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A man Kiiking

Kiiking (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkiːkiŋ]) is a sport which involves a person making a swing gain increasingly more momentum, to pass over the spindle with the longest shafts possible. It was invented in Estonia by Ado Kosk in 1993;[1] in Estonian, kiik means a swing.

In a kiiking swing, the swing arms are made of steel to enable a person to swing 360 degrees going over the fulcrum of the swing. A person is fastened to the swing base by their feet. To swing, the person begins to pump by squatting and standing up on the swing. The swing will gain momentum and will, by skillful pumping, take a person over the fulcrum.

Kiiking is regulated by the Estonian Kiiking Association.


The practice of swinging has had an important place in Estonian culture for a long time. Traditional village swings have been prevalent in rural communal lands for centuries, places where villagers held festivities.[2] The construction of kiiking swings is radically different from village swings, however.[3]

Estonian boys swinging over the spindle at Ohessaare village in Saaremaa in 1913; an early form of kiiking.

The first kiiking swing was made by Ado Kosk in 1993. Kosk observed that it becomes more difficult to swing over the fulcrum as the arms of the swing become longer. He then designed telescoping swing arms to gradually extend the arms for an increased challenge. The person able to swing over the fulcrum with the longest swing arms is the winner. The first modern kiiking swing with adjustable shafts was made in 1996.

Kiikingswing types[edit]

There are three models of swings:

  • KIKI1 – shaft height 3–4m
  • KIKI2 – shaft height 4–6m
  • KIKI3 – shaft height 6–8m


The current Estonian record as well as Guinness World Record for longest swing shafts was set in 2022 by Estonian Sven Saarpere, with 7.43 metres.[4] Estonian Kätlin Kink holds the women's Guinness World Record of 5.93 m,[5] while the Estonian women's record of 6.08 m is held by Helga Ehrenbusch.[6]

An American record of 5.66 m was set by Matt Dart of Georgia in 2015. Maxwell White of Auckland set a New Zealand record of 4.83 m in 2012.[7]

Previous Guinness records:[citation needed]

  • 7.38 m, Sven Saarpere, 2018[8]
  • 7.15 m, Kaspar Taimsoo, 2016[9]
  • 7.10 m, Ants Tamme (:et), 16 September 2015
  • 7.02 m, Andrus Aasamäe, 21 August 2004



  1. ^ "Kiikingu rekordite sadu Milano EXPO-l". EASi ja KredExi ühendasutus (in Estonian). 17 September 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  2. ^ Vissel, Anu (2002). "Eestlaste kiigekultuur enne ja nüüd" (PDF). Mäetagused (in Estonian). 21: 7–84. doi:10.7592/MT2002.21.kiik. (Translated abstract available)
  3. ^ Bradshaw, Luke (17 November 2017). "Estonia and its Love for Extreme Swinging". Culture Trip. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Longest successful 360° kiiking swing (male)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Longest successful 360° kiiking swing (female)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Kehtivad Eesti rekordid 01.01.2020 seisuga" [Current Estonian records as of 01.01.2020] (PDF) (in Estonian). Estonian Kiiking Association. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Kiiking | la mia Estonia". Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Longest successful 360° kiiking swing (male)". Archived from the original on 6 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Longest successful 360° kiiking swing (male)". Archived from the original on 23 September 2017.

External links[edit]