Axe throwing, while a new activity to those living in the Omaha area, has gained a growing popularity (one might say it ‘hit the bulls-eye’) just in time for International Axe Throwing Day June 13.
International Axe Throwing Day is dedicated to those around the globe with a passion for the activity and to raise awareness and unify the urban sport of axe throwing. It is a unique sport for anyone, no matter his or her age, to try.
Craft Axe Throwing began its journey in Omaha January 11 of this year after having been a staple in Lincoln. Located on 26th and Leavenworth, it is a popular spot for residents to try their hand at the distinctive skill. After a couple Gateway editors had their own experience, they left with a special appreciation for the sport—and Viking history.
Each group that comes into the facility is given a brief tutorial from a trained instructor and a set of rules to follow that ensures their safety. Participants are directed to use two specific throws and are given the choice of a small axe or a larger axe as they muscle up to hit their targets.
It takes a certain amount of aggression to propel the axe nimbly enough to get it to stick in the wooden boards. Assistant manager Sebastian Baxter said he’s printed out photos to tack into the bulls-eye to get participants more riled up to succeed at the sport.
College students in the Omaha area enjoy this newfound activity and use it as a way to socialize with friends while letting off steam in a safe, controlled environment. Xavier Guardiola is a senior at UNO and went axe throwing with friends for his first time.
“The best part was each round you build up your confidence and get more competitive,” Guardiola said. “Those that are 21 and older can drink, so it was a fun activity before going out for the evening downtown.”
Scores are kept using dry erase boards at the end of the 15 lanes for those that are competitive in nature, but it is also possible for groups to sit back and have a relaxing time without keeping score.
Employees are in charge of guaranteeing the safety of guests and keeping up the equipment that is thrown hundreds of times a day. Depending on the traffic of the business, they replace the giant dartboard-like target every hour or every few days and sharpen each axe several times a week.
Baxter said he loved the job from the very beginning. During his job interview, he threw a bulls-eye the very first try and from there, he was hooked.
“It’s a very relaxed environment,” Baxter said. “We all just enjoy each other’s company and have a good time.”
Craft Axe Throwing will run a special for International Axe Throwing Day; the first 15 people to throw a bulls-eye will receive a free t-shirt, a hat or a $20 gift card. They will also provide free axe throwing for dads on Fathers Day.