We headed down to Whistle Punks Urban Axe Throwing in the Great Northern to see what all the fuss was about and we were blown away! Its basically darts, on steroids with you getting the chance to hurl real metal hatchets at wooden targets as you compete against a team of people in a tournament environment.
We arrived to the Great Northern building and could easily find the location due to the thudding of the axes. Located opposite the old B.Eat Street location, the venue has four lanes caged off with chain-link fencing, with two targets at the end of each. Each lane is enclosed to make it safe for throwers. Alcoholic drinks, as well as open-toed shoes, are not allowed. The venue had some charm with a range of quirky games to keep you entertained while you waited for your session.
The game format is well thought out with a bullseye bagging you five points, while the inner and outer circles are worth three and one – and for the professional throwers, there are two corner points worth seven apiece.
Each session lasts 1.5 hours and at the beginning of the session you are briefed, talked through all the dos and don’ts and coached by the instructors how to sling a 14-inch axe at a wooden target.
Once briefed you then get the chance to have some practice throws before taking part in the group competition where you compete to be queen or king of the axes!
The instructors look to group people together which is perfect for socialising and meeting new people between throws.
Whistle Punks was brought to Manchester by Jools Whitehorn and John Nimmons, who founded it in London last year.
“It’s a growing trend in Canada, which obviously has a big lumberjack heritage, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it’s taken off as an urban sport,” said Jools.
“People are looking for something to do on a night out, not just eat and drink, a social activity with a bit of competition.
“I think another big part of the appeal is that it feels like something you shouldn’t be allowed to do. It’s a visceral experience which is physical without being too demanding, and people say it’s a good stress reliever.”
“People expect it to be quite a macho experience but what’s nice is we have a really wide range of customers, everyone from big corporate groups to first dates,” he said.
We loved the experience and highly recommend it for a unique date, a get together with friends or even for a corporate event!
Below is a breakdown of the cost and time slots available at the axe throwing:
The prices are £25 per person per session at peak times – Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
£20 per person per session at off-peak times – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
They have 6:15pm and 8pm sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
4:30pm, 6:15pm and 8pm Thursday and Friday
On Saturdays the times are 11am, 12:45pm, 2:30pm, 4:15pm and 6pm.
On Sundays the times are 11am, 12:45pm, 2:30pm and 6pm.
Each slot is 1.5 hours.
For more information visit whistlepunks.com