Bosses encourage quarrelling staff to bury the hatchet with axe-throwing contests for team-building jaunts
- Event organisers claim axe-throwing’s popularity surge may be teambuilding
- Participants learn to safely throw 8in-long hatchets in as little as 15 minutes
- Wooden targets sit three yards away and success depends on throw technique
Bosses are encouraging executives to bury the hatchet over office gripes by organising axe-throwing contests for team-building jaunts.
Traditional corporate away-day activities such as building rafts and climbing walls are giving way to a pursuit started by lumberjacks in the Canadian wilderness.
Event organisers claim that axe-throwing’s surge in popularity – one venue has seen demand quadruple in the past year – may be due to executives wanting to release the pent-up frustrations that festered during the lockdowns.
Participants learn to safely throw 8in-long hatchets, called angel axes, in as little as 15 minutes. Wooden targets sit three yards away, and success depends on technique rather than brute strength.
Bosses are encouraging executives to bury the hatchet over office gripes by organising axe-throwing contests for team-building jaunts
Those showing prowess with smaller hatchets eventually graduate to double-headed Norse axes, measuring 16in in length, which are thrown from four yards and will spin two or three times before embedding themselves in the target.
Matthew Griffin, owner of Cardiff-based Lumberjack Axe Throwing, said: ‘We have seen a massive increase in popularity since the lockdowns. We used to get around 40 people a week but now see around 700 a month and are looking to open a second venue.
‘It’s a very inclusive sport and, on the corporate side, we have had staff members who are shy and quiet and they have excelled at axe throwing and really grown in confidence.
‘We’ve also had a couple of bosses who were not happy to lose to staff, who definitely loved being able to win by chucking axes.
‘You get all sorts of frustrations being worked out – and perhaps more so since Covid.’
Anna Stephenson, owner of The Great Barn, a corporate events venue near Aynho in Oxfordshire, said that axe throwing had become a hit because office groups had tired of events such as clay-pigeon shooting and building rafts.
She said: ‘It’s an exciting sport, but if you are overly aggressive and hurling it, it doesn’t work. So it’s a great leveller for staff.’