Axe throwing is a relatively new sport when it comes to the competitive aspect of it. The seemingly primal act of throwing small axes at a specified target has recently been made into a popular group activity. Axe throwing can be done alone, on a date, in a big group, or even within a league. There are spots all over the country where you can try axe throwing out for yourself and enjoy the fun and exercise that comes with it.
Before you decide to go axe throwing for the first time, it is important to be aware of what sort of equipment you will use. The range you go to should have basic equipment such as axes and targets. There are, however, many more pieces of equipment that will be needed in order to get the most out of your axe throwing experience. For example, there needs to be a method of holding the axes such as a backpack, holster, or stand. You should also have equipment that will keep your axes in great condition even after using them.
Safety is also a huge priority in axe throwing. Since you are still dealing with a weapon, it is important to use equipment such as closed toed shoes, gloves or even protective goggles. It is also important to monitor what you wear to your axe throwing experience. T-shirts, and comfortable pants are often recommended.
The axe that you use is likely the most important piece of equipment for any axe thrower. This is what you will learn to throw and hit the target with. Axe throwers need to be aware of different variables that different axes bring in order to hit their targets with accuracy and precision.
The first type of axe commonly used for target throwing is a hatchet. Traditionally, hatchets were used in forests to clear out smaller obstacles. This light-weight axe is usually around one foot long and weighs about two pounds. The light-weight quality makes it easy to throw and a favorite for axe throwers everywhere.
Another type of axe commonly used by axe throwers is a tomahawk. The tomahawk was traditionally used as a wartime weapon and is designed to be as lightweight as possible. This can lead to great accuracy from more experienced throwers, but beginners will usually want to learn how to throw a slightly heavier and more balanced axe first.
The final type of axe used at axe throwing ranges is the double-headed axe. This axe has two parallel blades coming out from different sides of the hilt. These axes have a unique aesthetic and often remind throwers of axes that a viking might've used. These axes are also good for beginners because they ensure a blade could hit the target from two different angles.
A good backpack or case is crucial for any serious axe thrower. This will provide a method for storing and carrying your axes while protecting them from any environmental damage. A solid backpack or case will also hold any other equipment you bring. The backpack can be as long as the axe so that the axe fits within it, or slightly more shallow so the axe head is sticking out in a controlled manner.
While axe throwing, it is important to protect your hands. Although your hands will likely be safe from the sharp blade, constantly throwing from the wooden hilt can cause blisters or tears in your skin. To prevent this, some ranges offer powdered chalk that throwers can apply to their hands in order to give them a better grip. Another method of protection from hand damage is gloves. Axe throwers make sure to use lightweight gloves that provide a good grip while still protecting their hands from the axe hilt. If the gloves do not have good grip, however, the axe could slip from your hands before you mean to throw it, which could be dangerous.
Axe throwers need to utilize a large range of body movements, and their clothes need to allow them to do so. An appropriate axe throwing outfit starts with closed toed shoes or boots. Some ranges won't even allow you entrance in if you are not wearing these. Proper shoes are so important because they offer protection to your feet if an axe is dropped or misthrown.
After the shoe requirement is met, it is important that axe throwers are wearing a comfortable t-shirt and pants. This outfit will enable the thrower to perform all of the necessary movements when it comes to axe throwing, while also remaining comfortable and flexible.
Protective goggles are one of the more rare forms of equipment when it comes to axe throwing. Although most ranges do not require goggles, they are still a smart addition to your equipment list. Sometimes a thrown axe will split the wooden target that it hits, causing wood and splinters to fly out. Depending on how close one is to the target, this can cause harm to the throwers eyes and face. Wearing a set of protective goggles can prevent potentially serious injuries.
The target is the other quintessential part of axe throwing. The targets at axe ranges are often made of wood or another material that the axe can easily fit into. On the target, different areas represent different points that the thrower can score. Just like darts, archery, or any other target based competition, the center of the target is often worth the most points. In a regulation sized target, the bullseye is about 24 inches from the ground.
The target has five rings including the bullseye. The bullseye is worth 6 points. The next ring out is worth 4, the one after that 3, the next 2, and finally the fifth ring is worth one point. The axe throwing targets also often have two dots somewhere on the board. These dots are known as "kill shots" and are a special target, both usually worth 10 points.
While axe throwing competitively or in a group with friends, it is important to keep score. Oftentimes, the axe throwing range will provide a score board and writing utensil near the throwing line. Make sure to write your name, and the name of everyone you are competing against, and then keep track of your score after every throw. This will help you track who is winning, along with helping you track your progress as time goes on.
If you purchase your own axes, it is important to keep them in as good of condition as possible. This will ensure that you can use them time and time again without worrying about them breaking. The most important aspect of this maintenance is keeping your axe sharp. A sharp axe will continue to pierce the wooden targets and help your shots stay consistent. If you do not sharpen your axe, the blade will dull and the axe will eventually not be able to stick into the target. Different tools such as grinding blocks, sanders, and sharpening stones will help keep the axe as sharp as necessary.
A sheath for your axe is another way to ensure that it stays in good condition. When not using your axe, it is important to keep it in its sheath. This helps preserve the axe's sharpness and protects it from the elements or any other source of damage. The sheath will also protect the person who is handling the axe. Remember, although axe throwing is an extremely fun activity, the axe itself can still be dangerous.
Sheaths are often made of leather or another soft but durable material that will hold the blade. Some sheaths are also made of plastic or other harder materials. These sheaths will often require a built in locking mechanism to keep the axe secure.