Entertainment with an edge. Axe throwing comes to Ottawa
As company names go, this one seems ripe for disaster.
It’s called Bad Axe Throwing.
Ironically, it’s possibly one of the hottest companies in Ontario right now, expanding to five cities in less than a year.
They operate clubs where patrons pay money to learn how to throw small axes at wooden targets.
Their business model is to set up in large industrial spaces and host events for groups of eight or more. The cost is $44.25 per person for a lesson and a couple of hours of friendly competition. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks.
Bad Axe Throwing has tapped into an axe throwing craze that has seen several clubs, and even a few leagues, open in Southern Ontario in recent years.
Now they're coming to Ottawa. A second axe throwing company has also announced plans to expand to the capital later this fall.
“Who wouldn't want to throw an axe as hard as they can at a piece of wood?” asks co-founder, Joel Melnichuk. “It’s so different. It beats mini-putt. It beats bowling. It beats the same old generic things that people do.”
Melnichuk says they’ve hosted birthday parties, engagement parties, and even a divorce party. He says it can appeal to anyone at any age, as long as the person is physically capable of throwing a small or medium-sized hatchet. “I’ve had a 5-year-old stick it,” he says.
Despite the name, Melnichuk also says Bad Axe Throwing is actually quite safe. He says they've never had an accident at any of their locations. The target areas are segregated by chain link fence. Each group has a supervisor who makes sure people keep their distance from the spinning axes and any errant ricochets. While patrons might enjoy a few drinks, intoxication is not tolerated.
How hard is it to learn how to throw an axe? Instructor Kallen Saczkowski says it depends on the individual, but almost everyone can stick a shot or two after a little practise. The goal is to get the axe to complete one revolution before it strikes the target. Then, hopefully, you’ll hear that satisfying “thunk” of the blade biting the wood.
Bad Axe Throwing is set to open its Ottawa location on August 22nd.