Kayak polo provides extreme sporting experience

What's a cross between basketball and hockey and played in the Sooke Basin? Kayak polo at Rush Adventures, said Rush assistant manager Mike Loch.

  • Tue Jul 19th, 2011 11:00am
  • Sports

What’s a cross between basketball and hockey and played in the Sooke Basin? Kayak polo at Rush Adventures, said Rush assistant manager Mike Loch.Every Sunday from 5 p.m. until 8:30 until October, for $10 you can join up to 11 other regulars and beginners on the water to play a few matches of this relatively unknown sport that can be more intense that you might think.”It’s full contact, so we have to wear hockey helmets,” said Loch. “You know — ramming boats, pushing people over, anything is pretty much allowed so it’s pretty full on.”The object of the game is to be the first of two teams to reach five or six points. A ball that is similar to a heavy volleyball is thrown into the centre and each team tries to gain possession of the ball and shoot it, either with a paddle or by throwing it, into an opposing floating net about a metre above the water. Each team also has a goalie who’s job it is to prevent that from happening.Players can either bring their own gear — which consists of a play boat (small single-occupant river kayak), a paddle (normally a whitewater paddle which is wider), and a spray skirt (material that stretches around your waist to prevent water from entering the kayak) — or rent a limited number of boats that Rush has available, size permitting. For safety, a lifejacket and face mask is required.”A lot of people will wear a hockey helmet,” said Loch.While contact is permitted, there are certain fouls that will be called such as whacking someone’s hand with a paddle, or reaching across an opponent’s boat to hold them in place, he said.The shop also offers recreational kayaking by reservation or drop in the rest of the week. A full selection of equipment is available, and staff are on hand to instruct customers on safety and also stroke technique before sending them out for a few hours.Kayak polo has been run by Rush owner Scott Taylor for about five or six years. Taylor also owns and operates Stickleback West Coast Eatery next door. If you have any questions give them a call at 250-642-2159 or go to www.rush-adventures.com.