Axe throwing is a target game which is very similar to archery. It is an exercise wherein competitors and participators throw axes at a circular marked target. The origins of axe throwing competition games are traceable to lumberjack pastime activity of throwing axes. It is a kind of sport that people are willing to engage in because unlike every other sport, it’s very easy to engage and most especially because it is fun.
In fact, competition axe throwing is truly a full body exercise because you need to use your arms and body stance to propel the axe in one fluid movement. And you must plan ahead, concentrate and aim at the target before strategically releasing the axe at the right moment. The interworking between body and mind provides an excellent way to relieve anxiety and get one’s body ridden of stress.
Axe Throwing Games and Competitions
As has been earlier described, axe throwing games and competitions are target sports. The target is a circular wooden board with five concentric circles. There are is a 4-inch gap between each of them. And they are color-coded.
The target is placed at 21 ft (6.4 meters) from the throwing line which is regarded as the standard. Some axe throwing competition organizers use distances ranging from 15 to 30 ft (4.6 – 9.1 meters) but points are awarded for each throw based on where the axe lands on the target board.
Hitting the bullseye is worth five points, hitting the outermost circle is awarded one point followed by two, three, and four points for the subsequent inner circles.
In competitions, each thrower gets five attempts. If they miss the target completely or step past the line before the axe lands on the board, the throw is disqualified and awarded zero points. The thrower with the maximum number of points is declared the winner of the round.
Most times, axe throwing competitions are conducted as a part of fares, rodeos, lumberjack events since the latter includes competitions which involve many various games including log rolling, chopping, timed-hot (power) saw, bucksaw cutting, and pole climbing.
Axe Throwing Scoring and Gameplay
Every axe throwing games facility has different target models, scoring systems and game modes. Hence, you can find below the scoring goals and gameplay techniques used in competition axe throwing:
Target Points. You get awarded 7 points for the green circles, 5 points for the bullseye, 3 points for the black inner circle and 1 point for the outer blue circle.
Technicalities. If the tomahawk lands in 2 rings simultaneously, then you need to take a closer look to see which ring has “more of” the axe in it. The participant is awarded the points corresponding to the ring that intersects more of the axe-head.
Sticking the Axe. The axe must remain in the target for the throw to count. If it falls out, then the throw will receive zero points. If a player is fast enough and manages to get to too weakly lodged axe before it falls, they will be awarded the points according to the scoreboard.
Redemption Throw. In tournament play, if the game is out of reach, the losing player will receive a final throw which they can yell for: “Redemption!”. If they hit a redemption circle this time, the game will continue in a sudden-death one throw playoff.
How to Play
A game consists of five throws per participant. So, each participant will get 15 throws per game. Whoever wins 2 out of 3 is declared the victor of the game. Don’t worry if you lose the first two rounds, the third match will be played regardless.
Scoring. A scoreboard manager (coach) will keep track of your game on a score sheet. They will keep you posted on where you stand in the axe throwing competition, how many points you have, and so on.
Playoffs. Depending on group size (generally 2-5 games), your coach will enter everyone into a final playoff game, and he will score participants using a bracket tournament style sheet.
Is Throwing Axes Fun?
Phew! There goes the axe when you throw it, right before it sticks into the wall, many feet away. No, it doesn’t matter if you missed the bullseye, what matters most is that you hit the target even after several tries. It is this excitement and exercise that makes axe throwing so much fun.
For instance, the Axe Master General, Lily Cope, at the New Business Urban Axes in Philadelphia, talked about successfully chucking an axe, which is a lively and fun activity for him: “It’s a very satisfying feeling—not about violence or aggression”.
He said: “When the axe sticks in the wood, it’s an incredible feeling.” So, it can be unanimously agreed that axe throwing games are quite adventurous and fun activities.
Is Throwing Axes Safe?
Yes! Axe and tomahawk throwing is really an awesome sport that is safe to engage in, provided the appropriate safety guidelines are not jettisoned. Walk everyone through the proper throwing techniques and instruct them about safety, before you begin playing.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a birthday party, corporate event or any other important and special occasion, axe throwing has become a topmost sporting activity for social events. Nonetheless, you need to ensure the safety of all game participants. Here is a list of safety precautions that you might need to take care of:
Material. Are the target board, tomahawk and axe of good quality? It should be ensured that these are durable and resistant, in proper condition. If the wooden target is soft enough, you should aim for a blunt axe, because the risk of injury goes down dramatically. That is a good idea especially if novices and beginner are in the game.
