The last decade saw a number of fad activities, many of which didn’t last all that long: bottle flipping, planking, fidget spinning… the list goes on. One activity that did endure, however, despite being popularized this past decade, is axe throwing. Rather than receding into the annals of history, this lumberjack sport has actually enjoyed a huge surge in popularity, not unlike the modern roller derby revival in the early 2000s, or the paintball surge in the mid-80s.
People seemed to take immediately to the sport, and leagues, starting with the Backyard Axe Throwing League in Canada, started to spring up to meet the demand. Before long, a national tournament was organized and champions emerged. A full-fledged sport enjoyed by countless thousands of people, mostly here in North America, axe throwing continues to pull people in.
Some are in it to win it, joining leagues and competitions, and others are a little more low-key in their enjoyment, preferring to try axe throwing with friends at a birthday party or as a leisurely weekend activity. It begs the question, though: why is axe throwing so popular these days? Well, here are a few reasons why.
Life Of The Party
It can’t be understated how important the communal aspect of axe throwing is to its popularity. Unlike a lot of other fad activities that fizzle out, axe throwing has a built-in spirit of competition, as well as a novelty factor, both of which make it a natural fit for birthday parties, bachelor(ette) parties, company parties, etc. When a party planner is faced with the choice whether to have a party at a pool hall or an axe-throwing place, most people these days are gravitating towards the latter, because it’s fresh, new and exciting.
A New Kind Of Competition
Humans are constantly looking for new competitive outlets (just consider the sheer amount of things people gamble on), so it’s no surprise that when a compelling, competitive idea like axe throwing entered the public psyche, people were onboard. The game is both straightforward and complex – straightforward in its rules, but complex in its techniques. You aim to hit a target on a wooden board with your axe, where the inner bulls-eye is worth more than the surrounding ring, which is worth more than its surrounding ring; it’s sort of like archery if that helps.
Work sucks for most people. It’s a daily conveyer belt of annoyances, grievances, menial tasks and underappreciated work. It’s no surprise, therefore, that a sport like axe throwing – where you literally hurl a weapon at a wooden target, watching as its wedges and splinters – would become popular. Feeling the grip of an axe, launching it through the air and hitting that bulls-eye dead on can be one of the most cathartic experiences imaginable.
Team Building Exercise
Another reason that axe throwing has ascended in popularity seems to be its easy tie-in with corporate team building. Companies need an activity that reinforces teamwork, skills acquisition and light competitiveness, and axe throwing ticks all those boxes. What’s more, when compared to some of the other, more traditional team building activities that companies plan, like hiking or icebreaker games, axe throwing feels more like a party than work. If you go to a Backyard Axe Throwing League facility on an average day, you’re likely to see at least one lane occupied by a company team building party, so you know that they account for at least some of the sport’s popularity.
An Exhilarating Way To Work Out
Finally, it seems almost too obvious to mention, but for a lot of people axe throwing offers a fun, exciting way to work out. It’s by no means the same kind of full body workout you might get from an intense gym class, but it’s great for your core, shoulders and lats. Plus, unlike a gym class, the time flies. People caught wind of axe throwing’s exercise potential early on, and after a certain, very fit Game Of Thrones cast member showed off his proficiency with an axe, people took notice of the new sport as a muscle toner.
These are a few of the reasons why the North American fascination with axe throwing has not only endured but grown over the past decade. It is also, incidentally, a list of reasons why you, the reader, would probably enjoy axe throwing. Get some friends together, have a pint or two, and find out what the craze is all about.