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Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:13 am
by Ripcord
As a frequent and long time visitor to, I noted, sadly, that there was a sharp drop-off in the number of visitors, both new and old, to what had been THE on-line source for sharing hurling news. Weather it be bragging about a recent built, offering new concepts for critique, requests for help or just sharing experiences, was the place to go to and became my home-away-from-home.
Now, we have the Thank you Matt. I'm a little concerned that the traffic will turn out to be minimal but, time will tell and, who knows. Perhaps it will become as popular, fun and informative as the old homestead was. I hope so.
There is little doubt the the hurling hobby still exists, but I do believe it peaked a few years ago and general interest by the public has slacked off. Like most other fads, once the public picked it up and ran with it for a bit, something else came along and the old fad fades away. But, there will always be those few who stick with it and wish to know more, as well as the next generation to be introduced to this somewhat odd hobby of ours. Just yesterday, I was speaking with a gent down in New Zealand, who has been interested in catapults for some time now and it looking to build something of fair size within the year. As you may imagine, I've offered whatever advice I can.
I chat on IRC and numerous people around the world have made known to me that they are very aware of hurling, although they may not call it that. Many of them said they found it very entertaining. Well, that's an involvement of sorts and from such a group one can expect a few to get involved with the building aspect of this hobby.

So no, Hurling is far from dead. It may have passed its peak but you know, I suspect that once a catapult (not a leaf-blower) hurls something 1 mile, we'll be back in the news again. Then we'll see another surge of interest. Meanwhile we still have a few new folks showing an interest and there is the next generation coming along.

Happy Hurling!

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:03 pm
by madmattd
Well said Ripcord, on all accounts. I hope this place gets decent traffic, but only time will tell. It's going to take a little time to get up to steam too. It's not going anywhere though.

One reason I think there was the big drop off all of a sudden on TheHurl was that new folks really could not register for the last couple of years. At first I think the registration system was broken for a little while, then it was fixed, but then the site was bombarded with hundreds of spam accounts a week, so I believe Ron had to shut them off altogether to stop the mess. But that keeps out the new blood that keeps forums going. I got many emails over the last few years through our team site from folks asking how to get into TheHurl, and there was nothing I could do for them sadly. And the site got pretty slow, likely from all the hacking attempts, database crashes, and so on, so I know I rarely stopped in for the last couple of years. Ron was having a lot of trouble just keeping it online in the end. It was great that he kept it going as long as he did, and I thank him again for all he did in providing the site as long as he did. Hopefully the same issues don't befall this place.

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:37 pm
by Walker
Hurling is not dead as long as I live.

As long as men can read history and see the giants of our ancient art, they will dream of out performing their works.
Either by better engineering or by using the original engineering with better understanding or application or materials, they most certainly will follow our gentle pursuit building Weapons of Smash Destruction.

That being said, I believe that Hurling and/or Chunkin' is about to take a slight turn in the direction it was going.
The "World" Championship of Punkin' Chunkin' has recently announced their plans to change venue and date for the 2014 Chunk. But they didn't announce it to everyone and a number of good men and true supporters of the art are pissed off.

Enter the new kid on the block; The Texas Chunk (Texas' State Pumpkin Chunkin Championships).
Please check out their Face Boob page.
As I understand it, The Texas Hurl is an extreme range target shoot with mechanical catapults, gravity, torsion, tension and mystic levitation. But no pneumatic blower tubes, aka cannons.
The creator of this event is Robert Townsend, Texan, organic farmer and all around great guy. He is making this inaugural event a charity fund raiser for the Lone Survivor Foundation, an organization which deserves all our support. Maybe you saw the movie? Yeah! That Lone Survivor, US Navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell.
Now couple that with the fact that the event is deep in the heart of Texas, a demographically exciting location available to some 20 million potential spectators.

I'm supposed to keep this quick?
That was quick for me.
Ok, ok. Just spread the word and help the Texas Hurl get off the ground.

Walker out.

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:56 pm
by CaptBob
Hi Guys!
It's nice to have a forum again! Thanks Matt for getting this thing going.
I agree with most of Rips points (as usual).
I also think Matt is right about the last year or so of the being very difficult for newbys to join as well as other technical problems that Ron just couldn't attend to.
I also think the rise in usage of FaceBook has accounted for the diminished use of many old forums on the internet. I get tired easily of Facebook as it is so commercial and promotes very brief comments as opposed to ongoing discussions (with the exception of a few posters like Robert and Walker).
I look forward to some good discussion, some though provoking ideas, and a few controversies from time to time to keep things interesting.
So, let the Hurling begin!


Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:07 pm
by TommyL
Any room for anther displaced hurl member? Glad to see something back up, thanks Matt! Hurling is not dead, it may lose popularity (as evidenced by lower punkin chunkin crowds) but every time that weight drops and I see something that was meant to sit on the ground fly enormous distances down that field, it makes a grown man chuckle.

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:02 pm
by yankeesiege
Thanks Matt, we need a forum to keep up the enthusiasm. I have noticed a marked decrease in media coverage the past couple of years. We need a good shot in the arm. I think PC needs a "reality' show that would follow several teams throughout the year, culminating with the October event. What better way to promote and advertise. We surely have enough "characters" that would be interesting to watch. Anybody know a producer that would be willing to pitch the concept to one of the channels?

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:09 pm

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:05 am
by Ripcord
I don't believe anybody is going to pick up on that concept, YS. The hey-day of catapults is over, at least until the next generation gets a little more growth in them.
There might be some success in a documentary going straight to DVD. It would require a lot of travel though, as well as a lot of time. That nothing any big outfit is going to undertake.
Might be just the thing for a single person though. Still, be very lucky to make enough sales to pay for it all. (Which would be good enough if I were doing.)

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:10 am
by madmattd
Personally I feel there is way too much "reality" tv on as it is these days. Having seen Discovery and co. ruin several good shows into in past years, I wouldn't go for it myself.

I do find it ironic that the Science/Discovery group has been complaining about the terrible ratings for the 2013 Punkin Chunkin show. They decided to cut half of the coverage out (the Road To shows) and put together a pretty poor main show (almost all B-roll footage was from prior years, and I know many people that weren't even there and don't know much about the event noticed it and said it looked pretty bad as a result). Not sure what they were expecting...

Something to give hurling in general a shot in the arm would be good. There are a lot of other smaller events around the country that could help fill that void. A few new ones in the works too.

Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:57 pm
by PumpkinHammer
Hi all -

Hats off to Matt for setting this forum up, Thanks.

Is Hurling Dead?

No, but I agree some level of interest has fallen off. But there are still plenty of people interested. Not sure what is going on with the Science Channel, it certainly was a half-a$$ effort last year. Zero coverage of both the second place treb team and the second place air cannon team. Are they even coming back, isn't their 5 year contract over?

We started Chunkin way before the Science channel or any TV coverage and in front of smaller crowds, and had a great time and will continue to do so no matter what happens with that. Like Tom says, when that weight falls and the arm moves, that's what it's all about. Whenever anyone I am talking to finds out that I am a chunker, that's all they want to talk about and find out more about it.

I see that the chunk dates have changed (on the Punkin Chunkin website), is there a new location announced? Has anyone heard?


Re: Is Hurling dead?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:13 pm
by p-lod
I think Hurling is in a bit of a lull for sure. It takes a good amount of money to build a full-sized machine and with the economy being slow it makes it a little tougher to get started. I don't think it will ever really die.

On a side note, my favorite message board to visit has about 20 full time members. Sometimes a smaller community is better than a larger, less focused group.

Aaron (Team UFO)