Ever wondered how fast it takes to break into the world’s most secure safe? Surprisingly, there are international competitions and conventions dedicated to lockpicking! They have mastered the lock picking craft and now compete with fellow locksport enthusiasts using the latest designs from security companies. Locksport enthusiasts love the thrill of understanding how locking mechanisms work. This niche community doesn’t just consist of locksmiths though, they are a group of puzzle lovers who get a curious thrill when they can pick a lock in record time!
This hobby is a fairly recent discovery. The earliest group of locksport enthusiasts is a German club founded in 1997 and they still operate today! Since then, the hobby has expanded to the Netherlands, United States, and beyond. The German club, SSDeV still holds a popular contest each year. Contests are held in the United States at the Defcon, a popular hacker competition, in Las Vegas where various contests are held every year.
Unfortunately, there have not been conventions or tournaments hosted for the specific purpose of practicing locksport.
Locksport contests consist of several events. One may be picking for the fasts time, or competing to unlock a series of padlocks before their adversary. There are also blind lock picking contests where a set of locks and tools are put into a burlap sack and the contestant must pick the lock without looking. There are also competitions to disassemble and reassemble locks properly.
Usually, lockpicking is associated with criminal activity. The locksport community adheres to a very strict set of rules about where and what locks they work on. Lockpicking enthusiasts make it clear to people inside and out of their community that they operate within ethical boundaries.
- Do not pick a lock that is in use
- Do not use lockpicking knowledge for unlawful activity
- You must conduct your locksporting activities with respect, integrity and professionalism
Groups who meet regularly to enjoy locksport uphold a very strict policy for immoral lock picking and unlawful entry. These lock picking hobbyists take their craft very seriously and won’t have anyone tainting the sanctity of locksport.
There are several resources for joining a locksport club including lock picking forums, guides and even local chapters! If you’re intrigued by the sport of picking locks and solving mechanical puzzles, the Locksport International site for more information.