Rochelle King had never thrown an axe before November. Now it’s quite literally her job.
King’s an assistant manager at Axe Hole, which offers a different sort of night out to anyone interested in outdoor activities, but less interested having to leave the city limits. Located west of Kingsway Mall, it’s a place to learn how to throw a variety of axes in a variety of ways, basically taking one of outdoor camping’s most sacred rites and placing it in an indoor (and, uh, much safer) facility.
King was hunting for jobs, and she found herself intrigued at the opportunity: “I always look for jobs that are out of the ordinary,” she notes. “Axe Hole definitely fit into one of those types of positions. I’ve found a good fit here.”
Open since September, the bulk of Axe Hole’s clientele, she notes, is split between the curious, couples on date nights, and parties—bachelor/bachelorette parties and birthdays. There’s even the occasional team-building outing—though Axe Hole has a mobile unit, too, which King notes is available to be rented out for barbecues and family gatherings. The appeal, as King sees it, is at least partially in the rarity of the opportunity.
“I think people come in just because it is one of those unique activities, something they haven’t done before,” she says. “So to get that new experience. And we definitely have people come in [because] it’s a stress release: if you’ve had a bad day at work, they would come in to get a little bit of that stress out, and they go home and they’re relaxed. There’s multiple purposes.”
One of those purposes is friendly competition: Axe Hole facilitates a league of its own, an eight-week cycle for those who have already honed their axe-tossing skills to test ’em out in friendly ranking.
“There’s people that have never thrown axes before, to people who have been doing it for years,” she says of the league. “It’s an awesome group of people. It’s not one of those things where people get hyper-competitive and get angry. They’re all really encouraging and just generally really nice people who are doing it.
“There’s more than I’d think you’d expect that do have some experience,” she continues, of the people showing up at Axe Hole. “That have been doing it for years, whether it’s in their backyard, or when they’re out doing other recreational activities. The most common thing that we hear is that people have done it when they’re out camping; it’s a little bit different when it’s a competitive sport. There aren’t too many … but they seem to be coming out of the woodwork as they find out about us.”
11614 – 119 St