Not very long ago, most people considered throwing axes to be more of a homesteading chore or an act of self-defense in the wilderness than a sport. All that has changed at this point, though. Dozens of axe-throwing establishments have cropped up across North America that allow people sharpen their skills and compete for accuracy while using axes as if they were darts. Quite a few people are jumping onboard with this rising sport as well. In fact, an estimated 20 million people have made this their pastime of choice, and the number is continually growing.
If you’re planning to visit an axe throwing bar just for fun or to compete with fellow throwers in hopes of becoming the local champion, it’s important to hone your skills. Understanding the basic techniques involved and how to make the most of your throw is the key to success. Read on to learn more about perfecting your game to get the rotation, sticking power, and accuracy you’re looking for.
Choose Your Weapon
Axes come in numerous forms. They have different weights, handle lengths and shapes, blade sizes, and other variations. It’s important to find one that feels good in your hand, melds with your arm strength, and lends itself to an adequate grip. Lighter versions tend to be better for accuracy whereas heavier ones usually gather more momentum and stick deeper into the target. Those that have thinner handles with flattened areas are often easier to grip.
Get a Grip on the Situation
Your grip is the key to your throw as well as your accuracy and the axe’s movements on its way to the target. Having a light grip and a properly timed release is generally the best approach here.
Correct Your Stance
It’s important that your feet be planted firmly and your body be completely balanced as you throw. Be sure to develop your stance as close to the 12-foot line as possible, and use your entire body to throw the axe rather than only your arm. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and try to keep your elbow fairly close to your body rather than allowing it to veer outward as if you were launching a frisbee. Taking a deep breath and steeling yourself before each throw is also good practice.
Keep Your Eye on the Target
Many throwers look away from the target and follow their arms as they prepare to throw the axe. That could detract from your accuracy. Keep your eyes on a specific point on the target as you throw.
Use a Sharp Axe
All your efforts could be in vain if your axe isn’t sharp. Its sharpness determines how well it sticks in the target and whether it’ll land at the angle you hope to achieve. Be sure to keep your axe sharp and give it the care and maintenance it needs in between practice sessions and competitions.
Keeping Your Game on Point
Follow these tips to help you perfect your grip, swing, release, and accuracy. There’s no harm in practicing with different types of axes to find the one that feels and works best for you. It takes time to perfect your grip and accuracy as well as all the other factors that determine how well the axe reaches its mark. In addition to all this, be sure to practice regularly and develop a consistent technique.