‘A unique event that brings students together’


New experiences with friends are a big part of college life. With that in mind, NDSU offers a competition you’ve never heard of: Canoe Battleship. During the competition, teams compete to be the last canoe floating in the Wallman Wellness Center swimming pool.

Three-person plastic canoes are placed in the pool.  Other three-person teams use buckets of water to sink opposing canoes within a 10-minute time limit. Lifeguards push canoes closer together as time moves on. All three participants must stay in the canoe the entire time or their team is eliminated. Teams are scored based on the time it takes to sink the other canoe.  

“There is nothing quite like canoe battleship. It’s a wild experience and there is no correct way to approach it except to expect to get wet,” said Mitchell Johnson, a pre-nursing student from Rockford, Minnesota. “My team has been working out because a five-gallon bucket of water is much heavier than we thought. Canoe Battleship is great because it’s filled with laughs, water and broken alliances.”

At six minutes remaining in the heat, the battleship area will be made smaller and shrunken again at three minutes. Participants can catch water thrown at them, but they are not allowed to bail water out of their canoe. If a participant is caught cheating, one full bucket of water will be added to the canoe from the penalty bucket.

“This event is fun because students create their own teams to compete,” said Ryan MacMaster, associate director of the Wallman Wellness Center. “It’s a fun and unique event that brings students together.”

The event was created when the Wallman Wellness Center Aquatics Center opened in 2016. It’s held twice a year and any NDSU student can participate for free.