For possibly the first time since the Vikings landed on the shores of our tiny island, axe throwing is here, and it’s sweeping the country quicker than a longboat full of bearded Scandinavians.
Whistle Punks Urban Axe Throwing is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers wanting to fling axes at targets in one of the most unusual - and addictive - new pastimes.
Being able to throw the axe harder than anyone else isn’t much of an advantage, so everyone starts out on a level playing field and women and men can compete against each otherJools Whitehorn
The sport, which already boasts a huge following in Canada and the US, was brought to the UK by Jools Whitehorn and John Nimmons who noticed a huge, axe-shaped hole in our social scene.
Guests at Whistle Punks are given a brief masterclass in the art of flinging board-splintering hatchets at targets, before being unleashed into a tournament. Points are awarded depending on how close to the bullseye players can land an axe, and the top scorers are crowned as the axe king or queen at the end of the event.
Having launched in London in Summer 2016, the activity has been so popular that over 7000 people have launched axes with Whistle Punks, including groups as diverse as Google’s employees and the Women’s Institute.
As a result, Whistle Punks is creating a competitive league in the capital city, and hopes to do the same in Manchester once the locals have been initiated into the sport.
Founder Jools Whitehorn says: “The great thing about Urban Axe Throwing is that it’s all about technique. Being able to throw the axe harder than anyone else isn’t much of an advantage, so everyone starts out on a level playing field and women and men can compete against each other.”
And after the success of the London venue, Whistle Punks are set to open a second branch in the Great Northern Warehouse, in the fashionable Deansgate area of Manchester.
“We’re so excited to be opening our second branch of Whistle Punks. After a great reception in London, we’re thrilled to be bringing the social sport of urban axe throwing to the buzzing centre of Manchester.”
Longtime friends Jools and John caught wind of the growing trend for urban axe throwing in Canada and decided to try it out for themselves. They were instantly hooked and started up Whistle Punks to let other people join in the fun.
“Sinking an axe in a target is the sort of satisfyingly primal experience that’s hard to find in everyday city life,” says John.
“There’s something brilliantly addictive about it; people come in just to give it a go, and before long they’re trying trick shots and getting competitive with their scores.”
We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for you to try your hand at axe throwing at The Great Northern Warehouse in Deansgate, Manchester, early in the new year.
To enter our competition, read the following question and email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, December 16. Over 18s only.
Q: Who is the founder of Whistle Punks?