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Cleve Dean

R

rawdeal

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 29, 2013
3,410
2,305
Anyone remember when he was the king of arm wrestling, way back last century? He was about 6' 8" as I recall, and way over 400lbs. A pig farmer by trade, he either didn't lift weights or else did a little but attributed his strength to wrestling hogs around all day.

He weighed in at an event somewhere @ 462 lbs, and PLUSA mag joked that he was gonna get into PL and simultaneously compete in the 220 and 242 classes.
 
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SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,594
2,114
Cleve Dean is definitely one of the legends and pioneers. Just like you said, a monstrous man that probably couldn’t run a hundred yards to save his life, but had hands that were legendarily large. Baseball glove large.

Hard not to mention his size advantage over absolutely everyone during that time. (He still lost to a young John Brzenk in the Yukon Gold tournament where they filmed Over The Top. John was 195lbs at the time and is still arm wrestling at the top of the food chain.)

There are monsters nowadays, like Alex Kurdechin and Vitaly Latelin and Derek Smith, who are over 6’8” with a proportional frame. They are hard to deal with for “average” heavyweights like me, at 6’3” and 245lbs right now. Frame matters quite a bit and hand size is also more important that it should be, in the sense that you simply can’t change it and yet it still affects the outcome.

I think one thing that arm wrestling is missing is/are more weight classes. Pretty much stops at 242 most times. Sometimes at 220. So you have chubby sub200lbs guys who weighed in at 221 arm wrestling natural giants straight off the farm who are 6’6” 340lbs at 17yrs old. Ready go, sucka. Not that size is everything but come on. The problem is that not enough people participate at most events, and so you’d have to give away trophies or split up prize money for people who might not have had to arm wrestle at all. Or had to beat the same guy twice in a mismatch. I’ve seen it.

Not easy to fix. But participation is key. I try to get as many people as possible to join my local club but I’ll tell you what, some of these dudes talk mad shit about how hardass they are and then NEVER show up to practice, haha.
 
R

rawdeal

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 29, 2013
3,410
2,305
Good stuff, @SAD. Think your post in the other sub-forum will educate and get more people interested. Seems like more weight classes is a "well ... Duh!" moment, but like you said, that might only occur with more participants.

In your opinion, would it be better to consider weight classes, or height (and thereby arm length) classes ... or probably way too soon yet for an emerging sport?

I'm thinking about how PL exploded since late last century, and how it has evolved into a fragmented sport since, with resulting benefit and confusion among competitors and fans alike.
 
Rock Diesel

Rock Diesel

Member
Mar 16, 2022
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Interesting points. I'm a recent fan of arm wrestling and have been watching and learning lately. From someone who is still on the outside looking in (with regard to experience and knowledge of the sport) it seems like height and arm length play a huge role. For instance Devon Larratt. WIth his arm length and hands, he looks like he carrying around sledge hammers. If he was to compete against someone who is pushing 300lbs, but say only 5'9 or 5'10 with shorter arms and small hands, it seems like Devon would greatly have the advantage. At least to my limited experience.
 
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