NAPƒS Field Trip – Lysts on the Lake, Competitive Jousting in Central Texas

Saturday, April 29 @ 9 a.m.

7400 Coldwater Canyon Dr
Austin, TX 78730 Map

More info –

NAPƒS will host its first field trip of 2017 on April 29 at Lysts on the Lake in West Austin. We’ll meet at the Curtain Theater near the parking area at 9 a.m. and get oriented before we enter.

This Field Trip is limited to 10 club members and individuals are responsible for their own admission ($23 on site, $20 online). Ask questions and please RSVP via the Facebook event page.

We’ll have access to photograph a portrait session with at least one jouster in full armor as well as other behind the scenes opportunities.

What to Expect at the Lysts

Lysts on the Lake is a western martial arts competition, which means it will be “knightly combat”. The competitions vary from year to year but the core remains the same. There will be full contact jousting with combatants galloping towards each other carrying frangible fifteen foot long lances. Their goal is not to unhorse the other rider (that is very dangerous and potentially deadly) but to break their own lance cleanly on the other rider’s shield, while providing a clean, well placed target with their own shield. Combatants riding against each other are not competing directly, but trying to earn points through a clean lance strike and break.

The event is a competition and not a show. Spectators can get relatively close and the view is unobstructed. There is only a low fence to set the boundary and give the horses a place (and reason) to stop. The jousts can be unpredictable. We often think of horses as grass fed motorcycles, but they are anything but. They are living creatures with moods, fears and their own skill sets. Jousting is as much about horsemanship and the rider/horse relationship as it is about holding the lance.

Beyond the jousting there will likely be armored foot combat or demonstrations using swords, pikes and halberds (referred to by the combatants as “medieval can openers”). There will also be a mounted melee where fully armored riders attack each other with wooden maces (heavy oversized baseball bats) trying to score hard hits. The combatants call this “Whack Bonk” which captures the spirit pretty well. There is also a hunt course where riders gallop through the pecan bottom firing bows, striking apples with swords and jumping obstacles.

When not competing, combatants will be around (in or out of their armor) and are friendly. The armor is all custom made, much is period correct and built using historical methods: a forge, a hammer, and anvil, and is a marvel of craftsmanship in and of itself. Opportunities to make images of the details of the sport will be plentiful. We will attempt to arrange a portrait session with one ore more fully armored knights as well.

Suggested Photo Gear

The Lysts is a combination of sporting event and portrait session. The events take part during the day under bright natural light. You will need a relatively long lens to get “close” to the action during combat. A 70-200 is generally sufficient, but longer lenses can be fun. Likewise, a wider lens (50mm or 35mm) can be fun for capturing the entire scene. Flashes can’t be used during combat (due to distance) or around the horses (it can spook them), but may be useful during the portrait and detail portions of the day

Bring Your Own Lunch

Ice chests are allowed, and since concessions may not be available, bringing your own food and drink is advisable. There’s easy back and forth access to the parking area.

Miscellaneous Necessities

– Sunscreen and Bug Spray
– Durable clothes
– Lawn Chair (optional)

This NAPfS Field Trip is an excellent opportunity for you to make photos to submit in the July 2017 Moment of Impact theme competition.

This April 2017 Lysts on the Lake Field Trip is being lead by Andrew Fritz and Josh Baker.