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Family and friends smiling while holding axes in lobby of Axe and Ale

We Love Fun Facts About Axes at The Axe And Ale

Axes and hatchets have been used as tools and weapons dating back to the Stone Age. But those original tools have a come a long way to the axes used today at The Axe And Ale in Fort Collins, CO. The first axes were made of stone, chipped roughly into an oval shape with a sharp point at one end. This primitive design did not include a handle, and these hand axes were used primarily for digging and cutting. The first incorporation of handles or hafts is from the Mesolithic period circa 6,000 BC. With technological development, flint became a popular choice for axe material during the Neolithic period, and axes remained an essential tool for wood splitting and construction. The original hafted axe was fastened to the handle using materials such as tar and twine. Improvements in axe design led to shaft-hole axes, made from stone other than flint and incorporated a hole in the head of the axe for the handle. Around this time, axes progressed from a construction tool into battle weapons and ceremonial objects.

Development of Axe Materials

While axe head shapes and styles evolved, stone remained the standard material for thousands of years. Copper is believed to be the first metal used in axe production. During the Bronze Age, copper gave way to bronze as the conventional material. Bronze axes were initially copied from the stone design but made with a bronze mold allowing for mass production of axes. As civilization entered the Iron Age, iron became the predominant material for axe construction. With this new metal came new possibilities for design and production, including larger axe heads and broader blades.

Axes As Weapons

The axe’s primary function was as a construction tool, but it has also been used in combat since ancient times. Axes were used in fighting simply because they were close at hand when the need arose. But as time passed, axes explicitly designed for war and self-defense increased. Axes with shorter handles were called throwing axes. Throwing axes could be thrown with incredible precision at a target and were very useful when hunting animals. Unfortunately, they proved to be problematic in battle because throwing an axe left a warrior empty-handed. The solution was developing the battle axe that had a longer handle and worked well in closer hand-to-hand combat. This style of axe rose to popularity during the Viking Age. Battle and throwing axes for war and hunting became less popular due to the introduction of gun powder. Yet, to this day, the axe remains a vital construction tool all over the world.

Axe Throwing as Sport

The competitive sport of axe throwing started in a backyard league in Toronto in 2006. A few friends, out of boredom, picked up an axe laying close by and began throwing it at a stump. The excitement brought on by throwing an axe at a target and getting it to stick was addictive. The organizers developed a point system, and word quickly spread about the backyard pastime. Groups of friends began to compete weekly. It was the birth of the Backyard Axe Throwing League. Axe throwing has become popular on a national level with the development of the National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) and the World Axe Throwing League (WATL). Bars across the country have also started to offer axe throwing as a social activity for friends and co-workers. You don’t have to join a league or sign up for a competition. Even if you have just a casual interest in axe throwing, The Axe And Ale in Fort Collins, CO, is the perfect place to get a taste of this exhilarating sport. Visit our FAQ page to learn more.

Woman throwing axe at Axe and Ale target

Learn How to Throw an Axe

Axe throwing isn’t like throwing a baseball or football at a target. There are proper forms and techniques to follow that will help you hit the bullseye. Safety is critical. After all, you are throwing an axe. Check out our guide to two-hand axe throwing below and contact us to get in the game.

Proper Stance: You must face your target, arms should be about shoulder-length apart with one foot slightly staggered ahead of the other. If you’re right-handed, your right foot should be forward if left-handed, left foot forward.

Throwing Motion: Grip the axe with your dominant hand, cupping your other hand over your dominant hand, or placing it slightly below. The blade should be facing the target. Rock forward, holding the axe in front of you. Then, rock backward, bringing the axe back over your head with both hands. As you come forward again, release the axe just above eye-level toward your target. Follow through on your throw.

After Your Throw: One of the most critical steps in an axe-throwing game or competition is to wait for the person next to you to finish his or her throw before walking to the target to retrieve your axe.

Practice Axe Throwing in Fort Collins, CO

Axe throwing has grown in popularity all across America. Not only are there NATF- and WATL-certified competitions, but the sport of axe throwing has grown as a social leisure activity like darts and bowling. The Axe And Ale in Fort Collins, CO, offers a chance for the beginner to the advanced thrower to improve their axe-throwing technique in a safe environment.  Visit us to practice your game or sign up for an axe-throwing league today.