The Inaugural 2019 KZN Bladesports Cutting Competition

The inaugural bladesports event in KwaZulu Natal was organised by the North Coast Knife Makers Club and held on Saturday 28th September 2019 at the Umtunzini Ski Boat club.

Bladesports was started in the US around 1990 and while it has been growing in popularity in the US and worldwide, it has only recently, come to  South Africa with multiple events having taken place in the Free State and Gauteng (Bladesport South Africa Facebook group). The inaugural bladesports event in KwaZulu Natal was organized by the North Coast Knife Makers Club and held on Saturday 28th September 2019 at the Umtunzini Ski Boat club. Conditions were perfect for the event and the venue, a great backdrop for the event.

bladesports kzn 768x576 1 The Inaugural 2019 KZN Bladesports Cutting Competition
NCKM BSI Poster Sep28 The Inaugural 2019 KZN Bladesports Cutting Competition

All the blades for the event were fabricated from 8mm thick 5160 high carbon steel according to Bladesports International specifications of 15″ overall length ( 10″ blade, 2″ tall blade and 5″ handle). 5160 is a very popular steel for large blades, that require a high degree of impact resistance and which needs to be capable of taking and keeping an edge through extended use, which makes it a perfect choice for the competition choppers.

Despite the strict criteria, competitors came up with a wide variety of nuanced approaches ahead of the competition. All competitor blades were measured before the event to ensure compliance.

The course consisted of 14 stations with different items to cut in various ways. Points were awarded for each successful cut under timed conditions. Each station aims to provide a test both of the blade’s performance, the skill and endurance of the wielder during the run through the course.  For added safety, each blade is required to have a lanyard to secure it in the hand.

  1. 2×4 speed chop
  2. Thick cardboard tube chop
  3. Hosepipe slice
  4. Hanging water bottle cut
  5. Hanging paper slice
  6. Straw cut & Split
  7. Rolling golf ball chop
  8. Rolling tennis ball chop
  9. Playing card cut
  10. Hessian rope slice and chop
  11. Pool noddle slice
  12. Hanging hessian rope cut
  13. Hanging water bottle cut
  14. 2×4 speed chop

Each station has allocated points which when tallied up is subtracted from the competitor’s course score to give an overall total for placings.

Placings for the inaugural event.

  • 1st: Wesley Liversage (5 points, 2min 5 sec)
  • 2nd: Anthony Topham (7 points, 1min 52 sec)
  • 3rd: Adriaan de Villiers (13 points, 1min 43 sec)
KZN 2019 Bladesport podium winners
Anthony Topham (2nd), Wesley Liversage (1st), Adriaan De Villers (3rd)
 

A big thanks to our contributors on the day