We try out the latest indoor 'sports' craze — axe throwing is a super satisfying stress-reliever
TAKING a breath, I lift the weapon above my head and prepare to throw it with full force at my target.
But I’m not living out my Game Of Thrones fantasies. I’m enjoying the latest indoor sports craze — axe throwing.
For £22, you too can learn how to throw an axe at a wooden bullseye. There is even a prize for the person who scores the highest points without killing anybody.
Think darts down the pub . . . but on steroids.
Popular in America and Canada, axe throwing has now taken off in Britain. Whistle Punks in London has more than 1,000 people through the door each week.
Customer relationship manager Sam Ogle says: “People find it empowering, but it also feels like something you shouldn’t be allowed to do.”
Women make up nearly half the club’s clientele.
Sam says: “People tend to think of hipster blokes in flannel shirts. But women are smashing it too. It’s technique over strength.”
I am blessed with the hand-eye coordination of a startled toddler, but hey ho!
When I arrive, the club is buzzing with 40 people raring to go. Signing a waiver without really reading it (you may die today, blah blah blah), I listen as pro Simon Aronson gives a safety brief.
First up is a total and non-negotiable ban on booze. The club only serves alcohol-free beer and anyone caught plastered will be thrown out.
Next it’s the art of throwing.
Lift the axe by the throat (that’s the bit near the bottom of the handle) and raise your arm high.
Allow the axe head to drop back so it rests close to your shoulder while your elbow points at the target.
Take a step on to your back foot and go forward, landing on your front foot, throw your arm forward, let go of the axe.
Watch as it effortlessly sails into the bullseye. Except it doesn’t.
With a violent clatter, my axes land everywhere but the target. Simon helpfully reminds me that elbows should point forwards.
I try again and watch the axe land with a satisfying thunk in the bullseye. YES! GET IN!
Of course, my next two throws miss the mark, but minutes later I land another near-perfect shot. I am Thor. I am Arya Stark.
Axe-throwing is thrilling and an aphrodisiac too.
Luke Davis, 27, and Holly Ballard, 26, are here on a date.
Holly says: “We’re really competitive, I thought this would keep him on his toes.”
Rage rooms: Several firms let people smash home appliances with sledgehammers. At The Wreck Room, London, you can destroy TVs.
Car smashing: Obliterate a vehicle with hammers, baseball bats and golf clubs at Carsmash scrapyard near Amsterdam.
Drumming: What better way to release tension than hitting stuff with sticks? Pirate Studios practice rooms have drum kits to rent by the hour across the UK.
Zombie survival: Take on the undead at Zombie Bootcamp, Kidderminster. The heart-racing event of learning how to survive the Apocalypse has been described as “Crystal Maze on crack”.
Extreme dodgems: Have a smashing time, through Virgin Experience Days, racing on a stock car track near Birmingham in battered scrap motors. Drivers are encouraged to bash into rival competitors’ cars.
And Luke says, with a wink: “Hopefully she’ll be too busy looking at me to hit the target.” Holly goes on to beat him 16 points to 5.
Simon explains that there is a league we can join. I imagine myself in sweatbands with an axe in each hand. BattleAxe they shall call me . . .
Maybe I’ll stick to bowling.
- Whistle Punks also has venues in Manchester and Birmingham. A 90-minute session on a group lane costs £22 per person. See whistlepunks.com to book.
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