If you live near any major metropolis in the U.S.A., you almost certainly have seen at least one if not quite a few indoor axe throwing ranges pop up throughout the last year. They're also becoming more prevalent in smaller cities and suburbs too.
For example, one of the larger businesses, Bury the Hatchet, has ranges in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Kansas.
But, what exactly are these ranges about and is all of this just a fad that will slow down in the coming year, or will this new fun activity continue to grow?
What is an Axe Throwing Range?
These indoor ranges where people go with friends and colleagues to blow off some steam are exactly what they sound like. They are basically indoor areas with wooden dart-like targets set up that you hurl axes at.
In a way they are a cross between a dart board in your local pub and a batting cage at a sport's complex.
Here's what to expect should you decide to visit one.
Friendly to Novices and Pros Alike
Believe it or not, there are professional axe throwing competitions. Walking into a place where there are bladed objects getting thrown at high velocities can be intimidating. Adding to the fact that it's not necessarily a casual passerby that is doing the throwing and it might be someone training for a competition doesn't make taking that first step inside any easier.
But, fear not. Most axe throwing establishments are extremely friendly and welcome new customers on the daily basis. They will take their time to explain how everything works, and they even give lessons on throwing techniques and safety.
Won't Break the Bank
To be perfectly honest, spending the evening at a range isn't the cheapest way to spend your evening. However, it's not going to put you in the poor house either.
Of course every business has its own pricing, but a good assumption in that you'll pay around $30-50 per person for a 2 hour session. When you compare that to the price of seeing a movie, it's a pretty decent value especially considering it's active and not passive entertainment.
Most ranges are B.Y.O.B. friendly as well, so you have your favorite suds with you without getting hit by bar prices.
More Hatchet than Axe
Although some of these businesses market themselves as axe throwing ranges, you are more likely to end up hurling a smaller hatchet through the air than a full-sized axe. While the idea of going full Holllywood and tossing a giant axe across the room hitting a perfect bullseye might be fun, a full-sized maul can have have a head that weighs in at 8 pounds on its own. You don't want to launch that over your head too many times.
You'll much more likely be tossing something that's single bit and is a bit smaller, much like this Fiskars X11 model. Though, many places only use hatchets with wooden handles.
Axe or hatchet throwing is growing all over the country. It's a fun activity for those who are serious and those who just want to try something new with a few friends. It's also comparatively priced to other entertainment activities.
Whether it's a fad or not is hard to say. It's most likely going to hit a saturation point and then start to recede in popularity a little. But, as long as there are enthusiasts willing to pay, the cream of the crop as far as ranges go will surely do well.