The ballerina practicing pirouettes around Columbus Circle, tourists snapping selfies, and a couple lingering over the classic New York City goodbye all stopped short. All were unprepared for what came next.

A hoard of bearded, flannel-clad axe wielders strode across 8th Avenue parting the crowd like the Red Sea as they made their way north to the iconic Naumberg Bandshell. The lumberjacks of STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® were taking Central Park by storm.

“It’s actually kinda funny,” says STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series Executive Producer Brad Sorgen. “Because one of our biggest concerns for the event was whether our athletes would get arrested for carrying their axes. It’s actually illegal to cut wood in Central Park.”


The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS version of “swinging for the fences.” Lumberjacks face off in the final round of the Underhand Chop.

But for one day only all rules were out, and the 2015 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS U.S. Championship was on. Two truckloads of white pine logs were brought in and set up as the country’s best lumberjacks battled it out in six different skill sets to see who came out as the top chop. And along the way, thousands of fans got a show they’ll never forget.

“I’ve seen all the strong man competitions,” said one new-found fan. “But this is crazy. I mean, look at that axe! He could take a leg off with that thing!”

Fast and furious competition, fueled by the wild cheers of the crowd, pushed the athletes to record performances.

Watch Dave Jewett earn the U.S. record for the Single Buck:


Watch Logan Scarborough earn the U.S. record for the Stock Saw:


Check out some more kick axe highlights:

In the end, it was lumberjack Matt Cogar coming out on top winning his third consecutive STIHL TIMBERSPORTS U.S. Championship. And the Big Apple had been cut down to size.

STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Matt Cogar 2015 U.S. Champion

Victory! Matt Cogar holds up a STIHL TIMBERSPORTS U.S. Championship trophy for the third time in three years!

Duluth Trading is the official workwear sponsor of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS. Check out the team’s DuluthFlex® Fire Hose® Jeans. They’re the only work pants made for tough wear and total freedom of movement – both of which are demanded in spades for an extreme sport like this.