Axe Throwing entertainment venues are popping up all over the world. Surely this has gotta be the most ‘punk’ entertainment ever!
When you think of an axe you probably immediately imagine a rather sharp implement used for chopping down trees. Some warped minds out there will see men in plaid shirts singing Monty Python’s lumberjack song and fantasy fiction fans may think of dwarf warriors of Middle-earth!
Now, thanks to three businessmen from the Gold Coast in Australia many people are seeing axes as being things you throw about to have a fun day with your mates!
Yes, axe throwing – it’s a thing! Not just a thing – a really fun thing. Over the last decade, it has become somewhat of an underground worldwide-sensation with axe throwing entertainment venues opening up all over the globe.
Owners Sam Hay and Tyson McMillan, along with marketing manager Rory Swane, were inspired to start their business while hanging out together and throwing axes at a target Tyson had set up in his back yard (as you do).
Sam had lived in Canada previously and was familiar with axe throwing as a pastime and he had discovered that there was only one other axe throwing business down under. A business idea was born and eventually became a booming enterprise for the three friends – who now own venues across Australia.
So, how ‘punk’ is Lumber Punks? The guys have a strong connection with music and all being either current or ex-members of bands they wanted to make sure that music played a big role in the business.
“We’ve all got a big affinity with music and we’ve all run music venues before., ” Rory Swane explains “We wanted to bring that attitude to axe throwing”
The business name Lumber Punks is also, according to Rory, a clever play on words.
“The word ‘punk’ has roots stemming from the early days of the timber business – and ‘punk’ is the name given to discarded wood from timber yards.
Lumber Punk is for anyone and everyone Rory says. “We get everyone from people with kids and the oldest axe thrower we’ve had was a 97-year-old lady.”
If you decide you love hurling an axe about you can even compete in the Lumber Punk axe throwing league.
“Everyone can play in our axe-throwing league. There’s no male or female league or special disability league, everyone completes on the same playing field,” Rory explains.
“We have a couple of guys in wheelchairs who compete on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. For them it’s good, they don’t feel marginalised like you have to play ‘wheelchair basketball or whatever – they just roll in and they’re equal with everyone else.”
So how much skill do you need to throw an axe about and surely it’s a bit dangerous? According to Rory, anyone can throw an axe, it’s just a matter of fine-tuning your skill to become good – and of course, safety is their number one concern.
“We’ve spent a lot of time over the last four years fine-tuning how we can train anyone who comes through our venue to throw an axe as quickly as possible and also as safely as possible,” Rory says.
For the axe throwing initiation, the guys put everyone in the safest of hands -their operations manager, a 29-year army veteran who has years of training soldiers in the airborne division.
“He was able to bring on a lot of those army training techniques, and he’s able to advise people where to adjust what they’re doing. In about 30 seconds he should be able to identify what they need to do to get the axe in the board.”
The biggest fallacy or belief is that axe throwing is an activity purely for men. This couldn’t be more wrong. In the current Lumber punks league, the guys say there’s an approximate 55/45, male/females split. “Some of our best and most consistent throwers are female.”
So what’s the most punk thing about axe-throwing at Lumber Punks?
“It’s just about creating a community based around what punk music originated from,” Rory says. “People coming from different backgrounds, different upbringings all coming together over one thing. We’ve created a space where people can come together with a common love for music and axe throwing.”
Lumber Punks in West End, Brisbane is a great way to expel some pent up energy in a positive way. They currently have two other Australian venues, Queensland’s Gold Coast and in Perth Western Australia.
So go grab some friends and burn off some of your pent up inner warrior anger by hurling a few axes around and having a laugh! Besides, you never know who you might bump into!
Axe throwing is a worldwide business. Check out your local area for your closest venue.