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If you’re looking for a new activity to try with friends or colleagues, check out Urban Axes in Philadelphia. Bring your own beers and put your game face on to throw some axes at wooden bullseyes. Recently, Ettractions Assistant Network Support Manager Alioune Ndour participated in a company activity at Urban Axes.

“I had never done anything like it before, I have never even thrown darts,” explained Ndour. Despite his unfamiliarity with axe throwing, he quickly learned the technique. “Just getting the axe to stick is hard, so it was a great feeling when I hit a bullseye. Once I started I didn’t want to stop.”

This unique and competitive sport is growing more and more popular and Urban Axes’ Axe Master General, Lily Cope, gave the scoop on why.  

Where did this idea for axe throwing originate?

It started in Toronto over ten years ago. Some guys started doing it in their backyard and it grew organically through friends. It grew and grew, and soon enough they had a league. Two of the four owners of Urban Axes live in Toronto, so that’s how it was discovered.

Is competitive axe throwing becoming more popular in the U.S.?

Yes, we have multiple calls from people wanting to open their own venues. We will be opening another in Austin, Texas soon.

How difficult is it to throw an axe and is there a technique to it?

Some people stick it on their first try while others take a few tries. It’s really about form, not athletic ability. The axes are only one and a half pounds. There is a technique. Everyone is taught how to throw safely [by instructors] when they arrive. Part of the technique is making sure you’re shifting your weight and releasing the axe properly, following through. We teach people to throw two-handed, but plenty throw one-handed as well.

Who is your typical axe thrower?

It runs the gamut. The average person is between 25-30 years old. But we’ve had some in their 60’s and 70’s. There is a 21+ age limit though since it is BYOB.

What makes Urban Axes so popular?

It’s something totally new and unique. It’s also an actual sport that you can play. It’s a really fun and lightly competitive sport that you can experience with friends or colleagues. There’s also that implied element of danger, even though it is completely safe.

How does Urban Axes maintain a safe environment?

First, we make sure that guests are not visibly intoxicated. The bulk of what we do is group events and there is a coach for every group and two coaches for larger groups. The coaches not only teach the technique and ensures the tournament runs smoothly but they make sure that all safety rules are adhered to.

Can axe throwing be considered “therapeutic”?

When you throw an axe and it hits that wood, there is nothing more satisfying. 

 

- By Ettractions Digital Content Editor PAULA MARINO 

*Images are credited to Meredith Edlow

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WHAT'S NEARBY?

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

Other States: Pennsylvania

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