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When Axes & Allies was first being built in Wilmington, NC, it sounded like a recipe for a disaster. It’s an axe throwing bar. So you go, drink, and throw axes. What could go wrong right?
Pete wanted to go so badly. He actually tried to go as soon as he heard about it, which meant it wasn’t opened yet.
We tried to make plans to go every so often, but it just never worked out. Axes & Allies (1122 S 3rd St,) isn’t walking distance from downtown Wilmington, so it’s not somewhere you just happen into. It’s somewhere you choose as your destination.
When Axes & Allies was hosting its first anniversary party in August, we decided we had to go. I’m so glad we did.
Axes & Allies: Axe Throwing In Wilmington, NC
Axes & Allies recommends, but doesn’t require, reservations to throw axes. It also doesn’t require any axe throwing experience. Which was good because I didn’t have any.
When it’s your turn, one of the staff members comes to explain axe throwing to you. There are two types of axes, and you can choose either. The staff member will show you how to throw one handed, with two hands, and (eventually) underhanded or with your foot. (The rules, however, say you can only throw overhead.)
While we were watching his demonstration, I was so nervous. Not too long ago, there was a viral video where a woman threw an axe and it bounced back to her. She dodged it, which was impressive. All I could think watching it was, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” And all I could think after was, “Holy crap, axe throwing is not for me.” But here I was, about to throw axes.
The staff member saw my nerves, so he quickly grabbed an axe and threw it underhand behind him without looking. It did hit the wall, not the target, and it fell down to the ground. It didn’t bounce back towards us, and, even though I gasped and flinched, he didn’t.
So then it was time for us to throw.
“Ladies first,” Pete said. And up I went.
My first throw hit the target, but bounced right off. I was honestly surprised to have even hit it. I tried again, with the same amount of success.
The couple next to us were incredibly nice. It was their third time throwing axes, so she offered me a bit of advice. I took it … and actually hit the target. I cannot even put into words how excited I was. Seriously. I screamed, jumped, and got high fives from the couple next to us.
Let me mention that for a minute.
You’re not throwing by yourself. We did have our own lane, but we were next to another couple. You start at the same time, and you are given instructions beforehand together. Some of those instructions are common sense: Watch out for other people, throw one axe at a time, don’t throw when someone is picking up an axe, things of that nature.
No one wants to get hurt, so everyone is courteous. No one throws at the same time, you wait for the person on the other lane to throw, and you pick up your axes at the same time.
We paid for a half hour, although you could also pay for an hour. Within that 30 minutes, I got two bullseye — in a row!
It was so much more fun than I expected it to be. Pete loved it too.
And, after we were done, I was surprised at how my arm didn’t hurt. I thought it would be incredibly sore after, but it wasn’t. The next day I felt it a little, but it’s mostly because I’m out of shape.
I haven’t actually been to the gym since we moved to North Carolina. So that means seven years without me working out my arms even a little bit. It’s a shock that I can even carry anything, to be honest. Okay fine, I’m not that bad, but I walk, so my legs are in shape, but my arms are not. If I could throw axes for a half hour, anyone can.
And in that time, none of them bounced back towards us. Some of them bounced off the wooden target and fell into the wood chips in front of it. And some did bounce onto the alley. But no matter how bad I threw (and I did some awful ones, like where they bumped off the top of the target or where I hit the target with the back of the handle), none of them bounced back. So if you are worried about that, don’t be.
Axes & Allies also has a full(-ish) bar with canned and bottled beer, ciders, and bottled water. There isn’t liquor, so no mixed drinks. There is a cooler behind the register with bottled soda as well, so there are non-alcoholic options too (if you feel better throwing sober).
Have you been to Axes & Allies or another axe throwing bar? Let us know about your experience in the comments.