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History of Water Sports Lumberjack
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Simon Harris

 
By Simon Harris
Published on February 12, 2009
 
Lumberjack is a water sports, which is a popular sports amongst many. Here are some points that completely describe from where the sports came from”

Lumberjack is a water sports, which is a popular sports amongst many. Here are some points that completely describe from where the sports came from”

River Driving (Rafting)

River driving was a way for the lumberjacks for transporting the logs from the woods to the sawmills. During the winter cutting season, the logs were cut and skidded to banks of frozen river with the help of horses and oven. When the spring came, river drivers use to roll the logs into rivers and would drive the mass of logs down the river just by balancing them on their top. The most dangerous thing was river driving. If these log drivers fell into river, they could have got crushed between moving mass of the logs, or if they even fall into ice cold water, they could suffer from hypothermia.

Log Jams

The danger of log jams was also present. These occurred at places where the water was less, or where at the places where there were bends in the river. Although, the river drivers tried their best to keep all the logs moving, but as there were thousands of logs, it was pretty difficult to stop a jam. The log jams were broken by using dynamite, or by digging through the pile till the key log was discovered.

Key log was the log that hold the entire jam back. It was very dangerous to remove the key log, if it was many feet inside the log jam. As high danger was associated with river driving, all the drivers were highly skilled in the logging camps. They were proficient in riding through rapids, fast water and even dams. Because their work was highly dangerous, they were highly paid for it.

Log Rolling (Birling)

River driving gave birth to the sport of log rolling. The men who drove the logs down the rivers perfected the art of standing on a log and rolling it. After reaching Sawmill, ll the drivers would have contest to find out who is the best axeman, river driver and sawyer. In the content, they would put in upwards of 3-4 men on a log in the river and let them roll it out. The person who will stand on the log for longest time was declared winner.

Boom Running

After the logs reached sawmills, they were sorted into different groups by stamping them. The stamps indicated the company or camp that had cut the logs. To keep all the logs straight, they were placed into boom. Boom is a long string of logs connected end to end, and would provide easy storage, sorting and transporting options to the logs. If there was a need to open a boom, or in case it broke down, the runner would connect strings of logs and fix or disconnect it. This developed the game of boom running.