An American Sport Remade for Modern Times

June 29, 2019

As a business woman and entrepreneur, I’m always thinking about the next step — what’s the most practical way to do things, where’s the most efficiency?  I tend to look forward rather than celebrate how far we’ve come in creating the Key Log®, the first technological advancement for the 125-year-old sport of log rolling.  

But this morning, as I’m packing for my baby’s first summer family reunion, I’m feeling nostalgic thinking about the Fourth of July and log rolling and how well they go together — just like strawberries and shortcake.  (Yup, I’m also looking up recipes.)

As the holiday approaches, it’s hard to contain the pride our Key Log Rolling® team has — both as a “Made in America” company and as a historic American sport remade for modern times. 

The sport of log rolling was born out of the industriousness of Americans; our affection for recreation; and our competitive spirit. At the turn of the 19th century, after a hard day’s work of guiding fresh cut timber logs down fast-flowing rivers to sawmill towns, the log drivers would challenge each other to friendly competitions to see who could stay on longer. Soon it became an organized sparring sport, with many tournaments being held at Fourth of July festivities due to its strong appeal to spectators. 

The resourceful, competitive, and fun-loving American spirit has not only kept the sport alive in a few select regions, but is now contributing to its growth nationwide and internationally.  After 125 years of cumbersome wood logs, the portable Key Log enables anyone, anywhere to enjoy the fun and fitness of this historic American pastime. 

At first glance, the Key Log® looks like a simple red cylinder. But the human handiwork that goes into making a finished product that floats and spins like a traditional lathe-turned buoyant red cedar log rolling log would surprise you (learn how it’s made here).  Every time I visit the manufacturing plant in Winona, Minnesota where Key Logs are made, or the businesses where we source our material inputs, I’m inspired and grateful for the people who make the growth of this American sport possible. 

But Key Log, the product, is just the beginning. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for that American willingness to try something new. Whether it’s an investment of time to learn and share this authentic sport with the others, or an actual investment of purchasing a Key Log for your family or your recreational program, we’re grateful to those who recognize and appreciate the value of fun and active recreation for their family, friends, and community members.

In 2011, there were fewer than ten places in the world to learn to log roll. Twelve hundred (1200) Key Logs later, in 825 locations, the sport is literally on a roll! From the workers who manufacture the product itself, to the enthusiasts who believe in our mission of growing the sport to Olympic status, we thank you! 

And just in case you didn’t notice...Key Logs are literally Red, White, and Blue. I mean, could we hit it home any harder?!

Happy Fourth of July!

Abby Hoeschler Delaney,

KLR President




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