New Zealand's first-ever axe-throwing range opens in Wellington

From this weekend Wellingtonians looking to blow off some steam can channel their inner lumberjack and give axe-throwing a go.

The country's first ever 'axe-throwing range' Sweet Axe Throwing Co. has just opened in the capital. 

"It was a lot of hoops to jump through, but the community has really embraced what we're doing," event manager Sarah Hilyard told Newshub.

Axe-throwing is a game, fast becoming a competitive sport.

"It's just a back to basics, good fun game. Simplicity is key and once you throw that axe and hear that thunk, you're hooked," axe-pert Lloyd Bombell said.

Sweet Axe Throwing told Newshub that feeling makes the activity perfect for a bit of stress relief and team building.

Founders Bombell and Hilyard tried it out in Sydney in 2015; Bombell took to it so well he was even offered a job.

"I was like, 'Well, y'know, who doesn't need a little beer money on the side?' So yeah, I just started working there and totally fell in love with the sport," he said.

After moving to New Zealand two years ago they set about opening the country's first ever range - and have settled on Wellington.

New Zealand's first-ever axe-throwing range opens in Wellington

"I feel like Wellingtonians say yes to things, I think they've got the right attitude to really embrace axe-throwing," Hilyard said.

"Kiwis are just going to kill it mate, the number of people I've spoken to like, 'Oh, I used to love throwing an axe in the back yard,' I think you guys have the axe-throwing in you already," Bombell added. 

The game is simple enough: the closer you get to the bullseye, the higher the score, and whoever has the most points after 10 throws wins.

Safety is paramount. Nobody can throw if they've been drinking, everyone is given an induction, and the worst injury they've seen is a splinter.

"When you first hear about axe-throwing everybody's eyebrows shoot on up and go, 'Ooh jeez that sounds dangerous!' At the end of the day this is just another sport," Bombell said.

As for the key to success? The duo said it's prioritising technique over strength.

"A little bit of body movement, using that momentum. Making sure your arm is up all the way over in a strong arc. You can do it with one hand or two hands depending on what suits best. And distance is absolutely key - once you find your sweet spot you'll find you'll get it more times than not," Bombell said.

"If you think of Buzz Lightyear and how he does the chop, that's it, that's all you need to know," Hilyard explained.

Sweet Axe Throwing says it's so simple, anyone can give it a go - even one very un-coordinated reporter.

Newshub.

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