Everybody’s getting into the ax at ax-throwing clubs

A man and two women stand holding axes.
Bad Axe Throwing offers opportunities to take aim in urban communities throughout the Canada and the U.S., including several California locations.
(Bad Axe Throwing)

Think of one of the newest trends in sporting competitions as darts but with a much heavier projectile. Ax throwing, a staple in lumberjack competitions, is just what it sounds like. Here are five places to try to hit the ax-throwing bull’s eye in California and beyond.

North Hollywood

You don’t have to travel far to try this cutting-edge sport. LA-AX opened last year in North Hollywood and has plans to expand to other Southern California locations early next year.

Launching this month, LA-AX offers a mobile ax-throwing unit for parties and events (rates start at $1,000). And it anticipates opening a bar before the upcoming holiday season.

LA-AX is a member of the International Axe Throwing Federation, and some LA-AX throwers plan to compete for the Wilson Cup at the 2020 IATF Axe Throwing Championships this winter in Toronto.

Cost, info: $25 per person for an hour, public walk-in session, or $40 per person for a private group session; 7308 Coldwater Canyon Ave., North Hollywood;


San Diego

Bad Axe Throwing aims to bring the traditional Canadian backyard pastime of ax throwing to urban communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its California locations span from San Diego to San Francisco.

Celebrities who have swung at Bad Axe Throwing facilities include actor Hugh Jackman, rapper Ludacris and basketball legend Charles Barkley.

Cost, info: $35-$44.25, plus tax, per person;

Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The Smart Axe opened last month in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova and has plans to expand to other California cities including Sacramento, Roseville, Chico, Modesto and San Jose.

Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are served, but, like LA-AX, it also plans to offer beer and wine soon.

Cost, info: $25 or $30 per person;


Splitting Timber, in Phoenix and Tucson, invites its ax throwers to let their “inner lumberjack come out.”

Splitting Timber in Tucson will host the World Axe Throwing Championship in December. The tournament is put on by the World Axe Throwing League, which has more than 150 locations in 19 countries.

Cost, info: $25 per person, plus tax, for 90 minutes and $15 per person, plus tax, for a 30 minute walk-in session;

Ljubljana, Slovenia

After spreading across Canada, the U.S. and other parts of the world, ax throwing has also landed in Europe. Under the guidance of an “ax-pert,” try your hand at tossing the tool at Axe Throwing Europe in Ljubljana.

After the instructor explains the rules and demonstrates the correct technique, ax throwers participate in a 90-minute guided program. The company says that everyone, regardless of strength, can enjoy ax throwing, which they refer to as the “most Instagrammable game.”

Cost, info: $19-$27;