It’s not your average sport, but it sure does chop up a lot of attention.
Bend will be represented in the STIHL Timbersports Championship in Arkansas next weekend.
“It’s the original extreme sport,” said Bend resident and Timbersports athlete David Green “The STIHL series is what I would call the Super Bowl of our sport.”
Green, a police chaplain by day, is finishing up his training before he heads to Little Rock to cut out the competition.
“Anything I can do to mimic chopping, helps,” Green said while weight-training “So triceps pull-downs really incorporate your triceps and back to pull down and it kind of mimics the underhand chop.
“Competed in Timbersports and it’s been 16 years,” Green said between bicep curl sets.
16 years leading to becoming one of the top 20 Timbersports athletes in the nation.
“So I was forced to learn to use my whole body correctly and then take that as I’ve hopefully gained mass over the years to where I can use technique and strength,” Green said.
Skill and strength used throughout the championship in six events.
“And you have three chopping and three sawing,” Green said.
They’re the Standing Block Chop, the STIHL Stock Saw, the Underhand Chop, the Single Buck, the Hot Saw, and the Spring Board; a race between two competitors chopping into their trees to insert a plank and climb higher and higher till they chop off the top.
“A stronger upper body can really benefit in pushing and pulling the saw,” Green said “So this is why I do a lot of upper body, a lot of shoulder exercises.”
“Most guys that can chop under 20 seconds, it’s a real goal,” Green said.
Green is chopping with tools not found at your local hardware store.
He brought a high-tempered carbon steel axe specifically ground for eastern white pine.
Each axe is costly, and most athletes have 10 – 20 axes specialized to different types of wood according to Green.
“There are only a few different ax companies in the world that make these kinds of competition axes,” Green said “This thing will cost $600 – $700 brand new. It’s not the cheapest hobby.”
A hobby that surprisingly doesn’t mesh with his surroundings.
“You’d think living in Central Oregon with all the trees that this would be easy but it’s not,” Green said “For this sport you need greenwood which means fresh, fresh, fresh timber. Fresh cut tree. A lot of the species that we cut we actually can’t cut here.”
So Green travels to the valley and Washington for his practice logs.
Logs that have run out as the competition draws near.
“Honestly, it’s just getting exposed to the different wood, different people, and not being afraid to ask questions about how to get better and what to do,” Green said.
Strategies Green utilized over those 16 years of college and professional competition to make it to the STIHL Championship series.
“I’m hoping not to let anyone down,” Green said.
To watch the STIHL Championship Series, airing times for CBS Sports will be announced soon.
STIHL also has their own YouTube channel, where previous championships are available.