STIHL TIMBERSPORTS: More Than Just Chopping Wood

Above: 2-time Canadian Champion and B.C. native Stirling Hart competes in the single buck discipline during the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Champions Trophy at the Hamburg Cruise Center Altona in Hamburg, Germany on May 20, 2017
STIHL TIMBERSPORTS: More Than Just Chopping Wood

Question: What combines tremendous rotation power, dead-on precision and a persistent stamina to create the ultimate extreme sport? Answer: STIHL TIMBERSPORTS.

Founded in 1985, TIMBERSPORTS is a series of wood chopping competitions that puts athletes, not lumberjacks, to the test. The collection of intense woodcutting techniques pairs wood, steel and endurance in six individual “disciplines,” including, three axe related sports: springboard, standing block chop and underhand chop, and three saw related sports: stock saw, single buck and hot saw.

Of course, TIMBERSPORTS is a little more complicated than simply swinging an axe or working a saw. It’s a fiercely competitive sport that requires strength and athleticism to compete. Doctors Thomas Lam and Eric St-Onge of Fits Toronto believe athletes must be in prime physical condition in order to succeed at the sport.

“You’re seeing tremendous athleticism,” says Dr. Lam. “When you’re watching them do any type of chop, every fiber of their whole, entire body is being utilized to generate more rotation power.”

STIHL TIMBERSPORTS More Than Just Chopping Wood - 2The three axe disciplines share similar techniques to sports such as baseball or golf, as rotation power is vital to the athlete’s success. What makes these TIMBERSPORTS stand out is the immense requirement of power, endurance and stamina.

“With regards to TIMBERSPORTS, you’re hitting an implement (a piece of wood), but you have to hit it over and over again in one period of time,” says Dr. St-Onge, noting that other sports are more often a ‘one and done’ movement.

The three saw disciplines are also no walk in the park, as athletes are required to cut through logs of wood with extreme precision and speed. The stock saw challenge, for example, has participants use a chainsaw to cut through a 40 cm diameter log, within a 10 cm mark, demanding strength to hold the weight of the chainsaw, and accuracy to make the perfect cut.

Being in peak physical shape is only half the battle, as having well-maintained gear is equally essential for success. Dr. St-Onge uses a sharp axe as an example, mentioning that a sharp blade puts athletes in the best position to succeed.

Believe it or not, STIHL TIMBERSPORTS has grown to become one of the most popular extreme sports around the world. Branded the “Original Extreme Sport,” STIHL TIMBERSPORTS has established itself as the major league of TIMBERSPORTS throughout the last thirty years. Most disciplines have evolved from traditional forestry techniques and have been practiced for more than 150 years. It’s also a sport that Canada is making a name for itself in, thanks in part to North Vancouver resident Stirling Hart. The two-time Canadian champion has been breaking records since he became a STIHL TIMBERSPORTS athlete back in 2009 (he began competing in traditional logger sports at the age of 8).

Canada Day kicks off two important competitions for STIHL TIMBERSPORTS this summer. On July 1, Canada’s top pro TIMBERSPORTS athletes, including Hart, will be in Charlottetown, PEI, to compete in the Canadian Champions Trophy – the “Master’s Cup” of the sport. On Sunday, August 6, the Canadian Championship will be held in London, Ontario, which is a qualifier for the World Championship, to be held in Lillehammer, Norway this November 3rd and 4th.

For more information on STIHL Timbersports, visit: You can also connect with STIHL Canada on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.


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