Could Ax-Throwing Be Dallas' Newest Entertainment Trend?

Brad Woodruff (left) and Benjamin Morin slap axes and let out a mighty "lumberjack yell" before tossing their axes at the targets at the Dallas Axe Throwing center.EXPAND
Brad Woodruff (left) and Benjamin Morin slap axes and let out a mighty "lumberjack yell" before tossing their axes at the targets at the Dallas Axe Throwing center.
Photo by Danny Gallagher

Until recently, I was convinced that if I had been born in the times of our Paleolithic human ancestors, my life would have been as short and bloody as Anthony Scaramucci's political career. I didn't think I possessed any of the skills needed to survive in a harsh, unforgiving world that hadn't mastered basic scientific concepts or invented the Fruit Roll-Up.

The closest thing I've got to an athletic ability is that, with enough caffeine in my system, I can type more than 100 words per minute. I'd worry so much about what the other cave-folk are saying about me that I'd walk right into the path of a carnivorous animal.

Could Ax-Throwing Be Dallas' Newest Entertainment Trend? (2)EXPAND
Photo by Danny Gallagher

Thanks to a recent trip to a new entertainment complex in Richardson, I've washed that belief from my brain. It turns out I can add one thing to my hunter/gatherer resume that would impress a Paleolithic job recruiter: I'm not half-bad at throwing axes.

Dallas Axe Throwing is Dallas' newest entertainment concept. It's exactly what it sounds like, but there are some nice and surprising touches.

Associate producer Misti McCorkle greets my friends and me before we take to the wooden throwing lanes and start chucking axes at boards. She plays several roles in these sessions. She's the safety monitor who runs down all the rules, like waiting for her call to retrieve throwing axes at the end of the lane and staying out of the throwing pit when a turn is in session. She's the official referee who calls shots and scores for each team's tourney. She's also the color commentator who's quick to make ax-laden puns after each attempt. She's the Tim Kitzrow of ax-throwing.

Danny Gallagher (right) takes a swing at ax-throwing with his friend Jerry Nerviano.EXPAND
Danny Gallagher (right) takes a swing at ax-throwing with his friend Jerry Nerviano.
Photo by Danny Gallagher

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She even makes my friends and me come up with punny ax names to write on name tags for our competition. My friend Shelby beats me to my choice: Axe-l Rose. Pretty much everyone else has taken all the other good names. So I settle for the moniker Axe Body Spray.

The rounds work like schoolyard basketball games, except you're trying to lodge an ax into a painted wooden target. First, there's "TIMBER," which works just like "HORSE," except you're trying to get a higher score than your opponent to make your opposing team spell "TIMBER." 

Then we play "first to 30," in which the first team to score 30 points exactly wins. Finally, we compete in an ax-themed tic-tac-toe, in which different parts of the board represent different places on a tic-tac-toe grid. Each time your team wins a game, you get a little trophy on your scoreboard to lord over your opponents just enough that they still want to remain friends with you.

The ax-throwing procedure seems simple, but it takes a few throws to get just right. First, you clink your axes together with your opponent and let out a mighty lumberjack yawp. Then you grab the ax with both hands and pull it back over your head. Finally, you fling the ax forward, curving the blade from your back to just in front of your head so you put at least one rotation on the ax to give the blade the force it needs to stick in the wood.

My first few throws bounce off the wall or don't even make it to the target. So far, I'm confirming my lack of Paleolithic self-worth. Misti tells me that I'm letting go of the ax too late during my throw and I just need to follow through more on my swing. Misti has an infectious way of encouraging her "ax-perts."

Within a couple of throws, I'm doing more than just hitting the target. I'm actually racking up a serious number of points. 

"I'm surprisingly good at long-distance murder," I muse to myself.

We've not only won all three events, but I even dominate the final "lumber lord" challenge in which the teams are eliminated and all the competitors go head to head because "there can only be one, just like Highlander," Misti says.

I am the Lumber Lord, the Wizard of Wood, the Sultan of Splitting. Giggle if you must at the obvious double-entendre. For once, the spirit of my Paleolithic ancestor is not frowning at me.

Dallas Axe Throwing is located at 715 Glenville Road, No. 400, Richardson. Call 480-862-0355 or visit DallasAxeThrowing.com for pricing and session appointments.

Misti McCorkle, an associate producer of Dallas Axe Throwing in Richardson, checks the handle on a throwing axe.EXPAND
Misti McCorkle, an associate producer of Dallas Axe Throwing in Richardson, checks the handle on a throwing axe.
Photo by Danny Gallagher

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