The objective of axe throwing might look simple — you have to hurl an axe over your head toward a wooden target — but the technique is difficult to master. You need to throw the axe with enough force to reach the target, but you also have to flick your hands at the precise moment of release so the axe makes exactly one-and-a-half rotations.
“Not many people can show up and hit a bull’s eye,” says Matthew Seymour of Conduit Law. “In fact, most people don’t even get the axe to stick.”
Though the learning curve is usually steep, it wasn’t for Seymour. In March of 2014, he joined the Backyard Axe Throwing League and started to compete once a week. Within two years, he had finished in the top four of his league. This allowed him to compete in the National Axe Throwing Federation champion’s league, which crowns the best thrower in the country. He qualified the following year, too, but never made it past the preliminary round.
“I think axe throwing is a Zen thing,” he says. “During league nights, there’s a lot of loud music, cheering and trash talking. It can be challenging to get into the right head space to hit the bull’s eye consistently. But for me, that’s the best part. I have to be present, ignore the noise and think about one throw at a time.” He particularly loves the fact that his current league runs in the evening on Sundays. “It really sets me up for the workweek.”
This story is from our Fall 2018 Issue.