Wife Carrying: Everything You Need to Know

wife carrying
Have you ever heard of a sport where the main equipment is, well, your spouse? Welcome to the whimsical world of Wife Carrying! Here's everything you need to know about this quirky Scandinavian sport.


In the latest installment of obscure sports guides, we look at wife carrying!

What is Wife Carrying?

Have you ever heard of a sport where the main equipment is, well, your spouse? Welcome to the whimsical world of Wife Carrying! Originating from Finland, this quirky sport has gained international fame for its unique blend of strength, agility, and, of course, a good sense of humour. The concept is straightforward yet challenging: male competitors race while carrying their female partners through a special obstacle course. The most popular method of carrying is the “Estonian-style,” where the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, gripping his waist.

Where is Wife Carrying Played?

From its Finnish roots, Wife Carrying has spread far and wide, becoming a celebrated event in countries like Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The sport is particularly popular in Nordic countries but has also found a place in more unexpected locations, proving that the appeal of this quirky challenge knows no borders. Annual championships draw competitors from across the globe, all eager to showcase their carrying prowess and, more importantly, have a good laugh.

What are the Objectives of Wife Carrying?

The primary goal in Wife Carrying is simple: speed. The fastest couple to complete the course wins. But it’s not just a race against time. Competitors must navigate a series of obstacles, typically including hurdles, water traps, and sand pits, making balance and coordination key components of the sport. It’s a test of physical strength, endurance, and teamwork – after all, a successful run requires both participants to work in perfect harmony.

Wife Carrying Rules

While it may sound like all fun and games, Wife Carrying does have its set of rules. First and foremost, the carried partner must weigh at least 49 kilograms, or else carry additional weights to meet this minimum. Helmets are mandatory for the carried spouses for safety reasons. The course is usually about 250 meters long and includes various obstacles. If a competitor drops their partner, they incur a time penalty. Different countries might have slight variations in rules, but the essence of the sport remains the same: carry your wife, complete the obstacles, and cross the finish line as fast as you can!

The Prize for Winning at Wife Carrying

The prize is very often the weight of the wife in beer!

Is there a Husband Carrying Sport?!

Amidst the popularity of Wife Carrying, many wonder if there’s an equivalent ‘Husband Carrying’ game. While Wife Carrying remains the more prominent sport, there have been instances and variations where the roles are reversed, and women carry their male partners. These events are less widespread and more informal, often featured as part of broader Wife Carrying competitions or as standalone novelty

events. The concept of Husband Carrying challenges traditional gender roles and adds an extra layer of fun and inclusivity to the sport. However, it’s worth noting that these events are not as formally organized or recognized as their Wife Carrying counterparts, and are more about entertainment and showcasing gender equality in a lighthearted setting.

Wife Carrying: Fun – But You’ve got to be Fit!

Wife Carrying is more than just a sport; it’s a celebration of fun, teamwork, and the joy of doing something utterly out of the ordinary. It brings people together from all walks of life to share in laughter and camaraderie, all while giving participants a unique physical challenge. Whether you’re in it to win or just for the experience, Wife Carrying guarantees an unforgettable adventure. So, why not give it a go? Who knows, you might just find yourself getting hooked on this hilariously heartwarming sport!


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