Tennessee Man Gives Pumpkin Boating a Try

The quirky American pastime of pumpkin boating has found its newest enthusiast. Justin Ownby of Cleveland, Tennessee, has now lived the dream of hollowing out an enormous gourd and paddling around in it, video posted on Facebook October 21 shows.

Justin had been trying to grow a gigantic pumpkin for more than four years, and this year he managed to get a seed from a record-breaking Tennessee pumpkin that weighed over 1,700 pounds, Justin’s wife, Christin, told local media.

In years past, Justin had tried growing multiple pumpkins at once, but this year he decided to pour all his efforts into the one, and it paid off big-time. His pumpkin ended up being around 910 pounds, and large enough to be turned into a watercraft.

The Ownbys cut a hole in the pumpkin and hollowed it out, and then Justin was ready to set sail. Christin recorded Justin as he rowed around a small pond on their family farm, before he lost his balance and fell into the water.

“My husband kayaks for fun so he just decided to see if he could kayak this pumpkin, which made for great entertainment,” Christin told Storyful.

Pumpkin regattas have grown in popularity in the last 20 years, but it is usually a northern hobby, with Stillwater, Minnesota; Windsor-West Hants, Nova Scotia; and northern Oregon’s Tualatin Lake hosting some of the most famous races in the US.

Here’s hoping Ownby can persuade more Tennesseans to join in the fun. Credit: Christin Ownby via Storyful