Throwing Distance. The standard throw is at about 21 feet away from the target (6.5 m). When a player is preparing his shot, he should make sure there is a wide corridor between him and the target. There are no people within range, close to the target board or behind it. Make sure the space is completely free of people before you take your shot.
Axe Holster. This is a good idea and a valid safety precaution. Axe holsters are a great way to safely secure your throwing weapon. You can transport and carry it around your waist at all times! Most holsters and sheaths are MOLLE compatible, which means they have an attachment system that can go with any kind of backpack, or around your belt.
Retrieving the Axe. When is it safe to walk up to the board and retrieve your tomahawk? In competition axe throwing, the players must throw one after another and it’s important that they have completed their throw before either player goes ahead to retrieve their axe from the target area. This is good since it saves time and it prevents accidents by constantly having someone around the board.
Injuries. Has anyone ever been injured? When professional coaches and experts enforce safety practices, this goes a long way in ensuring that not only everyone has fun, but also minimizes the risk of injury. When playing axe throwing games and competitions, make sure you have a first-aid kit nearby.
Axe versus Knife Throwing
Most people transition from knives to axes, and it’s more fun apparently. There are a couple of glaring differences between throwing knives and axes. Given how different these objects are, the techniques need to adjust for the weight, size and geometry of the object being thrown:
Balance. Throwing knives have a bigger heavier blade and they spin more usually. Axes are too wide-ranging in their balancing to put them under a category. Tomahawks (tactical versus throwing) and axes are very different tools. They can be double-bearded or spiked. I should have mentioned this earlier, but axe throwing is a different sport than tomahawk target practice, but the techniques are interchangeable.
Durability. How well do your tools hold up after continuous throwing sessions? How are you using them, can they endure missed shots, when they fall on concrete or hit metal? Don’t fling your throwing tools with force and acceleration, instead, aim for precision and controlled flow. Not only will you take good care of your instruments, but you’ll also reduce the risk of injuries and accidents.
Material Type. Most throwing knives have a synthetic or metallic handle. Tomahawk handles are wooden, or synthetic. My favorites are G10 and Kraton G. The blades are made of steel (most often stainless or carbon steel).
Price. How much money does a throwing tool cost? It depends on your skill level, commitment to the sport, willingness to invest. If you are a total beginner, just get something cheap. You might not even like the sport after a while, so why invest a couple of hundred dollars? We have a selection of best throwing axes for the money, with a good return on investment.
When we talk about price, there are various models, materials of different qualities, and axes that are naturally costly as they range from $30 up to hundreds of bucks. But throwing knives are generally cheaper.
Balance. This is quite important for throwing properly as any imbalance can cause unpredictable rotation and missed marks. Throwing knives have a natural balance while throwing axes are bigger and the balance depends hugely on the geometry of the tool and the axe-head weight.
Where To Buy Axes and Tomahawks For Throwing
The internet is the most obvious answer since it offers a vast amount of options. Some of the best products I bought were from Amazon. They have the largest selection of machetes, tomahawks, and survival tools. Here are some of the best throwing axes and tomahawks:
- SOG Fasthand Axe
- Estwing Double Bit Axe
- Cold Steel 90th Trail Tomahawk
The free market is responsible for a wide range of high-quality tomahawks at very affordable prices because it allowed companies to compete against each other. They strive to offer a better product at a lower price, which is good news for us. Here is a list of some of the well-known players (companies) on the market:
- Cold Steel
- Condor Tool and Knife
- SOG Specialty Knives
They offer great products at an affordable cost. I will review a bunch of them and offer you a detailed guide on buying the best throwing axe and tactical tomahawk.
Overall, axe throwing games are exciting and interesting activities. You learn a new skill and develop competence to feel more self-confident. You make friends, travel, learn about fair play, competition and survival – so it’s only marginally about throwing axes and more about character development.
I love the feeling of adrenaline rushing through my body when I go hard in competitive survival games. Your fears and anxiety will turn into confidence once you get good and see yourself growing, as a result. All in all, axe throwing competitions are worthy hobbies that you will relish and live to enjoy.