Axe throwing is a lot like darts, except there are no darts. There are also no dart boards. And you don’t throw the same at all. There’s actually not a whole lot in common, except that there are tricks to help you start sticking right off the bat! Here are our 4 simple tricks to help you get your axe nailing (and sticking) in that wood.
Throw the Axe Over the Head
If you are throwing that axe next to your head, it more than likely isn’t going to end well. The axe will likely end up at an angle or you will twist your wrist. When this happens, your blade isn’t going to hit in line with the grain of the wood. That means no sticking for you. Make sure that axe is overhead, like such:
Adjust Your Axe Throwing Distance
The typical distance to throw the axe is between 12 and 15 feet if you are following the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) Rules. When you’re throwing at this distance, the goal is to get one rotation out of the axe. For a thrower just starting out, the axe will either over-rotate or under-rotate. If the axe over-rotates, you’re putting too much rotation on the axe. This equates to too much flick from the wrist or elbow. If your axe under-rotates, you don’t have enough flick. The long but correct fix is to adjust how much flick you’re putting on the axe from your wrist or elbow. The quick fix is to move forward or backward. Over-rotation means move forward, while under-rotation means moving backwards. If you are maintaining that 12 to 15-foot distance while adjusting for rotation, you’re golden.
Follow Through with Your Hands When Throwing the Axe
I can never express how important follow through is. If you aren’t following through with your throw, then the axe is not going to have very much power and will have rotation issues (read number 2). Start to watch yourself as you throw. If you notice your hands look like you’re throwing a baseball or paper ball in the trash, you’re wrong. Throw so that your hands end up pointing at what you are trying to throw at. If you are aiming for a bullseye or blue dot, your hands should be pointing there. All said and done, your hands should look like this:
Keep a Firm Grip on the Handle When Throwing the Axe
You have been used to throwing balls and other object your whole life, which involve a lot of hand and wrist movement. Not with axe throwing. Use your shoulder and elbow as your main joint for the movement while only making minimal movements with the wrist and hand.
These tips are meant to get you hitting the board, but are by no means the one way to do it. Use these as pointers and try them out. If they work, Awesome! If not, look for some more tips, or ask your axe throwing coach what you can do to better your throwing technique. Coach knows best. If you appreciated this post, be sure to follow us on Facebook for more of our great content here.