When it comes to laying out a kubb pitch, you typically have two options to mark the boundaries— lines or stakes. Most situations, especially outside of a tournament, call for using stakes on the pitch. Whether you love them or loath them, pitch stakes are sometimes a necessary component of kubb. Below are some pitch stake options with the pros and cons for each.
This is probably the most common form of stakes used on a kubb pitch. Wooden stakes are usually simple pegs or slim dowels, about six inches or so in length, that can be pushed or pounded into the ground. While fairly cheap and effective, sometimes wooden stakes can be difficult to get into the ground, and may even break if the terrain is too tough. Another potential issue is that they can be hard to see amongst a grassy terrain. One way to fix that is to paint them a bright color like white or orange. Wooden stakes are often the go-to option for many kubb players.
For a multi-purpose pitch stake, try using screwdrivers. These can be found at most stores, and even the cheap dollar store tools work well. Not only will you have stakes for your kubb pitch, but also a handy tool should you need it. Screwdrivers often have brightly colored handles, which is great for spotting your stakes in the grass. Having those handles also makes pushing and pulling your stakes in and out of the ground a breeze. Screwdrivers are also sturdy and can stand up to being hit by stray kubbs and batons. A potential downside to screwdrivers is that they are often bigger than traditional stakes and may interfere more with inkasting or blasting. These little tools are becoming a more popular option for kubb players looking for an easy alternative to wooden stakes.
Balls? Yes, really. This is a less conventional type of kubb pitch stake, and not technically a stake at all. Balls could be the answer if you need to leave the terrain intact or are playing on a surface that can’t be punctured by a more traditional stake. Just place a brightly colored ball in the place of where your stakes would be normally. The downside to using balls in place of stakes is that you’ll have a larger margin of error when determining what’s considered in and out of bounds. You’ll also have a higher chance of knocking the stake (ball) out of its position with a kubb or baton. Using a ball with a small nail attached could help prevent movement, while still keeping the damage to the ground at a minimum. While using balls instead of stakes may not be ideal, it is a viable option for kubb players who need to protect the ground on which they play.
Sometimes you may be looking for a more permanent solution to pitch stakes. Perhaps you have a backyard pitch and don’t want the hassle of measuring it out each time you want to play. One option is to place PVC pipe into the ground. Then when you want to play you can just put your stakes into the pipes and go—no measuring required. Another advantage to this method is that when the “stakes” are removed from the pipes, you can mow the grass right over them. A potential downside is that these pitch stakes may be more prone to breaking with a forceful throw.
This form of stake is a bit unique. These pitch stakes are basically just nails with a few plastic wisps (think zip-ties or other thin plastic strands found at hardware stores). The nail goes in the ground and the wisps provide a brightly colored marker above ground. Wisp stakes are good for minimal damage to the ground, however, due to their tendency to not stand perfectly straight, they do have a larger margin of error when calling a kubb in or out of bounds. Some advantages to wisps is their small size which makes them easy to carry along with your kubb set, and their bright color which helps with visibility.
There are many ways to have stakes for your kubb pitch. Some may work better than others based on your preferences and needs, but rest assured there is bound to be a fitting option out there for you. Which do you prefer? Do you use a different type of stake for your pitch? Let us know in the comments.