- ABOUT US
Karlie Tipton, Associate Editor
Photo by Lori Duckworth
By Karlie Tipton
August 17, 2017
I’m not a violent person. Passionate, yes. Angry, sometimes. But typically not violent. Recently, however, I discovered something about myself: I really like throwing sharp objects as hard as I possibly can.
For a few years now, axe throwing as a pastime, workout, and stress reliever has been growing around the country, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that Oklahoma City finally got an opportunity to try it out. Bad Axe Throwing, a company that started in Ontario, Canada, opened a location in downtown Oklahoma City at the beginning of August.
When Oklahoma Today production manager Bridgette Slone and I walked into the spare, plywood-covered space, we had no idea what to expect. Until I saw that Bad Axe was opening, I wasn’t aware of the axe-throwing trend. Furthermore, having been employed in a non-lumberjack field for most of my life, I had never handled so much as a hatchet except in passing. Luckily, Katie Morlock was there to guide us.
The first thing we learned was safety, the basic idea of which is pretty simple: Don’t throw when someone else is near the target. It’s important to stand back far enough so you won’t get hit by bounce-back, but the way the ranges are laid out, it’s pretty obvious where to stand.
Next, Katie showed us how to hold the axe, with your dominant hand on bottom, non-dominant on top if you’re throwing two-handed—which is easier for beginners. Then, you extend straight ahead, line up your axe with the target, bring it back behind your head so your elbows are next to your ears, and let it fly.
It took Bridgette and I a few throws to get the hatchets to stick into the wood, but once we did, we hit the targets more often than not. Bridgette had the precision of a Viking warrior, and what I lacked in aim, I made up for in throwing really, really hard.
After an hour, I couldn’t believe how much I was sweating. At first, I thought it was only throwing a one-and-a-half pound object a dozen feet or so, but it works your shoulders, back, and core. Although it was tough, it felt great to use my muscles for something more than typing. But the most satisfying part was the release and the near-deafening “thwack!” that followed.
Starting at $20 an hour, Bad Axe offers private sessions, corporate events, and parties. Coming up in September, they even have an eight-week league, which Bridgette and I already have signed up for. Hurling an axe around for a few hours a week might sound like a strange thing to do for fun, but something that lets me get a workout, hang out with cool people like Bridgette, and release a good amount of pent-up aggression without hurting anyone is my idea of a perfect evening.
Bad Axe Throwing, 1201 West Reno Avenue in Oklahoma City. badaxethrowing.com.