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 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 8 friends would meet every week and engage in some friendly competition. 8 friends quickly grew to 16, and 16 quickly grew to 32. Before he knew it, Matt was hosting 2 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.
It’s 2019, and BATL now has 15 locations across North America. You can find the Backyard Axe Throwing League in Toronto, Pickering, Ottawa, Kitchener, London, Niagara Falls, Calgary, and Hamilton in Canada; and Chicago, Novi/Detroit, Nashville, Scottsdale, and Houston in the US. It truly has never been easier to experience the unique thrill of axe throwing with BATL. Worried that your skills may not yet be developed for the sport of urban axe throwing? We’ve devised a handy guide to help you out with your axe throwing game. Check out these tips from our resident axe gurus:
Basics / Your Axe Throwing Stance
- It’s always good to start with the basics. These tips will help you get ready to throw your axe:
- It’s important to start with your opposite 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.
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 13 years:
- 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