Think of your favorite weekend activity. Perhaps it’s bowling, or laser tag. Maybe your friend group hits the movie theatre. Imagine breaking the cycle by throwing weaponry with your peers. Agawam Axe House in Agawam, MA is providing wild enjoyment for everyone by bringing axe-throwing to the East Coast.
When you walk into the building on Main Street you’ll instantly be engulfed by the fun-feel of the location. A wall of axes stand beside owner Annelise Townsend at the front desk, pop music booms through the speakers, and you can smell the aroma of wood that has been the target of weapons.
Agawam Axe House has become the talk of the town in the short time it has been open. It all started when Annelise visited Montreal, Canada. She was looking for the perfect pastime, and axe throwing piqued her interest. After returning home, she realized this was a unique sport that Western Mass. was missing. She was already the proud owner of the ideal location, and soon her idea would result in hundreds of locals wielding the power of the axe.
While this activity is fresh to New England, axe throwing is a popular and recognized sport in other parts of the world. Historians argue that throwing axes were used in battle dating all the way back to 400 A.D. Others believe the weapons were simply used to hunt animals for survival. Reports even claim the Celts were the first group to use the axe for sport. No matter where it began, there are now professional axe throwing leagues recognized by the National Axe Throwing Federation, and it makes for great leisure fun. As Annelise put it, “It is an addictive sport that is massive across the world.”
As intimidating as that may sound, don’t let the weaponry scare you away. What’s important to remember as a newcomer to the sport is to not walk in thinking you can’t do it. While it often takes a few practice throws, it becomes easier with each toss, and anyone young or old can excel at the game.
A sport this unique doesn’t hit Western Mass. without some curiosity. Along with a sea of locals that have come in to attempt the activity for themselves, residents of bordering states have also walked through the doors. People have stopped in from Taunton, MA and even Rhode Island for a visit.
If you have a special event coming up, Agawam Axe House has you covered. If you’re searching for a way to mix up the usual trip to the bar for a bachelor party, or want a memorable way to reveal the gender of your baby to family and friends, Agawam Axe House hosts it all. If you can celebrate it, why not with flying axes?
Agawam Axe House offers parties up to twelve people, but can host larger events by request. To earn the highest status of all of your friends, perhaps you’d like to try your hand at becoming Pitmaster. A Pitmaster title is earned with “two hands, two axes, two targets and one throw,” as stated on the Axe House website. Take on the challenge during a pit party rental, and you may find yourself walking away with the coveted title, and a photo featured on the website. While wielding the weapon is fun in and of itself, a certified coach who is trained in axe throwing games and tournaments can amplify the enjoyment of your group.
If you’re looking for the chance to expand your skills and meet new friends in the process, Agawam Axe House is currently working on forming their own league. The team requires a minimum of sixteen people, and Annelise encourages all interested to sign up.
It’s clear that axe-throwing is a one-of-a-kind experience, and Annelise explains why. “There’s nothing like it. It is stress relief, it is exhilarating, it’s extremely entertaining. We teach you what to do, and you’re up and going in five minutes.” That statement was proven by Go Local photographer Tyler Whaley. He stepped up to the line and, with minimal instruction, threw a bulls-eye. Anyone can enjoy the act of axe-throwing. Annelise added, “It’s exercise and an amazing time. It really works you out. It’s great for interacting and socializing. Everyone is off of their cell phones while they are playing.”
Safety is of the utmost importance at the Axe House. For example, don’t get caught in open-toed shoes. Annelise stressed that if you do, you may find yourself walking onto the lanes in the Shoes of Shame. They are solid black Croc slide-ons that many may consider unfashionable. In order to assure everyone has a blast, Agawam Axe House only hosts visitors eighteen years of age or older, and does not permit alcohol on the premises. As Annelise explains, “Why waste time drinking when you could be throwing axes?”
Once you give this new pastime a try, you may not be able to stop. Annelise shared that customers often return to give the sport some practice, sometimes as often as weekly. Passionate participants utilize the option of bringing their own axes from home. If you’re not axe savvy and are unsure of where to start, Agawam Axe House offers a varied array of weaponry including axes of different shapes and sizes, hatchets and tomahawks. Annelise expressed that once players find the right fit, they tend to stick with the ones they love.
Free throwing the axes with the singular goal of hitting the target can be a blast, but Agawam Axe House also has games in place for visitors who want to be a little more competitive. For example, there are ten different games coaches are prepared to teach. Coaches also create their own games, and players have a chance to win free t-shirts for their successes.
While Agawam Axe House has already established a grand business, they plan to expand their current eight lane offering. They are in the process of building a VIP party room that will offer a personal refrigerator full of drinks and guests’ own radio they can use to blast their favorite tunes. For an experience on a smaller scale, the business is also creating a semi-private area, where participants will have their own coach to provide personalized direction.
In addition to their expansion, there is a loyalty program in place for players who return frequently. When you visit five times, your sixth visit is free. Just like any sport, the Axe House has their own mascot, and will be holding a contest to give them a name.
Think you’re up to the challenge? Visit Agawam Axe House, because when it comes to a great time, it’s right on target.
AGAWAM AXE HOUSE • 396 MAIN STREET, SUITE A • AGAWAM, MA • (413) 654-6789
AGAWAMAXE.COM • FACEBOOK.COM/AGAWAMAXE