Local timbersports professional and high school wrestling coach David Moses will demonstrate his sport on Saturday and Sunday in Shady Cove Park.
Events he will demonstrate include underhand chops, standing block chops, hotsaws, and axe throws.
These axes, Moses said, are so sharp you could shave with them.
Moses isn’t alone however; his family and friends help him put on these demonstrations as well as helping him train for competitive events. He has five people who will be helping him, his wife Annette, father David Sr., a niece, and two friends from eastern Washington.
Moses explains that because Railroad Days is not a competition, he and his crew can get the audience involved with the show.
“A demo is a lot of fun for us because we get more involved with the public. The demo will be more interactive with the crowd,” Moses said. “It lets people know that we appreciate them being there.”
Moses has been competing in timbersports events for more than 20 years and has become a top competitor. He has been featured on ESPN’s “Sports Science,” and even made it on the U.S. team for the 2013 team relay event in Stuttgart, Germany.
“I was in the top 20 in the U.S. this last year,” Moses said. “I was in the top 10 the two years prior.”
According to Moses, the amount of work that goes into training and competing in these timber events is tremendous.
“The big thing that a lot people don’t see is the amount of work that we put into do what we do. It’s a lot harder than it looks,” Moses said.
In a sport with saws, blades, and generally dangerous activities, Moses said safety is very important. Wearing eye and ear protection is vital. Moses’ father, who has been involved with timbersports since 1972, has damaged hearing because he did not always use ear protection.
Many of these events originated from the logging industry. Loggers spending long stretches of time away from home at logging camps would test their skill, strength, and speed against each other in various ways and these events eventually were adapted into more formal competitions.
In particular, Moses mentions the axe throwing event which has competitors launching axes at a target from 20 feet away.
“The axe throw was for work,” Moses said. “Instead of carrying the axes they would throw them at the next tree.”
Moses wants to express his appreciation for being able to be a part of the community and show off his passion at Railroad Days.
“The big thing is to thank the sponsors and people who allow us to be a part of Railroad Days.”