What It Takes to Succeed in Competitive Woodchopping: Insights from the Pros

Meet David Reumer: A Woodchopping Prodigy

David Reumer has been wielding an axe for as long as he can remember. While most toddlers receive toys or bikes for their second birthday, Reumer was gifted a hatchet by his father, who himself was a competitive woodchopper. This early introduction to the sport set Reumer on a path to become a chip off the old block.

“I’d go and biff into the trees and ding up the fence,” Reumer shared in an interview with Melinda James on ABC Illawarra Breakfast. “I had my first woodchopping competition at 10 years old and I’ve been competing now for 18 years. You can start in junior events for ages 10 to 16, so as soon as I turned 10 I was competing.”

In 2019, Reumer achieved the title of Australian Rookie Champion. Now, he is setting his sights on becoming a national champion once again at the Australian Pro Championships in Wollongong this weekend.

‘Massive on a Global Level’

According to Reumer, timber sport events draw massive crowds overseas. “It’s huge. In 2019, I went to Prague for the world championships when I won the Australian Rookies and it’s incredible,” he exclaimed. “We were in a full stadium — it’s other-worldly. You have normal woodchopping at agricultural shows, but this stuff is massive on a global level.”

Reumer’s journey from selling firewood as a child to competing for tens of thousands of dollars at professional events has been remarkable. “They can be fairly prestigious to win, and it’s a good little cheque you get at the end of it because you put a lot of time, effort, and money into it,” he explained.

Technique Trumps Strength

Contrary to popular belief, wood chopping is not just about brute strength. It is a technical sport that requires accuracy, strategy, and strength. Reumer, who started as a “string bean,” emphasized the importance of technique in his success. “There’s a lot more to it, and people think you just pick up an axe, stand on a log, and whale into it,” he said. “You can do that, but it causes injuries. While being big and strong helps, you’ve got to know how to do things properly before — it helps.”

Practicing wood chopping involves finding suitable logs and preparing them by cutting them to the correct size and stripping the bark. Reumer acknowledged that this process can be time-consuming but is necessary for honing his skills.

Join the Woodchopping Craze

If you’re looking for an exciting and challenging sport, wood chopping might just be for you. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner, the world of timber sports offers thrilling competitions and opportunities for growth. As David Reumer puts it, “There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.”

About the Author: Justin Huntsdale

Justin Huntsdale is a writer for ABC Illawarra. With his passion for sports and storytelling, he brings fascinating stories like David Reumer’s journey to light. Check out more of Justin’s articles on the ABC Illawarra website.

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