What are Timbersports?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Timbersports are sporting events that are based on tasks that are often performed by lumberjacks. Generally, timbersports are engaged in a competitive event, allowing several contenders to engage in the specific activity while a judge determines who is the clear winner of the event. While the concept of timbersports has been around as long as there have been lumberjacks, the idea of organized competitions on a national scale has only been around for a few decades.

Perhaps the best known example of national timbersports competitions would be the Stihl Timbersports competition that takes place in the United States. First held in Wisconsin during the year 1985, this timbersports competition has evolved from a loose confederation of regional events into a national competition that allows participants from all over the country to qualify and participate in specific challenges. The object of the Stihl event is to determine who is the single best lumberjack, based on the overall performance in the main events that make up the competition.

Timbersports usually focuses on six essential challenges. Each of the six challenges relates back to tasks that are performed regularly by any professional lumberjack. All the challenges involve the use of some type of saw, often a chainsaw.


The basic challenge is known as springboarding. This involves using two spring board to spring to the top of a pole and use an axe to detach a block set at the top of the pole. Typically, the lumberjack must employ chops on two sides of the block in order to release it from the pole.

Other common challenges in timbersports competitions involve chainsawing logs that have been clearly marked. The accuracy of the cut is key to winning the competition. Other events focus on lumberjacking skills that involve the use of an axe. These often involve cutting through a log in precise and detailed cuts delivered on two sides of the log. Both timing and accuracy play a huge role in determining the winner of any given competition.


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