Event counts are incomplete
Total Events Non-Major Wins
7 1
  • Ken
  • Westerfield
  • Legend
  • United States
  • Bisbee, Arizona.
  • Classic Harley and British motorcycle restoration. Advocate for all animals. Animal Rescue.
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Westerfield
  • 1960
  • Player Bio

    Ken Westerfield began his Frisbee career in the 1960s, playing with his high school friends on local Michigan beaches and at music festivals. After moving to Toronto in 1970, Ken and his disc partner Jim Kenner played freestyle wherever they went. They always drew attention and achieved some fame performing urban street shows in cities across Canada. In 1971, they proposed doing Frisbee demonstrations for Irwin Toy (Wham-O Frisbee selling licensee for Canada). Westerfield and Kenner became touring Frisbee professionals, performing demonstrations and introducing Frisbee and disc sports throughout Canada. Westerfield produced and co-produced early Frisbee events and disc sports championships across Canada and the United States. The Jr Frisbee Program (1971-1975), the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto (1972-1985), the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974-1977), BC, the Santa Cruz Flying Disc Classic, Santa Cruz, California (1978), the Labatts World Guts Championships, Toronto (1985) and the World PDGA Disc Golf Championships, Toronto (1987). Ken received the Decade Awards 1970-1975, was Voted Best Men’s Player, and also is a Hall of Fame inductee in freestyle, disc golf, and ultimate. World records and national titles in freestyle, ultimate, disc golf, and overall individual events like distance, accuracy, and MTA. Ken invented many freestyle moves and with Jim Kenner, introduced and won the first freestyle competition at the 1974 Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, in Toronto, Canada.
    .
    In 1979, Westerfield retired from competing in disc golf, freestyle, and overall competitions but continued to play ultimate, organize local Toronto disc events, and perform in sponsored U.S. and Canadian Frisbee show tours. Ken played on Santa Cruz’s first ultimate team called GoodTimes, in the first two years of the Northern California Ultimate Frisbee League (NCUFL 1977-1978). Ken also brought early ultimate play to Canada with demonstrations beginning in 1975 at the Canadian Open Competitions on Toronto Island and started the first ultimate league in Canada called the Toronto Ultimate Club, (1979 and still running, 250 teams and 3,500 active members). Ken and his Toronto ultimate team Darkside, won the first Canadian National Ultimate Championships, in Ottawa in 1987. Westerfield retired completely from all Frisbee and disc sports activities in 1988.

  • Career Highlights

    * Playing Frisbee freestyle in the 1960s at outdoor rock concerts and music festivals (including Woodstock).
    * 1971, touring Canada as Frisbee Professionals. Contract to tour and promote the Frisbee for Irwin Toy, beginning in 1972.
    * The early years of the Canadian Open Championships in Toronto and Vancouver, meeting other skilled Frisbee players and freestylers for the first time.
    * 1975, World MTA record.
    * 1976, won both Eastern and Western NAS pairs Freestyle titles with John Kirkland.
    * 1978, throwing distance with a Wham-O 119-gram Frisbee, 552’ in Boulder, Colorado.
    * National Ultimate Championship title, Toronto ultimate team Darkside, Canada, 1987.
    * Being able to experience the growth of disc sports at early tournaments.
    * U.S. and Canadian Frisbee show tours for American and Canadian companies.
    * Traveling on the I.F.A. NAS and WFC competition tour with other players.
    * Meeting and friending many Frisbee players on the tournament trail.

    ————————Freestyle Open Major Competitions 1974-78————————————-
    1974 Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto, Canada, Open 1st place.
    1975 WFC World Frisbee Championships, California, Open Finals.
    1975 Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Toronto, Open Finals.
    1975 Octad, New Jersey, Individual Open Finals.
    1975 AFDO, Rochester, NY, National Flying Disc Freestyle for Pairs Open Pairs, Open Finals.
    1976 Wham-O, NAS, American Flying Disc Open (AFDO), Rochester, NY, Open Finals 1st place.
    1976 Wham-O, I.F.A. NAS, North American Series, Boulder, Co, Open Finals 1st place.
    1976 Air Ace Open, Rochester, Michigan, Open 1st place.
    1976 Octad, New Jersey, Open Finals.
    1977 Irvin, Western National, Irvin, California, Open Finals.
    1977 Eastern National, Florence, Alabama, Open Finals.
    1977 Midwest National Overall, DeKalb, Illinois, Open Finals.
    1977 Western National, Seattle, Washington, Open Finals.
    1977 Eastern National, AFDO, Rochester, New York, Open Finals.
    1977 Eastern Canadian Overall, Toronto, Open Finals.
    1977 Wham-O, I.F.A. NAS, North American Series, (HMCU) Ann Arbor, Mi, Open 1st place.
    1978 Wham-O, I.F.A. NAS, North American Series, Minneapolis, Minn, Open 1st place.
    1978 Wham-O, I.F.A. NAS, North American Series, Dallas, Tx, Open 1st place.
    1978 Wham-O I.F.A. North American Series, Philadelphia, Open Finals.
    1978 Western National American Series, Boulder, Colorado, Open Finals.
    1978 Midwestern National, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Open Finals.
    1978 Octad, New Jersey, Open Finals.

