Indoor Ax Throwing Is At The Cutting Edge Of Fun In The Twin Cities

By Richard Chin
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneurs are promoting “Ax throwing” as a new sport with league competition and tournaments.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Your arm flexes as you squeeze the handle.

Your steely eyes lock on the target as you cock your arm and throw.

The light glints off the deadly blade as it whistles gracefully through the air.

There’s a satisfying “thunk!” and a spray of splinters as the ax head sinks into the wooden board, right in the bull’s-eye. People around you are cheering. A bell is ringing. Someone is handing you a beer.

This, you think, is better than miniature golf.

At least that’s what promoters hope you’ll think when you try your hand at the latest recreational activity to hit the Twin Cities area: ax throwing.

City folk who don’t really need to split wood are picking up axes (actually more like hatchets) and hurling them at targets as part of corporate team-building activities, bachelorette parties or guys’ night out.

In the past year, indoor ax throwing venues have opened in a warehouse space in northeast Minneapolis, in a former canning factory in St. Paul and at a family entertainment center in Oakdale.

You can also do it outdoors at a paintball center in Lakeville. It’s a little like going to a bowling alley. They provide the axes, the rules and, once they get city liquor licensing approval, the beer. You can feel like a lumberjack and an athlete: Entrepreneurs are promoting the activity as a new sport with league competition and tournaments.

It might seem scary, but you don’t have to be an action hero. Instructors say they can teach almost anyone to do it, even kids, in a few minutes.

“It’s kind of exciting and fun and a little bit dangerous,” said Jason Kimmel, a 43-year-old Lakeville man who threw axes with a couple of 40-something buddies at FlannelJax’s in St. Paul. “There’s nothing like holding sharp steel in your hand.”

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