Once the weekend rolls around I get rid of my pent up anger by going kickboxing. For me, there’s nothing better than hitting a heavy bag for an hour and pretending whoever (or whatever) pissed me off that week is right there, front and center, feeling my wrath. Sometimes it’s not enough, which is why I decided to get my aggression out by trying something completely out of my comfort zone–axe throwing.
So headed over the bridge and into New Jersey to Stumpy’s Hatchet House with one of my best friends. She was the one that heard about the place and wanted to try it out.
This was probably the cheapest activity I’ve ever paid for. Since there was only two of us we figured an hour would be enough time to get the hang of it and get our anger out. We paid a little over twenty dollars each but expect to pay $39.99 plus tax per person if you’re going to go in a large group or if you want to stick around longer.
We thought an hour would be enough but it actually flew by. I wish we would have paid for a second but since you have to make a reservation in advance there was another group coming in that was going to be taking over our spot.
When we first arrived at Stumpy’s we had to fill out a waiver and then an instructor took us to where we would be throwing our axes. He went over the two ways to throw: overhead and single handed.
For safety reasons they don’t let you throw any other way. So no tricks you might have seen on YouTube or Instagram.
When you throw overhead both of your hands grip the handle as you throw the axe. One hand requires you to grip the handle at the very end, lunge forward and release in order to hit the target.
Our instructor demonstrated the two throws quickly and effortlessly. My head was spinning when I realized that was the end of the lesson. It was over in sixty seconds and for the life of me I couldn’t remember one word he had said. My friend and I gave each other a look because we weren’t sure we would be able to do it.
When I first picked up the 1.5LB axe my nerves got the best of me and I wanted to quit right then and there without even trying. The room was hot, stuffy and loud. We were in one room that was sectioned off for each group or team but you could hear everyone throwing. The sound was alarming as axes clattered to the ground or stuck to the wooden targets.
I made my friend go first and watched as she missed the target. Her axe clattered to the ground loudly and she jumped back in surprise. She stood there and nudged me to try but I wasn’t any better. I missed the target completely because my hand wasn’t straight since it was shaking and the axe clattered to the ground.
It took us ten minutes of trial and error because we were both nervous. Every time we released the axe we missed and jumped back at the sound it made as it fell to the ground.
Finally, after getting comfortable with the noise and the motion we started to hit the target and eventually both hit the bullseye.
When you get a bullseye there’s a bell you can ring and everyone cheers for you. Since we learned how to throw with another group we talked to them and kept cheering each other on. They commented this was something you needed to bring a man with you to do but I don’t think that’s true. Woman can do it too without a man to guide them. I think it’s easier for men because they tend to have more upper body strength but once we got the hang of it we had no problem hitting the targets.
I definitely recommend axe throwing and Stuckey’s Hatchet House if you’re ever in New Jersey. They also have various locations around the United States. I’ll link their website here.
There are a few things to know before your first time: you must wear sneakers, at our location there wasn’t AC so we were sweating by the time our hour was up and it was also BYOB (bring your own beer), which I think helped to ease our nervousness.
If you need to let some anger out or you’re looking to try something new for date night try axe throwing. Just be warned–you might want to keep going back. I know I want too!