“After a while it becomes a lot of fun to throw something sharp at a wall. The stress just goes away.”
The experience begins with some rules and a stern warning.
“This is just to keep everybody safe so that everyone leaves with all their fingers and toes,” the instructors say.
It certainly sounds like what would follow would require a significant amount of courage.
In reality, the newest trend in party planning and corporate team-building only requires some concentration, creativity and a willingness to look a little silly until you get the hang of it.
“This is the coolest place you’ll ever come,” explained Abbie Sala, the general manager of Dallas Axe Throwing, located in Richardson. “We teach people how to throw axes and relax.”
Dallas Axe Throwing opened 10 months ago, the first club of its kind to bring the trend to North Texas. A separate ax throwing club has since opened in Fort Worth and another is expected to open in Dallas over the summer.
These clubs give people a chance to experience a sport many Texans have never even heard of.
“People look at us like we’re nuts until they get the ax in their hand and they throw it for the first time and then they’re like, ‘Where has this been all my life?,’” Sala said. “We took the idea from our Canadian friends and brought it down here because we knew Texans would love it, and we were right.”
After the safety tips and a short lesson in technique, participants take turns heaving an ax over their heads toward a wooden target. The goal is to make the ax stick. The closer to the bullseye, the better.
People often begin with a few ugly misses. But once they start having success, they start having fun.
“After a while it becomes a lot of fun to throw something sharp at a wall. The stress just goes away,” said Presley Watkins, who came to Dallas Axe Throwing on a recent Tuesday night.
Sala is serious about safety.
“We haven’t had a single ‘ax-ident’ and we plan to keep it that way,” she proudly said.
They call their instructors “axperts,” and with his red plaid flannel shirt and dark beard, Daryl Swanson looks the part. He has been a knife and an ax thrower all his life.