Scuba-certified pillow fight enthusiasts of all ages will be welcomed this Sunday at Blacktip Island’s first non-secret underwater pillow fight. (photo courtesy of Talita Ribeiro)
A secretive band of scuba diving underwater pillow fight enthusiasts this weekend will host a public pillow fight tournament off Blacktip Island’s public pier in an effort to make the sport more mainstream, group members said.
“We’re not supposed to talk about the underwater pillow fight club, but we’re trying to recruit new members, so we kinda have to,” Finn Kiick said. “The key’s to stuff the pillows with lead dive weights so they don’t float and to give them mass when you swing them.
“How much weight is up to each individual and how much lead they can comfortably swing without losing too much velocity,” Kiick said. “It’s a delicate balance between mass and drag that really varies from pillow to pillow and from fighter to fighter. You also have to factor in air consumption to really find the sweet spot.”
Club members said weight placement is crucial.
“You have to tuck the weights in careful so they don’t wiggle loose,” Belinda Graysby said. “If they do, that can affect your swing and balance. It can also be dangerous if a weight works its way out of the pillow and into the pillowcase and you hit somebody with it. That happened last week with Alison Diesel. Sent James Conlee to the clinic with a cracked skull.”
Other members hope the activity helps build an increased sense of community.
“We’ll start doing this every Sunday, when most folks are off work, so as many as possible can participate,” Kenny Chromis said. “Keeping the club private, it felt too elitist. This way is more democratic and’ll let people bond over a shared experience.
“We’ll hop in at Diddley’s Landing and have at it in the sand flats,” Chromis said. “It’ll be a one-on-one, double elimination format with whoever shows up. We tried doing an all-in free-for-all once, but Nurse Marissa banned up from ever doing that again after she ran out of medical supplies. There’ll be first aid kits, inflatable casts and neck braces on shore, and Marissa isn’t allowed to participate, just in case.
All Blacktip residents are welcome, club members said, and must provide their own pillows, pillow cases and dive weights. All fights will be live-streamed to island bars. A limited amount of space for spectators is available on site, and all such spectators must sign multiple liability waivers.