When Emily Baker, 21, first gave ax-throwing a try, she admits she was “horrible.”
But, she spent hours by herself figuring out the logistics, and says she has gotten pretty good.
“Once you get good at it, you really love it and keep coming back,” said Baker, operator of The Flying Hatchet, a mobile ax-throwing service based in Greensboro.
The Flying Hatchet will be a part of RiverFest and give visitors the opportunity to try their own hand at ax throwing.
“Come out and experience something you’ve probably never seen in the middle of a festival and enjoy the convenience of throwing axes right where you are,” Baker said.
Visitors will enter a trailer converted into a two-lane ax-throwing cage and will be greeted by a trainer demonstrates how to throw the 1¼-pound wooden axes safely and correctly.
While Baker described ax-throwing as an activity for all ages, children under 16 are not allowed in the cage unless a parent consents. Owner Chase Strange took a safety course and has trained Baker and other workers, and The Flying Hatchet follows the World Axe Throwing League’s guidelines.
Baker said customers often walk in assuming axe throwing will be easy.
“It’s harder than what you think,” she said with a laugh, but not too hard if directions are followed.
“It’s like a chicken; you don’t want to over-season it,” Baker said.
The thrower should not throw the ax as hard as they can.
“I tell them to put their left foot on the shiny line,” she said. “That’s the magic distance between you and the board to stick it.”
Strange got the idea for the business after visiting an ax bar in Atlanta in 2019. Using his background in design, building and creating blueprints, he designed the trailer.
“2019 was the first time axe-throwing came to Greensboro, and it made the news and became very popular,” Baker said.
Strange had planned to open a brick and mortar ax-throwing bar early last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic put that project on hold.
Baker is happy, though, that The Flying Hatchet has been able to re-open the mobile ax-throwing service.
“People seem very excited,” she said. “Ax throwing makes you utilize your body and appreciate its strengths; it’s a therapeutic experience.”
Strange would love to franchise The Flying Hatchet, as well as open a stationary pop-up that's open to the public. The Flying Hatchet also has a contract with Woods of Terror in Greensboro.
Baker loves doing events in Rockingham County, such as the recent Oink and Ale festival in Eden, at which the line for The Flying Hatchet “never died down.” She is excited about participating in RiverFest for the first time.
“Everyone in Rockingham County is so nice, down to earth and community oriented,” she said.
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