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Why I Cornhole

Cornhole isn’t just a sport. As many of you reading this may already realize, cornhole is a way of life - an activity that, with all its components, brings competition, camaraderie, purpose, social fulfillment, as well as a continuous (and at times, obsessive) drive towards self-improvement. I haven’t felt this strongly or passionate about something since I first took up surfing over two decades ago. 


It all started very casually - two years ago, during a camping trip with some neighborhood dads and daughters, I decided to finally join the group and throw some bags with my fellow dads.  I had played cornhole casually in backyards during family gatherings and barbecues in the past, but this time felt different: the guys had brought regulation-sized boards, good bags, and were keen on keeping score, lighting up the field of play at night, and formalizing the competition over a weekend of beers and cocktails under the California redwoods.  I was hooked. 


Within a few months, I was already taking steps to plan a neighborhood cornhole tournament for charity in my own backyard. We decided to bring in a few local “pros” to provide some spark in the tournament of 50 people, and boy did they deliver. Not only did these local legends entertain, they gave me some priceless advice that would catapult my cornhole passion into the stratosphere. I used to throw bags using what some would call the “stinky hanky” technique - namely, I would grip by the corner of the bag and throw it in vertical form (with the bag pointing up & down while spinning in mid-air, rather than launching the bag in a flat spin towards the board).  This vertical approach made the bags more unpredictable when they landed on the board and was not an ideal way to throw.  Advice simply put from the locals: the “stinky hanky” had to go.  The rest was history. 


Beginning then, I made a concerted effort at throwing flatter, more thoughtful bags.  Bags that I had better control over once they landed on the board.  Bags that would land and move more predictably into the hole or within striking distance of the hole. Bags that would intentionally bounce off my opponent’s bags to get in the hole. More airmails. The potential of cornhole was unleashed for me, and I couldn’t get enough of it.


Fast forward to today: in this uniquely unpredictable post-Covid world, and with the help of some close buddies, I’m proud to have helped build this new patch company from scratch, as well as a weekly cornhole league called Willow Glen Cornhole, which has migrated from my backyard to our local brewery Hapa’s Brewing Company in San Jose, California.  My fellow baggers and I continue to share our passion for so much about the game: new & emerging bags, pro competition, regional venues, charity opportunities, and general trends in the world of cornhole.  We make videos, we cheer each other on, and we talk plenty of healthy smack to each other. We come from different backgrounds, careers, and political ideologies, yet we are united when it comes to cornhole, and stoked every week when we gather.  


I can’t wait to throw tomorrow.

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