Practical tips on how to throw an axe
Axed Global‘s practical guide to axe throwing, including techniques and explanations on how to get the best results from your throw. Choose from one handed or two handed technique to perfect your aim and start hitting the bullseye every time.
What you need to know before you throw
You need at least 3 things to get into axe throwing. An axe, a target and a bit of advice. Axed Global is here to help with that last one, giving you some practicable and actionable tips on how to throw an axe. The first two are up to you.
Ideally, we would all have a cracking throwing axe in the garage, ready to fling should the opportunity arise. However, if you aren’t ready to invest in a professional throwing axe, a hardware store axe will do for now. Something like this 1 and a quarter lb Forge Steel Axe. Just make sure it is sharp enough to penetrate timber but not so sharp the blade is at risk of breaking or chipping.
You can build a target out of whatever you like, just make sure its sturdy and thick enough to take an axe. There are lots of template available such as those from WATL or IATF but you can get creative and choose your own scoring rings and shapes.
Keep your throw safe
Axe throwing might seem like a simple enough activity but it’s not as simple as flinging an axe at a chunk of wood and hoping it sticks, especially if you want to keep it safe! There are a few basics to hammer in before you get started to make sure you don’t injure yourself while trying to master the throw.
First make sure you are the right distance from the target. All Axed Global venues have a 12ft safety line and all throws must be made from behind this line. It gives you enough distance to ensure any bounce back risk is significantly reduced (as well as giving you enough time to move out of the way!) should you hit the target with the wrong end of an axe. This distance also gives your axe enough time to rotate through the throw and land in the board. It’s this rotation that will help you to sink that steel into the bullseye.
Check out our rules on the website.
A few other things to think about when it comes to throwing safely:
- Make sure your target is either attached to a stationary wall or ensure you have an additional 12ft free space behind your freestanding target.
- Make sure your axe is intact! No wobbly heads or handles with huge chunks missing.
- Take it outside, we cannot stress enough, even Jeff Bezos doesn’t have a living room big enough to accommodate axe throwing. Unless you have a vacant warehouse to hand, outside is your best option.
Two handed throw
Recommended for beginners! You’ve got 4 basic steps to follow when throwing an axe two handed:
- Find a sturdy throwing stance. Start a step back from the 12ft throwing line and line yourself up with the bullseye to give yourself the best chance of smashing it.
- Hold the axe in front of your face at arm’s length. Grip with your dominant hand near the bottom of the handle and place your non-dominant hand over the top. Keep it fairly loose (like you would hold a golf club), grip the shaft too hard and its harder to release it out of your hands. The axe should be standing upright, blade pointing at the target.
- Pull the axe directly backwards over your head as if you were preparing to chuck a ball two handed across the room.
- Bring your arms forward and start to straighten them, and release the axe when the blade meets your eyeline. At the same time take a step forward to meet the 12ft throwing line to give you a bit of momentum.
One handed throw
Once you have the hang of it and you are fairly confident with your two handed throw, you can move onto the ne handed technique. There are still 4 steps for you to follow:
- Find that strong stance again but this time you are stationary while you throw. Make sure you still have movement, however, don’t stand too stiff. Instead of facing the target directly have the same foot as your throwing hand stepped forward on the throwing line, turning your body slightly at an angle.
- Grip your axe with your dominant hand, holding it slightly loose to enable a smooth exit from your hand. Make sure it is in an upright position to start the throw
- Pull the axe directly backwards until it almost touches your shoulder, past your ear where the blade should be point up the ceiling.
- Follow through pulling the axe forward, like you would throw a dart and release when the axe reaches the upright position.
How to adjust your throw
Fingers crossed you managed to land the axe in the board, but if you didn’t there is a few adjustments you can make to improve your aim.
If the axe hit the board with the blade parallel to the board but it just didn’t stick, you are doing a good job! Just perfect your throw with a little more or a little less effort in the throw because your distance is fine.
If the bottom of the axe or the lower end of the handle hit the board, it under rotated so adjust your distance by taking a step back. Find the right distance with a few tries.
If the top of the axe (the flat edge at the top of the head) hit the board then make the opposite adjustment. Take a step slightly forward because the axe over rotated a little too far.
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