Does the wood really matter?

+2 votes
asked Sep 6, 2012 by hardcoreleftie Ironkubb ✭ (1,210 points)
As a hobby builder of kubb sets does the wood really matter?  I mean other than what some find to last longer does a standard density really matter? I can see a tournament always using the same type of sets, but even there there is a difference in pieces that may be slower growth poplar vs faster growing stuff. I know a set I got from OTG  has one piece with a knot in it that is about 3x heaver than the lighter pieces. If tournaments says.."we are using Ash sets so you are just going to have to deal with it. Would anyone care? Would it really matter? What about the rule book?

I have made a set out of Walnut and I don't know if it has a dent in it from the batons. That being said, I couldn't afford to make/use sets for a tournament out of Walnut. I have mad a set out of douglas fir that looks like it has been through a war with pieces falling off after a few months use. Cheap, light, cost effective to run a tournament. If all the sets were the same would ruin the integrity of the game?

Getting a cheap hardwood in the correct dimension in Minnesota has proven to be a slight problem. I actually get my poplar from out East. I'd love to find a local supplier, but...  So I'll continue to get what I can from where I can.  I also make some cheaper sets that we use all the time and all my friends have. Pine kubbs with poplar dowels. Seems like a good combo since pine dowels left us with slivers/spinters etc and I can produce them at a reasonable price and get people into the game.

I've seen mutliple places selling "hardwood" sets that are really just pine, but most people don't know the difference.  I've found hardwood sets cheaper, but they aren't "tournament sized" either.

What type of wood is used in Sweden? Europe?


Sorry for the ramblings, but as I spend hours making sets for fun in my garage I think about his stuff. I know I forgot 2/3 of the quesitons I thought about in garage the last two days so I'll add those in later.

3 Answers

+1 vote
answered Sep 26, 2012 by Dobbie Kubblic ❚ (6,450 points)
I believe Scottish pine is used at Worlds, and instead of a soft corner rout on the kubbs there is a 45 degree rout on them.


I believe inkasting is the biggest diff. Some of the (what we call) "epic" games I've played with friends have been on Ash sets. I think heavier kubbs lead to tighter groups, and it wasn't uncommon on an ash set to go a half-hour throwing 10. Hodges and I would do this anytime we played. It got so frustrating we would have to finish a match over the course of a week.


Wood does matter in my opinion. It matters as much as playing on grass or sand, and I think people would have fun playing on different sets.
commented Sep 26, 2012 by ChrisHodges Kubblic ❚ (7,300 points)
As far as mixing the woods - I've made several ash & oak batons, and if you are throwing those at poplar kubbs then you wouldn't measure the lifespan of a set in years or months, but in GAMES. The kubbs would just get annihilated.

The opposite could be very interesting though. Poplar batons would never damage an ash kubb, but the batons might mushroom more quickly.  The groups would be generally be tighter, but the tradeoff would be that the need for baton accuracy goes up because glancing blows wouldn't get the job done. This would be doubly true for a king. Heft Dobbie's Jekyll & Hyde king sometime - that beast would swat off poplar batons like King Kong does biplanes.
0 votes
answered Sep 6, 2012 by garrickvanburen Kubblic ❚ (7,390 points)
Excellent question. I haven't made pieces yet  (I've plans to - so I've been pondering this as well).

This summer I played on a homemade maple set - super heavy - with sharp edges. The kubbs behaved very differently on inkast than OTG kubbs. I loved how the maple kubbs stuck into the ground (weight + edgest). Can't imagine tossing maple all day in a tournament.

I'm all for the different game pieces being different wood types. They are all used differently within the game - seems strange they should be the same. :)
0 votes
answered Jun 17, 2014 by dechrigi Kubbnoob (140 points)
I know its a really old post, but wood still matters ;) In switzerland, the most commonly used wood is beech - nice weight and good durability