Ashby, a Grant County community that has always been known as the home of the “Arrows” has added axes.
Troy Mickelson, a special education teacher in the Ashby Public School system and a community resident, decided to bring a new sport to town in 2020 despite COVID-19 restrictions that have required face coverings and social distancing for all guests and employees and a lot of cleaning.
Ashby Axe is currently open Thursday through Sunday. Winter league competition is underway but reservations are also being taken. Winter hours have been from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday, 4-10 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 1:30-8 p.m. Sunday.
A round of axe-throwing competition requires an hour and a half to complete.
The competitive sport involves throwing an axe with a 14-inch handle and a 1-pound head a distance of 12 feet. The sport migrated into the United States from Canada about nine years ago according to Mickelson.
“It’s a lot more about skill than it is brute force,” Mickelson said. “It’s not about how hard you can throw that axe. It’s more about form than it is strength.”
The business located at the intersection of Larson Avenue and Main Street in Ashby offers five lanes and 10 targets. The equipment and materials needed are supplied by Ashby Axe. Competitors with experience are invited to bring their own axe but it must meet World Axe Throwing League ( WATL) guidelines and be in good repair.
In his time as a competitive axe thrower, Mickelson has seen throwers as young as 12 and as old as 75.
Mickelson’s business is a member of the World Axe Throwing League and adheres to WATL standards and procedures. Scores established at his range are eligible for registration. The Ashby Axe staff is trained and certified by the WATL in teaching proper ax-throwing techniques. They can also judge and score WATL sanctioned events and leagues. \
Participants must be wearing closed-toe shoes.
No alcohol is allowed, and nobody under the influence may throw axes.
Throwers must remain within a designated “throwing box” area marked on the floor.
Those who are not currently throwing are not to be inside the throwing box.
Participants are not allowed to throw their axe while another person is retrieving their axe down-lane.
Axes are not to be exchanged by hand. Instead, there is a designated bin for axes to be placed in between turns.
If these rules are not followed participants will be asked to leave and no refund will be given.