After the Action: WAL Qualifier Recap for April 16 and April 23

May 3rd 2016

The furious pace of new and established arm-wrestlers seeking to leave their mark on WAL in 2016 relentlessly continued in recent weeks, as WAL Qualifiers were held from Vermont to Illinois and Louisiana. Pulling legend Bill Sinks threw a Qualifier tourney in Burlington, Vermont on April 16. While there were some pros stepping to the table, the 26-year veteran Sinks said his amateur turnout was especially robust. “I’m working with some new blood,” Sinks said of those who showed up at the Sugar House Bar and Grill to see if they could pin their way to the next level of competition. “They’re really excited about it.”

While the Burlington event had nearly 80 entrants, Sinks said he kept things moving and the tournament was wrapped in about three hours. Newcomers struggle with the physical pain of pulling, but also the ego bruise that comes with getting whupped so soundly in the beginning, but Sinks said those are dues every pro must weather. “I tell them that I remember my very first tournament,” Sinks said. “I got squashed, but it didn’t discourage me.”

Qualifiers also went down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Johnsburg, Illinois, and Birmingham, Alabama, on April 23. Chicago-area pulling pillar Kent Damore has thrown numerous arm-wrestling tournaments over the years, but said his Qualifier at Half Time Bar & Grill was noteworthy for the amateur class and the high number of local guys who had always wanted to try pulling.

“We had a lot of new guys come in, they pulled in the tournament, and afterwards, they pulled and pulled and pulled,” Damore said. As WAL’s popularity continues to explode among those just discovering the sport, Damore said he is also counseling newbies on the rigors of it all.

“These amateurs come in, they bang around and they’re hurt or like three weeks,” he said. “They don’t understand it’s an acclimation process.”
Damore said and Chicago-area newcomers can come train with his crew.

“I show them how to train the right way,” he said, “but it takes six or eight weeks before they can hang in a full practice.”

There is just one weekend of WAL Qualifiers left in the 2016 campaign. Head over to WALStrong.com/events to see how you can get in on the action.