The age old question… has anyone died axe throwing? Golden sunlight filters through the bows of impossibly tall pine trees. Their fallen needles crunching softly beneath worn boots lined with thick woolen socks. The cool autumn breeze shakes down a few more needles, fluttering to the ground like verdant fairy wings. The lumberjack brushes down his red flannel, maintaining a strong grip on his axe: an imposing thing of glinting silver and polished wood. With kind eyes, Jack looks skyward, admiring the tree line. He enters the clearing, one end lined with wooden targets. Hands steady, one eye closed in a concentrated wink, he lines up the shot.
Although Axe Throwing was first popularized by a masculine crowd of flannel-wearing sportsmen, it has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing casual sport activities. Requiring more focus and follow-through than strength, axe throwing is easy to pick up and quick to improve. It’s been likened to bowling or darts, but way, way cooler. At Lumber Jack’s Axe Throwing, we teach our guests how to safely throw axes, hone their technique, and how to play a variety of fun and competitive games! For guests that might be intimidated by a real, steel axe, fear not: it’s simple and easy to work with.
Creating a safe and comfortable atmosphere for our guests is always our goal. Axe-idents rarely occur, but when they do, it’s nothing a band-aid can’t fix! More than anything, we want our guests to feel protected and confident. That’s one of the reasons we wanted our inaugural blog post to cover a topic that the internet has made clear needs reassuring:
HAS ANYONE EVER DIED FROM AXE THROWING?
THE SHORT ANSWER IS NO
The long answer is also No. No one has died axe throwing. Axe Throwing is a safe, challenging, and fun activity for people of all abilities and backgrounds. You don’t need to be a professional or have prior experience to throw your first bullseye. With Axe Throwing on the rise as a competitive sport and popular outing activity, folks often have questions about the safety of this experience. At Lumber Jack’s Axe Throwing, Safety is our number one priority. We don’t want to foster any fear about the safety of axe throwing. In the same way bowling is dangerous if you drop the ball on your foot, axe throwing requires safety measures and for guests to follow specific rules.
LJ’s SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
We have specifically designed our lanes with safety in mind. The floor, walls, cage, and board all need to be sturdy enough to take some pretty strong impacts. When you drop an axe, the goal is for it to stay down, not bounce back up. Moving up towards the target, you have the Impact Boards. These strong, impact-resistant boards are meant to stop axes in their tracks. If a throw should go awry, impact boards keep the axes from becoming boomerangs. One of our first lessons at LJ’s is: If an axe is hurtling toward you, feel free to step out of the way!
The targets themselves should be solid yet soft enough to receive the blades. We use cottonwood boards for the center three of our targets, and pine for the outer two. This way the board itself is receptive to axes: not too hard and not too soft. Another safety measure in place at LJ’s is our frequent board spraying. Keeping the targets lightly damp creates an easier surface for blades to sink into. If a target is too hard, the chances are greater that axes will simply bounce back toward our guests.
ALCOHOL AND AXES DON’T MIX
The most common injuries at axe throwing establishments are caused by intoxicated guests who act unsafely. At Lumber Jack’s, we do not allow alcohol at our venue. There have been accidents and injuries reported at axe throwing venues that serve alcohol, and that is deterrent enough for us. I can’t imagine a world where beer on tap and axes to throw is a good idea. It would be a little like serving martinis at a gun range. (But hey, this is America, so I’m sure that’s an option somewhere.) We definitely recommend celebrating your rad axe throwing skills after your time with us. It’s just safer that way. Simply put, we are handing you a weapon, and trusting that you’ll be cool about it.
ISN’T THE BLADE SHARP???
Yes, but axe blades aren’t razor sharp. They don’t have to be to successfully stick a bullseye. The blades act more as a wedge than as a cutting instrument. Axes thrown straight into the wood grain have a much higher chance of sticking than an axe thrown at an angle. When coaching axe-throwing newcomers, we refer to that as the “karate chop” throw. The axes aren’t sharp enough to cut across layers and layers of wood grain and will likely clatter to the floor. If you give a particularly strong throw, you might manage to keep it on the board with an angle like that, but you’re much better off throwing as straight as possible.
We regularly sharpen our blades, keeping them in tip-top shape. When properly throwing an axe, you have no reason to touch the blade. Cuts and scrapes only occur when mishandling an axe or trying to retrieve it before it stops moving. We teach all of our guests how to throw, asking that they avoid freestyling, as it could endanger themselves and others. Imagine you were taking up glass-blowing. I would guess rule #1 is “Don’t touch the hot glass.” The same goes for axe throwing: hands on the handle only. It’s how we’ve made sure that nobody has died axe throwing.
SO… I WON’T… DIE?
You’ll be perfectly safe. If at any point while throwing with us you feel unsafe, let your Axe-pert know immediately. We’re here to help. Specifically, our goal is to ensure that you have the most fun possible! Axe Throwing is a casual experience, filled with playfully competitive energy and positivity. It’s so easy to get hooked! The perfect stress-reliever at the end of a long work week, the best birthday party spot, and something new to share with your loved ones; Lumber Jack’s Axe Throwing in Northridge, CA hits the bullseye every time.
Book your lane today or walk-in Wednesday-Sunday! See you soon!