If I had a nickel for every time, I get asked about the video of the girl throwing an axe and it flies back at her, I’d have a lot of nickels. In the video, a young woman throws the axe so hard that the handle hits the ground so hard it then hits against the target and flies back at her. Luckily, she is able to dodge it and avoids getting a nice haircut. So, what went wrong? Well, what didn’t? I’m going to do my best to explain it and put people who are hesitant about axe throwing at ease.
First off, notice there is no axe throwing coach anywhere to be seen in this video. That is a big no-no in the axe throwing business especially with people who have never thrown an axe before. At American Axes, we never walk away from someone who is new and hasn’t landed on the board yet. Our job as a coach is to make sure you are comfortable with throwing and that you are throwing properly to avoid incidents like this. The lack of a coach is the number one reason that happened.
Secondly, when she threw the axe, she threw it WAY TOO HARD. It doesn’t take a lot of power to throw an axe at a board and have it stick. Our coaches stress that when throwing you want to throw through the board not at it just don’t throw it so hard you blow your back out. In other words, throw it like you mean it just don’t give it everything you have. The reason why we stress not to give it everything you have is because usually when you do that you will spike the axe in front of you, or what you saw in the video where the handle hits so hard it comes back. When you try axe throwing, please don’t try to throw at 100% power – you’re not going to be nearly as successful as a finesse thrower.
Another issue is that starting off with such a big axe isn’t a good idea. I’ve been an axe long enough to know that starting off with an Estwing is not the best axe for a beginner. Estwing’s, which is what she threw in the video, are both longer and heavier than the types of axes that we primarily use at American Axes. We recommend using a wooden handled axe for beginners. Wooden handled axes in my opinion are preferred for beginners because they don’t have as much bounce to them compared to a metal handle. It’s easier because they aren’t so heavy, you can let go of them properly because you aren’t having to use as much strength to throw the axe. When you use a lot of power to throw an axe you will tend to throw it low (as she did). Couple the axe choice, another important technique to remember is that you want to release the axe at eye-level. In the video, she let it go way too late when her arms were pointing towards the ground. Something that is very easy to correct!
When you are ready to throw axes, make sure a coach is present if you’ve never done this before. It is our job as coaches to coach and make sure you’re comfortable and throwing properly. Remember that axe throwing is a finesse sport, don’t throw it hard it doesn’t take much power to stick it in the target. Finally, remember to release the axe at eye level, which is basically straight ahead of you.
I mean it when I say that axe throwing is very safe. There have been no reported major injuries from axe throwing and that is saying something with how many ranges have popped up across the country. Come try throwing axes, it is an excellent stress reliever and once you get the hang of how to throw, you’re going to love it!
Thanks for reading and have a great day!