A UW-Stevens Point student is on his way to Germany to compete in the world lumberjack championships. 22-year-old Ben Hansen was introduced to the sport while attending classes.
Hansen, of Milladore, is flying out to Stuttgart for the Stihl Timbersports World Champonship as a part of the U.S. Timbersports relay team.
Hansen and his three teammates will compete in the single buck, the underhand chop, the standing block chop and the stock saw. “The single buck is a one man crosscut, we get a big saw and one guy runs it through 19 inch white pine. The underhand is where we stand on a block and we cut it in between our feet. The standing block is a vertical log and you chop it in half. And then the stock saw is a race between two saws off a production line.”
Ben Hansen spent his childhood on a farm surrounded by trees, but didn't become a lumberjack until his freshman year at UW- Stevens Point. “My roommate actually got me into it when I came to school in 2009,” Hansen said, “And I got out to a few competitions, really started enjoying it, got hooked up with a few professionals and got good at it.”
Hansen caught the bug that spring at Klondike Days in Eagle River. He went on to win two Midwest regional timbersports titles. He says that on the world stage the lumberjacks from up north are rivaled by the ones down under. “Wisconsin actually holds one of the biggest events in the world, the Lumberjack World Championships, up in Hayward, Wisconsin. Throughout the world, it's actually a lot bigger in New Zealand and Australia. Those guys, they chop wood from the day they can hold an ax.”
Ben Hansen competes with his team on Friday and Saturday.