Axe Throwing Fundamentals: A Beginner’s Guide

Are you ready for an exhilarating challenge that combines skill, precision, and a whole lot of fun? Then look no further, because it’s time to learn how to throw an axe! 

Discover your inner warrior as we guide you through the ins and outs of this exciting sport. You’ll be hitting bullseyes in no time with our step-by-step guide. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Short Summary

  • Choose the perfect axe and keep it sharp for a thrilling experience!
  • Master fundamentals like stance, grip style, height & angle to become an axe throwing pro!
  • Prioritise safety with awareness of surroundings and etiquette for a fun & safe throw.

Choosing the Right Axe for Throwing

Before you can unleash your inner lumberjack, you need the right tools for the job. Choosing the perfect axe for throwing is essential for both safety and success. With various types of axes out there, it’s crucial to know which one suits you best.

Keeping your axe sharp and well-maintained is also vital for a thrilling and safe experience. So let’s dive into the world of axes and find the perfect match for your throwing adventures!

Types of Axes

When it comes to axe throwing, not all axes are created equal. Hatchets, tomahawks, and throwing axes each have their unique characteristics that cater to different skill levels and preferences. 

For example, hatchets are small axes with short handles, typically used for chopping wood. Throwing axes, on the other hand, are specially designed with a longer handle and a heavier head, specifically crafted for throwing with precision and power.

But what’s the best type of axe for throwing? 

The answer is a one-piece steel axe with a 14–16 inch handle. It provides the perfect balance between weight and control, making it a favourite among both beginners and advanced axe throwers alike. 

So, if you’re looking for the ultimate throwing companion, look no further!

Sharpness and Safety

Now that you have the right axe, it’s time to focus on sharpness and safety. Using the right axe can make your experience easier and safer, sticking to the target with a minimum effort. 

To keep your axe in tip-top shape, use a sharpening stone or file to maintain its edge.

Prioritising safety should always be the topmost concern when throwing an axe. You can prevent accidents by practising safety measures. 

Ensure that your surroundings are clear and adhere to proper axe throwing tips and retrieving etiquette to reduce the risk of accidents. 

So keep your axe sharp, stay aware, and throw with confidence!

Recommendations for Beginners

Are you new to the exhilarating world of axe throwing? Fear not! We have the perfect recommendation for you—the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) Competition Thrower.

This axe is specifically designed for beginners, thanks to its lighter weight and shorter handle. Weighing just over 2 lbs, this very sharp axe is easy to handle and perfect for honing your throwing skills.

Remember, practice makes perfect. As you become more comfortable with your axe, explore other types and styles tailored to your preference. 

But for now, the WATL Competition Thrower is your trusted companion on your journey to becoming an axe-throwing pro!

Mastering the Fundamentals of Axe Throwing

a focused man demonstrating axe throwing fundamentals, confidently holding the axe over his shoulder, ready to execute the perfect throw

Now, let’s dive into the fundamentals of axe throwing. Mastering the basics is crucial for both safety and success. 

Stance, body positioning, grip styles, hand placement, and finally axe height and angle are crucial to your experience. We’ll guide you through every step of the process.

So let’s get started on becoming an axe throwing pro!

Stance and Body Positioning

Stance plays a vital role in axe throwing. There are two common techniques: the two-handed and one-handed stances. 

In a two-handed stance, you’d place both hands on the axe handle. Place the dominant hand at the back and the non-dominant one at the front. In a one-handed stance, you’ll focus on the dominant hand only.

For proper foot placement, ensure a solid and stable stance with feet shoulder-width apart and leaning slightly forward. For right-handed throwers, the left foot should be forward, and vice versa for lefties.

With a confident stance, you’re ready to throw with precision and power!

Grip Styles and Hand Placement

Your grip style is another fundamental aspect of axe throwing. There are two grip styles to choose from: the hammer grip and the modified hammer grip. 

For the first, you’ll hold the axe handle in the palm of your hand. For the modified version, you’ll hold it in the palm with the thumb and middle finger wrapped around it.

The recommended hand placement for beginners is at the base of the handle. As you progress, you may experiment with different grip styles and hand placements to find what works best for you.

Remember, consistency is key to improving your throws!

Axe Height and Angle

Setting up the axe height and angle is crucial for accurate shots. Stand straight when throwing, extend your throwing arm horizontally at shoulder level and keep your throwing hand horizontal too. 

With a proper stance and hand placement, maintaining the correct axe height and angle becomes second nature.

Wrist position also plays a significant role in axe rotation. Keeping your wrist straight or bending it drastically affects the starting point of your axe’s rotation. 

Mastering the height and angle of your throw is vital in consistently hitting your target.

Developing Your Throwing Technique

A visual representation of axe throwing fundamentals. An axe is firmly lodged in the freshly cut tree wood, showcasing the precision and technique required for successful axe throwing.

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, it’s time to develop your unique throwing technique. Whether you prefer the finesse of a one-handed throw or the power of two hands, adjusting your throw distance is essential for perfecting your skills.

So let’s explore different throwing techniques and find the one that suits you best!

Two-Handed Throwing

We highly recommend the two-handed throwing technique for beginners. To execute it, grip the axe with both hands, bring it back over your head, and bring your arms forward in one fluid motion. Make sure the axe goes straight and that you exert enough force and have good accuracy.

As you practise, pay attention to your grip, release, and follow-through. Keep your grip relaxed and your wrist straight when throwing. Release the axe forward when your arms are extended, and aim directly toward the centre of the target with confidence.

With dedication and practice, you’ll soon master the art of two-handed axe throwing!

One-Handed Throwing

If you’re ready for a more advanced technique, the one-handed throw might be your perfect match. To perform it, align your shoulder with the target, keep the axe straight, and release it when the handle is vertical. 

