This discipline shows the technique of cutting an already felled tree. Standing on a horizontally anchored block, the athletes cut through the block with an axe. The log must be cut from both sides. Cutting on one side only leads to disqualification in this discipline.
The Underhand Chop, which replicates the practice of cutting up a felled tree, involves chopping through a horizontally-mounted wooden block from both sides with an axe, whilst the athlete stands on top of the log. Cutting it through from only one side leads to disqualification. Best times for the Underhand Chop are under 15 seconds. The Underhand Chop counts as a basic discipline and is one of the first disciplines that new athletes learn.
Competition formats in which the discipline is featured:
Underhand Chop is featured in the Individual, Rookie, Intermediate, Women’s, Trophy and Team formats. In the Trophy and Team formats there are no footholds and blocks are sawn off at the top.
In all competition formats, except the Trophy and Team formats, the athletes prepare and cut their own footholds in their block before the actual competition begins. When entering the stage ahead of the heat, most athletes bring a spare axe and place it next to their block so they can react quickly in case of a broken axe.
The athletes then stand on the block and after the Starting signal they cut from one side. Roughly halfway through the block, then turn round and chop through the block from the other side. The clock stops when the block is totally severed from the second side.