The Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) is opening its first Texas location in the Houston Heights. It’ll be December of this year or early 2019 when locals will get to try their hand at axe throwing.
After a camping trip where CEO Matt Wilson discovered a passion for axe throwing, he established BATL in 2006 in Toronto, Canada.
“When I started doing it, it was just in my backyard with eight of my friends. I never expected it to grow this big,” said Wilson.
And from those humble beginnings, BATL has grown into a business with over twenty locations in North America, while extending overseas is in consideration.
When Wilson talked about why he thought axe throwing is becoming more popular, he said it’s something about the actual word, “axe.” There’s an automatic interest when someone mentions, “axe throwing,” from the way it sounds to the image it brings to mind.
Because axe throwing is not the norm, curiosity is sparked, but there’s not the fear of trying something different like there might be with something more dangerous, like skydiving.
“Most people believe it’s something they can do,” said Wilson.
Axe throwing can also be therapeutic. You must be relaxed to be able to concentrate on the target. Without focusing, the axe won’t hit where you want it to.
The BATL venue is created to make it easy for people who are trying something new, or for people who are participating in a league to have fun. The axe throwing “arenas” are described on BATL’s website as comparable to a cross between a bowling alley and a batting cage, with private space for groups of any size.
Expert coaches will guide any group or private event through instructions and practice, before leading the groups into a group play-off. Public walk-in sessions are open only on the weekends, but newcomers will still be instructed by a coach and more seasoned axe throwers can get tips on technique.
BATL also offers its services to come to your event, whether it is a private party, a wedding, a festival, or another special event. The team of coaches are able to customize your party’s axe throwing experience based on the group’s needs.
For the more serious axe thrower, there’s an axe throwing league. To join, no experience is necessary. The league is a great way to spend time with friends and make new ones, all while taking part in a friendly competition. The league goes for seven weeks of regular sessions, and on the eighth week play-offs will take place.
BATL’s league finishes in the National Axe Throwing Championship, where qualifying players compete against the best players globally.
“We take pride in the operation we do,” said Wilson, and about newcomers, “you don’t know you want to [throw an axe] until you do.”
When BATL does open, there will be an open house so that people interested in axe throwing can try it for free.
It will be located off of T.C. Jester, next door to King’s BierHaus.