Nel­son ax­e­man makes the cut

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - HAN­NAH BARTLETT

A Nel­son man’s proved his ax­ewield­ing chops at the Tim­ber­sports world cham­pi­onships in Nor­way.

Adam Lowe was part of New Zealand’s five-man team, com­pet­ing against 23 other coun­tries in the elim­i­na­tion for­mat, and com­ing out on top

‘‘We haven’t won it since 2013,’’ Lowe said.

But the team had a ‘‘good feel­ing’’ this year.

‘‘We al­ways ex­pect to win, and put a lot of pres­sure on our­selves, but to win was fan­tas­tic.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion took place at the start of Novem­ber in Lille­ham­mer, Nor­way, and fol­lowed months of train­ing by the New Zealand team.

‘‘This year we had a lot of help from Stihl New Zealand,’’ Lowe said. ‘‘They helped us with three or four train­ing camps down in Christchurch.’’

Lowe also puts the hours into his own train­ing – he cy­cles, works out at the gym, and chops a lot of wood.

‘‘For a year I prob­a­bly do about 30 or 40 tonnes of wood. My neigh­bours are usu­ally pretty happy be­cause their wood­shed’s full and yeah, there is wood every­where.’’

Lowe is from the West Coast but has been in Nel­son for nearly a year. His wood-chop­ping jour­ney be­gan in Ma­pua, how­ever, back in 2004.

Since then it’s taken him all over the world, from Ger­many to Hol­land, Nor­way, the United States and Aus­tralia, and in his 13 years of com­pet­ing he’s man­aged to win 13 world ti­tles. ‘‘It’s go­ing al­right,’’ he said. In New Zealand, the sport didn’t have a big fol­low­ing, with just 300-odd com­pe­ti­tiors, and he said it needed more peo­ple to en­sure it didn’t die out.

In Eu­rope and the United States it’s an­other story. At a com­pe­ti­tion in Ger­many around 7000 peo­ple turned out to watch.

‘‘The at­mos­phere amaz­ing,’’ he said.

He loved the feel­ing of win­ning and said it was nice to stand on top of the podium at the big world cham­pi­onships.

‘‘But same as any sport, you lose more than you win but the wins are pay­ment for all the hard work and sac­ri­fices you make through­out the years.’’ is pretty

As to the tech­nique at the root of be­ing a cham­pion wood­chop­per, he said it was all about strength and pre­ci­sion.

‘‘It’s not just hack­ing at a piece of wood, it’s cal­cu­lated I guess. I have plans when I walk up to the log as to how many hits I’m go­ing to do it in, de­pend­ing on wood size and equip­ment.’’

He said peo­ple could make the sport as ex­pen­sive or as cheap as they like, de­pend­ing on the in­vest­ment they made in gear. Lowe has be­tween 30 and 40 axes.

He said peo­ple keen on giv­ing Stihl Tim­ber­sports a go should just ask around.

‘‘If you see a lo­cal chop, ask some­one over the fence and if you’re keen to have a crack, we’ll help you out.’’

VIR­GINIA WOOLF/ STUFF

Adam Lowe in ac­tion at Sun­day’s wood­chop­ping event held at Speight’s Ale House in Nel­son.

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