It's time to take a whack at Chicago's trendiest new pastime: axe throwing.
Hitting the bull’s-eye at Bad Axe.
Strap on your suspenders, because Chicagoans of all stripes are unleashing their inner lumberjack. A centuries-old sport, competitive axe throwing made the leap from backwoods to front and center when Mario Zelaya, a former digital marketer, opened the first Bad Axe Throwing in Burlington, Ontario, Canada in 2013. Ten Canadian locations later, Bad Axe jumped the border for Chi town in 2016. To Zelaya’s surprise, Bad Axe attracts far more than beardy bros. From bachelorette parties to corporate events, it’s an activity for everyone. Here, the founder helps us get a handle on what urban axe throwing is all about.
Dress the part: “A lot of people show up in red plaids and lumberjack gear,” says Zelaya. While that may look cool in pictures, he also stresses comfortable throwing gear and closed toe shoes.
Safety first: “Every single event has an axe throwing coach to show you the technique,” he assures. “We’ haven’t had a single incident.”
Name your team: The more puns, the merrier. “Just yesterday I saw someone post on social media that they were named Back Dat Axe Up.”
Throw down: “We have a ton of great games that we do,” he explains, “and it is a good workout throwing those axes. Your calves will be sore. Your abs will be sore.” 165 N. Loomis St., 888-435-0001