70 Thoughts We Had While Throwing Axes at Blade and Timber Honolulu

We sent our team to Blade & Timber to try ax-throwing for the first time. Here’s what they thought during a 90-minute session.


This article was originally published on May 31, 2019. It was updated on June 16, 2021.



Image: Aaron K. Yoshino



First there were trivia nights, then paint parties, then breakout rooms. The latest group outing adventure to hit Honolulu makes the others look like child’s play. Welcome to the world of ax-throwing, where you chuck axes at target boards and attempt to stick a bullseye.


Blade & Timber opened on Queen Street this spring as Honolulu’s first indoor ax-throwing venue. A few members of our team—Katie Kenny, Kristin Lipman, Stacey Makiya, Shelley Shiroma, Brie Thalmann, Katrina Valcourt and Aaron K. Yoshino—bravely volunteered to try it out. Here’s what they thought in between throws—from a safe distance, comfort food in hand.


Group picture

From left to right: Aaron, Katie, Kristin, Brie, Stacey and Katrina. Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



1. Why are we going? Did no one see the video where the girl escaped death by a hair?


2. WTH do you wear to ax throwing? Armor or flannel?


3. I’m scared my skirt will fly up. Rule number one: Do not wear skirts.


4. We’re allowed to bring food? And it’s located right across the street from Whole Foods? Lumber jackin’ and organic snackin’ is my jam.



Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



5. Just six parking stalls—good thing we carpooled.


6. All I know is I’m not going first.


7. Can we call this story Dat Ax?


8. Oh good, they have covered shoes to rent if you forgot yours.


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Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



9. Wow, these dudes checking us in really do look like they throw axes for a living. Teach me your ways, Billy.


10. OK, phew, these throwing lanes look pretty safe. That was smart that they caged off the tops and sides.






Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



12. Holy cow this ax is HEAVY! Or wait, maybe my biceps are just really small.


13. Why is this so heavy?


14. Oh it’s LOUD when the ax hits the wall!


15. Good, the woodchip landing pads seem to keep the axes from bouncing back. Guess I won’t need a helmet after all.




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



16. I guess the ax can’t bounce back that far? Oh sh*t, yes it can!


17. The smaller axes bounce back a LOT farther than big ones. Duck!


18. First try, I bounced it. Second time, I tried to throw it too hard. Next time, don’t try.


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Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



19. I’m throwing too hard! Why do I keep throwing hard?


20. GOT A 4!


21. Billy told me to stand 15 feet away from the board. Is it because I’m tall? Can’t be, even Shelley is throwing from back here.


22. Bullseye! Take pictures of me, please.




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



23. OMG, Katie is killin’ it. She looks competitive.


24. So I’m the only one who takes selfies next to my bullseye?


25. Six girls, six very different first throws.


26. Why do I suck?




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



27. Where did this originate? This looks like a “back in da day” sport.


28. I could totally see Oregon having one of these.


29. Billy’s suspenders are so cute! We should have worn some!


30. I need Billy to stand next to me—his big burly-ness will hopefully block me from angry axes flying back.




Image: Aaron K. Yoshino



31. Once you understand it’s not about brawns and more about technique, you get it down.


32. First round I got nothing. Am I not angry enough? Or TOO angry?


33. When I got too confident I started messing up.


34. Whyyyyy can’t I hit the blue spot for extra points?


35. I can’t believe you guys are talking about aiming for the blue dots. I’m just aiming for the wall in general.




Image: Aaron K. Yoshino



36. One-handed looks fun! The baseball throw looks scary, but Billy is a master.


37. Did the baseball throw. Not bad, not bad.


38. Asking for tips means Billy will throw for us. This makes me feel more intimidated.


39. I’m guessing that Billy’s throwing powers come from his beard. That’s probably also why Aaron is so damn good at this. Wonder how much mana I can get from this leg stubble?


40. How can I beat Katie and Katrina?


Katie throwing axes at blade and timber

Image: Aaron K. Yoshino



41. Girls bring pics of their exes and put them in the bullseye? I’m down for that! Exes and axes, GENUIS!




43. Man, I did not know there were all kinds of techniques and ways to throw axes. I want to try them all. Can I practice in the next lane?



Axe holder

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



44. I’m just gonna step over and practice. Two-handed is definitely my style. I don’t even wanna try underhand.


45. Apparently, you’re either good at overhead or underhand. I’d say I’m almost average at both.


46. Billy said to call him over if we’re gonna try underhand but Stacey’s trying to convince him to eat li hing mui right now and I’m not sure he can see me. I might kill someone.


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Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



47. Hey, this underhand throw is pretty fun! And a lot easier than overhead.


48. Did the underhand throw and I sucked. This throw is unnatural.


49. I take it back because I did it! So wait, am I the exception to the rule that you’re either good at over or under? Am I special?


50. I really hope no one accidentally throws the ax backward. It’s not like we’re playing Wii bowling and we’ll be fine after!!


51. Throw the ax like a bowling ball… hmmm …


52. Tried throwing it like a baseball. An ax is sooo much heavier. Struck out.


53. Whoops, I chipped a chunk out of the board.


54. That thwack sound when it sticks is so satisfying!


55. One ax is heavy enough, how am I supposed to throw two at once?


56. Kristin nailed the two-ax throw. Yeah, I can’t go after her.



Two-handed throw at blade and timber

Image: Aaron K. Yoshino



57. Stacey, your turn! Throw axes, not shakas!


58. OMG, Mama Stacey’s going. Everyone stay on this side of the fence.




60. Shelley’s acting all scared as if she hasn’t done this before but I know she has! Look at her go!



Shelley throwing axes at blade and timber

Image: Aaron K. Yoshino



61. Where’s the beer? This setup is screaming for a bar in place. The ambience and color scheme are just calling for one.


62. I would love to have a beer while doing this.


63. Why would you serve alcohol here? Playing with razor sharp objects while under the influence doesn’t seem too akamai. But that’s just me.


64. Once they get their liquor license they should have log-shaped pint glasses—ones with ax handles!


65. Ohhhh noooooo, mama bear is coming out. My kids do tell me I’m competitive.


66. Aaron is like a Yoda-throwing master. But Katie and Kristin beat him in the end. MANA WAHINE!




Katie: “I think Stacey Has padded her tally here.” Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



67. It’s over already? OK, we need to come back and make it a girls night! Billy said to reserve it in advance.


68. Already told my gals we should do this for our next GNO!


69. Note for next time we bring food—greasy finger foods equal slippery ax handles. Don’t get too close on the backswing!


70. OK, ready for a beer!




Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino



Blade & Timber has moved to a new location in 2021. A kitchen and beer bar is promised. 506 Keawe St., $30 per person with up to 6 people per lane or to reserve a lane Friday–Sunday there is a four person or $120 minimum, (808) 208-1709, bladeandtimber.com, @bladeandtimber