Vancouver Rock Balancing

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

When strolling around the Seawall in downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park or along False Creek, you are bound to see seagulls or herons, perhaps a harbour seal, and most likely a fantastic west coast sunset. Another staple sight on the waterfront is balanced rocks. Stacked high, sometimes with sticks incorporated between layers of stones, these sculptures stay tall until knocked down by incoming waves.

Today in Vancouver: The Leader of the Band
Photo credit: Rikki / Julius Reque on Flickr

IMG_0027 Rock Man of British Columbia
Photo credit: AE Creations & Lance McCord on Flickr

Vancouver 2010
Photo credit: ko.ttur on Flickr

As for who is responsible for these man-made features, I have seen a few names pass by since I started reading about these balanced rocks in 2006. These include Ziggy (who started in False Creek in 2010), Terry Robinson (known as Rock Stacker on Flickr), Jozsef Roth (who balances rocks for charity at Granville Island or English Bay) and Kent Avery. Every now and then passersby will also join in to see how they can contribute.

Some are inspired by Inukshuk and others are just for fun — to see what’s possible and to entertain. In a video feature Kent Avery says: “It’s very soothing because you’re in a slowed down state of mind. You’re concentrating on that, you’re slow, there’s chatter going on in the background sometimes, there’s people yelling ‘Hey what kind of glue do you use’ but you just kind of have to focus that out.” To be clear no glue is used, just gravity.

Photo credit: freddryk on Flickr

Balanced Rock Sculptures #vancouver #sunset 251 Balanced Rock Sculptures #365project #vancouver #atotd "A compliment to a stranger turned into dinner with an old acquaintance"
Photo credit: Claude Schneider & Claude Schneider on Flickr

Kent Avery rock balancing, Vancouver
Photo credit: strollerdos on Flickr

Rock Rally Inunnguaq
Photo credit: PiscesDreamer & PiscesDreamer on Flickr

I tried my hand at rock balancing when I was a teenager at summer camp and a few times as an adult, when time has allowed. It takes a while to find the right angles and balance points but if you can calm your mind and steady your hands, you’ll be surprised at what you can stack.

rock My humble rock balancing feat
Beginner basics: Me trying to balance a few rocks in 2005 + a few rocks I balanced in 2009.

Rock art along the seawall
The first rock balancing photo I took in 2006. I believe the sculptor was Terry Robinson.

I can’t imagine the focus and concentration that these volunteer, temporary sculpture builders must have. However, I sincerely appreciate the element of wonder they bring to our waterfront landscape.

Balanced Rocks
Photo credit: colink. on Flickr

Rock Balance
Photo credit: Daniel Mejia on Flickr

If you know of a rock balancer, or are one yourself, I would love to hear from you in the comments to share your story.

6 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Janet KongFriday, September 20th, 2013 — 4:59pm PDT

    It’s cool to see. I saw one guy doing it down by Granville Island. It’s a great tourist attraction. It’s awesome how they can do that!

  2. LyeanartSunday, September 22nd, 2013 — 6:28pm PDT

    I love it! Congratulations!

  3. KyleTuesday, September 24th, 2013 — 1:11pm PDT

    I love seeing Kent Avery’s work every time I bike the seawall. He is a local legend!

  4. SethMonday, April 21st, 2014 — 1:53pm PDT

    I spend hours doing this when I go on vacation to Kootenay Lake during the summer. I do it for the same reasons golfers play their game – it’s fun, relaxing, recreational, and it’s satisfying to see myself improving my skills. And unlike golf, it doesn’t cost anything.

  5. LizSunday, September 7th, 2014 — 12:14am PDT

    I was walking at English bay today and took some photos of the display. Majestic rocks! Tourist attraction for sure.

  6. Fardin BMonday, September 8th, 2014 — 7:39pm PDT


    Here is some of my work.


Also on