“The Kiwi Way” by Peter Oliver from

;Here’s how it works: Swaddle yourself in a waist harness, which has a shock cord that extends from the navel area and is attached to a hinged, clamping piece of metal resembling a large household nutcracker. Approach the fast-moving rope and grasp it with one hand to initiate momentum. With the other hand, snap the nutcracker closed over the rope in front of you. When a bond between nutcracker and moving rope is secured, lean back and enjoy the ride. It sounds easy. It isn’t. With the tows typically running at warp speed, getting the nutcracker properly positioned before having your fingers crushed by rope-stabilizing pulleys requires considerable dexterity. Neophytes often endure dozens of false starts before finally, clumsily, getting the hang of it. In the process, gloves, seared by the coarseness and speed of the rope, take a savage beating. The running joke is that if a movie is ever made about nutcrackers, it will be titled “Glove Smoke.”

Posted March 6, 2003

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