Axe throwing or urban axe throwing, is one of the newest target sports to be practiced worldwide. Players take it in turns to aim for the bullseye, and the highest score wins – with tournaments and leagues held by such federations as WATL (World axe throwing league) and the IATL (International Axe Throwing League).
But axe throwing is as old as the axe itself!
Throughout history the axe has been both a popular tool and weapon, originating back in the stone age – they were made without a handle and the cutting edge was made of stone.
Throwing axes were first used around 4-500 AD in southern Germany by the Franks. They were farming people, who used axes both for everyday woodcutting,and for battle as they were a relatively inexpensive tool. The Franks used a spear (angons) and short-handled axes (franciscas), which they threw to shatter the shields and armour of their enemies.
However, many historians believe the thrown axe was not used in battle, as it would not make sense to throw away any weapon, and be unarmed before your enemy. Others believe axes were thrown as a precursor to hand-to-hand combat, or as a hunting weapon.
Did Vikings throw axes?
The practice of axe throwing became more widespread in Europe during the Middle Ages, and Vikings are thought to be the first tribes to specifically design axes for use in warfare. Unlike the francisca axe used by the Franks, Viking axes usually had a large curved blade with a lower hook or beard, and were known as bearded axes. These were used both as throwing axes and in close-combat.
Different kinds of axes have since been used across the world, from iron-made axes used by Medieval knights, to famous tomahawk axes used by Native Amercians.
Want to get your Viking on?
At Norse Hawk you’ll get to try a range of axes – with throwing angels, hatchets, bearded hawks and norse hawks.
Group bookings and Events are welcome – and for the Warriors that prove themselves worthy, we’ll even bring out our double-bit axes.