Baton Rouge seems to be getting the ax. The art of ax throwing, that is.
Civil Axe Throwing opened its Baton Rouge location in April 2020 on Government Street.
Of the 13 stores Civil Axe operates across the South, Baton Rouge is already one of its top five, according to Vice President of Sales and Marketing Scott Brewster.
At Civil Axe, groups of customers get their own lanes and targets. They can take turns throwing large, metal axes. The objective is to get as close as possible to the bull’s-eye on a wooden target. While the games can get competitive, they’re less about keeping score and more about learning how to throw, Brewster says.
Customer group sizes can range from one person to 16, and for groups of 16 or more, larger events are available.
After checking in and signing some paperwork, groups get instruction from an “axe-pert,” who teaches them how to throw the ax and enjoy the activity safely.
Brewster loves watching people’s faces light up the first time they stick an ax on the target. “People get so excited,” Brewster says.
The amount of people the store sees purchase an additional hour after their first session—and the people who make repeat trips to Civil Axe Throwing later on—speaks to how fun and exciting the activity is, according to Brewster.
The sport of ax throwing started trending nationally before the pandemic, and by 2020 championships and competitions were even showing up on channels like ESPN.
Brewster thinks this visibility has been a big factor in bringing new faces to Civil Axe’s doors.
“People are taking it on as a hobby,” Brewster says, “and we’re starting to see people purchase axes and even bring in their own. … People are starting to see it’s a legitimate sport.”
Over in Central, Gotham Archery and Axe Throwing has been open since fall 2017. The locally owned facility offers introductory archery and ax throwing courses and even participates in championships and social tournaments.
Owner Ken Hsu says he has also seen ax throwing getting more popular locally and nationally, with some even turning it into a social gathering with drinks. Gotham Archery offers team building, birthday and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
“It’s just something different to do,” Hsu says.
During the pandemic, Brewster and the Civil Axe Throwing team have come up with ways to continue business while catering to people who prefer to stay at home. Its mobile targets and axes can be rented for ax throwing gatherings in residential backyards.
And the sport will continue its growth across the region. Up next: Civil Axe Throwing has a New Orleans location coming soon.