess, ‘Viking Chess’ can be made or broken based on strategy. By doing phantom games, you can better know your own play style, and become more focused and confident in future games.

Tournament Play

Another great way to improve your gameplay is by attending various kubb tournaments in your area! Playing against new teams in varied match-ups will help you expose your strengths and weaknesses, and let you know which things you need to work on. Looking for a way to keep track of your game while you play? Phil Dickinson of Planet Kubb has made a scoresheet book to easily track your games for later analysis that you can buy here. However, don’t just play your game and leave! Make sure you watch other skilled players and analyze their strategy. Check out how they warm up for each game or how they throw their batons. What about their game strategy? Even better, make new kubb friends before and after games to widen your network. This way, you’ll have more friends to play against and practice with in the future. Who knows? You could meet future teammates! In order to see upcoming tournaments, check out our upcoming kubb events.
So what are you waiting for? Summer is here, your kubb set is waiting for you–Go get your game on!

May’s Swedish Dessert: Appelkaka

Kubb desert - AppelkakaThe best way to attract people to Kubb in Utah, or in any other place, is  through food! This month, we’ve decided to feature a Swedish dessert recipe to grace your tables or picnic in between your Kubb matches! This month we have decided to go with a Swedish classic- Appelkaka, or Swedish Apple Cake. This delicious recipe is a staple, and you can find it in the lowliest Swedish diner to the fanciest restaurants. So try your hand at this delicious recipe, and you can impress all your friends at the pitch with your authentic Viking dessert!

Appelkaka

Also known as Swedish Apple Cake, this delicious recipe is perfect for the summer months! A mix between a cake and an apple pie, the absolute best way to eat this cake is to include a vanilla sauce drizzled over it!

 

Ingredients

Cake

  • ⅔ cup Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1.5 tsp B
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 3 ½ tbsp Cream

 

Apple Mixture

  • 3 cups Apples
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ⅓ Lemon Juice

 

Vanilla Drizzle

  • 1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 ½ teaspoons Milk
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla

 

To start off, preheat your oven to 350 Degrees, and butter your best 10 inch springform pan. Mix apples, cinnamon, and lemon juice, then set it aside and let it soak; we’ll use them later!

To make the dough, melt the butter, let it cool, then beat it together with the sugar, adding the eggs in one at a time. Next, sift together the flour and baking powder, then mix these ingredients in gradually with the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Simply mix in the the cream, and then you are ready to press the batter into the springform pan!

Once you have the dough evenly spread throughout the springform pan, take your apple slices and press them down into the top of the dough. Get creative and make a cute pattern! Then pop the pan in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the top is a perfect golden brown.While your apple cake is cooking, simply whip together the ingredients in the vanilla mixture.

Once the Appelkaka is finished baking, let it cook for about 5 minutes, then drizzle the vanilla mixture on top immediately before serving. If you would like to have an even better presentation, garnish with red apple slices, or even a couple raspberries.  You can also pack it up next to your kubb set to eat while playing some Viking chess! But no matter how you decide to plate it, make sure you get a bite before everyone else eats it all up!

Did you like this recipe? Comment and let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

A Picnic Fit for a Kubb

A Viking Picnic Fit for a Kubb

With summer getting into full swing, the weather is perfect for a good Kubb yard game! And everyone knows that the best thing to go with Viking Chess is Viking food! Perfect for your next picnic weekend, these recipes will have you eating like Odin himself.

This Scandinavian Potato and Egg recipe by Daytona Strong will give you the baton-throwing energy your family needs this summer. Perfect for the hot weather and some Utah kubb, this side dish pairs wonderfully with smoked salmon. This delicious recipe serves 6, so you’ll have plenty to share:

Scandinavian Potato, Egg, and Dill Salad

14 oz new potatoes
4 eggs
6 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons finely-chopped shallot
12 cornichons, finely chopped
¾ cup sour cream
1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
4 sprigs dill, finely chopped, plus one more for garnish
Juice of one medium-sized lemon
Pinch of ground allspice
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

Bring two medium pots of water to a boil. Gently lower the eggs into one and allow to simmer for 11 minutes, then remove the eggs and submerge into a bowl of ice water to cool. Meanwhile, lightly salt the water in the other pot and cook the potatoes in simmering water until fork tender but not too soft, about 20 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain and set aside in a cool place until they reach room temperature.
While the eggs and potatoes are cooling, prepare the dressing by placing the green onions, shallot, cornichons, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, chopped dill, lemon juice, and allspice in a large bowl and stirring to combine. Taste and adjust ingredients to suite your tastes.
Add potatoes to the dressing and stir gently to coat, then transfer to a serving dish. Scatter the chives over the top. Peel and quarter the eggs and place them on top and garnish with dill.

Our own personal preferences:
If cornichons are unappealing or unavailable to you, try substituting regular pickles, finely chopped.
While dried dill is less expensive, fresh dill makes the salad all the more delicious!

Stay Tuned! Be sure to come back next week for our favorite Viking desert to go along with your kubb set up!

kubb field setup

Getting Your Yard Setup for Kubb

kubb field setup

Kubb is a swedish yard game, perfect for backyard BBQ’s, tailgate parties, or any lazy weekend day. Although it doesn’t take much to start an exciting game of Kubb, we are going to walk you through a few important points about choosing your “pitch”, or field, or whatever you want to call it.

When deciding where to play Kubb, it is important to note that the best playing surfaces are grass, gravel, or sand. The more level the ground is in the playing field, the better.

There is no requisite size playing field, but here are two of the most commonly used sizes, 5 x 8 meters or 16 x 26 ft. The official playing size used at Kubb World Championships is 26 x 16 ft. This size may be too challenging for beginners or children, so at first it might be best to start with the size 10 x 20 ft. Check out the image in this post, or the video and instructions here for further setup details.

kubb field setup

So when just beginning to play Kubb, it is important to find a flat, level playing field and to set your field up to the beginner size of 10 x 20 ft. These two, small steps can make a huge difference when you first start to play Kubb. Picking up this game that some call “Viking Chess”, is much easier than it may look. You really only need a little bit of open space, and a Kubb set. You can adjust the setup to fit the amount of open space that you have available to you. This allows you to enjoy a good pickup game of Kubb almost no matter where you are, and what your skill level may be.

Now get throwing!