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If you’re looking for something new and exciting to do in Manchester, I’ve got just the place. It’s axe throwing – and believe me, it’s not your average social activity… it’s better.
Move aside bowling, there’s a new way to beat your friends in Manchester. It’s Whistle Punks, Urban Axe Throwing – located in The Great Northern Warehouse. The concept is simple – throw some axes, and try to beat your friends. It sounds fun on paper, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Is it axe-llent? Has it got the axe factor? (These puns may continue, I’m sorry in advance)
WHAT TO AXE-PECT
The snow was falling quite heavily by the time me and my work friends arrived at Whistle Punks. The location is quite weird considering everyone’s throwing axes inside – it’s just big black curtains and nets separating us from the outside world. And by golly it was cold inside. The place is just how you’d expect an axe throwing venue to look too – blacks, greys, wood clippings, and metal gates separating the four axe throwing lanes.
When we arrived, we had to sign forms to say we were safe to throw axes – and then we waited for our slot. In that time, there are big benches with games to play. There’s draughts, bean bags, and extremely mini table tennis to name just a few. It’s a really good idea than just having groups sat there waiting – and a nice way of getting the competitive juices flowing.
PUT YOUR AXE INTO IT
And then it was time. The instructors gave a little introduction on what to expect, and they were really enthusiastic which was nice to see. The groups then got split into lanes – and this is where your axe throwing experience could go two ways. If you had a big group (like we did) you get a lane to yourself – but, if you have anything smaller than 8 or 9, you get put with people you don’t know. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much with people I’ve never met before.
When we were separated and introduced to our instructors, the fun really did begin. In pairs, we were given two rounds of practice. The axes are about the size of your forearm, but surprisingly heavy things to throw. Our instructor told us how to pull the axe above our heads, bend your back and then release the axe straight at the board. Any wobbles, and the axe wouldn’t stick in the wood. Weirdly, it isn’t about strength – it’s about when you release the axe in the air.
Next came the tournament, where you’re well and truly against your friends. The amount of rounds you win, the better your score and got you into the final. Unfortunately, I came fourth – but I was much better than I thought! And if you’re worried about it being unsafe, don’t be. At first you’re quite apprehensive, but then you realise you’re in safe hands, and as long as everyone is sensible and listens to the instructor, nothing can go wrong.
What I loved most about this place was how different it was. It’s a real team bonding activity and you’re having just as much fun watching your friends throwing the axes as you are too. The staff made it even better also, with cool ideas and games to make the experience a lot more personal and exciting. And at the end, we even got to throw two axes at once! And as my friend, Erin would say – “that was fucking bad-ass”!
I would 100% recommend this place for work nights out, team bonding activities and even just to have a laugh with your mates. It’s more exciting than darts or bowling as you don’t get bored when it’s not your go – plus, there’s always that fear factor that someone may crack your head open at any point. But, let’s hope no one ever does that.
Have you been axe throwing? Thinking of going? Let me know in the comments! or find out more about axe throwing at https://whistlepunks.com!