Lumberjack Alley



Hitting the Jackpot

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The sport of Lumberjack is not like Online Roulette or online poker for real money which require a significant element of luck. Although these games require skill just like being a lumberjack does,to be a good lumberjack you have to toil hard and not depend on luck.. You have to master the rudiments. It is only through hard sweat and regular practice that you acquire a semblance of mastery. Practice makes you perfect and perfection leads you to excellence. Before entering any competition, you have to learn the basic skills.

How to use an axe: 

Reading any number of books or watching videos of the best lumberjacks at work, will not get you the skills. The slogan here is "Do it". Hands on experience is what is needed. And plenty of it. 

a)     Stand on an even ground.

b)     Ensure that there is no hindrance around you.

c)      Ensure that there are no overhead obstructions. In fact, there should be nothing above you except the sky.

d)     Keep the log safely on the ground and adjust your leg position so that when you bring the axe down it chips the wood in the right side. Hold the axe handle nearer the axe head. Stand with your legs atleast 12 to 15 inches apart.

e)     Selection of a good log for beginners is important. Select an almost even log with no knots around.

f)        Your subsequent axe blows should compliment your first blow.

g)     Never get tense, be relaxed always.

h)      Try to improve on your eye-hand-body coordination with every log chipping.

i)        You should practice your axe swings so that it becomes easy for you to chop.


j)        You have to make the axe finish the blow first and lug it into the wood before you swing the axe back, ready for the next blow (this is called as “follow through”

k)      Your choice of axe, its weight, length and sharpness is essential. A beginner should never opt for a heavy axe. 

By constant practice regularly over a period of time, you can be assured of mastery in lumberjacking.


Do you sit as a spectator of the sport of lumberjacking and watch the competitions on ESPN or at a local event and think to yourself, “That looks like such an amazing time - I wish I could do that?” If you are in good shape and competitive, then perhaps you should try it. If you live in or near an area where lumberjack competitions are held, you will find that getting started is easier than you think. If you live far from competitions, you can still try lumberjacking but it will be more of a challenge. To start with, you need to attend as many competitions as possible. After the events, walk around, meet some of the lumberjacks, and talk to them to get their opinion about getting started and what to expect. They can tell you about their equipment and other inside information. Try to find one or two lumberjacks that live within a reasonable drive from where you live. You certainly do not want to bug them but ask if you could hang out with them during training to get a better idea of what you need to do. If you are lucky, you may find a lumberjack that would take you under his wing and help train you on a regular basis.

You also need to decide the type of competitions you that interest you. Are you interested in the large competitions, major competitions, or do you just want to start out with a smaller regional competition? The larger competitions can be extremely difficult, the odds are higher stacked against you but the potential benefits are far greater . The only difference is that there is no luck involved unlike a mobile casino, just hard work and sheer skill. While the larger competitions such as the World Championships in Wisconsin are unbelievable and intense, finding a lumberjack that will have the time to chat let alone train with you is slim. In this case, they are extremely focused on their own training and do not have the time to invest in someone else. The best option is to start with a smaller competition and build your way up to the larger competition, especially if you have never done this before

If you plan to start with axe throwing and perhaps one or two of the chopping events, you will need to invest in a good throwing axe as well as a couple axes for chopping, one for training and the other saved for competition. Therefore, buy identical axes so there will be no difference between what you train with and what you compete with. You also need to invest in some safety gear that would include shin and toe guards. One consideration is to ask the lumberjacks if they have equipment to sell. Tell a good lumberjack joke. In most cases, you can get good, broken in equipment for $300 to $600. If the sawing event is more to your liking, then the initial investment will be higher. For a practice saw, you can expect to spend from $500 to $600. For a decent saw for competition, you can expect to pay around $1,200. Most lumberjacks will advise to buy an inexpensive practice saw and use that until you know with 100% certainty this is what you want to do.

To determine if you have the physical attributes to be a successful lumberjack, you need to know that you are not required to stand 6’4” and weigh 250 pounds. In fact, 85% of what you see from the lumberjacks as they compete is pure training and technique. Only 15% of the event related to the physical power. Keep in mind, being in shape and being strong certainly does not hurt, and in fact, you want to have some strength. However, a lumberjack that has better technique and skill can beat a strong lumberjack . If you are convinced this is something you want to do, contact the Lumberjack Association near you and obtain additional information.