Kill Time, Throw Axes: An Urban Axe Throwing Story

“Inspired by Viking warriors and Canadian Lumberjacks.”

February 14, 2019

AxeVentures (Kerry Keys/Entercom)


Are you skilled enough to sink the sharp end of an axe into the battle-scarred planks lining the back wall of AxeVentures? It’s harder than it looks.

While we’d heard rumors of the axe throwing place in North Park, my group and I weren’t pushed to do reconnaissance until a recent round of rejections, demotions and piss poor work meetings sent us vibes bad enough to shake an axe at.

Self-described as urban axe throwing “inspired by Viking warriors and Canadian Lumberjacks,” AxeVentures in North Park promises the self-satisfaction of destroying something without the danger of actually destroying something.

Axe throwing. Regram

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Unassuming, shelled within the stuccoed confines of a strip-mall, the venue is an intimate size. Six throwing lanes separated by chain link fencing, corn hole in the waiting area, and large wooden tables for fraternizing between throws.

The atmosphere is industrial and feels a bit like stepping into a CrossFit gym, without the judgment or intimidation that one might experience upon stepping into a CrossFit gym. The staff was very friendly, other patrons seemed of ordinary enthusiasm and fitness level.

After signing waivers, we were treated to a 15 minutes session with an axe-throwing coach. The time was split between safety -don’t cross that red line-  and form - make a 90-degree angle with your throwing arm, hold the blade high, higher than your shoulder blade, scream the name of the person you’re hexing. Now, send your axe hurling through the air.

That hexing part is a joke, mostly.

Tonya Gonzales strikes a bullseye at AxeVentures in North Park, San Diego (Evonne Ermey/Entercom)
Tonya Gonzales strikes a bullseye at AxeVentures in North Park, San Diego (Evonne Ermey/Entercom)

While the 1 ½ hour session might seem like too much time, it is actually about the perfect amount of time. While we never moved past warm-up throws, guests are encouraged to try their hand at a variety of games, reminiscent of darts, only with axes.

The difficulty of actually planting an axe in the wall varied across our group. We had a couple of natural born assassins among us, landing throw after throw. Others averaged something like 1-6. It was easy to get stuck in the minutia of form, sometimes to the detriment of performance. “is my elbow high enough?” “Is my grip too tight?” RELAX.

Later in the session, a second coach came around to critique our efforts. He taught us a two-handed throw. The two-handed throw was a level up, for sure. Those of us struggling were really able to tap our inner vikings with that game changer.

When time was up, we found ourselves on the street debating the merits of heavier to lighter axes and where best to grip an axe handle for better speed and accuracy.

For those even mildly interested in visiting AxeVenture, either as a lark or as a serious step on your axe master journey, this reviewer gives the green light, the go-ahead, the bullseye.

Go ahead and put an axe in it.


4573 30th St. San Diego, CA 92116