Give Koonoomoo’s William Hoyle an axe, and he’ll happily chop down a tree.
But young William is no ordinary wood chopper — despite only just turning 13, he’s got a string of titles and championships to his name; recently returning from the Mitta Muster as the under-18 wood chopping champion.
For William, it isn’t just about hacking at a log as fast as he can.
There’s technique, along with strength, accuracy, precision, fitness and — naturally — a good axe.
Wood chopping is a sport that runs in his DNA — his father Grant is also a star wood chopper and has been woodchopping for 25 years.
William was handed his first axe aged two, and promptly set about using it.
‘‘When I was two, I went and sat down and chopped all the legs off a chair just with a little wooden axe,’’ he said.
Since then, furniture’s been off-limits in the household, much to his parents’ relief.
‘‘I’ve never cut my foot off, I’ve only had one close shave with my foot,’’ he said.
William said he’d already competed in about 50 different championships and titles events in the previous year, including at some of the large metropolitan shows in Sydney and Adelaide.
He placed second at the Victorian Championships in Melbourne for his age category, and is the champion at the Barmah Muster.
‘‘I’ve been training since I was five, just with a smaller axe,’’ William said.
He said it was a great thing to be part of.
William said he often trained with his father, who shared a lot of helpful tips and tricks.
‘‘We are competitive with each other,’’ he said.
‘‘(In woodchopping,) you get to meet a lot of different people and it’s also really competitive.’’
William is quickly being recognised for his efforts; last March, he appeared on the Today show with his dad, and has also been in the Herald Sun.
William has his eyes set firmly on the prize, hoping to make it as part of the under-21 Australian Woodchopping team by the time he’s 14 or 15 years old.