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The island carabiner game

By Slickrock Adventures on August 25, 2011

One of the most outstanding features of a week on Adventure Island is how multi-sport the experience truly is. Snorkeling is by far my personal favorite, but I love the scuba diving, kayaking, and surfing, too. I never really got the hang of windsurfing on my last trip to the island but I’ll definitely give it another go the next time I visit.

One of the most surprising “sports” I discovered while visiting the island, and something I’ve never heard of being played anywhere else, is something called “the ‘biner game.” Inside the dining hall, under the huge palapa roof, the staff have a simple string hanging down from one of the overhead beams. A carabiner is tied to the bottom of the string around chest high. On the wall opposite is a simple metal hook, at just the right height so that if a person swings the carabiner on the string toward the hook with exactly the right speed and angle, it’s possible to catch the ‘biner on the hook, but anything even slightly off the mark ends with a clean miss or you hit the bottom of the hook and bounce off. With a little patience, finesse and luck, the average beginner gets a successful ‘biner hook after 20 or 30 tries. And then they’re hooked, as in addicted.

After a bit of practice some folks are hooking on every few attempts. And that’s when it gets interesting because there’s a tradition on the island of trying for consecutive hooks — not an easy thing to do. And the elite of the sport compete for the highest number of consecutive hooks. A friend of ours, Bob Walker, is the current reigning champ with eight consecutive hooks — a nearly impossible feat.

Despite the fact that we’ve been playing ‘biner game on the island for over 19 years, I surprised to find that we have no photos of anyone swinging a ‘biner. Lucy searched through thousands of pics hoping to find one to accompany this blog post and … zip!

If you have a photo of the ‘biner game, please post it on our Facebook page or send it to us at slickrock@localhost and we’ll post it here.

Island carabiner game

Thank you Rob Greatrix for sending this photo!

David Paltiel wrote: “That’s crazy… my kids spent so much time playing that carabiner game and this is the only photo I have. It’s not exactly what you’re looking for but the best I can offer…” Dave, we love this picture, even though it doesn’t show the game.

Caribiner game

Scott Eddowes wrote us: “This was the closest thing I have to a picture of the carbine game.” Bingo, Scott!

Island carabiner game win

Larry Arnstein sent a picture too: “Hey, we have a nice picture of the ‘biner! Here it is.” Thanks Larry!