The V:King lawn game is inspired by a centuries-old Swedish game known as kubb or koob that outfits players with battle axes (wooden dowels) and challenges them to topple opponents’ shields (wooden blocks) and conquer the king. As legend goes, the original players were the Vikings, who, in sensationalized barbaric spirit, played with the bones of dead enemies. This more civilized version is the beautiful handiwork of Martin Wilde, a professional hockey player who brought the love of the game with him from Sweden when he attended the University of Vermont. To make each V:King (pronounced vee-king) set, Martin and his wife Sarah use hardwood that comes from a responsibly managed forest in Quebec and is finished by them in Vermont.
In true Nordic spirit, the V:King game can be played in fair weather or foul, under the hot summer sun or atop winter’s frozen fields. The rules are simple, but it requires a combination of strength, strategy and precision to win, says Cameron McLeod, who told us about V:King — he’s the husband of Daily Grommet team member Kate. Horned helmets aren’t required… but certainly tolerated.