Country Pastimes 2: Bale surfing
Since the demise of foxhunting and 'hunting with dogs' in the
countryside, there are thousands of dispossessed toffs wandering
around with nothing to do. To compensate we offer here the new
shape of extreme and dangerous landsports.
2. Bale surfing The new shape of hay bales has created the
little known country sport of 'bale surfing'. Please note that
this is a dangerous countryside activity that should not be
undertaken without the proper training. Square bales have all
but disappeared from the countryside, giving way to much larger
cylindrical bales that are stacked using machinery, rather than
tossed into the hay loft with a pitchfork. The loss of machismo
activity associated with this tossing has been replaced, in
hillier regions of the UK with the new sport of bale surfing.
For this activity you will require a strong assistant, known
locally as a 'bale spring'. Firstly, choose your field carefully
for the 'roll'. A good initial slope or hill will help get the
bale moving. A field that then gives way to a gentler slope is a
safety requirement. On no account practice this sport in fields
at the edge of cliffs, roads or dangerous rivers. Ponds are at
your own discretion. With your assistant, push the bale to get
it rolling and at the appropriate moment, mount the bale and
start running on the spot, backwards, staying on top of the
bale. Some contestants like to face backwards and run on the
spot forwards but this is regarded as un-sportsmanlike. Its also
pretty stupid as you can't see where you're going. Your
assistant should continue to apply force to the hay bale to gain
the required momentum.
The successful surfer will abandon the bale (bale out) when the
roll becomes too dangerous, leaping off the bale to one side or
the other. Do not in any circumstances abandon the bale in the
direction of the roll unless you want a large bale of hay to run
over you (wipe-out). Do not jump onto your 'bale spring'.
Racing rolls: In fields where there are two or more adjacent
bales, surfers race each other. This may involve using the
contours of the land to set up converging rolls (knock-out), or
a straight race. The surfers will bale out at an agreed spot to
avoid hedge injuries.
Night rolling: Make sure to recce the field in the daylight for
obvious dangers like barbed wire or bulls, rams or llamas and if
night surfing, make sure you have the right field.
Farmers: If you can gain the co-operation of a farmer to set up
a surf meet this is an advantage. Farmers may well shoot you if
they find you engaging in this sport illegally, which besides
being dangerous to you is destructive to their property. But at
least it doesn't involve ripping foxes to shreds with dogs.
No responsibility for any injuries incurred by anyone
undertaking this sport are accepted by this author.