Professional jousting isn’t about recreating history. It’s about creating pain.
Riders in 130 pounds of armor gallop toward eachother at 30 miles per hour, balancing 11-foot hemlock lances in their grip. When knights collide, a lance tip can generate 50,000 pounds of pressure per square inch — more than enough force to decapitate a rider, or if properly aimed, throw an opponent from his steed. In the Ultimate Jousting Championship (UJC), dismounting a rider is worth 10 points, shattering a lance is worth 5, and a direct hit is worth 3.
Charlie Andrews, a 6-foot-4 former Navy seal and bull rider is the sport’s greatest competitor. He heads the Knights of Mayhem, a group of burly jousters now under the limelight in a new show on National Geographic Channel named after the crew. Knights of Mayhem premiered Tuesday, November 15.