Because Niagara Falls is such a popular and world-renowned destination spot, it has played host to scores events over the years, but the STIHL Timbersports Canadian Championship Series is one of the most exciting. Canadians are aficionados of the timbersports, due to our rugged history of taming such a great and impressive wilderness. For Niagara Falls, then, to host the national championships is a great honor, and that honor commences on July 19 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.
The History of Timbersports
The STIHL Timbersports Series is known throughout the world as the best competition in lumberjack sports, and around the globe, fans watch the series live on TV. The sport originated in those places where lumberjacking was common — the United States, Canada, and New Zealand — and the competitions were originally held by the lumberjacks themselves to determine who the best among them was. As time passed, those involved in the competition reached impressive skill levels, and in 1985, the first-ever STIHL Timbersports Series Championship took place in the U.S.
The Canadian Series
In Canada, competitive lumberjacking is almost as serious a business as hockey, which is why the STIHL Timbersports Series is incredibly popular in Canada. Each year, there are more than 15 competitions throughout the country to determine who qualifies to compete in the East and West qualifiers, where four lumberjack athletes and the best rookie are chosen to compete in the Championship. The overall champion will then represent Canada at the World Championship held in the fall. There are also three more lumberjacks chosen to form the rest of Team Canada to compete in the team portion of the World Championship, and the best rookie will join the International Rookie Team to compete as well. Last year brought a women’s portion of the event for the first time ever, and this year will include that as well.
For anyone looking to spend their summer vacation in Niagara Falls around the same time as the championship, here are the events:
- Springboard. Using two spring boards, the athlete must reach the tip of a nine-foot pole to chop a 12-inch block from both sides.
- STIHL Stock Saw. Two athletes face off with both hands on identical logs. A signal is given, and they each make two cuts through the logs that must conform to specific guidelines.
- Underhand Chop. A timed competition, the athlete stands on a 12- to 14-inch log. When the signal is given, she starts chopping through it. Halfway through, she turns it and chops from the other side. Time stops once it’s cut through.
- Single Buck. With a single-man, cross-cut saw, the athlete cuts through an 18- to 20-inch block of white pine. Time is called when the block is cut through.
- Standing Block Chop. A timed race, athletes cut from both sides through a white pine log 12- to 14-inches around.
- Hot Saw. With a custom chainsaw, the athlete makes three cuts that must conform to a specific depth and location.
Come to Niagara Falls this July and experience the STIHL Timbersports Canadian Championship with lumberjack lovers from around the country.