Bring the axe back past your ear, start your forward motion, and follow through as if you were throwing a dart.

As with the two-handed technique, it’s crucial to focus on your grip, release, and follow-through. With consistent practice and attention to detail, you’ll soon be throwing one-handed like a pro!

Adjusting Throw Distance

As you continue to develop your throwing technique, adjusting your distance from the target is essential for better results. 

To do this, set a distance of 3.6m from the target to your throwing line and adjust as needed.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and adjusting your throw distance is a vital part of mastering the art of axe throwing. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect distance for your unique throwing style. After all, the key to a successful throw is finding the right balance between power and accuracy.

Setting Up Your Axe Throwing Space

A focused woman in a sleek black costume, confidently holding an axe with both hands, ready to demonstrate axe throwing fundamentals

With your stance perfected, it’s time to create your very own axe throwing haven. Setting up a safe and functional space is crucial for an enjoyable and efficient practice session. 

From target design and construction to store and venue setup, and finally distance and boundaries, we’ll guide you through every step of the process.

So, let’s get started crafting the ultimate axe throwing space for you to sharpen your skills!

Target Design and Construction

An illustration of an axe firmly lodged into a wooden target, demonstrating axe throwing fundamentals with precision and strength.

The heart of your axe throwing space is the target. The recommended target design comprises five vertical 2″x10″ wooden planks arranged next to each other. 

To create your target, you’ll need a stencil and some markers for accurate measurements. Ensure you have an area large enough for your target; dimensions of 1.2m by 2–2.5m are ideal. Don’t forget to factor in the width and height required when setting up your target.

For a more professional touch, you can check out Johnny Throws’ target design for inspiration. 

With your target set up, you’re one step closer to perfecting your axe throwing prowess!

Store and Venue Setup

Vintage-themed image showcasing essential 'Axe Throwing Fundamentals': An old-world axe and knife resting gracefully on a rustic wooden surface amidst a lush natural backdrop

Besides the target, the overall setup of your axe throwing space plays a key role in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Johnny Throws’ setup provides a great example, with axe throwing groups having their own set of boundaries, fences, and targets arranged side-by-side. 

The best store and venue setups prioritise safety and comfort for participants.

For target materials, soft wood with vertical grain is the best choice. The vertical grain helps absorb the impact of the axe and prevents it from bouncing off the target. 

With a well-designed store and venue setup, you can focus on honing your skills in a secure environment.

Distance and Boundaries

An expertly lodged axe in rustic wood, reminiscent of axe throwing fundamentals mastered through time.

Establishing and maintaining a consistent orientation between your body, target, and axe is essential for accurate and safe axe throwing. To do this, set a distance of 3.6m from the target to your throwing line and adjust your distance as needed to increase or decrease the throw distance.

Using a marker for throwing distance helps ensure that you’re consistently throwing from the same distance, which will ultimately improve your accuracy. Remember, practice makes perfect, and adjusting your throw distance is a vital part of mastering the art of axe throwing.

Prioritising Safety in Axe Throwing

A close-up view of feet firmly planted on the ground, holding an axe that is stuck deep in a wooden target. This image demonstrates the art of 'Axe Throwing Fundamentals' as the man showcases his accurate technique and balance during the throw.

Safety should always be your number one priority when engaging in axe throwing. Being aware of your surroundings and following proper throwing and retrieving etiquette are vital. There’s no room for cutting corners with safety during hits, especially when employing safe axe removal techniques.

So let’s delve into the best practices for ensuring a thrilling and secure axe throwing experience!

Awareness of Surroundings

Before you let your axe fly, it’s crucial to ensure that your surroundings are clear. When throwing, maintain a 1.8m that’s clear of all people or potential obstacles.

Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility. By staying vigilant and respecting the space of your fellow throwers, you can ensure a fun and accident-free experience for all.

Throwing and Retrieving Etiquette

Proper throwing and retrieving etiquette is crucial for a safe axe throwing environment. 

When throwing axes with a partner, ensure that you throw and retrieve axes together. This practice helps minimise the potential for accidents and promotes a respectful and enjoyable experience for all participants.

Always wait for your turn and be mindful of others when throwing and retrieving axes. 

By following these simple etiquette guidelines, you can contribute to a positive and secure atmosphere for everyone involved.

Safe Axe Removal Techniques

Last but not least, it’s crucial to practise safe axe removal techniques. To remove an axe from the target, shift the blade up and down until it gradually falls loose. Avoid pulling it straight out, as this can cause the handle to break or splinter, which can be incredibly dangerous.

By using the proper technique and taking your time, you’ll ensure safe and efficient axe removal. Following these safety guidelines won’t only protect you, but also ensure the longevity of your axe.


Axe throwing is an exciting and rewarding sport that requires skill, precision, and dedication. Choosing the right axe, setting up your space and perfecting your stance and technique are just the beginning. We’ve covered everything you need to know to embark on your axe throwing journey.

As you hone your skills and embrace the thrill of the throw, always remember to prioritise safety and respect the space of your fellow throwers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a trick to axe throwing?

Yes! The trick to axe throwing lies in your technique. Bring the axe back past your ear, nearly touch your shoulder, follow through as if you were throwing a dart and release when the handle is straight up and down.

What is the footwork for axe throwing?

Axe throwing footwork starts with standing roughly 3.6m back from the target, behind the black line. Step forward with your non-dominant foot and then let fly!

How strong do you need to be for axe throwing?

You don’t need to be strong at all! Axe throwing is a sport that anyone can enjoy, regardless of strength or age. As long as your form is correct and you throw with caution, you can join in on the fun.

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