After Viral Video Shows Bouncing Axe, World Axe Throwing League Responds

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A video went viral this week of a woman at an axe-throwing facility throwing her axe, only for the axe to immediately bounce off the ground and back towards her, narrowly missing her head.

The video was posted to Instagram by a user named Ainsley Rae and was posted by her boyfriend. It has since gone super-viral and even been featured on multiple news shows.

“At first I didn’t know what actually happened but then over time, watching it over and over again, I just started laughing at myself. Oh my gosh, I am so glad I didn’t get hit in the head,” Rae told Inside Edition.

In response to the video, the World Axe Throwing League, which is something of a governing body for the axe-throwing world, has issued a statement, attributed to its commissioner, Evan Walters:

“For those unaware, there was a video posted on Instagram of a thrower who had an unlucky bounce. The throw was close to the target, bounced off the floor, and ricocheted off the footer, and back at the thrower,” the statement said. “Thankfully you can see in the video that no-one was hurt, including the coach who was to the right of her. This is something worth taking note of. In my years of experience, and seeing many axes being thrown, it is rare I see something new, but this truly is a first.”

Walters went on to state that WATL has worked with Bad Axe Throwing, the venue in the video, to both investigate and ensure that proper safety measures are being taken. They determined that while that throw was a “million-to-one” shot, all Bad Axe Throwing locations will be removing the rubber mats that were used in that location. Also, Estwing axes will no longer be used.

The logo of the World Axe Throwing League can be seen in the video. There is also a National Axe Throwing Federation.

Axe-throwing has a long history as part of lumberjack competitions, but in recent years has become a recreational sport, with locations opening up around the country with names like Bad Axe Throwing, Axe Monkeys, Stumpy’s Hatchet House, and Kick Axe Throwing. Some of the venues serve alcohol, while others do not. The first such location in North America appears to have opened in Toronto in 2011, per Travel and Leisure.

There do not appear to have been any reports of serious injuries at axe throwing venues in the years that the businesses have been open.