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Like To Throw Axes? Well, There’s A Sport For That Now In Lansing

Axe Throwing
Rich Baker
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The sport of axe throwing, at targets – not people – is taking off. It’s part skill, part thrill in throwing something normally considered dangerous.

LANSING, Mich. - Over the past three years, axe throwing has become more popular as a sport. Yes, that is exactly as stated – throwing axes, at targets, is a growing sport.

   The National Axe Throwing Federation (NATF) was created in 2016. And locally, Rich and Jennifer Baker, the owners of Bull’s Eye Axe Throwing in Lansing, are excited to be a part of that.

In mid-July 2017, Rich found interest after coming across an online photo of an axe and target.

“It caught my attention pretty quickly and I started doing some research on it,” Rich, a resident of Mason, said. “It turned out that axe throwing had just entered the US from Canada not more than a few years earlier. We studied NATF and WATL (Professional Axe Throwing Foundations) rules and targets to learn more.”

Not long after that, Rich and Jennifer were building a target range in their friend’s barn. This led to more friends joining and soon enough, they knew there was something more to fun time with friends.

In June 2018, the couple opened the 4,000 sq. ft. Bull’s Eye Axe Throwing venue, the Lansing area’s first the first axe throwing facility.

Six months later, Rich participated in the World Axe Throwing Championship in Chicago. While he did not win, he was able to compete against the top 64 axe throwers in the world.

They have been able to teach others about the sport, using their experience and learning how to best communicate what to do.

Axe Throwing
Credit Rick Baker
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“I have personally come up with all safety and throwing techniques for our facility with keeping safety as a top priority,” Rich said. “We teach and certify our employees in-house to be able to dial new throwers in very quickly.”

Dawn Haddad, of Holt, had a friend suggest the axe throwing venue to celebrate a birthday. They went to Bull’s Eye in Jan. 2019, with no experience and feeling a little nervous, but that all wore off quickly.

“So, when we first started we were all a little hesitant like, ‘what do we do?’ ‘How do we do this?’,” Haddad said. “But then after you throw in a couple of times you kind of get into a groove with it, just like anything else... and so we had fun with it.

“It really wasn't scary.”

Axe Throwing
Credit Rich Baker
/

  While players can keep score - with the goal being a bullseye - Haddad and her friends opted to just enjoy the new experience. Haddad said while she thought that it was dangerous, the instructors were very thorough with practicing.

“They really made sure that you knew what you were doing before they left you,” Haddad said. "I felt like they really cared that we were going to have a good time. They wanted to make sure that we knew what we were doing so that it would be fun.”

Now, less than a year after opening, Bull’s Eye Axe Throwing has closed its original location to move and expand into a larger axe throwing space, along with some new and uncommon sport options.

 

Axe Throwing
Credit Lauren Gewirtz
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“We will have a 10,000 square-foot (space) dedicated to axe throwing, knife throwing, foobowling, and disk golf,” said Rich. “What's foobowling you might ask? Foobowling is a cool sport that has been around for the last few years. Two sets of bowling pins set up 40-feet apart and you throw a football to try and knock all your pins down.”

There is not a set date yet for the new location opening, but they are hoping to have one soon, according to Rich. Information on the new location will be online at https://bullseyeaxethrowingllc.com.

 

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