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We all get tired and have stressful days at the office, school, or home when we need to blow off some steam and unwind. Inviting your friends or co-workers to head down to a local venue and try out some activities to mend your pent-up energy while enjoying some craft beer would be fun. You can enjoy some popular games such as billiards, bowling, darts, casino card games, or axe throwing.
Axe throwing is a popular activity growing fast, especially in North America. Anyone can try axe throwing, become a good axe thrower, and even join professional competitions and earn money. All it takes is to know the important details of this activity and a lot of practice in the lane. There are some details you must learn about axe throwing, and here are some of them.
Understanding Axe Throwing
Axe throwing is a sport that started with old traditions. Today, it is rapidly developing into a popular activity with younger generations. Axe throwing has the same concept as darts, but it requires more strength in throwing with precision. The main concept of this sport is to throw an axe accurately to hit the target.
Typically a group activity, axe throwing is also a great team-building activity for family reunions, corporate events, birthday parties, and many more. This sport is friendly, which is a good opportunity for you to meet new people, join other groups, and participate in different axe-throwing events.
Axe Throwing Safety
Axe throwing may sound like a scary and dangerous sport, but it is surprisingly safe. If you are new to this sport, coaches and other staff will guide and teach you how to properly throw an axe. They also keep their eyes on all players who will show reckless behavior and act immediately for everyone’s safety.
Axes are dangerous weapons, and the venue is responsible for providing a safe environment for everyone. Axe throwing is fun for you to unwind with friends and relatives, so everyone should behave nicely and have a grand time.
Important Axe Throwing Rules
All sports have rules to follow to have an organized competition. Axe throwing has competitive rules for its players.
- Throwing an axe is not allowed if someone is standing in front of you.
- You don't need to sharpen your blade too much.
- Each player has 10 throws in a game, and the match usually lasts two to three hours.
- The bullseye will give you six points, while the second, third, fourth, and fifth rings have four, three, two, and one point, respectively.
- The target has two blue balls, known as “kill shots” worth ten points. The kill shot is available during your tenth throw, but hitting it before your last throw will only have a value of one point.
- You'll receive a higher point value if you hit the line between two rings simultaneously.
- Your axe must hit and stay at the targets to receive points, but once it falls, your points are waived.
How to Properly Throw an Axe
You need to develop your throwing skills to play axe throwing. There are different styles of throwing that may suit your throwing skills. It would be best that you go through the basic understanding of the proper grip and posture.
Set Your Throwing Stance
Your stance is the most important element in axe throwing. It would be best if you determined a setup in which you can consistently orient your body with the target and your axe. You can either stand with one foot forward or straight with your feet almost perpendicular to your shoulders. Make sure that your shoulders are directly facing the target.
You can also use a marker to assist you in finding your most comfortable stance and position. Remember that the throwing distance is a huge factor in controlling the rotation of your axe during flight. Try other positions and locations each time you throw until you are comfortable and consistent. This procedure will help you find techniques and strategies for axe throwing.
If you are doing a left-foot forward stance, you need to align your trailing foot and your throwing arm while your chest is parallel to it and aim properly.
It is important to align the edges of your right shoulder to help you with aiming the target. Step back 12 to 18 inches with your trailing foot and slightly lean forward to find the best balance before throwing. This stance is a good foundation for learning axe throwing.
Determine Your Grip Style
Finding your grip style is essential in axe throwing. The way that you grip the handle or your axe will affect your weapon control and throwing distance. The two common grips you can choose will also depend on your preference.
Hammer Grip: The thrower will grab the axe handle like holding an ordinary hammer.
Modified Hammer Grip: A modified hammer grip is a hammer grip that tilts the axe forward.
You must know your anchor point and feel comfortable throwing your axe. Your grip dictates how fast your axe can rotate. Beginners can hold their axes at the lower edge of the little finger of their dominant hand for a cleaner release.
You must use your dominant hand to grip the axe properly and must hold it firmly like how you would handle a baseball bat.
The blade of your axe must face the target in a straight position. Its blade will dictate where your axe will land, so it is important to handle it in a straightforward position and not lean to its sides.
The objective of axe throwing is to hit the target. To do this, you need to aim around one foot above the bullseye because the weight of your axe will have a downward trajectory during flight.
Axe Angle and Height
In axe throwing, it is vital to set the angle and height of your axe before throwing. Throwers would usually stand up straight while extending their arms horizontally at the level of their shoulders and throwing thumbs horizontally.
Extending your non-throwing hand in a horizontal position, fingers together, and keeping your hand open would be best. It would be best to extend your throwing arm in line with your shoulder while aiming at the target, while your non-throwing arm should have a slight angle.
Once you set your angle, it will help you determine how you would initiate your starting stance and your axe’s rotation. It would be best to prepare your wrist because it greatly affects your every throw. To set your axe angle, position the horizontal thumb of your throwing hand between your middle and index finger’s groove.
Making the Throw
Now that you have the proper stance, grip, axe angle, and height, prepare to make the throw. Position your axe behind your head, then throw it straight forward with your elbow and wrist locked. Release your axe when your arm is parallel to the ground at full extension.
Do not flick your wrist when releasing your axe. It would be better to release when your axe is in a vertical position, and your throwing arm is in a straight position. Another important reminder in making the throw is to execute a smooth follow-through to have an accurate throw. Remember not to slow down or stop your throwing arm before releasing your axe, for it will poorly affect your accuracy and inconsistent axe blade sticks.
Different Types of Axes
In axe throwing, you cannot bring your axe unless you have already competed in a tournament or a league. If you belong to those who competed, your axe must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum of 12” long
- The blade is at a 4.75” maximum
- The axe must not be heavier than 2 lbs.
There are also three different types of axes that you can use:
- Standard – Standard axes are ideal for beginners because they are lightweight and easy to handle. Unfortunately, it tends to bounce off the target due to the lack of force it generates from its weight.
- Hammerhead – Hammerhead axes are heavier than standard axes because it has an extra mass behind the head. They are better at throwing and can stick to the target with additional force throwing.
- Full Metal – Full metal axes provide the best performance in axe throwing. It has a curved handle, which can be hard for beginners to throw. Its weight, shape, and make gives great balance in throwing.
What You Should Wear in Axe Throwing
You can wear anything you want in axe throwing as long as you wear closed-toe shoes. It is also a huge factor to feel comfortable with your clothing and would not distract your throwing. Your arms should have freedom of movement to perform better in axe throwing.
Anybody can have fun with axe throwing. Axe throwing is a simple way of destressing and having a grand time with family and friends. Make sure that you have the proper knowledge and good practice to reduce the risks of injury for yourself and other throwers.