Timbersports: Your Guide to the Stihl Timbersports Series
Timbersports - All you need to know
Timbersports is an official wood-cutting competition for athletes across different areas who use axes and saws to chop and cut through different pieces of wood – just like a professional lumberjack would do.
The competition requires a high degree of acumen and experience in woodcutting with tactical knowledge of handling heavy, high-duty equipment for cutting into the wood. But what are Timbersports?
Disciplines in the Stihl Timbersports Competition
The Stihl Timbersports Competition currently has six disciplines in collegiate and professional divisions. These include the following:
Stihl Stock Saw
Standing Block Chop
Timbersports Divisions and Competition Order
Three divisions take part in the whole competition, which includes the following:
Men’s Rookie Division
Men’s Professional Division
Women’s Professional Division
The players from Men's Professional Division, after competing through the disciplines, qualify for the National Championship.
The Men's Rookie Division and the Women's Professional Division go through qualifier competitions from where the top four players from every division qualify for the National Championship.
There is no age limit for the professional divisions for both men and women. However, the Rookie's Division has a limit of up to 25 years.
The men's rookie and professional divisions compete for the spots to move to the World Men's Championship and the Rookie Championship that takes place in the European Union by the end of every year.
If one is able to win the World Rookie Division, then the individual automatically moves up to compete against the competitors in the Men's Professional Division. Moreover, the Men's Professional Division competes for spots on other teams like Team Canada in order to qualify for the World Relay Champion's Trophy, which also takes place in Europe every year.
History of Timbersports
Stihl Timbersports was founded in 1985, with the earliest transmissions from Wisconsin, United States.
At that time, it was only broadcasted as a local competition. Individuals acquired awards for separate events that happened in the country. At that time, the organization had the vision to take some of the best athletes from all around the country and organize a fully dedicated competition series to name the greatest lumberjack.
The series took assistance from Granite State Lumberjack Shows and evolved into its present form. Now, athletes from all corners of the world take part in the competition and show their skills and talent.
The Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series was spawned as an attempt to encourage the competition at the collegiate level and involved more than 60 woodsman teams in North America. The winner receives a seed for the coming year's professional series. The Women's Professional Division came into being in 2017.
The Stihl TImbersports Series celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015 from where it started its Hall of Fame tradition, appreciating record-setting players in the competition who showed inspiring skills in the game.
Some of the names included in the list are Carson Bosworth, Rollin Eslinger, Matt Bush, David Bolstad, and Spike Milton.
What Kinds of woods are used in Timbersports?
The competition uses sustainable Poplar wood grown for the industrial sector in almost all of the disciplines for the competition.
The only exception comes in the discipline of Single Buck, where competitors are asked to use Pine wood instead. All the woods are harvested from certified industrial plantations.
Stihl Timbersports Series Viewing Stats
The Stihl Timbersports Series has a total viewership of over 20 million people running in more than 62 countries currently.
The networks broadcasting the series include ABC, Eurosport, ESPN, the Outdoor Channel, and others.
It is acknowledged as the longest-running series on the ESPN channel other than SportsCenter.
Names of Timbersports Champions
Competitors from all around the world take part in the series to be titled the Timbersports Champion. Some of the Timbersports Champions of the past and recent times include the following names:
● Mike Sulleivan – 1985
● Mel Lentz – 1990
● Mel Lentz – 1995
● Jason Wynyard – 2000 (Australia)
● Matt Bush – 2005 (USA)
● Jason Wynyard – 2010 (Australia)
● Jason Wynyard – 2014 to 2017 (Australia)
● Laurence O’Toole – 2018 (Australia)
● Brayden Meyer – 2019 (Australia)
World Relay Champion
● New Zealand – 2017
● Australia – 2018
World Rookie Champion
● Ferry Svan, Sweden – 2017
● Daniel Gurr, Australia – 2018
United States Champions
● Matt Cogar – 2018
● Nathan Cumberland – 2018
● Elghan Pugh – 2018
● Switzerland – 2002
● Czech Republic – 2003 to 2006
● Germany – 2007 to 2008
Facts about Timbersports
Some facts about Timbersports include the following:
Sharpened by Hand
The racing axes are sharpened by hand, which means you get a precise, sharp cut. Also, there are extra blades just in case the player needs them in a competition.
Sustainably Grown Wood
The wood comes from sustainably harvested sources in Belgium and the Netherlands, which is then recycled in logs after the competition ends.
Wide Age Group Range
Competitors as young as 20 and as old 50 compete in the same competition. There are no limitations to the age at which one might take part in the competition.
A hot saw is a tuned chainsaw weighing up to 30 kg. The extremely difficult-to-control hot saws are what make the competition highly intense, where the athletes are required to cut three discs from a 10cm section within seconds.
The speed and intensity of the competition also show the durability of the chainsaws, and the speed and precision of the cutting is a prime example of why chainsaws were invented in the first place.
Variety of Players
Only lumberjacks aren’t qualified for the competition. Rather, there is a variety of people, including men and women from all areas of life, who can take part in the competition.
What do you make of Timbersports?
The Stihl Timbersports Competition provides a huge opportunity for competitors across the world to show their skills and talents in woodcutting in country-wide and international series.
The series provides an opportunity for the players to meet and fight for champion titles multiple times each year.
Once they go through the disciplines of the game in a multitude of ways and use heavy-duty equipment with competitive skills and experience, they get qualified for winning their title at this prestigious, challenging, and one of its kind competition.
Cover Photo courtesy of Stihl