The History of Axe Throwing: The Origins and Evolution of the Sport

Axe throwing can be a lot of fun, but it hasn’t always been a leisurely activity. In fact, the earliest recorded use of axes was for much more violent purposes. Let’s take a deep dive into the rich history of one of the oldest tools — and weapons! — known to man.

The Origins of Axe Throwing ⭕

The earliest recorded use of axes surprisingly didn’t involve date nights, beer, and bachelor parties. Instead, axes were used as survival tools during the Stone Age. Ancient people crafted axes from stones without handles, and used them to build shelters and hunt for food. Later, wooden handles were incorporated into their design, while the axe head was made of stone, copper, bronze, iron, and eventually, steel.

Axes Throughout History 📜

Throughout history, many different types of axes were constructed for a variety of purposes throughout the world. In medieval times, the archer’s axe was used as a weapon and tool, while the battle axe was designed for soldiers to swing and effectively penetrate heavy armor. The tomahawk is another famous axe that was used almost exclusively by Native Americans. The war tomahawk was used for throwing, while the pipe tomahawk was used as a ceremonial and diplomatic tool.

From firefighting to ice climbing, axes have proven to be very practical tools throughout history. Lumberjacks in Canada, who got their name in the 1830s, used only axes and hand saws to cut down and transport trees that weighed up to five tons. Axes made impossible work a little easier, long before the invention of steam-powered machines. It’s believed that Canadian lumberjacks would compete with one another to see who could accurately throw their axe at a tree in the distance, and thus, a new sport was born.

The Evolution of Axe Throwing 🔄

Axe throwing became a popular sport among lumberjacks, which led to Loggersports that gained traction in the 1940s. These events are still popular today throughout North America. The invention of axe throwing as we know it today, can be traced back to a man named Matt Wilson, who founded the Backyard Axe Throwing League, or BATL.

In 2006, a bartender named Matt Wilson and some friends visited a cabin in Toronto. Together, they developed the modern axe throwing sport that we all know and enjoy today. Wilson and his friends developed a set of rules, and over the course of several years, word spread about this new, exciting activity. Today, Wilson is CEO of the BATL, and axe throwing facilities and competitions can be found across the globe.

Modern Axe Throwing Leagues 🪓

Today, the Backyard Axe Throwing League isn’t the only organization in town. The official International Axe Throwing Federation was established in 2016. Axe throwing enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in national and international competitions, where they can earn the title of the best axe thrower in the world.

Axe Throwing For Team Building Events 👥

Axe throwing doesn’t have to be a serious sport. Millions of people enjoy throwing axes on a Friday night with friends, or for a special event. Businesses and organizations book axe throwing events to promote team building and positive rapport among colleagues. The laid back, competitive nature of axe throwing makes it the perfect activity for building positive relationships among colleagues and friends.

If you think you might be the next world-renowned axe thrower, or if you’re just looking for a new activity to try, stop by American Paintball Coliseum. Our friendly staff is here to make sure everyone has a great time. Contact us today!

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