Woodchopping, the Sport

Chopping a few pieces of wood for your cozy fire in winter may seem like a workout in itself. But what you don’t know is that woodchopping is actually a sport. That’s right, all the effort you put into chopping those thick cuts of wood coils could actually land you first place in a woodchopping competition. Wood chopping has actually been a sport since the 1870s and was first started in Ulverstone, Tasmania. Now before you sign up let’s take a deeper look into it.

 

Now there is nothing too complicated about the sport as you can probably guess what it consists of just by hearing its name. The sport is all about speed, the faster you can cut through a thick block or log of wood the better. You are judged by how many logs you can get through in a certain time. To be able to go through as many logs as the professionals do takes an enormous amount of skill which you are judged on as well.

 

18-year-old Curtis Bennett participating in a woodchopping competition at the Easter Show in Sydney

Getty Images / AFP / PETER PARKS

 

This type of skill takes hours of daily practice with competition standards. When chopping up wood at home you don’t normally have the watchful eye of competition judges hovering over you and inspecting your chopping technique. As well as having the extra weight of a completion grade axe in your hands.

 

Most competitors have to practice with tree trunks and securely wedged planks of wood so that they can stand about two or so meters above the ground. Some of these competitions require competitors to stand on boards wedged into a tree trunk that may go up to two meters off the ground. The only catch to this is that they are not allowed to sever the top of the trunk as a show of great skill and accuracy.

 

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