Photos by Nick Frontiero Productions
One of the trendiest and fastest growing sports in the country is hitting a bullseye, offered in downtown Montgomery with rave reviews. Civil Axe Throwing is now open in the Kress Building, located at 39 Dexter Avenue. This fun, although offbeat way to spend an afternoon or evening may seem intimidating at first, but General Manager, Grant Stovall, promises it’s something for everyone. “A lot of people are nervous when they first pick up the axe, but usually after they throw it a couple times, they’re hooked,” he says.
The minimum age to throw an axe is 14, and Stovall said that all participants receive a safety briefing and a lesson on technique to successfully stick the target.
The space looks like an old warehouse with high ceilings, heavy duty walls and chain-link fencing surrounding the targets. Axe throwers have a large and small axe to choose from when throwing at a wooden backed target from 15 feet away.
Stovall says that along with a lot of stress relief, the object is to aim at different values on the target to reach 21. The three ringed target has values of 1 point, 3 points, and 5 points, with a small green dot at the top of the board called the “clutch” that’s worth 7 points and serves as a called shot, much like the 8 ball in pool.
If axe throwers go over 21 points, their score drops back down to 13 and they must continue from there. Stovall mentions other popular games include HORSE and Around the World, in which throwers must stick the target from left to right in order.
Civil Axe Throwing provides everything you need, however Stovall said patrons are allowed to bring their own axes as long as they aren’t double-sided. Participants must wear closed toe shoes and are allowed to bring coolers for beer, wine, soda, and food.
Civil Axe Throwing recognizes the National Axe Throwing Federation, which was established in early 2016 to service the sport of axe throwing globally and facilitate inter-league competition amongst members. The rule system upon which the NATF was founded dates back for over 12 years, having grown organically to form the basis of league play for over 6,000 competitive axe throwers.
Stovall said that Civil Axe Throwing Montgomery will soon begin its own corporate tournament league, in which local businesses can go head-to-head in accordance with the NATF’s tournament regulations. “It’s a really fun team building exercise for businesses and a great way to network with other professionals in Montgomery in a relaxed, but competitive atmosphere,” he says. Besides, there’s no better way to blow off a little workplace frustration and establish that you’re not to be taken lightly in the boardroom, alright?
Civil Axe Throwing will have 16 locations by the end of the year, including Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Orange Beach. The Montgomery spot is open Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Weekday pricing is $20 per hour, per person and weekend pricing is $22 per hour, per person.
Stovall explains, “Axe throwing is a great way to relieve stress, build eye-hand coordination and have fun with your friends in an unconventional way. Even beginners get pretty competitive and with a little practice, anyone can be great at axe throwing.” Think of Civil Axe Throwing as an updated and far hipper version of the 1970s bowling alley. You may be wondering if the combination of alcohol and sharp axes is a bad idea, but Stovall insists that with the proper instruction and supervision, it is completely safe. While in axe throwing you’re competing against others, the real challenge is to up your own game and fine tune your skills with each throw. It’s the perfect activity as a group, or solo. Private parties and special events are welcome.
“You don’t need to walk in here with years of training or experience and regardless of your strength, this sport is far more about skill. It takes practice and concentration, but even if you’re not the best at it, you’ll still have fun,” Stovall says. One thing is for sure, whether you’re a first timer or a veteran axe thrower, you’ll want to do it again and again.
For more information about Civil Axe Throwing Montgomery, to book a reservation, or to sign up for the corporate league, call (334) 245-4540.