You know, it’s not easy, this obscure-sporting-activities-journalist thing. I often feel my chosen subjects go out of their way to keep themselves on the down low. Then again, when you’re dealing with underwater hockey (a sport I will henceforth refer to by its rad alias “octopush”), you’re dealing with athletes who have chosen to literally submerge themselves, so maybe a certain level of secrecy is to be expected. (As Wikipedia helpfully notes, “underwater hockey is not very spectator-friendly.”)
And yet octopush is for real—played around the country and around the world. We have national teams for men and women. The University of Florida’s club allegedly hosted a national championship tournament just last weekend—not that the results of said tournament are posted anywhere on the internet or anything. But that’s cool. A sport this entrancingly cool-looking doesn’t need to give me any actual insight into wins and losses. Dig:
The flippers. The little blade-like sticks. The snorkel masks. The tangled limbs and disorienting, three-dimensional flow of slithering bodies. It’s hard to tell if this is a sport, or a particularly sexy scene from a David Lynch movie.
Octopush may not be a stadium spectacle, but the sport creates surreal subaquatic tableaux, hypnotic and otherworldly.
Competitive results? Who needs them? I’m content to let octopush haunt my dreams forever.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons