DAN ALDERMAN, Adventure guy, Austin, Texas
We Mock What We Don’t Understand
While I was watching the local morning news last summer, sandwiched between the weather forecast announcing our 15th day in a row over 100° and more BS in Washington, came on one of those lifestyle stories for the latest hip trend. You know those staged stories where a reporter goes live to interview and experience some hot spot in the city at 8am. Well this one caught my eye because I immediately thought to myself, “what a dumb idea and how is that possibly going to make it as a business”. The story was about axe throwing at Urban Axes and who knew it would become one the hottest activities popping up across the country.
So never being shy about trying something new, especially ones that involve weapons, beer and competition, I decided to put a cast of characters together and see what all the rage was about. I’m not going to lie – IT’S FREAKING AWESOME!
Channel Your Inner Khal Drogo
Axe throwing centers are growing by leaps and bounds and there seems to be several across Texas in most of the major metro areas. Axe throwing at Urban Axes in Austin http://www.urbanaxes.com/austin/ was one of the first around and offers leagues, private parties & corporate events as well as walk-in hours. But if you’ve got 6 or more Axe-holes in your group, be sure to make a reservation on their website.
Some of the others to check out include, Bad Axe in Dallas and Ft. Worth http://www.badaxethrowing.com, Houston Axe Throwing http://www.houstonaxe.com and Class Axe with locations in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas http://www.classaxethrowing.com.
So What’s The Deal?
No matter the center you check out, the set-up is basically the same and best describe as part warehouse, part baseball batting cages and part Game of Thrones. Axe throwing at Urban Axes is set up with multiple fenced cages, each containing two throwing lanes, linked throughout the warehouse with a handful of refrigerators strategically placed in the corners. Refrigerators? While some of the centers sell alcohol, Urban Axes is BYOB and accommodate throwers by keeping their beer and wine chilled.
Let the Axe Throwing Begin
Once you check in and sign your life away, you’ll give yourself a catchy name like Dumb Axe, Axl Rose or Bad Axe and meet your coach. The coach will walk you through the axe throwing technic, score your games and make sure everyone has a great time. Everyone at Urban Axes was super cool and really added to the experience.
Now there is a method to how you actually throw the 1.5lb hatchet in order to make it stick into the target. You can either use both hands on the handle and follow all the way through or one hand with a release toward the target. Whichever way works for you is OK as long as the hatchet makes only one full rotation before hitting the target. The first time you huck an axe it will seem extremely awkward but after the standard five warm up throws you’ll really get the rhythm and will start putting points on the board.
Following the quick tutorial, warm up and pale ale our group played a few head-to-head matches before the single-elimination bracket challenge. Games consist of the total of 10 throws using the following points system:
Bullseye: 5 points
Middle Ring: 3 points
Outer Ring: 1 points
Green Dots (clutch shot): 7 points – which you can only target on your 5th and 10th shot and must be called
After 2 ½ hours of axe throwing at Urban Axes ,our group of 8 left smiling ear-to-ear and couldn’t wait to get back. We went out afterwards for a few beverages and talked nonstop about what a great idea it was. For about $20 per person, it’s a great way to spend an evening with your buddies, a date night or corporate team building event. I guarantee you’ll score major points with the boss for this one!