Fierljeppen (Canal Jumping)


fierjeppen_arjan_peters.jpg

This sport is similar to the olympic sport pole vault but has a twist too it. It involves a long pole that in a canal that can swing from one side of the canal to the other. The participant is to get a running start and jump onto the pole and climb as high as they possibly can before falling to the other side of the canal. The poles are normally somewhere around 8m and 13m and the participant must also control the pole so that they fall forward instead of to the side. This sport is not for everyone as it can result in serious injury because of the hard impact on the other side of the canal. Fierlijeppen is a tradition to the Dutch and Frisians and in fact Fierlijeppen is Frisian for "to leap." The sport was believed to be invented by farmers who used poles to jump over streams, but there is no real proof of who started the sport. Now the sport is normally played to attract tourists or just for fun competition.