Throw Your Ax Off: New Sport Debuts in North Phoenix

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ax throwing
Ax throwing is all the rage in Canada. Now it’s come to North Phoenix. Photos and video by Rachel Kurtenback

There’s a new place in town to unleash your inner lumberjack. Splitting Timber Axe Range opened Dec. 7 off Deer Valley Road near 19th Avenue, offering an offbeat sport something like a cross between bowling and darts, explained general manager Roy Patterson.

Urban ax throwing has been a popular pastime in Canada, and the trend is picking up in the United States. After learning all about the sport on a trip to Canada, owners AJ Hughes and Larry Scaringelli, both with backgrounds in the entertainment industry, felt the sport would do well in the Valley.

At the range, expect a safety orientation before your ax-wielding session begins. While the name of the sport may sound intimidating to some, Patterson said being successful is not about strength—it’s all in the technique. Staff members help guests with technique with scorekeeping. [See slo-mo video below]

“You start throwing and [the safety experts] help you adjust to make sure you get the right rotation on the ax,” Patterson said. “Once you start throwing, it becomes addicting.” The goal, of course, is to hit the bullseye.

Whether it be for a corporate team-building event, a party, rivalry between friends or families, or just the thrill of trying something new, the sport aims to attract all audiences. Leagues start in January. Age 14 is the minimum age to participate and minors must be accompanied by an adult.

The business is a member of the the World Axe Throwing League (WATL), whose mission is to gain international recognition of urban ax throwing. Splitting Timber also has a location in Tucson and has plans to open locations in the east and west Valley, Patterson said.

Before you toss an ax …
… you’ll get some training on technique and safety.


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Karen Goveia
NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.
Karen Goveia on Email

Karen Goveia

NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.

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