If you’re looking for a place in Winnipeg to host your next special event, Bad Axe Throwing may very well be the place for you. Located just south of Notre Dame at 6-1393 Border Street; Bad Axe Throwing hosts groups of eight or more people as they unleash their inner lumberjack.
Bad Axe has been rapidly spreading across Canada, with its first location opening in Burlington, Ontario in 2014. Since then, growth has been quick. Winnipeg is the ninth location, and marks the furthest west the ten locations have sprawled.
“It took off really quickly,” said Jesse Gutzman. Jesse is Bad Axe Throwing’s Chief Axe Thrower (you wish your job title sounded that cool). “Our first location opened in Burlington in October 2014. We started booking out every night and every weekend. We decided to expand locally, so we went to Kitchener. Another company was having a bit of success there, so we knew there was a market.”
“We still haven’t gotten to the point where we get people to come out during a weekday workday, but we’re working on that. After Kitchener, we started moving around Ontario and then plan is now becoming to move beyond Canada and into the States to take axe throwing anywhere we can.”
Jesse says that the structure remains the same at all Bad Axe Throwing locations: guests book time in advance, with two-and-a-half to three hour sessions per group, depending on size. The larger the group, the longer you get to ensure everybody is allowed their due time to throw.
“We don’t do any drop-ins,” said Jesse. “What we do is we book parties in advance. So we cater to corporate events, team building exercises, birthday parties, bachelor parties, just anyone looking to celebrate something. We like to think of it as taking the place of bowling.”
Participants can book time slots of 8 a.m., noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Bad Axe Throwing is currently looking into obtaining a liquor license, as well as having the goal of selling snacks for visitors to partake in.
Throwing Axes like a Bad A$$
“We want to be able to get everyone in, from all walks of life, big or small.”
Bad Axe Throwing welcomes people of all ages, including minors accompanied and given permission by their parents.
There are two different types of chopping tools to throw: the axe, and the slightly smaller/lighter hatchet. This will all be a matter of preference per each person.
There are also multiple ways to throw the axe. The kind they will teach you is the two-hand over the hea throw, but there is also the option of throwing one-handed as well. There are probably other trickier, cooler ways, but one should learn to walk before they run.
While your traditional lumberjack may be hacking away at a tree or stump, Bad Axe Throwing goes with easier to replace boards with targets painted on. Jesse says they change out the boards after every event.
“We don’t like to use stumps, because over time the quality is going to degrade and everyone is going to have a slightly different experience.”