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How the Skill and Sport of Axe Throwing Came to Be

Axe throwing is one of the most popular recreational activities today. The fact that you’re throwing an axe at a target offers an exciting feeling of danger despite being in a fully safe and controlled environment. For this gloriously fun activity, we have tomahawks to thank.

What is a tomahawk?

The tomahawk is a weapon invented by the Algonquian people of Native America, derived from the native Algonquian words “tamahak” or “tamahakan.” They were originally made from sharpened stone axe heads on wooden handles secured by strips of rawhide. They were regularly used for a wide array of purposes, such as hunting, chopping, and cutting.

It was 400 years ago when something close to the modern tomahawk was finally developed. European colonists found their way to the New World, and the native Algonquians adopted their use of metal, which grew in popularity across various tribes and peoples.

The natives became very good at using it in battle, and they redesigned the tomahawk’s poll (the opposite side of the blade) to resemble hammers, spikes, or pipes for a variety of different applications.

How did axe throwing come to be?

How did axe throwing come to be?

The native Algonquians were already throwing tomahawks for both hunting and participating in battle when necessary. The visiting Europeans saw the versatility of the tomahawk as both a weapon and a tool, and they quickly adopted it into their practices. It grew so popular that even British soldiers started using tomahawks as both a survival tool and a combat weapon.

Even if tomahawk use in combat declined due to the increasing complexity of firearms, it still remained a staple in the arsenals of many soldiers in the years thereafter. Nowadays, throwing tomahawks is more of a recreational activity than anything else.

How do I throw the axe?

How do I throw the axe?

First, you must position yourself with your primary leg slightly forward (if you’re right-handed, this means your right leg). The axe is then gripped close to the base like a baseball bat, with the primary hand closest to the end. From here, you can take aim by pointing the blade at the target.

Once ready, you can raise the axe above your head with a simultaneous deep inhale. As you swing forward, step forward with your secondary leg and exhale sharply. Make sure to release only when the handle is perfectly perpendicular with the ground, and watch as your tomahawk strikes its target true.

It might take you a few practice swings, but with enough time, you could be throwing axes at targets with all the intensity and skill of a native Algonquian defending their home from European invaders. Just make sure to practice at a well-vetted axe throwing venue so that you can learn safely and effectively.

Final thoughts

Axe throwing is an incredibly exciting experience that can be had with dates, coworkers, friends, and family. It might seem like the newest and hottest thing to hit recreational activities, but in reality, it is a skill that has been developed for over 400 years.

If you’re looking for an axe throwing place in Vancouver to practice your tomahawk skills, send us a message at Urban Axe Throwing. We can make your next big event more fun and incredibly interesting.

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