Growing lumberjack sport of axe throwing is sticking in Utah

Apr 20, 2018, 9:45 PM | Updated: 10:13 pm

MURRAY, Utah – It’s starting to stick in Utah. Four clubs along the Wasatch Front now help folks unwind by letting them throw axes.

Brad Jolitz and his work buddies came to Axe Arena in Murray for a team building exercise.

“It’s a blast, we’re looking for a great team activity, throw some axes and get to know each other a little better,” Jolitz said.

You don’t have to be a professional lumberjack. Each club has a coach that will make sure you know what you’re doing before you throw. But surely, tossing steel blades around can’t be safe, right?

“I would argue this is not any more dangerous than an archery range,” said Axe Arena co-owner, Elvin Lau. “We’ve brought it (axe throwing) into an indoor, regulated, safe and controlled environment. It’s much safer than doing it in your own backyard. We have experts to make sure you’re enjoying it while staying safe.”

There is one safety requirement. Axe throwers do have to wear closed-toe shoes. Lau insists the axes are only sharp enough to stick to the targets. They’re not going to hurt you to the touch.

“It’s really the weight of the axes that drives the axe into the target, it’s not really the sharpness,” said Lau. “We don’t want people to get cut on sharp blades.”

Ax throwing leagues have been chiseled out in Utah. The sport does have official rules and regulations, but those vary slightly depending on what governing body the venue belongs to. There’s the World Axe Throwing League and the National Axe Throwing Federation. True North Axe Throwing in Lehi belongs to the latter.

Social Axe Throwing’s Mark Floyd showed KSL’s Debbie Dujanovic how to throw.

“It’s an energy release, number one,” says Floyd. “It’s surprisingly satisfying. And, now, you get to talk smack for the next two weeks until you come back.”

The “throwing” rate for most clubs is around $15 a person for an hour. Consider reserving a spot before you go. It can get crowded as more Utahns embrace their inner lumberjack.

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Growing lumberjack sport of axe throwing is sticking in Utah