words :: Ben Osborne Photos:: Courtesy of Forged Axe Throwing
First, let’s set the scene. You’re camping, you spent the entire afternoon chopping wood, and now you are reaping the benefits of a well-fed fire, enjoying a glass of wine as the sun sets. A few glasses later, that axe that you chopped your wood with? It’s probably starting to look a little less like the bringer of back pain, and a bit more like something you think you can chuck into that tree over there.
Go ahead, pick up that axe. Find the nearest tree, give it a whirl. Lets be realistic, we all know what happens next. You either miss the tree, hit it with the butt end of the axe, or you scare the sh*t out of your significant other.
But it looks so easy in all the movies, you think. Well the truth is—its not that difficult, you just need the right tools and a little bit of coaching on your technique (most likely).
There is much, much more to this historically grounded sport than a few tipsy tosses—and companies like Forged Axe Throwing out of Whistler, BC are here to show you the way.
Axes are by no means a new tool—in fact they are some of the oldest known to man. In the stone age, axes were commonly made without a handle (or haft) and the cutting edge was made from stone. They were used as weapons sometimes, although historians surmise that they were mainly used as hunting tools, as they would be useful when the hunter could not get close enough to the wild animal being hunted.
Europeans eventually brought axes to the new world, providing axes as tomahawks to the people of North America. According to legend, the first axe throwing competitions were held by frontiersmen in North America.
Today, axe-throwing most commonly appears in two places—at lumberjack sports competitions, and at axe-throwing venues like Forged Axe Throwing in Whistler, BC, and BATL, the Backyard Axe Throwing League (with locations all across Canada).
Both Forged and BATL offer drop-in axe throwing, along with league memberships that foster community and cultivate friendship through sport. Think of a pool club or a softball league— but a bit more fast paced and fun.
Forged, founded as a result of a close friendship between James Anderson And Brett Easton, is the produdct of a love the for the outdoors. The founders saw axe-throwing as a natural progression for those who love the outdoor activities, and it has since blossomed into an effective community building tool in Whistler and beyond.
Where Can I Axe Throw?
BATL has locations across Canada in Ontario, Alberta, and most recently, Forged Axe Throwing opened up in Whistler, BC. Each location offers opportunities to join a league, as well as opportunities for drop-in, and more. The instructors will teach you axe-throwing techniques, teach you rules of how to play against others, and show you a few nifty tricks to impress your buddies next time you’re out on a camping trip.
For more information, visit their websites at https://batlgrounds.com/ or https://www.forgedaxe.ca/