Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's duo aim for Arizona in World Axe Throwing Championship

Ryan Lane and Jordan Doyle are hoping to stay sharp and chop the competition at the world championship event.

A fundraiser is set for Sunday to help two men get to Tucson, Arizona

Jordan Doyle and Ryan Lane are headed for sunny Tuscon, Arizona in early December to compete at the World Axe Throwing Championship. (Maggie Gillis/CBC)

Throw an axe and see the world, that's what Ryan Lane and Jordan Doyle are doing —  the duo is slated to head to Tucson, Arizona in early December to compete at the World Axe Throwing Championships.

Lane has been there before, making it his fourth major tournament on the world stage. 

"There's going to be competitors from all over North America, and I think there might even be one coming from Ireland as well," Lane told CBC Radio's Weekend AM. 

"The location changes every year. There's going to be 64 competitors and we're going to compete to see who's the best."

The tournament will be Doyle's first rodeo on the big stage.

Doyle said he has been working at Jack Axe's in downtown St. John's for the better part of two years, so he's no stranger to throwing one.

He will be in the wild card spot at this year's tournament, meaning he will have to compete to make it into the championship tournament itself.

Doyle sharpens axes for customers at Jack Axes. (Maggie Gillis/CBC)

"Pretty nervous, but excited for the opportunity," Doyle said.

"I outdid my last league performance, pretty happy about that. So we'll see how it goes." 

Lane won his ticket to the big event by winning the regional qualifying tournament locally, and having a high enough score to be ranked within the top 12 players of the entire local league. Last year, he attended the World Championship as a wild card.

"It was quite interesting, actually, a good experience to go down and kind of see how other people were throwing, because it's the kind of thing where your throw is very personal to you," he said.

"I've changed my axe three times and my throw probably five times since the wild card last year. I made it through a couple of rounds but didn't do as well as I had hoped, of course." 

A stress relief

Lane said he practises up to four nights a week, one to two hours each night at Jack Axes, joking that he is an unofficial employee.

He calls the sport relaxing and stress relief, and compares it to golf.

Lane won the local regional qualifying tournament for his ticket to his fourth world championship tournament. (Maggie Gillis/CBC)

"Even though you're competing against someone, you're really throwing with yourself. Like it's all about your own refinement of your own game. You either throw well or you don't," he said.

"You can play against people who are the best in the world or people who are just getting started, and your game is your own to determine how well you do."  

Right now there are 2,500 people playing in leagues across the world as part of the bigger umbrella World Axe Throwing League.

Lane said the sport is continuing to grow in terms of popularity. 

The top six competitors from the World Axe Throwing Championship will be featured live on ESPN on Dec. 8.

On Sunday, Jack Axes is holding a fundraiser from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. to help fund Lane's and Doyle's trip to Arizona.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Weekend AM