Put out of your mind the imaginative and prescient of beer-bellied males swinging axes at nation presentations — woodchopping has a brand new technology of competition who’re making $ 100,000 a 12 months from the game.
Woodchopping has come far because it used to be spawned 150 years in the past by means of a $ 50 guess between two males on a venture to transparent land in Tasmania.
Now there are competitions internationally for women and men and critical prize handbags to assert, together with a pool of $ 100,000 on the Timbersports Australian Championship at the Gold Coast, an abridged, fast paced model of the game.
“Who would have concept 150 years in the past that we’d now have people who find themselves woodchopping full-time as execs and making an excellent residing off it?” David Foster OAM mentioned.
The 61-year-old received 1,000 championships and claims to have transform the arena’s first skilled lumberjack within the early 1990s.
He believes the game is coming into a brand new level of professionalism with athletic, cashed-up younger stars.
“I feel I used to be the primary woodchopper on the planet the place I earned sufficient from the game to pay tax on my winnings, my entire source of revenue used to be thru woodchopping or sponsorship,” Foster mentioned.
“However now there are 20 guys in the market who get maximum in their source of revenue thru sponsorship and the game of woodchopping — that is the following level for the game.”
Mitch Argent, 23, from the tiny nation the town of Blackbutt, north-west of Brisbane, is one in every of woodchopping’s vivid abilities.
He has already claimed the 2018 Timbersports Australian Champions Trophy, represented Australia in France, and brought out titles on the Adelaide and Sydney Displays.
Argent mentioned he had made $ 60,000 this 12 months, and if his luck continues it’s not likely he would wish his qualifications in carpentry and development.
“I’ve had a horny excellent 12 months and most likely have received sufficient cash to make a residing out of it — if you’re profitable you’ll make excellent cash however it’s nonetheless excellent to have one thing to fall again on,” Argent mentioned.
“If you happen to had numerous wins and collected a couple of sponsors it is advisable to no doubt transparent $ 100,000 in 12 months.
“I at all times was hoping I may make a residing out of it however by no means concept I’d and have the ability to trip to the puts I’ve and compete for the cash I do now.”
The rise in possible prize cash has been accompanied by means of new force to have the most productive apparatus — essentially the most exact axes, sharpest cross-cut saws and quickest chainsaws.
Argent owns 80 axes, all price round $ 800 every, in addition to a $ 13,000 scorching noticed — a jet-ski engine transformed right into a high-powered chainsaw, which is restricted to the area of interest Timbersports sequence.
“If you wish to be in point of fact excellent you want to have on the subject of $ 100,000 price of substances together with your crosscut noticed, your scorching noticed and your axes,” Argent mentioned.
“You want other axes for each and every position you compete since the wooden and stipulations are at all times other — I take about 8 axes to each and every chop.”
Protection tools additionally provides to the prices, with chainmail socks, pageant garments and the ever present white canvas sneakers all pushing up the cost of access to the game.
But when competition achieve the highest of the woodchopping ranks they’ll greater than recoup their outlay.
“You might be doing one thing you like, getting paid for it and get to be a part of one thing that Aussies had been doing for generations. It is a excellent feeling,” Argent mentioned.