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Faith Aids participates in axe throwing, a sport that started in the Canadian backwoods and is growing in popularity in U.S. cities, at LA Ax in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States, October 8, 2018. Picture taken October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
October 10, 2018
By Rory Carroll
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Axe throwing may not seem to have a place in Los Angeles, where sun and surf reign supreme, but the city’s first venue featuring the niche sport is counting on people to ditch the waves for steel hatchets.
On a sunny fall day a group of real estate agents visited the North Hollywood warehouse that is home to LA Ax to try their hand at the sport.
Like many, their first attempts to get the 1.5 pound hatchet to stick to the target were unsuccessful.
But soon the clang of the axes hitting the ground was replaced by the satisfying thud of them piercing the wood, leading to gleeful smiles and hoots from their co-workers.
LA Ax’s resident “axepert” said the sport provides a low-tech fun in a high-tech society, where people are constantly checking social media.
“Axe throwing gives people a good reason to put down their phones,” said operation’s manager Carly Chalom, better known as Seven, a nickname she got after competing in an especially epic axe throwing battle.
“Put that down, step away for an hour or two, and throw some axes. Then you’ll have something to post about later.”
She said it is also a good way to release tension at a time when the news can cause people to feel stressed and anxious.
“This gives you an outlet to get out that aggression. Don’t angry type or angry text.”
“Pick up an axe and we’ll show you how to throw it.”
“And you’re learning a skill so if that zombie apocalypse ever hits you’ll be well prepared,” she said with a laugh.
The venue is getting a wide variety of clientele, she said, from people on first dates to those who have been unlucky in love.
“The latest request we’ve gotten is for divorce parties,” she said.
“So we have groups of women coming in to celebrate a divorce rather than weep about it. They come in here, throw some axes and get out some aggression.”
While the venue tries to be accommodating, they also aim to keep things civil.
“The most common question that we get asked is can we put a face on our targets, to which I have to politely say no,” she said.
“It does look a little bit threatening and we don’t want to spread any hate. We’re all about love and community here.”
“The reason you get together is your own prerogative but there will be no throwing at anyone’s faces.”
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)