A former pastime that was common among woodland lumberjacks as a way of taking a break and having some fun during long days in the forest has now become popular in metropolitan areas across the world.

By RIMSIE MCCONIGA
rmcconiga@leavenworthtimes.com


A former pastime that was common among woodland lumberjacks as a way of taking a break and having some fun during long days in the forest has now become popular in metropolitan areas across the world.


Axe throwing may certainly seem a throwback to foot soldiers in the middle ages, but it has seen a renaissance in the last few years as venues such as Blade & Timber in Kansas City began offering a high-quality axe- throwing experience.
With more than 21 years of entrepreneurial experience, co-founders Matt Baysinger and Ryan Henrich built Blade & Timber to bring people together through interesting, interactive experiences.


Matt and Ryan opened Blade & Timber as Kansas City’s first and only axe-throwing experience in 2017. Propelled by Blade & Timber’s instant popularity in Kansas City, the duo has plans to bring Blade & Timber’s axe- throwing experience to more than a dozen locations throughout the U.S.


Similar to archery, in axe throwing the competitor throws an axe at a target and attempts to hit the bullseye.  For skilled axe throwers it is important to rotate the axe one time throughout the flight so that the sharpened edge of the head will penetrate the target. It's similar to darts thrown at a wooden target.


The history of axe throwing is steeped in Canadian culture and Blade & Timber is trying to keep this tradition alive and bring it to a whole new generation.
Canadian company, Forged Axe Throwing’s PR manager Rachael Hopwood says axe throwing is the perfect way to celebrate International Women's Day March 8. "So many women are attributing the activity to improved self-confidence and empowerment," says Rachael. "Women say axe throwing keeps them fit, helps make friends, breaks down stereotypes and helps them feel utterly empowered. We’ve seen a huge increase in women throwers and regularly host bachelorette parties (in fact, we have more bachelorettes than bachelors)."


For those looking to build upper body strength, axe throwing provides a good workout method. The axes are thrown with a special technique and while they are not particularly heavy, the throwing action helps build strength.
Axe-throwing aficionados are hoping to soon see the activity as an olympic sport.
Like bowling there are many leagues that axe weekly.
Rachael particularly loves the axe-throwing attire. "It's all about the plaid, and there's something that really makes you feel like a lumberjack or 'lumberjill' when you pick up an axe and sink a bullseye."


The sport has even become a Valentine's Day favorite and provides a way for singles to let out aggression and vent frustration with their exes.
"We host a Valentine's Party which is extremely popular with groups of singles," says Rachael. "They see it as a really fun alternative to all the Valentine's Day norms. Many people even pin a photo of their ex to the bullseye and try to axe their ex."