Axe throwing hits the bullseye as fun, healthful activity: Stretching Out

September 20, 2018

Axe throwing hits the bullseye as fun, healthful activity: Stretching Out

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio -- No one throws axes for fitness. Neither, though, does one throw axes without getting at least a little exercise.

Therein lies the beauty of axe throwing, a game born in Canada and now spreading like wildfire through the lower 48, including Ohio. Neither tough nor easy, but surprisingly physical, it’s a healthy, challenging and ridiculously fun way to while away an evening.

Just watch it on the alcohol. Drink one or two beers while playing and you’ll nullify any and all potential gains.

In fact, there’s an area location offering axe throwing for exercise: Class Axe Throwing (classaxethrowing.com) in Valley View, the local branch of a national franchise. It has been in business about 18 months, managed by Matthew Dixon.

Axe throwing is a social, but not a family, activity (kids under 15 aren’t allowed at Class Axe).

Unlike many of the other games, sports, and equipment I’ve tried over the years, axe throwing is fairly simple to master.

The basic two-hand throw entails lining up your thumbs on the handle, holding the axe (four lbs.) behind your head, and giving it a gentle heave of about 15 feet, using just a smidge of core strength. Flick your wrists or lean into the throw too heavily, and the axe will spin too rapidly or veer to the side. Whether and where the axe sticks depends entirely on positioning and timing.

It’s also possible to throw with one arm, using a quick, karate chop-like motion. During my visit, I was able to hit the bullseye several times with both styles, and neither one yielded a hit on one of the target’s two game-winning blue circles.

Don’t get me wrong. Axe throwing is no workout. There’s no need to wear athletic clothing or hit the showers afterward.

But it’s not nothing, either. After an hour of throwing, my triceps and shoulders were legitimately fatigued and my shirt was damp from the effort of jogging back and forth to retrieve axes. Given the choice between axe throwing and video gaming, I’d pick the former every time.

Now to rope in some others. Throwing solo was fun, but throwing with my wife and friends is going to be a blast.

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