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Nicole Roller

The History of Axe Throwing

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The History of Axe Throwing

From the Beginning

It is said way before the discovery of fire or the invention of the wheel, humanity already counted the axe as its most useful tool. Due to its relatively cheap and simple design (a simple handle and piece of stone), the axe worked perfectly for many purposes.  Hunting, as a useful instrument for infrastructure and, obviously, as a pure and straight up deadly weapon. As the capabilities of our race evolved, the materials and the manufacture techniques did too. The axe changing from stone to copper, steel, iron, and bronze. They rapidly became part of many cultures, folklore, and legends. Mythological wielders were the inspiration from builders to warriors.

In the middle ages, axe throwing as a sport was practiced by everyone, from commoners, blacksmiths, lumberjacks, soldiers to knights. The appeal of the practice resided in the display of strength and bravery related to throwing a heavy axe. Bets were common and people gamble their chances of putting their money on their favorite axe throwers. If they made them win, the thrower would be rewarded with food and liquor, a story to tell, and a bigger reputation.

History in the United States

If we want to track the history of axe-throwing in the United States, we should take a look at the practices of Native American. Original tribes used their tomahawks as melee weapons. Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t actually throw their axes in the heat of the battle. Axes were highly valuable so no one would risk losing them in the middle of a fight and end up defenseless.

Axe throwing was used for hunting wild animals. Native Americans would wait stealthily until the last moment to throw their axes. They were extremely effective.  Even if they missed the target, they could always retrieve their tomahawks and then again, wait for the next prey. Also, axe throwing was an extremely popular sport.  Many Native American tribes organized tournaments to test their axe throwing skills. These competitions still exist to these days around the world. Lumberjacks from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, come together with tournaments of their own. All of them with different rules and modalities.

The Axe

The axe has a strong symbolic meaning. It reflects an image of a fierce warrior, a return to our wild roots, the emerge of our most basic instincts of survival and more. It feels like we can do anything. That is why we feel so empowered when we are holding a heavy and sharp axe.

Today in the United States there are places like Phat Axe, where you can practice your axe throwing game. Go with your family, friends or with your co-workers after a long and stressful week. Experience the fun of your ancestors. I mean, what can be better than a little adrenaline, the sound of metal against wood, and the cheers of your people.


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It is normal for folks to hear ‘Axe Throwing’ as a sport or leisure game, and not go all ballistic and hysterical. But Axe Throwing is now the rave of the moment in some urban countries like Canada and the United States. Of a fact, this game is now being regarded as one of the most thrilling, satisfying, communal and safest indoor/ outdoor games you can find around.

Although the Axe throwing game cannot be regarded as a new game in the history of man’s existence, as it is a game that has been around since the Middle Age Era, by knights and soldier. But the fact that it is migrating from the woods to the urban setting, is the reason for its newness.


Yeah, it is quite understandable for this question to be on everyone’s lips, as an axe is one of the most dangerous tools around. But not to worry, axe throwing is one safe game, as it is a game with rules, despite the supposed bestiality of the action. In an organized organization such as Phat Axe, there are enough coaches who are ready and available to teach and monitor ‘throwers’ on the ground.

Also, there are rules and guidelines surrounding the games, which will help keep throwers organized, and out of harm’s way. These guidelines are:

  1. First and foremost, any axe used for this game, must not be too sharpened, to avoid cutting yourself or the other throwers. Your throwing axe mustn’t be as sharp as your cooking knife. You don’t need that much sharpness.
  2. Stay away from the target spot as far away as 6 feet. Endeavor not to make a throw when there are people in front of you, or around the target area.
  3. Don’t rotate the axe to either the left or right, keep it straight before you throw.
  4. Listen to your coach

If all these are strictly adhered to, throwers and everyone in the target room would be kept out of harm’s way.


Axe throwing game is a competitive one. It requires competitions between two groups of throwers play alongside each other. The players from each group get to throw their axes at the same time, at the countdown from the coach.


Throwers should hold their axes firmly in both hands, in a straight manner as written above. Don’t swing your axe in a circle, keep it straight. Throw the axe over your head, lean back and release the axe forward towards the target.

There you have. It is as simple as ABC.