Axe-throwing bars - where, you guessed it - people throw tomahawks at wooden targets, are a growing trend around America.
Since 2011, axe-throwing bars have sprung up in cities all over the country. Axe-throwing is primarily a group activity booked in advance that costs between $25 and $50 in person. A bar usually supplies all the equipment, as well as safety training. One session generally lasts around two hours.
Many of these new bars are booming. A Green Bay bar that opened last August passed 9,000 patrons as of June, and has a second location in the works. The owners of Axe Club, a Charlotte-based axe-throwing bar that opened in 2017, have already opened a second location in Charlotte as well as another location in Winston-Salem. There are reportedly more than 200 axe-throwing venues around the country.
Axe-throwing is also growing as a sport, with many venues offering league play several nights a week.
What does this mean for wood companies? Could there be business opportunities here?
Many bar owners are getting their wood from lumber suppliers and firewood dealers.
Scott Gracia, who runs the knife-throwing website the Great Throwzini, says softwood like pine and cottonwood make the best targets as axes are more likely to stick. He says to hopeful bar starters:
"If you’re having trouble finding log rounds, call a lumber yard or firewood-type place. I recently stopped at a lumber mill in Kenosha, Wisc., and the guy told me he would save a bunch of soft wood like Pine and Cottonwood and cut me 12″ thick logs (no smaller than 16″ in diameter) for $5 a piece!"
"My favorite wood to use is Cottonwood," Gracia continues. "After it’s been outside for awhile, getting rained on and soaking up all the moisture, it acts like a “self-healing” dart board. The holes seal up quite a bit after you pull your knives out. Other softer woods that work great as knife and axe throwing targets include Pine, Palm, Spruce and Poplar."
An East Texas sawmill and carpentry business identified the trend, transforming its old shop into a barn with four large wooden bull's-eye targets on a wall in the back. In the front, it displays its woodworking projects.
Will axe-throwing continue to trend? Let us know what you think.
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