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Axe Throwing

Axe throwing eh? It’s fun, it’s satisfying and if you get it right, your mates will be well impressed. As it’s a little known sport in Marlborough (let alone New Zealand) we often get asked lots of questions about it – so thought we’d share a little of what we know and have learned over the years.

Read on to discover more about the fun and techniques of axe throwing…

The Throw

Strangely, it’s not a sheer brute strength pastime as frequently (due to good technique) women will get more to stick than the men.

It’s all to do with two key points:

  • the number of rotations through the air; and
  • throwing it straight – in line with the grain of the wood of the boards.

It’s important to throw smoothly, avoiding jarring motion – and as you release, bring your hand back towards your body, thus creating ‘spin’. I step into the throw and (because I throw with my right hand) I throw off my left foot. So, if you are a left handed thrower, your right foot needs to be forward.

Once you get an axe to stick, try to avoid hitting that axe with the others as you may ‘burr’ the end which will likely cut the hand of the next person who uses that axe.

The Axes

At ArcheryPlus, we use single handed tomahawks. We still have the double handed throwing axes from China but as we need to manage risk carefully and especially for ‘newbies’, the bigger axes were a step too far. Because it’s illegal to import throwing axes from overseas, we had them made up locally, by a Marlborough engineering firm.

Our axes weigh 1,015 grams, the length is 400 millimetres and the width of the blade is 210 millimetres. The handles are made from squashed, tubular stainless steel.

The Boards

Getting the right wood is important. We’ve used untreated pine but have found that when it really dries out, it does get pretty hard and it’s quite a job to get the axes to stick. So, we’re going to have a go with Black Poplar as I am assured that is a softer wood.

Through lots of trial and error, we have come to a point that we felt was the optimum distance from the throwing boards and we have marked that distance.

If you want to come and try it for yourself, our sessions are led by our experienced axe throwing coach to make sure you have fun, while learning how to throw with proper technique.

Good luck and stay safe!!

Hamish