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BIRTHDAY POLICY: Book your group &
the birthday boy / girl gets in FREE!
The Who, What & Why of Axe Throwing
June 12, 2019
“You do What?!”
“What the hell is axe throwing?”
"Isn't that, I dunno... dangerous?"
If you're an axe thrower, there's no doubt you've been asked these questions multiple times!
My name is Alan Boyle, and I have been fortunate enough to represent Tom O'Hawks in two WATL World Championship Finals (Chicago 2018 & Tucson 2019).
Axe throwing has evolved from being an interest to becoming a hobby and I would now say it is a passion of mine.
As Irish axe throwing community grows rapidly, I hope questions about the sport change from "What is it?" to "How do I get involved?".
But, as of now, here is the answer I give when I tell anyone what I do as my favourite activity.
“I throw an axe at a wooden target, aiming to get the highest score possible in 10 throws. Think of darts but with throwing axes”
And there we have it! A nicely packaged and easy to digest response!
From time to time though, it can still amuse me when a person’s eyes widen, turn their heads slightly sideways and take one step back as if I’m insane.
“Jaysus, that sounds mad altogether!” or something similar is usually the response!!
If I got a euro every time I’ve heard all the above expressions it'd be like winning the local lotto every other week!
Discipline, focus and mental skills are a huge aspect of the game. Sean, the club founder of Tom O’ Hawks has a background in Sport Psychology and Event Management. He quite good at sussing out the best way to approach a task and get things done!
I started myself way back on the opening season in Tom O’ Hawks, gradually learning how to control my throw and hit the big scores. This brought me to the World Finals in Chicago in December 2018 (a proud moment). I walked away from Chicago having finished within the final 32 in the world and picked up some great tips from the top throwers around which has improved my game even further. In 2019, I attended the Canadian Open in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then another World Championship in Tucson, Arizona. This sport is really getting me around to some great spots!
I remember the joy of asking for time off work back in 2018 when I had qualified for the WATL World Championship Final in Chicago. You can imagine the first question..! Anyway, by now, my association with axe throwing is so well known at work that they are usually asking where I'm heading to next!
Axe throwing is a new and fast emerging sport. Originating from North America, it has taken Canada and the US by storm and hundreds of clubs have sprung up in warehouses and retail units attracting thousands of dedicated league members plus throwers and many dedicated clubs. The biggest and most widely represented regulatory bodies are WATL (World Axe Throwing League) and NATF (National Axe Throwing Federation). Both represent axe throwing but have different gameplay and rules differentiated by gameplay to axe specification and targets.
Tom O ’Hawks is a club based in the west of Ireland, just doing our thing, flinging axes. Setup by Sean Boyle after coming back from Canada after 5 years traveling the world and trying axe throwing once I might add!! Started outdoors in a purpose-built unit in the wind and rain he built up a community of axe throwers all interested in one thing, getting out of the pubs and getting into something different. Several league seasons on, the club has gone indoors and grown to 27 full league members with the spine of the club still with those first brave souls that went through one of the coldest winters in 2017.
Feel free to send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) any of those burning questions and I’ll do my best to help. Until then, Keep Throwin’!
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