London this year added another arrow to it’s bow so to speak – with the introduction of urban axe throwing by Whistle Punks in Whitechapel. Now axe throwing is certainly not something that I seen myself doing in 2016 – however when a friend’s suggests it for their birthday how could I say no!
According to Whistle Punks axe throwing has been around since at least the time of Braveheart, however urban axe throwing took off in Canada about 10yrs ago and has gone from strength to strength. They are the first people to bring this captivating urban sport to the UK, and it can also now be found in the US and Australia.
So what actually happens?
When you arrive you sign in, and they go through the safety bits and pieces and then the fun begins. They talk you through different throwing techniques (yes you actually do need to be taught!) and then you get to have some practice throws. There are target bullseye style wooden boards that you aim the axes to hit, and it was a lot harder than we expected. We had a good bit of time practicing before the tournament began. A point to note is that you may be grouped with other small groups – there was only 4 of us so we got put with two other groups which was fine as they were very friendly but I would have preferred if it had of just been us for the hour and a half.
Some of the guys took to it like fish to water but well I didn’t in the beginning – at one stage I think even the instructor thought I wouldn’t get one axe lodged in the target!! But after a few go’s I managed to get a bullseye – yes I am that cool 🙂
There are different points depending on where you lodge the axe (if you do) – one point for the outer ring, three for the inner ring, five for a direct bullseye and then final seven points for the two tiniest red dot in the corners. Needless to say I didn’t end up in the grand final but it was so much fun and also have to say – a great method of stress release.
Safety with Axes?
I was a wee bit concerned about axes flying around the room before we went but we all came out with all our limbs and no cuts 🙂 The area is set up with three lanes and there are two people throwing per lane and you have one of their axe-throwing experts with you at all times. Before you start at all there is a 10 minute talk on safety and there is as expected a disclaimer that you have to sign before you can even handle an axe. They are real axes so there is of course a risk but we didn’t feel unsafe while there and I didn’t even chop off my ear while throwing the axes!!
I do have to point out that we were a little concerned going in – the venue looks a little like a warehouse but the facilities inside are actually pretty good. They do have a bar at the venue but no drinks are allowed around the range (understandably) but we went up all of the stairs afterwards and enjoyed drinks and pizza. And the food isn’t bad either – to quote a friend they served ‘the best spring rolls I have ever had’.
So Urban Axe throwing… worth the hype?
And to answer my original question – yes it was worth the hype (and not as hipster as I thought it would be) – it is so quirky and was actually a lot of fun. So if you are looking for something new to do (or perhaps a date night with a difference) then I would say try it out as it is pretty axe-citing (sorry..) and if you have any queries then pop over to the Whistle Punks website and they are also on Facebook and Instagram.
Also… after our axe throwing I could totally survive a zombie apocalypse 🙂