Methods to grasp (and prepare properly) ax throwing.

Depending on who you ask, ax throwing is either exciting or intimidating. Finally, throw an ax at a standing target at full speed. Those who are on the timid side of ax throwing know that there is more to this popular sport than just throwing an ax.

Proper techniques, safety measures and a qualified teacher make this game much less scary and more exciting. t to mention it's a killer upper body workout and can quickly boost those feel-good hormones (especially if you're hitting the goal).

And if anyone can show you how to throw an axe, it's Alissa Wetherbee, who has competed professionally in logging and forestry sports for over 20 years. Wetherbee, founder of Ax Women Loggers of Maine, is a three-time world champion, once in ax throwing, once in Peavey Log Roll and once in Two-Woman Cross-Cut Sawing. Impressive to say the least.

Over 20 years ago, Wetherbee took first place in the ax throw at the World's Open Lumberjill Contest in Boonville, New York. Since then she has won or placed highly in countless ax throwing competitions across rth America and taught thousands of people - including Queen Latifah and Harry Connick - how to throw an axe.

"In our sport, we throw large-scale competitive throwing axes, [which are different from] the hatchets you see throwing in bars and on TV,” she says.

And with that, Wetherbee shares her top tips for giving you the sharpest (and safest) ax throwing experience.

A Brief History of Ax Throwing

"I think it would be impossible to pin down the very first ax throwing competition," says Wetherbee, since there have been many stories told about the origins of ax throwing over time.

From tales of the logging camps in the rth American forests, where the loggers held chopping, sawing, log-rolling and ax-throwing competitions to see who was the strongest and fastest in the camp, to frontier workers (and women) to Viking Stances Competitions.

Whatever the origin, the ax is a tool that has been used throughout history throughout history. And now's your chance to pick up an ax and continue the story of this historic sport - not to mention having loads of fun!

How to throw an ax for beginners

  • Step 1: Position yourself 20 feet from your target.
  • Step 2: Hold the ax by the handle with both hands. (Wetherbee grasps the ax with his left hand below and his right hand just above his left.)
  • Step 3: Keeping your shoulders straight toward the target, draw the ax straight back over your head. (Don't worry if the head of the ax touches your back—it won't cut you. Throwing axes aren't razor sharp.)
  • Step 4: Throw the ax like you're throwing a soccer ball over your head and keep your eyes on your aim. Release the ax when your hands are aligned with the center of your target, and—most importantly—keep your hands on the target until the ax lands. (If you drop your hands immediately after releasing the ax, the ax will most likely land just short of your target.)
  • Step 5: If it's safe to do so, retrieve your ax from the target and repeat the process.

Remember, "Practice makes perfect and muscle memory is key to ax throwing," says Wetherbee.

Additional ax throwing techniques

There are other acceptable ways to throw an ax. Once you start practicing, you will find which technique works best for you.

  • one-handed
  • Sneaky
  • Take a step forward when throwing
  • Stand with your toes at the 20-foot line
  • Don't move your feet at all when throwing

Alisa Wetherbee

Essential gear and equipment for ax throwing

If you want to practice with a large ax (not a hatchet) in your backyard, you'll need to build the target stand yourself.

If building isn't your thing, you can always buy an ax clay pot stand, but these are best for hatchets. Full size axes require heavier stands.

te that building your own target stand or hiring someone else to build the unit for you is much cheaper.

  • An ax throwing target: Wetherbee recommends pine, polar wood or poplar wood for the target material and prefers a log-shaped (or round-shaped) target.

The World Ax Throwing League can guide you step by step on how to craft your own target, or you can order a starter kit to make the building process even easier.

  • The booth: The center (bullseye) of your target must be 1.5 meters off the ground. You can make a stand out of wood or metal, but remember it needs to be sturdy.

Wetherbee explains that the target needs to be heavy, as you don't want the ax's force to knock it over. (Which a full-fledged ax could certainly do).

"A tripod-style stand with two legs in front and one leg tilted back slightly works best," recommends Wetherbee.

  • The axe: Lastly, you will need an axe. Wetherbee's favorite throwing axes are made here in the United States by Precision Axes in California.

They are handcrafted and can customize your ax exactly to your liking. For example, Wetherbee prefers a slightly heavier throwing axe, so the wind isn't as much of an issue when throwing outdoors.

For a lighter stand that you buy online, always use a hatchet.

Wetherbee's safety tips and what not to do when throwing an axe

The sport of ax throwing must come with some very strict safety tips. Wetherbee shares top tips to keep your game fun and injury-free.

  • Always make sure your throwing area (and the immediate area around you) is clear of people, pets, children, etc.
  • Ax throwing is a super safe sport. (Although it can be intimidating for some) as long as you do it right and use common sense.
  • Don't throw with people who are too close to you, walking behind you, or if there's a chance they might be too close to your target.
  • Don't sharpen your throwing ax too much. (A dull ax is actually best for throwing.)
  • Make sure all your gear is in good condition.
  • Do not throw at an unstable or unstable target.
  • Make sure your ax is "pinned and keyed," meaning the head of the ax is attached to your hilt with a roll pin through the center of the head and a wedge driven into the top of the hilt.
  • Never throw with a loose ax head or a broken handle.
  • When throwing, be aware of anything that could be slightly above you, e.g. B. Tree branches, clotheslines, hanging lamps and other objects.

With good aim and safety rules, ax throwing can become a fantastic hobby that provides strength training for the brain and upper body!

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