Axe throwing has been a popular pastime for decades. Axe enthusiasts can visit facilities across the world to get some throws in. Not only is it a fun hobby, but you can also enter competitions and win prizes from axe throwing.
While the sport may look easy, throwing an axe requires a bit more skill than you may think. If you want to try out the sport, there are a few different factors that will influence your success.
This article will cover everything you need to know about the sport and explain how to throw an axe with our step-by-step guide.
We will cover what kind of stance and grip you need and describe the two basic throwing styles. Furthermore, you will learn what axe to use and how to stay safe while throwing.
If you are ready to become an axe-throwing expert, let’s get started.
Principles of Axe Throwing
Before we get into the details of how to throw an axe, let’s cover the basic principles first.
There are a few ways you can stand when throwing an axe. Some people will take a step forward, while others will not move at all. Whatever the case is, your footing should always be solid and stable. You should also have good balance through the duration of the throw.
Another important factor about your stance is that you should be 12 feet away from the target. If you are further away than that, you will have less of a chance of hitting a bullseye.
When using the one arm technique, you should also make sure to move your whole body when you throw including your head, arm, hand, and feet. Moving all of these elements towards the target will greatly increase your chances of a bullseye.
While there are many different ways you can grip the axe, your throw should always be consistent. Inconsistent grips can make it hard to release the axe at the precise moment and make it more difficult to control things like tilt or spin speed.
If you are going for accuracy, the best way to do that is with a light grip. Those who are looking for speed tend to grip their axe more tightly.
Most experts also hold the handle near the mid or end of the palm.
Above all else, keep your grip technique simple. If it is too complex, you won’t be able to remember it under pressure at a tournament, for example.
There are two basic throwing styles that most axe throwers use: two hands over the head and one hand over the shoulder.
Two Hands Over the Head
This method is quite simple and works well for those looking for more power. Some people do not generate enough power using the single-hand method, and their axe falls to the floor each throw.
The two-hand method works the best for beginner axe throwers. This method gives you the most control and stability with the least technique required.
One Hand Over The Shoulder
The one hand over the shoulder throw is another popular throwing style. It is also pretty simple.
This technique is not usually recommended for beginners since it requires a bit more skill and technique to use effectively. However, for those with some experience, the one-hand method is a fun way to experiment with speed and power.
Choosing an Axe
Before you learn how to throw an axe, you should first know how to choose an axe. Here are a few factors you should keep in mind when buying your first axe.
The good thing about axe throwing is that you don’t have to buy an expensive axe to participate in the sport. If you are first starting, consider purchasing a simple camping hatchet. These will be inexpensive but will work just as well.
If you want to get more serious and already have some experience, there are plenty of high-quality axes for around $40 to $85. These axes will give you more control and durability but won’t clean out your wallet.
Weight is another factor you should keep in mind when choosing a throwing axe. If you are a complete beginner, choosing a heavier axe is a good idea. Heavy throwing axes around three to five pounds are more likely to stick to the target regardless of your skill level.
On the other hand, light throwing axes are more difficult to get a bullseye with since they require more technique. After you have improved your skill level, try some lighter throwing axes for more precise throws.
Finally, you should also think about the handle material. While many beginners may like the look of wood handles, they are much more likely to break.
When first starting, try to use axes with metal handles. This will save you a lot of time and money. Steel axes that have around 15-inch handles will be the best choice.
Now that we know some basic axe throwing principles and how to choose one, it’s time to learn how to throw an axe. This step-by-step guide will lay out everything you need to know.
Step One: Choose The Proper Axe
The first thing you need to do is choose the proper axe. For the first dozen throws, at least, try to use an axe with a metal handle. If you are buying your own, do not pick up one with a wooden handle. Metal axes will not break as easily.
Furthermore, choose a heavier axe for your first few throws and sharpen the axe correctly. Sharper axes will be safer to throw than dull axes.
Step Two: Make Sure the Area Is Clear
Axe throwing can be dangerous. For this reason, you will need to make sure that the area is clear before you start throwing.
First of all, there should be nobody standing between you and the target (obviously). Secondly, there should also be nobody within six feet of you from any direction.
Step Three: Get Your Stance Right
You can’t learn how to throw an axe without knowing how to stand.
If you are throwing the axe with the two-handed method, your feet should not move at all. Stand about 12 feet away from the target, and line your body up with the bullseye. However, some throwers will adjust their position depending on how their axe turns in the air.
For the one-handed throwing method, you will still stand 12 feet away. This time, line up your dominant shoulder with the bullseye.
Step Four: Throw The Axe
Now that you have everything else set up, it is time to throw the axe. Let’s take a look at the two main axe throwing techniques.
First of all, grip the axe pretty loosely, similar to how you would hold a golf club. Now bring the axe up directly over your head. Bring the axe down, and release it once it reaches eye level.
If the top of the blade hits the target instead of the blade’s face, take a step forward.
All you have to do is hold the axe with your dominant hand at the bottom of the handle and bring it up over your shoulder. Keep in mind that the axe should almost touch your shoulder before throwing it.
To throw the axe, bring it forward and release it when the axe is straight up and down, parallel to the target.
Before you throw your first axe, you should be familiar with a few safety tips.
Generally, axe throwing is safe. However, it can quickly become dangerous if you are not aware of how to handle the blade safely. Let’s take a look.
- Make sure your blade is sharp. If the blade is too dull, the axe will have trouble sticking to the target and may bounce. However, avoid over-sharpening your blade since this can be dangerous as well.
- Only retrieve your axe when the area is clear. If you are throwing at an axe-throwing facility/club, you may be throwing axes in the same lane as another person. Make sure they aren’t starting to throw when you retrieve your axe. Generally, the two of you should retrieve your axes at the same time.
- Always point the axe head downwards when you aren’t throwing. Never walk with the axe head up, and do not point the axe at anyone else.
- Only throw the axe at approved targets. If you are at a bar or facility, only throw the axes at approved wooden targets.
We hope that this guide has helped you learn how to throw an axe.
When choosing an axe, make sure to pick a heavier throwing axe around five pounds. Heavier axes are more likely to stick to the target. Furthermore, use an axe with a metal handle since it won’t break as easily as wood.
Before throwing, ensure that the area is clear. Make sure nobody is within six feet of you. You should be standing about 12 feet away from the target.
If you are throwing with two hands, line up your body with the bullseye. However, line up your throwing arm shoulder with the bullseye if you are using the one-arm technique.
Try to grip the axe pretty loosely, just as you would with a golf club. If you hold it too tight, you won’t have as much accuracy in your throw.