Beer, your pals, and axes? Yep, it’s an epic idea for a party or just a random time when you’re looking for something awesome to do. But before you book an event or decide to drop in during walk-in hours, we’ve devised a handy guide to help you out with your axe throwing game so you can have an edge on the competition. Because people always ask us “is axe throwing easy?” And the short answer is “Yes!” It just takes a little practice. So check out these tips from our resident axe gurus.
It’s always good to start with the basics. These tips will help you get ready to throw your axe:
- It’s important to stand with your non-dominant foot forward, in order to create balance with your dominant leg.
- When you’re throwing, it’s important to remember two things: lean in, and follow through.
- Keep your arms straight and your eyes level with the target on the board. This will keep you focused, and help you with aiming.
BOOK YOUR NEXT AXE THROWING EVENT AT BATL TODAY!
Parties, like axes, were meant to be thrown. So book an axe throwing party today at your local BATL location and stop worrying that your next event won’t be fun. It will be 100% yawn-proof. Trust us. No matter the season or the location, our staff will make sure your group event is a blast! Not only will we teach you how to throw an axe, but we’ll also make sure you and everyone else who joins the party has a fantastic time.
HOW TO AIM YOUR AXE
Now that you’ve got your stance, the next step is to aim your axe. These are some things to keep in mind:
- Keep your eyes on the target – look directly at where you want the axe to go, and throw!
- Aiming is all muscle memory, so try to replicate your motions every time you have a successful throw.
Two-Handed Throwing Technique: This is the standard technique that we’ve been teaching our guests for the last 14 years. Keep these things in mind when throwing with two hands:
- Place your dominant hand at the bottom of the axe.
- Wrap your other hand around your dominant hand.
- Keep your thumbs off the back of your axe.
- Bring the axe all the way back.
- Lean in all the way forward while releasing your axe.
One-Handed Throwing Technique: We always recommend starting with two hands, but there is a certain allure to the one handed throw. Keep these things in mind when throwing with one hand:
- Keep your thumb off the back of the axe.
- Keep your elbow in.
- Don’t bring your arm across your body when releasing (like a baseball pitcher).
- Less is more. You don’t have to throw your hardest.
- If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be hitting bullseyes in no time. Now that you have a grasp of the basics of axe throwing, you just need to figure out when to come to BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League.
THE BIG AXE
One more thing – the big axe. It’s one of the most exciting parts of axe throwing, but can also be one of the most daunting. But really, it’s just like throwing a hatchet. So if you’re stepping up to throw the big axe, here are some tips to help you master it:
- Always use both hands on the axe, stacked on the handle like you’re holding a baseball bat with your dominant hand on top.
- The big axe takes longer to rotate – you’ll need to stand back five feet from the hatchet throwing line.
- It’s important to bring the axe all the way back, to generate more power due to the weight.
- Aim high!
Adjusting Your Throw: There’s always a learning curve when learning a new skill. It’s helpful to identify issues and correct your throw as you learn. These are some possible adjustments you can make:
- Stand further or closer to adjust axe rotation issues.
- Move your stance from left to right to compensate for accuracy.
- Adjusting your power levels to improve your control.
HOW DOES AXE THROWING SCORING WORK?
Hitting the target is a good start. But there’s a bit more to it. First of all, you have to stick it (your axe has to stay on the wooden target, not bounce off it) to get any points. And there’s this thing called a ‘clutch’ that’s worth a lot, but hard to hit. You get the highest point value that the blade of your axe touches. This is how scoring works:
- If your axe lands anywhere on or in the blue ring, you get 1 point.
- If your axe lands anywhere on or in the red ring, you get 3 points.
- If your axe lands anywhere on or in the black ring – or bullseye – you get 5 points.
- Remember that thing called the ‘clutch’? Those are the little green circles (keyword being little!) above the target, and if your axe lands anywhere touching one of them, you get 7 points.
PICK YOUR BATL
One of the best things about axe throwing (besides how awesome it is!) is that just about anyone can throw an axe, no matter their age or skill level. And BATL offers many ways to get involved with axe throwing including all kinds of events like birthday celebrations, office parties, and bachelorette nights; designated times for walk-ins for when you get an itch only an axe can scratch; and even BATL leagues.
BATL PREMIUM: EVENTS AND PARTIES
From groups of 2 to over 100, we’ll take it from ‘event’ to ‘main event’. Whether it’s a stag, bachelorette, team building, birthday, or fundraising event, our amazing staff and coaches will help make it fun – and memorable. With BATL Premium, you get your own lanes and hangout area, coaching, digital scoring, a full tournament, and more. You can even get food and drinks and things like trophies! Dates and times for pre-booked events are flexible – after all, it’s your party, you should throw it when you want to.
BATL CASUAL: WALK-INS
We get that commitments can be hard so if you feel like throwing axes all of a sudden we got you. Scheduled walk-in hours are
- Fridays: 7PM – 9PM (7-11PM in Nashville)
- Saturdays: 12PM – 2PM
- Sundays: 2PM – 4PM
Walk-ins are first-come, first-served with no booking required. There’s no minimum group size and you’ll throw using shared lanes with other guests. Our coaches are available for tips and tricks, but throwing areas are only guaranteed for pre-booked events.
AXE THROWING LEAGUES
If you like throwing axes at BATL, then joining a league is for you. BATL leagues are the perfect excuse to get together with friends, make some new ones, and trash talk each other. No matter your experience level, you’ll compete individually and receive tips from our coaches. League nights are:
- Sundays: 5PM – 8PM
- Monday – Wednesday: 7PM – 10PM
Sessions are 8 weeks long and run all year. The last week of each session is playoffs, with the top 16 competitors facing off the crown a season champion.
EVER WONDER HOW AXE THROWING GOT ITS START?
Well, we’re glad you asked! BATL, The Backyard Axe Throwing League, pioneered the sport of urban axe throwing back in 2006, so it’s no surprise that we’re known across the world as the best at what we do. It all started with a group of friends who were bored at a cottage outside of Toronto and decided to throw an axe at a stump. Little did they know that this innocent way to pass the time would soon evolve into the creation of a worldwide sport.
Upon returning home to Toronto, BATL founder and CEO, Matt Wilson, decided to set up a target in his backyard and invite some friends over to show them just how cathartic throwing a sharp axe into wood could be. A point system was created, and soon enough a group of eight friends would meet every week and engage in some friendly competition. Eight friends quickly grew to 16, and 16 quickly grew to 32. Before he knew it, Matt was hosting two full leagues of a total of 60+ per night in his backyard, not including all the spectators that would stop by to catch a glimpse of our exciting new sport.
STARTED IN A BACKYARD NOW WE’RE EVERYWHERE
Fast-forward to today and BATL now has 19 locations to choose from across North America. So whether you’re an expert or beginner, and whether you live in, or are visiting, one of these cities, there are axes waiting to be thrown and good times to be had by all.
- Charlotte LoSo
- Charlotte Plaza
- Niagara Falls
- Toronto Port Lands
- Toronto Stockyards