I’m always looking for weird things to do, and in week three of #DryJanuary, it was time to take out some anger on some poor, unsuspecting pine at Houston Axe Throwing.
The experience was more or less what you’d expect. Yes, you have to sign your life away in a waiver. Yes, you have to wear closed-toe shoes. Yes, you do throw axes. However, here are a few things you, if you’re like me and do no research on anything before telling everyone you want to do it, might want to know before you go.
Ax throwing ain’t cheap. Well, it kinda is. It’s like $25 for 1.5 hours. Not too shabby. You do have to leave the loop for it. Sorry, guys, this spot’s hidden off 59 South, kind of in Sharpstown. Again, waiver and shoe specifications. You have to (?) register online before you go in. And, you can’t just pick any day to go. Some nights are reserved for leagues (!!) so usual days for bookings are weekends.
How it works.
You come in after you long voyage from central Houston (totally kidding, it’s not that far) and you check in with your ID. Then you grab one of the hilarious pun-filled name tags. You will only be referred to by your pun name from then on. My fave puns include: Chris Pine, Crazy Ax-Boyfriend, and In-Tree-Go Montoya (You killed my father, prepare to die… via this ax).
When your time comes, you join a group of people that also registered at that time. Yes, strangers, unless you book the whole slot with your team of friends. From there, you learn the safety rules and start learning how to throw. I will say, I was in a REALLY small group (four people) and I still don’t feel like I got any sort of real practice. I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing, despite our awesome guide, Greg, trying his darnest to help teach me.
You learn how to throw with both hands over your head first. I was the worst at this. Then, after the first game, you learn how to throw with one hand. I was marginally better at this
You divide into two teams and play a series of 3-4 games. The first one is like Horse in basketball, but you spell out Timber. Next you play a game that’s first to 30 points, using what you hit on the target. Finally, you play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, where you try to hit the points on the target in order of how they are on a tic-tac-toe board. We got to play a bonus game that was kind of like darts.We lost every. Single. One. I am really, honestly the absolute worst at ax throwing. Y’all, I’m really not bad at anything, but this. This was my downfall.
After the games, you might learn some trick shots, such as underhand throwing (wtf) and double ax throwing (wtf, pt. 2). Guess what! I was also bad at these, of course.
They serve booze.
This seems like an appropriate segway into this. Guess what! If you’re really, really bad at this like I was…. you can drink! Wine by the bottle and tons of local beer.
Some general protips.
- Wear comfy clothes. Athleisure should work! Getting a good range of arm motion is vital.
- Go on a weeknight. Turns out, wednesday at 8 pm ensures a small team which means more throwing time.
- Get a group together. I liked the other couple we played with, but it could have been fun to get a good group together. Plus, carpool for the trek. (JK, it’s not far! I’m just dramatic.)
- You get a discount code at the end of the session for next time. Spoiler: it’s your instructor’s name. Close readers of this blog post might find an easter egg coupon code….
Listen, you might be really, truly, madly, deeply bad at this thing. And, you might be super Type A and that might bother you endlessly. Speaking from experience here. However, even despite all this, I’m ready to go back in and throw some more axes. Do you think my neighbors will call the cops if I try to set up a practice space on my patio?