Throwing Axes at the Batlgrounds

I had a serendipitous Saturday off last weekend and I was thrilled to spend the day with my buddy, Roman. When he asked what I wanted to do, I replied, “I am up for anything!” I expected him to suggest going for patio beers at the Ship and Anchor, or eating Made by Marcus ice cream by the Bow river, or something of the like. He would have to decide, because I wouldn’t be able to! The weather app on my phone was being as indecisive as I was, and it couldn’t make up its mind whether it would be a bright, ‘sunshiney’ day, or if we would have a thunderstorm. Roman came up with the perfect activity. He said, “we could go throw axes?”

I had no idea what to wear. Plaid? Sheepskin? Chainmail? I don’t know much about axe throwing or its history, other than a few terrifying scenes in Game of Thrones, so I really had no idea what to expect. What I found on the internet, is that axe throwing comes from the Middle Ages, and what was once a very necessary battle skill, has become a fun pastime for the most hardcore Calgarians. My research didn’t answer my initial question though, so I settled on plaid.

We arrived at the Batlgrounds, filled out the waivers— don’t throw axes at each other, if you drop an axe on your foot we aren’t liable, etc.— and were introduced to our two badass axe throwing coaches, Roach and Erin. We were shown the basics, the proper stance, the way to aim, the throwing technique, and then we were each handed an axe. With an axe in my hand, I felt ten times fiercer than my normal level of fierceness. I assumed the position, aimed, and threw the axe. It stuck right in the board, right in the second circle. The hesitation I felt before, thinking I might look like a fool, the fear of pulling a muscle, totally disappeared.

If one of our axes hit the target and then fell to the ground, even if we missed the board entirely, Roach would say, “if that board was a zombie, it would be dead, so you’re doing really well.” That being said, there was no better feeling than when the axe stuck right into the bullseye. Except of course, for the feeling when the throw was so strong, it was difficult to pull the axe out of the board. Man, I felt so great. I used to be afraid that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I would be the first to die, but with this new found skill, I’m not nearly as nervous! Bring it on, zombies! Thanks for the axe throwing fun, Calgary!

Batlgrounds is open for drop in axe throwing throughout the week. Try it out with a few buds, or book a private party. And once you really get into it, join a league!


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