There’s a popular new pastime for urban lumberjacks in London.
Darts, billiards, table football and pinball machines are no longer in vogue, and instead, people have taken to axe throwing.
Adam West is from Bad Axe – a club specialising in the sport, which is opening a branch in Croydon’s Boxpark this summer.
He said: “I think the main appeal is just how fun it is!
“There’s something incredibly satisfying about hurling axes into a target, there aren’t many better feelings than nailing a kill shot or a bullseye.
“As a relatively new sport in the UK, a majority of customers we have are throwing for the first time.
“But with the help of our awesome coaches, people get axes sticking pretty quickly and realise how addictive it can be.”
A bit like archery, competitors aim at a target marked with concentric circles, scoring the most points either by hitting the bullseye or two tiny blue dots either side of the board.
Bad Axe has been a rapid success since it opened in Ontario, Canada, in 2014 and there are now 40 locations, mainly in North America, but including one in Boxpark Wembley which opened in 2019.
London’s Boxparks are places to eat, shop, have a drink and experience live events like music, with locations in Wembley, Shoreditch and Croydon.
With its own craft beer and wine bar, Bad Axe is billed as a stag and hen do destination, as well as a place for birthday parties and corporate events.
There are coaches on hand if you’re a newbie, but they also run competitive eight-week-long axe throwing leagues with a global leaderboard.
Much like table tennis or pool, more serious players bring their own tools, with axes selling online for in excess of £300.
Internet reviewers have described throwing axes as darts on steroids, but Bad Axe say no one has ever been hurt or injured at one of their locations.
Open toed shoes are a no no as no one wants to drop a sharp and heavy instrument on their bare feet.
Traditionally something Canadians do in their back gardens, Bad Axe are members of the World Axe Throwing League, which has featured on the TV sport network ESPN.
They want to raise the profile of the sport and take it to cities worldwide, with a handful of celebrities helping to bring a touch of glamour.
For all his mutton chops and woodsman-like ruggedness, it seems fitting that Hugh Jackman, AKA Wolverine from the X-Men films, has dabbled in axe throwing.
West said: “We would like to continue to expand throughout the UK so more people can get involved with our incredibly enjoyable sport.”
Croydon’s Bad Axe opens this summer, and from the looks of things, it certainly beats the banality of bowling.