Right on Target: Action City’s new axe throwing range

V1 staffer takes aim at Action City’s axe throwing range

James Johonnott, photos by Andrea Paulseth

AXE-TION CITY. We sent one of our bravest and least-coordinated staffers to go try out the trendy new axe-throwing range at Action City in Eau Claire. He’s a sharp guy, so we thought he’d have the chops for it.
AXE-TION CITY. We sent one of our bravest and least-coordinated staffers to go try out the trendy new axe-throwing range at Action City in Eau Claire. He’s a sharp guy, so we thought he’d have the chops for it.

If you head just past the pizza counter in Action City and stop near the rock wall, you’ll hear the telltale sound of sharp steel smashing into wood. That’s right: Axe throwing has come to Eau Claire. 

No stranger to cities like Minneapolis or Chicago (and, recently, La Crosse), indoor axe throwing lanes like those now found at Action City allow you channel your inner lumberjack or Viking raider while safely throwing axes at a wooden target at the end of the lane. 

“The idea of bringing axe throwing to Action City started as a joke ... But the more we talked about it, the more we knew we had to make it happen.” – Billy Bagley, Action City

“The idea of bringing axe throwing to Action City started as a joke,” Billy Bagley, my guide to all things axe throwing, explained. “But the more we talked about it, the more we knew we had to make it happen.” Billy and the rest of the crew at Action City spent months planning how to bring axe throwing to the amusement center, 2402 Lorch Ave., and studied with some of the best axe throwers around, some of whom were found in Minneapolis. 

Getting good at hurling sharp steel is much harder than it looks. Billy walked me through the basics of axe throwing, including a two-handed and one-handed grip. The two-handed grip is far easier, and I managed to sink the axe head into the target with a decent amount of success for someone who avoided dodgeball in grade school. The single-handed grip is decidedly more difficult, requiring a lot of hand-eye-foot-hips-shoulder-waist coordination to not only get the axe where you want it to go, but stick it into the target board. Billy helpfully coached me through the specific elements of my axe throwing form that needed work (there were many) and after a lot of help and practice, I managed to line up my shoulder with the target, not flick my wrist, twist my hips, change my feet, and land the axe into the board with a loud and extremely satisfying crunch. 

It’s easy to tell from the design of the lanes that safety is a primary concern. Billy made sure the door was closed behind me each time I took to the lane, and the caging makes sure no wild axes are going to go flying into anyone else’s lanes. The axes are (of course) sharp, but they don’t bounce from the board. “Most injuries happen when people grab the head of the axe not thinking that it’s sharp,” Billy explained. 

The act of axe throwing is deceptively simple yet particularly gratifying. Teen birthday parties, business groups, and couples on a pizza and axe date night have something new to get good at. “We’re trying to make sure we have attractions for a wide array of guests,” Billy said. “And keep people coming back to find new things.”


Axe Throwing is now available at Action City to anyone age 16+ (or 12+ with adult supervision). Lanes can be reserved for parties, or you can get 20 throws for $5.