Recent years have proven axe throwing to be an increasingly popular activity. And what’s not to love? It’s good fun, can become pretty competitive, and encourages you to develop a range of skills – not to mention there’s that allure of throwing sharp things at a target.

Whether you’re heading to your local axe throwing centre or are thinking about investing in some axe throwing equipment to practise with on private land, these beginner-friendly tips will set you off in the right direction.

Axe Throwing Tips For Beginners

Starting any new hobby comes with a bit of a learning curve, but once you’ve got the basics down, axe throwing is relatively easy to get the hang of. You’ll still need to work hard refining your technique to graduate beyond the beginner level, though!

1. Proceed With Safety as a Priority

It goes without saying, but safety should be your number one concern when doing any activities that involve an axe.

Axe Throwing Safety Tips

  1. 1. Always wear closed-toe shoes.
  2. 2. Make sure the throwing area is completely clear before throwing an axe. Maintain a minimum 6 ft radius around you before throwing anything.
  3. 3. Wait until your axe is embedded in the target or is resting on the floor before going to retrieve it. If practising with others, ensure that no one around you is preparing to throw an axe as you go to retrieve yours – all throwers should collect their axes at the same time.
  4. 4. Remain conscious that an axe could bounce back at you if thrown with the wrong rotation or too much force.
  5. 5. Use beginner throwing techniques as you get used to the stance, grip and force you’ll need to use.
  6. 6. Remember, your axe is sharp and should be treated with respect!

2. Pick the Right Axes

You’re always better off using throwing axes that are specifically made with this purpose in mind. Throwing axes will be properly weighted and sharp enough to properly stick to the target without having to use extreme force. Dull axes may be more likely to bounce off the target and cause injury.

An axe in the middle of a board

3. Get Your Stance Right

You’ll need a solid base, so your basic stance should be stable and balanced. Most axe throwers stand behind a starting line 12 ft away from the target – whether you want to step into your throw or keep your feet planted, your starting stance should be as close to this line as possible.

As you throw, keep your motions smooth and connected to avoid becoming unbalanced or throwing off your aim. Keep your arms quite relaxed, and make sure your eyes stay focused on a particular spot on the target – ideally, where you want your axe to land!

4. Grip The Axe Properly

Being consistent with your grip can lead to better, more accurate throws. Keep your grip relatively light but still controlled, gripping the axe handle towards its base, in the middle or the end of your palm.

5. Get Comfortable Throwing Your Axe

Once you’ve got the stance and grip down, it’s finally time to get into some practice throws.

How to Throw an Axe

There are two main axe throwing techniques:

  • - Two-handed
  • - One-handed

Two-Handed Axe Throwing Technique

This is probably where you’ll start as a beginner. Begin by holding the axe in two hands, bringing it over to the back of your head with bent elbows. Your grip shouldn’t be too hard as you’ll want to release the axe nice and smoothly – rest your thumbs on the handle to give yourself more control and dexterity.

Bring your arms forward again and release the axe at eye level, following through with your wrists as you aim for the middle of the target.

One-Handed Axe Throwing Technique

Grip your axe with your dominant hand – the grip can be slightly firmer here as you don’t want the axe to end up veering sideways. Bend your elbow and bring the axe back past your ear, just over your shoulder.

Swing your elbow forward, as if following through with a dart and release the axe when the handle is parallel to the board/target.

A man with a throwing axe sat in front of a target

6. Practise & Practise Again

Now it’s time to hone your aim and perfect your technique until you can get your axe to go exactly where you want it every time. Getting the rotations and timings right can be a little tricky at first, but getting closer and closer to that bullseye is all part of the fun!

If you’re over-rotating (i.e. the very top of the axe sinks into the board), you should try taking a small step closer to the target. If you’re under-rotating (i.e. the handle of the axe bounces off the board), try taking a small step back.

You want your throwing to be repeatable – there’s no point adding extra flourishes that may be accurate but are too complex to reproduce.

7. Try Different Axes

Test out different axes so you can see how different designs, sizes and weights can change the quality of your throw. This will help you develop your skills without getting used to a particular axe and only being able to hit the target with your favourite.

Axe Throwing Kit

As always, it’s best to use quality equipment to get the most out of the experience. If this is a hobby you’re going to enjoy frequently, we’d recommend investing in a throwing axe set or kit that’ll serve you well as you progress.

A couple of our throwing axes are sold in sets of three, whether you want to go for something simple like the Kombat UK Ragnar triple throwing axe set or the Smith & Wesson throwing combo set that provides three throwing knives and three throwing axes to help you hone your skills in both disciplines!

If you are interested in knife throwing, too, see our quick guide on using throwing knives.

how to use throwing knives