Are Axe Throwing Ranges the New Batting Cage?

Have you heard of an axe throwing centre? That's right, we didn't spell center wrong, because this glorious hobby is actually championed by Canadians. What is it exactly? It's like an archery range or shooting range but you sling axes at a chunk of wood bolted to the wall. There's chain link fence separating you from your neighbor lane. It's huge in Canada and has been for years. You can even drink alcohol at some of the axe throwing facilities. Timber Lounge, Riot Axe, and some BATL locations are licensed for alcohol. It's like an extreme game of darts.

Everything you need to know about Axe Throwing

What started as fun between lumberjack buddies became a backyard hobby and is now a big business. There's even an accredited National Axe Throwing Federation with official rules and a national championship. The federation is founded by BATL, Peterborough Axe Club, Rage Academy, Riot Axe, Timber Lounge, and Urban Axes. The federation promotes safety, sportsmanship, and rules for the sport of axe throwing.

National Axe Throwing Federation

National Axe Throwing Federation

Axes and the sport of axe throwing has a long and deep history. Multiple cultures through history have used axes and many of these cultures have also held axe throwing competitions. From the Celts, to Native Americans, to Boy Scouts, axes and axe throwing are deep traditions that continue to this day.

Axe throwing is a growing market and many people's livelihoods depend on the businesses they've created around it. Entrepreneurs are creating axe throwing centers all over the place and the economy around it is still growing. There's one-off mom and pop axe throwing centers and then there's axe throwing chains that span international borders. 

Axe throwing is huge in Canada. Southern Ontario in particular has a strangely high amount of Axe throwing centers, 18 to be exact.  The biggest axe throwing chains are Bad Axe Throwing and BATL. BATL is considered the originator of axe throwing facilities and deserves a lot of the credit. Bad Axe is the largest with 11 locations. Axe throwing ranges are not just limited to Canada, they cross the border into the U.S. too. There's only one location in the U.S. so far, and it's in Chicago, but we're predicting that many more will open up in the States. People are still just starting to learn about axe throwing centres and it's gaining traction. We have a full list of all the Axe Throwing Centres in Canada and the U.S. at the bottom of this article.

What should we call these axe throwing places anyways? It's like an alley, or a hall. An axe hall. Or is it an axrena? Throwarium? I think they should be called axing range. It's like a shooting range, but with axes. Let's just bury the hatchet and call it is an axe throwing range.


Is axe throwing dangerous, and are there liability concerns when creating an axe throwing business? Well, it's just like opening a shooting range, or an archery range, or batting cages. You have to get the proper insurance and licenses. Then you have to think about safety, and safety is always first. You have to educate your customers on throwing form and etiquette. Customers sign a waiver and know what they're getting themselves into. Axe throwing is not 100% safe, but neither is getting out of bed in the morning.

There have been accidents at ranges before. One time, an axe bounced back and nicked a girl's foot. She was wearing flip flops and required 4 stitches. If you visit a facility that follows NATF guidelines, you'll never see anyone wearing flip-flops. NATF facilities take safety very seriously, which is why the federation was formed in the first place, to standardize and uphold the highest safety standards.

Axe throwing ranges also have coaches that teach proper technique to minimize the risk of injury. Maxemus Axe Throwing in Markham has a particularly elevated experience that includes personalized training and target practice. After training, the Maxemus Battle takes place, where the winners take home the title of Warriors and a prize. This sounds like it would be a great birthday party.

So why throw an axe anyways? Well because it's fun, not difficult, and something new to try! It could even be a great date idea or team building activity. It's not that expensive either, prices range from $20-40 per person. Some of the ranges even let you bring your own beer. So relax, grab an axe, and don't pass on the chance to try this uniquely entertaining activity.

If you've been to an axe throwing center before, let us know how it was in the comments!

Do you have what it takes to bury the hatchet?

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List of Axe Throwing Centres/Ranges

in Canada by Province/State/City