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horsenoodles
Photo by Aaron McKenzie Fraser

How to play “horsenoodles” at the cottage

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“So we’re camping beside a shallow river,” says Andrew Buckles. “What if the river becomes part of a game?” That was the jumping-off point for this quick DIY project, a throwing game the brothers call “Horsenoodles.” The rules are simple: stand in the water, toss floating horseshoes upstream, aiming for a sturdy pipe planted in the riverbed. Hook the pipe, stay there, and score. Miss the pipe and the horsenoodle comes back, boomerang-style. “The river kept pulling the horsenoodles off the pipe,” reports Andrew. “Maybe next time we’ll make rings.”

Materials:

  • ½” PVC electrical conduit
  • floating noodle pool toys
  • ½” corks
  • rebar or rigid pipe

Tools:

  • hand saw
  • sandpaper
  • funnel
  • heat gun
  • gloves
  • utility knife

1. Saw the PVC conduit into 18″ lengths and smooth any rough edges with sandpaper. (To make rings, instead of shoes, cut 27″ lengths.)

2. Using the funnel, fill the conduit with sand. The sand will help you bend it into a smooth, kink-free curve. Plug in the heat gun and put on your gloves, then heat the conduit until it’s pliable. Gently bend the hot conduit into a smooth U-shape (or ring). Let cool and empty out the sand.

3. You’ll need floating noodle toys that have a hollow core. Slip the noodle over the bent conduit. Using a utility knife, trim the excess noodle.

4. In the hardware store, if you find corks that fit the conduit, you’re almost done. If not, it’s easy to adapt wine corks. Using the utility knife, carefully trim wine corks, sanding to ensure the seal in the conduit is as watertight as possible. Fill the conduit with water and cork the horsenoodles—the added weight makes them easier to throw. “Plus, they’ll be regulation weight,” says Andrew. “And there will be official regulations. Once we make them up.”