Woodchop and Sawing History

Woodchop and Sawing

16 March 2021

Woodchop and Sawing

History

A sport of skill, precision, strength and accuracy, the great Australian tradition of woodchopping and sawing is one of the public's most loved competitions at Ekka.

Ekka's first woodchop competition was introduced in 1899, with competitors given the chance to win a first prize of £15. In 1939 the prize value increased to a gold medal, an axe and £21 cash. These days the woodchop and sawing competition attracts on average 1,600 entries each year, with axemen and women competing for a share in more than $90,000 in prize money.

Additionally in 2018 the new Woodchop Arena was completed, providing competitors and guests with an all-weather indoor area experience.

Types of Woodchop and Sawing Competitions

Underhand

The competitor stands on a horizontal log and tries to cut it in half as fast as they can by swinging the axe between their legs. Once they are half way into the front side of the log, they turn it onto its second side, before attempting to sever it completely.

Standing Block

With the log lying vertically on a stand, the competitor tries to cut the log in half as fast as they can by swinging the axe up and down from the ground. Once they are half way into the front side of the log, they turn it onto its second side, before attempting to sever it completely.

Treefelling

The competitor climbs a tree pole using three specially cut boards. Three sections are cut into the side of the trees for the boards to be inserted into. Once the competitor reaches the top, they cut the log in the same way as the Standing Block whilst balancing on the board. Once they cut roughly half way through the log, they return to the ground. They then climb back up the other side of the tree pole and continue to cut the log in half.

Sawing

One (Single Handed) or two competitors (Double Handed) are positioned on the end/s of a cross cut saw. They attempt to cut a ring of wood from the end of a log which is held horizontally in a sawing cradle. The cross cut saw can vary in length from about 6 foot long.

More information

For more information about Ekka's annual Woodchop and Sawing Competition - click here