Sudbury·Up North

Axe-throwing lounge opens in downtown Sudbury

Axe-throwing comes to northeastern Ontario as Northern Axperts opens its doors in downtown Sudbury.

Northern Axperts bringing the popular activity to northern Ontario

Axe-throwing is an increasingly-popular activity in a number of cities, says the co-owner of Northern Axperts in Sudbury, Ont. (Jason Turnbull / CBC)

Northern Ontario might be known for it's forestry sector, but at a new business in Sudbury, Ont. the axes are being thrown at a wall, not swung at a tree.

Northern Axperts has set up space inside Peddler's Pub in downtown Sudbury.

The axe-throwing lounge gives people in northern Ontario a chance to test their skill at a popular pastime that's growing in larger communities.

"I have a girl friend that I went to high school with and she's been throwing axes in a league in Toronto for three years," Kelsey Cutinello, the co-owner of Northern Axperts told CBC's northern Ontario afternoon show Up North.

"The owner of Peddler's Pub said, 'Hey, what do you think about axe-throwing?' and I had seen it ... and thought it was great."

Worried about alcohol and flying axes?

For those concerned about the close proximity of alcoholic beverages and flying axes, Cutinello said staff at the throwing lounge and the bar are all Smart Serve-trained and can recognize when someone's had a little too much to be flinging sharp objects.

"We really promote drinking and celebrating after the game, not so much drinking before the game," she said, adding that people are allowed to have drinks in the throwing area.

"[Bar staff] are the first line of defence and our axe-throwing coaches are the second line of defence to make sure that everything is safe," Cutinello said.

Kelsey Cutinello is the co-owner of Northern Axperts - a new axe-throwing lounge in Sudbury, Ont. (Jason Turnbull / CBC)

'Get all that stress off of your chest'

The layout at the axe-throwing lounge is fairly simple: the area is covered in sheets of chipboard and some fencing acts as a barrier to separate the targets.

The targets themselves are square, made up of five cut-down two-by-tens with bulls-eyes and a couple of smaller circles towards the top, Cutinello said.

"It's a target system similar to darts, everything on the board has points," Cutinello said.
A sign above a doorway at Northern Axperts. (Jason Turnbull / CBC)

A perfect game is 25 points.

While there is a governing international federation that sanctions axe-throwing competitions — of which Northern Axperts wants to become a member — Cutinello said just getting out and throwing for fun is also rewarding.

"If you're having a bad day or you're not getting along with somebody, we encourage you guys to book a tournament here ... and get all that stress off of your chest," she said.

With files from Jason Turnbull

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