  • How I Started

    When I was in high school in the 1960s in Michigan, my friends and I used to ride our motorcycles to Cass and Silver Lake Beaches. Our favorite activity was playing Frisbee all day. Jim Kenner and I were the most enthusiastic among us. At that time, Frisbee was not considered a sport; it was just a fun toy to toss around. However, as I started to get better with the throw, I began experimenting with different ways of catching it. By gradually improving my style of throwing and catching, I realized that there were limitless possibilities. It was then that I knew I was experiencing something extraordinary.

Player Details

  • Favorite Moves

    I grew up playing competitive traditional sports, but what I loved about Frisbee and freestyle was that it didn’t have to be competitive to be enjoyable. I first started playing freestyle in Michigan in the mid-1960s, but I had some of my favorite moments playing in Canada. I remember playing under the streetlights in Gastown, Vancouver, BC, and on the downtown streets of Toronto. During the summer months in the early 1970s, Yonge Street in Toronto would be closed to vehicles, allowing it to become a pedestrian walkway. My freestyle partner Jim Kenner and I would start playing freestyle about 50-60 yards apart on a side street in between buildings. We would soon draw large crowds who stopped and watched us play. It was probably a combination of our 60s-style look and the display of extreme Frisbee play that attracted so much attention. One of our crowd-pleasers was to throw the Frisbee high enough into the air that it would disappear above the streetlights. People would wonder where the Frisbee had gone, but it would reappear under the streetlights down the street where Jim would do a freestyle catch, and the crowd would go wild. He would repeat this high-curving disappearing throw to me, and the crowd would go crazy. There was a lot of magic in those early street shows, and the reduced nighttime visuals under the streetlights provided great street theater.

    In 1973, while watching TV at home, I was flipping a Frisbee in the air when it happened to roll down my arm. I went outside and tried to roll it again, this time doing a perfect chest roll. I then tried rolling the Frisbee down my arm and across my back and succeeded. At the time, I was already performing Frisbee shows in Canada, so I quickly incorporated these new rolling moves into my freestyle routine.

    In 1975, I introduced the first chest and back rolls in a competition at the AFDO freestyle event in Rochester, NY. Performing the front-to-back roll consecutively became known as the Canadian Mind Blower.

  • Mentors

    Playing freestyle with Jim Kenner through the 1960s, we had no mentors. We wouldn’t see anyone that could play at our level until 1973. I give a lot of credit to my parents. My father, for coaching me in many sports at a young age, and my supportive mother, who attended my shows and competitions whenever she could.

  • Partners

    Competition and touring show partners, Jim Kenner, Mary Kathron, John Kirkland, Tom Monroe, Gail McColl, Krae Van Sickle, John Anthony, Don Hoskins, Bill King, Jim Brown, Jim Palmeri, Dan Roddick, Peter Bloeme, Brian McElwain, Kevin Sparkman, Pat Chartrand, Gary Auerbach, Stuart Godfrey, Michael Sullivan.

  • Media & Appearances

    Show and Frisbee tournaments, TV interviews, magazines, and newspaper articles.

  • Sponsors

    Company-sponsored U.S. and Canadian touring Frisbee shows, performing with Jim Kenner (1972-1977) and Mary Kathron (1977-1987) for Irwin Toy, (Frisbee distributor in Canada), Adidas (1974-1977), New Balance (1977-1980), Molson Frisbee Team (1974–1977), Marks Work Wearhouse (1977-1979), Goodtimes Professional Frisbee Show (1978-1987) Orange Crush Frisbee Team (1977–78), Air Canada Frisbee Team (1978–1979), Lee Jeans Frisbee Team (1979-1980) and the Labatts Schooner Frisbee Team (1983–1985).

  • Other Fun

    Motorcycles and travel.

Tournament History