A social Swedish lawn game is finding an audience in our back yard.

Three local brothers are playing a hand in popularising the sport throughout New Zealand and will host an inaugural National Kubb Open at Black Barn from 2.30pm on Friday.

Not only do Sam, George and Freddie Coltart love playing, their passion extends to hand crafting the sets using elm wood sourced in Hawke's Bay.

A concept for Kubb Brothers was born after George was introduced to the game at a festival overseas about four years ago.


They downloaded specifications from the internet and made a kit, which was shared with friends and family before realising there could be a bigger market.

Well-known architectural designer dad, Andy, helped them to source the wood and looked over designs before they went on the market last March.

Sets start from about $220 and come in a box or bag with the option of engraving or embroidery and there's free shipping anywhere in New Zealand.

"They are all hand sanded, so it's pretty labour intensive," Sam said. "Other places sell the cheap pine sets but not at the level of our product."

Kubb was gaining traction due to its versatile nature - it could be played on any surface and was relatively easy to pick up, he added.

"It's like a cross between ptanque and croquet, all your doing is lobbing a long baton down a 6m pitch to knock out a shorter kubb. It's very social, you can play with a beer in one hand and it can be on any ground whether it's at the beach on hard or soft sand, in the back yard."

About 50 teams will go head-to-head in a double knock out tournament format on Friday, with grand finals taking place later in the evening.

There will be sponsor's drinks from Swedish company Rekorderlig Cider, kubb sets for sale, food, music and picnicking in the sun on lower terraces of the Amphitheatre.

Spectators are welcome, but there were no more spaces for people hoping to enter the competition.

- For more information, visit: kubb.co.nz