One cannot deny the allure of axe throwing. Since it started out as a backyard activity in 2006, its popularity has extended beyond North America. Now, you can see axe throwing clubs across the United States, Canada, and even in Europe. There are even leagues that organize competitions as well as venues with an axe throwing range. Undeniably axe throwing is all the rage right now.
However, to excel in axe throwing, you need constant practice. Hurling an axe is a skill. Unlike throwing a ball, you don’t have control of the axe when you launch it. It requires lots of training and practice. You need to master the right velocity, release, and the right angle when to release the axe.
As author Jerry Gilbert in his Advanced Throwing Weapon study reveals: “There is no one correct way to throw.” You can learn to throw in any way you like if you work on it. Although there is no right way or wrong way, there is going to be a better or worse way. There are different levels of throw. There are throws that demand a great deal of time and work to master. There are also throws that are highly accurate even with a moderate amount of practice. No two throws will be equal.
This is where axe throwing ranges will come in. They will provide you with an avenue for practicing axe throwing and improve your skills. This article will guide you on the things you need to work on to perfect your axe throwing skill.
For the stance, it should be solid, stable, and balanced. Your head, feet, and axe should be positioned directly towards the center of the target. An unsure stance means you could be correcting your balance once you begin your throwing motion. This will decrease your ability to move perfectly towards your target.
Knowing your throwing distance will also help you have a good throwing stance. Ideally, you should be releasing the axe with your feet as close to the 12-foot line. Having a final position at the 12-foot line will give you a clear advantage. There is an 8.3% larger angle for your throw trajectory to result in a bullseye if your feet is close to the 12-feet line instead of being 13 feet away.
How you handle the axe will make a difference in your throw. An inconsistent grip will potentially lead to incorrect release point. This could result to a large margin of error. Aside from that, it could make it difficult for you to control the speed of your spin causing it to tilt left to right and wobble.
Most throwers use a light grip towards the middle to the end of their palm. If you are a fast thrower, having a stronger grip is usually unavoidable. However, if you are aiming for accuracy, practice a finessed throw. You can watch some videos of great grips although it will take a lot of practice and explanation from more experienced throwers to understand.
Keep your throw simple
You should always aim for a simple and easily repeatable throw. Extra or complex motions will result to a huge variance in throws. Your throw may be accurate but if it involves too much complex movements, you may need to make corrections on your throw under pressure.
Find a consistent starting point
The throw arc should be incorporated into your throw setup. The ideal scenario is for your axe to be directly in line with your throw arc. It is not necessary for the throw arc to be lined up with your eyes. For the two-handed throw, it should be directly centered overhead. If you are unwilling to change the starting position of your axe, you can still mitigate the side motion by slowing down the backswing and/or briefly pausing at the back end of the throw.
Choose your axe, handle shape, and length
- Try different axes and change them at any time!
- Slim handles with flat edges or round handles with slightly flat side edges make it easy to grip in the same way and reduce the chance of accidentally turning the handle. However, the shape and length of the handle depend on the size and physiological condition of the hand.
- A heavy ax has greater inertia and can sink deeper, but any ax within weight limits will stay in sequence.
- You will notice that when you use a lighter ax it is much easier to throw and practice longer. Practice is important to improve accuracy, consider using a lighter ax, especially when throwing with one hand.
Adjust your conditions
- Understand the board with which you are committed. It all comes down to the fact that it is difficult not to drop the ax. Factors associated with this include the humidity of the wood, the hardness of the wood, the degree of cut of the wood (including the texture angle), the knots near the target point and whether the wood has already been thrown on.
- If the board is very soft and sticky, it is ideal to adjust the rotation angle so that the sheet is flat and parallel to the board.
- If you know that the wood is hard, based on any of these factors, to minimize the probability of falling, you may need to adjust the angle of the ax to the nearest point. This does not always mean that a large angle adjustment is required. When the ax hits the board, even if the angle is 15-30 degrees, this will cause the point to hit first and jam, covering an additional area of the board with the rest of the blade.
- An ideal way to adjust the angle of rotation is to change the projection distance from the target. Changing the grip or throwing can change too many variables, and the distance will only change by one.
All these factors can be improved by practicing in axe throwing venues. Their number is growing so it is unlikely that you won’t miss them. In fact, there might already be one near you.