| Erica Curran

7 Questions with High Tide Founder Ed Pulkinen

Here at Savage HQ, we're counting down the hours until High Tide, the largest college Ultimate tournament in the world. Savage is proud to be the official merchandiser of this great event, which was founded by Ed and Cathy Pulkinen in 1996. In anticipation of the madness, we had a quick chat with Ed himself about the tournament's origins, Mexican food, and pirate names.

Savage: What's the biggest difference between the tournament today and the tournament in its first year?

Ed Pulkinen: Well, the biggest difference is the number of teams and weeks. Starting with 6 teams over 1 week and having well over 200 over 4 weeks.

Savage: What's your favorite thing about High Tide?

EP: The hat tournament. Like all great things, the hat tournament was a suggestion from a player. We used to have pool games on Monday but some of the top-seeded teams would play late on Sunday at weekend tournaments and miss games on Monday, wrecking the seeding. Now we have this amazing social event/competition starting the week and it is totally optional!

Savage: Do you have a top High Tide moment from the past few years?

EP: I think spelling out “High Tide” with 1,100 players, all in 48 different colored shirts, as a drone flew over for pictures was pretty cool. There of course have been some pretty epic games. If I were to choose one, it might be the Purdue vs. Bryant final in the Open Division from a couple of years ago.

Savage: What's your favorite restaurant in North Myrtle Beach?

EP: Nacho Hippo [Editor's Note: Try the Korean BBQ tacos. Trust.)

Savage: What's your advice for teams prepping to play at High Tide?

EP: Bring more players. It’s a long week and off-the-field injuries can happen. 

Savage: What do you do for fun when you're not working High Tide?

EP: I serve with UW Sports Ministry helping churches run sports camps in the summer. My favorite thing to do is to train college students to teach my introductory Ultimate curriculum to 6-12-year-olds and to see them implement it.

Savage: If you were a pirate, what would your name be?

EP: The Ed Pirate Roberts