Beginner’s Guide to Axe Throwing Competitions

  • Time to read: 6 min.

Axe throwing is a leisure activity that is gaining popularity in the United States. There are many reasons why people are attracted to this activity. For one, it is a unique form of competition. Unlike most leisure pursuits, there is no team aspect to axe throwing. Instead, it is simply you against the targets.

Another reason why people enjoy axe throwing is that it is a very individualized sport. You set your own pace and work on your techniques without pressure from others.

How Axe Throwing Competitions Operate & How Much They Cost?

An axe-throwing competition is a tournament where participants compete to see who can throw an axe the farthest or the most accurately. The matches are usually held indoors, in a designated space with targets and a measuring tape.

There are two main types of axe-throwing competitions: distance and accuracy. In a distance competition, each participant tries to throw their axe the farthest they can. The person with the longest throw wins. In an accuracy competition, participants try to hit a specific target from different distances.

Generally, when you arrive at the competition, you must check in with the organizers. You will have to pay a small entry fee to enter an axe-throwing contest, which usually goes towards the prize money for the contest winners. The entry fee is generally around $20. You will then be given a target and a measuring tape. Next, you will have a few minutes to warm up and practice before the competition begins. Once the competition starts, you will take turns throwing your axe at the target. Matches are held in rounds, with each round consisting of three throws. The best score at the end of each round moves forward to compete again until there is a winner.

Then, at the end of the competition, the person with the longest or most accurate throw will be declared the winner and receive a prize, usually a cash prize or a gift certificate.

Of course, there are rules and codes of conduct that you must follow, so check out what the rules are to ensure you are compliant and aware of your responsibilities. You can find the World Axe Throwing League and International Axe Throwing Federation rules and codes of conduct at:

What You Need to Get Started

If you are interested in pursuing this leisure activity and dream of competing in an axe-throwing competition, you will need a few things.

First, you will need an axe. There are many different types of axes available on the market, so find one that is comfortable for you to throw. You can check out the article Best Throwing Axes to begin your research. 

For the competition, the blade of the axe can not be longer than four inches and can not have any additions of the opposite side of the axe head that are sharp. In addition, the handle length needs to be 19in/48.26cm from the bottom lowest edge of the handle to the highest point that runs through the axe head. The handle can be any material, but the maximum weight of the axe must not exceed 3lbs/1.36 kg.

You will also need a target that measures 35.5” x 27.5”/ 90.17 x 69.85 cm. , and has a thickness of 3”/7.62 cm. Again, you can either purchase a target or make one yourself. If you decide to make your target, use safe and sturdy materials.

The best target has three layers of wood, with the top layer being OSB or plywood. Next, the backboard or the second layer will be wood. Lastly, the target layer utilizes six to eight boards vertically aligned and placed tightly together.

Lastly, you will need a measuring tape to measure your throws for distance and accuracy during practice and competitions.

Tips for Competing in Your First Axe Throwing Competition

To compete in an axe-throwing competition, you can do a few things to prepare yourself.

First, practice throwing your axe, as you will then get an idea and feel for how far you can throw it and where you need to aim.

Second, arrive early on the day of the competition so you can warm up and get familiar with the environment. The time you spend getting comfortable and taking in the atmosphere, sounds, smells, and temperature will allow you to shake any butterflies you may have.

Third, relax and have fun! Remember, this is supposed to be a fun experience. 

How To Find An Axe Throwing Competition Near You

Axe-throwing competitions are becoming more and more popular. As a result, they are popping up all over. The best way to find one near you is to do a quick search online. You can also ask around at your local axe-throwing ranges or ask people in your area if they know of any upcoming competitions. The World Axe Throwing League posts available tournaments throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. The International Axe Throwing Federation also has information about upcoming competitions.

Most of these competitions require you to qualify, but there are some wild card competitions you may sign up for. If you are just starting out your local target range and clubs will have open competitions on a regular basis that you can participate in.

Where To Throw An Axe

Indoor facilities and clubs are generally the safest and best places to throw an axe as they usually have better lighting and more space to work with. In addition, outdoor axe throwing typically requires more fitness and stamina since you will be throwing the axe a greater distance and need to consider environmental factors such as sun, wind, and the ground level.

If you are serious about becoming an axe thrower, you can do a few things to improve your skills.

  • First, practice regularly; the more you refine your throw, the better you will be at hitting the target. In addition, training will help you keep your throws consistent so you can get a feel for how far you can throw your axe and where you need to aim.
  • Second, try to learn from other axe throwers. Watch how they grip the axe and how they release it. You can also ask them for tips on how to improve your technique.
  • Third, make sure you are using the right equipment. The type of axe you use will significantly impact your accuracy and power. Many types of axes are available, but the hatchet is generally the axe of choice for many competitions.
  • Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques. There is no one perfect way to throw an axe. Everyone has their style, and you may find that specific methods work better for you than others.

Be safe and protect yourself and others when throwing an axe. Always wear closed-toe shoes when throwing to help protect your feet if you miss the target, or your axe hits the ground. Throw the axe with two hands, as this will help you maintain control of the axe and improve your accuracy as you aim for the money shot, the center of the target, the bullseye.

Is A Throwing Axe A Tomahawk?

Technically, no. Tomahawks are designed for chopping and have a much heavier head, whereas throwing axes are explicitly built for throwing. That said, many people use the terms interchangeably.

Final Thoughts

Healthy leisure activities offers many benefits and axe throwing can relieve stress, is fun and a way to bond with friends or family. Being competitive can also be a great way to test your skills and see how you stack up against others.

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