Axes have been around for thousands of years. With the intent to chop wood and build shelters, this utensil has evolved from a tool of necessity to a tool of fun over the past 200 years. The history of axe throwing goes back to the early days of America. Early settlers would set up tournaments in town when they would come to trade goods and throw axes at targets. While axe throwing, or ax throwing, may have started as a way to pass time, this hobby grew in popularity to where regular competitions would be held. Today, these competitions have formed across the globe with regional tournaments and are held more to keep the history and traditions alive.
How to Throw an Axe
Similar to other sports like baseball or golf, the way you hold or where you hold your axe, will determine whether your axe “sticks” to the wood or lands on the ground. When it comes to throwing an axe, you’ll want to have two hands on the axe with your thumbs lined up along the handle. Since this axe is meant to be thrown rather than chopping wood, your grip around the handle doesn’t have to be super tight or firm. Once you’ve got a comfortable hold on the axe, you’ll want to lean back and throw the axe once it’s right in front of you.
TIP: Don’t worry about trying to remember this technique. Our in-house ‘axe-perts’ will coach you before your session so you’ll be a pro at throwing an axe in no time!
How to Score in Axe Throwing
Depending on where you go, there are a couple ways you can play or score in axe throwing. The most common type of game style in axe throwing is league style, which stems from the World Axe Throwing League (WATL). It’s similar to bowling in the sense that the highest score achieved after ten rounds, wins!
Here is how you earn your score:
- 6 points for the bullseye
- 4 points for the second ring
- 3 points for the third ring
- 2 points for the fourth ring
- 1 point for the fifth ring
- 8 points for the blue dots*
The blue dots are also known as the ‘kill shot’ and are only available on the tenth and final throw of the match. Otherwise, the blue dots are worth only one point.
If your axe lands anywhere outside the rings, then you are awarded no points.
What Can I Expect Axe Throwing?
Before you get to throw an axe, at most axe throwing venues, you’ll need to sign a waiver. Once you have done that and you have checked in, a trained axe throwing coach will give you a short safety lesson on how to handle the axe properly. After that, you will be designated to a throwing lane where you’ll get to do a few practice throws. This practice time shouldn’t take up any of your paid session time so don’t be afraid to ask your axe throwing coach questions. Once you are able to stick the axe, or it lands on the wooden target, your session (and the fun) will begin!
What to Wear During Axe Throwing
Many sports require very specific clothes, but throwing axes allows you to dress more casually. Below are some suggestions on what you should wear when going axe throwing:
- Wear closed-toed shoes. Though it is uncommon for throwers to injure their feet with an axe, wearing high heels or open-toed shoes could potentially expose you to danger.
- If you have long hair, it’s best to keep it back and out of your face so you have maximum visibility and mobility.
- Wear a loose comfortable t-shirt or long sleeve shirt as you want to make sure you have a full range of motion. Wearing fitted t-shirts, dress shirts or multiple layers may be too tight and restrict your movement.
- Bending over to pick up your axe will happen each time you line up in your lane so wearing flexible jeans or pants with a belt will help keep your rear covered.
Is Axe Throwing Safe?
Axe throwing can be intimidating for a first-time thrower. But there are actually guidelines that help ensure the safety of participants so they can have fun. Below is a short list of axe throwing safety tips to keep in mind:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure the area around your throw is free of anything that might end up affecting your throw.
- Do not attempt to catch an axe. If an axe bounces off a target, take a short step back and to the side in your lane.
- Enter a lane only when it is entirely clear. You must remain behind the walled area at all times if you are not throwing.
- Step directly into your lane while entering a lane and do not wander into another player’s territory.
- Do not remove an axe from the throwing area. All axes must remain in the fenced area at all times.