It was bound to happen. There was so much stuff going on every day that I missed writing up an entire event. AXETHROWING! So, backing up to July 27th … that evening, Carol Jacquard and Alex Doyle travelled with me to Darren Hudson’s Lumberjack AXEperience in Barrington where his partner, Susie Atwood, runs a women’s axe-throwing league on Monday nights.
Here, we learned the fine art of throwing an axe. Too funny. We were having so much fun we didn’t mind a light shower followed by an onslaught of mosquitoes. Must have scared them off tho’ as they didn’t hang around for long.
Throwing axes is the best stress buster going. We likely got rid of a few folks in our lives including sociopaths and politicians. Aside from having a blast, we picked up some pointers on the art of throwing an axe.
- Hold the handle in a golf grip, with both thumbs up.
- Have one foot in front of the other.
- Practice a rocking motion from back foot to front foot (need to bend your knees!)
- Bring the axe straight back over your head.
- Keep your eyes on the bulls eye and release the axe when your arms are at a 45 degree angle forward over your head.
If you hit the center circle in the 28 in. target, it’s worth 5 points. The other circles moving outwards is worth 4, 3, 2 points respectively.
In the first half hour there were lots of “Oops,” Phooeys” and “#^!@%Y!” as we missed the targets by a mile. But slowly, slowly, we started to get the hang of it. Susie kept prodding us on with encouraging remarks like “Nice arc!” and “Great form!”
This is all part of the lumberjack experience people can plug into here. But first, a little background information.
Darren Hudson is a fifth generation Canadian lumberjack. He’s also a 7-time World and 12-time Canadian Log Rolling Champion who’s on a mission to keep the lumberjack tradition alive. He’s operates a professional tree removing service but three years ago, he decided to move home to Barrington and build a lumberjack park and provide experiences to visitors and local of all ages.
It didn’t take long to garner some attention. In fact, the star of the CBC Rick Mercer Show saw a clip of Darren on the National News one night and thought “Hey, I would like to do that!” Then he said, “Hey, I have my own show. I can do that!” The filming was hilarious (as is the clip that was aired and was a big boost to the business.
In his spare time the outdoorsman is setting up the Canadian Axe Throwing Association, which he hopes will streamline the sport and create more opportunities. Ultimately, his goal is to see this sport as part of the Olympics. “Why not?” muses the 38 year-old. “Targets can now be reproduced, axes standardized, and distances can be regulated. There is potential to grow this sport to the highest level,” he says with a grin. “Everything’s in motion.”
Meanwhile, Susie continues to give women tips and lead the leagues on Monday nights. Two hours flies by in no time. Anyone want to give this a try?