Every once in a while, a trendy new activity comes along, and it seems like the moment you hear about it, you start seeing it everywhere. This past year, it was axe throwing. As soon as it started making rounds on morning shows and late night talk shows, it started showing up everywhere.Now, you can throw an axe at the nearest axe throwing place.
What is axe throwing, though? Where did it come from, how did it blow up, and how do you go about trying the hot new trend yourself? In this article, let’s hack into the country’s newest trend, and try to answer some of those burning questions.
What Is It?
Good news here: there’s not much more to axe throwing than what the name implies. The sport involves competitors taking turns throwing their axes at a wooden target set up across the room. Like darts, the rings of the target are each assigned a point value, and the closer to the bulls eye you can hit, the better. The whole thing plays out in a roughly hour-long round robin tournament.
Where Did It Start?
Like many things lumberjack-adjacent, of course the sport has its roots in the Great White North – Canada. The sport was started about a decade ago by some friends at a cottage outside Toronto. One of those buddies, Matt Wilson, decided he enjoyed the new sport so much that he opened an axe throwing facility. The sport turned out to be pretty infectious, and soon spread across Canada, and eventually the rest of the world.
How Did It Get Popular?
How does anything get popular? People enjoyed it… a lot. The more detailed answer, though, is that it fit neatly into an unoccupied corner of the event market. Birthday parties, bachelor parties, corporate team building events, etc.,needed a fun, novel sport, and they got it in axe throwing. Rather than saying, “let’s go bowling” for the umpteenth time, partiers could flex their proverbial muscles throwing an honest-to-god weapon.
Concurrent with its popularity as a party activity, axe throwing also grew as a legitimate sport. Leagues popped up, with dedicated axe throwers competing in international competition, and the sport grew its following with recreation-minded people looking for a new arena to compete.
How Do You Get Involved?
If you want to really get into the sport, join a league with your friends and compete in real tournaments. There are a number of great leagues. The best, however, and the first – started by Matt Wilson himself – is BATL (the Backyard Axe Throwing League). They run eight-week leagues throughout the year, in locations across North America.
If you just want to dip your toes in the trend, do what so many others have done – book an axe throwing party. If you have a birthday party coming up, or are planning a bachelor/bachelorette party, consider trying axe throwing. Neither you, nor your guests, need any prior experience. When you book an axe throwing party, you get a complete tutorial in form and rules.
If you’ve spent the last year curious about this fledgling sport, hopefully this article has answered a few questions!a