Yes you read that title correctly, this post is about AXE-THROWING. Urban axe-throwing is totally a thing and I had my very first experience of it in Manchester last month, as part of my trip with Ibis Hotels, at a cool little place called Whistle Punks.
Now hands up, I was pretty apprehensive about it. When I booked it I was all “Yeah this is cool and different and quirky” but as it got to the day I was a little anxious about it. I suddenly remembered that I used to get picked last for PE and my hand-eye coordination isn’t all that and an axe is an actual real life weapon that probably shouldn’t be in my hands…
But huzzah, I made it out alive.
And I figured I would tell you all about it because it’s pretty darn awesome. Here’s everything you need to know.
Urban Axe-Throwing 101
What is Urban Axe-Throwing?
Urban axe-throwing is pretty much an extreme version of darts. It’s a sport whereby you throw an axe at a large wooden board with targets painted on, and get points based on where your axe lands.
A typical session involves a couple of practice rounds for everyone in your group, before going into a tournament. The tournament then involves head to head battles whereby you go up against someone in your group and at the same time throw 5 axes each. The person with the most points wins the round. But don’t worry if you’re shit, you still get to keep playing! You just do a Semi-Final and a Final at the end with the really good players. (Josh did really well and came second when we went… I was NOT in the top 4…)
Then the instructor teaches you a few trick shots which you get to try out, followed by 5 minutes at the end to take photos with the axes. Because that’s what we all want, let’s face it.
What is it like IRL?
It’s initially terrifying. At first when someone was about to throw and pulled the axe back behind their heads, I would duck. I mean these are sharp AF axes, it’s not pretend axes y’all.
But there are safety rules you have to follow and I started to relax a bit ten minutes in. And as soon as you get used to it, you kind of forget the danger side of it and it becomes quite therapeutic! It took me a while to get my axe to even stick in the board, I was throwing it all over the gaff. But it was so satifying when I started hitting targets and getting points.
And the trick shots are pretty cool too, I loved trying throwing two axes at once! Basically felt like I was in Game of Thrones, it was ace.
I honestly had so much fun. I actually think this would be a really cool activity if you had a big group of you, like for a birthday or hen/stag do, you know?
What should I wear?
You HAVE to come with close-toed shoes as a rule. You are handling sharp axes after all. So I found trainers to be the best option in the footwear stakes.
But it’s also important to wear really comfy clothing. You are essentially taking part in a sport and you’d be surprised how much of your body you use. I went for a t-shirt and jeans and that felt about right.
I’d also say tie your hair back if you can. You do bring the axe past your head when you throw and you don’t want to send a chunk of hair down to the target with your axe, do you…
Where is it and how much does it cost?
I visited Whistle Punks in Deansgate, Manchester for my urban axe-throwing sesh, but they also have locations in Vauxhall, London and Birmingham. It costs £25 per person for the hour and a half session, so not exactly a spontaneous activity I’d say. More like a booking for a birthday or something. But I totally enjoyed myself and loved getting a chance to try something new.
What do you think? Would you do something like this?
Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total Blogger Transparency: I enjoyed a complimentary visit to Whistle Punks as part of my press trip with Ibis Hotels. But all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.