Watching the evening news, reading the paper, or surfing the internet you may have seen at least one story on a new trend in recreational sport – axe throwing. And it is being done in places we have been known to frequent. Some recent headlines:
- “Competitive axe throwing is an actual thing and it’s best done with beer” from the Washington Post
- Axe Throwing Comes To East Nashville from Channel 5 News in Nashville
Axe throwing lanes can now be found in warehouses, gyms, and bars all around the country. Here in Maine you can unleash your inner lumberjack at the Axe Pit which is part of the Maine Warrior Gym in Westbrook.
This isn’t just about grabbing an axe or hatchet and whipping it at a wall. There are rules.
The National Axe Throwing Federation was created in 2016 with the goal of publishing rules for axe throwing lanes, equipment and competitions.
You throw at a target that is 27” in diameter with a bullseye 7” from center. The distance to the target is around 170” to the back of the target – so about 14 feet away.
Competitors can use two type of axes – small or big. The “small axe” is really a hatchet – between 1.25 and 1.75 lb. head hafted on a handle no less than 13” long. The “big axe” is what we would refer to as a camp or boys axe – 2.25 to 2.75 lb. head with a handle no less than 25” (sounds like our Allagash Cruiser!)
Scoring is similar to another bar game – darts. 5 points for a bullseye, 3 for the middle ring and 1 for the outer ring. Two small “clutch” spots above the main target with a diameter of 2 5/8” are worth 7 points if hit.
What accounts for the newfound popularity of axe throwing? No doubt there is certainly a cool factor just whipping an axe at a target. Having a beer while throwing an axe? Even better. Is this just a passing fad or something that we will be doing fifty years from now? I don’t have the answer, but we certainly enjoy it and hope that you'll get an opportunity to try it out.
Steve set up an axe throwing target at camp for us to enjoy. Check out his mad skills here. And as usual, Steve hits the bullseye! Hope you do too!