Putt putt, take a hike. The latest activity craze to hit the coast has arrived with a fairly distinctive thud. Lumber Punks Axe Throwing is the brainchild of Gold Coasters Sam Hay and Tyson McMillan, long-time friends who, initially, wanted to open up a café together.
“We have been in that industry for most of our lives,” explains Tyson.
“Then one day whilst we were having a ‘business meeting’ in my backyard throwing axes, it just seemed like the right idea. I had seen a few years ago that someone had done it in Canada and thought it would be a perfect fit for the Goldy. Luckily Sam agreed, and we’ve been dotting the i’s since that moment.”
Axe Throwing has been around since primitive man walked the four corners of the world. In modern culture it was the North American lumberjacks who used it as a recreation in down times. And in the past decade it has evolved into a growing sport that is quickly spanning the globe.
“It’s kind of like darts, but with big axes,” Tyson describes.
“The technique is really easy and fast for beginners to master, 10 minutes and you’re good to go on all types of axes.”
Co-owner Sam Hay explains how accessible it is to all. “The statistics show that 40% of throwers are women, so if you can pick up an axe, you can throw it into a target with some accuracy.”
Tyson describes the safety training and coaching provided for each participant.
“When someone comes in they pay for session (about an hour and a half) and we go through a safety talk. They sign a waiver, we show them all the safety stuff to go with axe throwing and then we start coaching them.
“Within two and fifteen minutes you’re lodging axes into the wood, and we work you up from a small axe into a large one and then into all types of exotic axes. The interesting thing is that some people can’t get their head around how to throw a little axe but give them a big axe and they’ll nail it,” he laughs.
The sport has grown from backyard origins and now sees axe throwing venues all over the world.
“The first commercial venture in the sport started about 10 years ago in Canada. Now it sees over 20 venues in North America, a handful in the U.K. with popularity growing rapidly as more people experience axe throwing.”
Lumber Punks is the first venue to open in Queensland, with the growing hub of Miami chosen as the perfect area for the boys’ new venture.
“We were looking for about eight months for the right position on the coast, something for the locals and great likeminded people to get together, have some fun and try something different,” says Sam.
“Miami was the right fit.”
Sunday 23 July will see the grand opening of the venue, with free axe-throwing all day for guests. The day is designed to give newbies the chance to see what it is all about, and also get an understanding of the rules.
“You just have to be sober, wearing covered footwear, sign a waiver and be 18yo+,” says Tyson.
The sober rule is a definite sticking point. While snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the venue, the guys are keen to keep things pretty dry.
“The way we want to position ourselves in the market is we want to be the place you go to before you go out, so you remember the experience,” Tyson says.
“And also axes and booze are probably not the best thing!”
Lumber Punks, as the name suggests, is a mix of timber sport and music.
“What we try to do is cater for the groups that are in there and let them choose the music.
“But also our backgrounds are from the Hard Rock Café and Cooly Hotel so a big part of the whole concept was about music being a way of bringing people together.”
If Tyson’s in charge of the music that day you might get a mix of old school rock, funk and maybe even a bit of country thrown in there, while Sam’s taste leans more towards the newer style of punk. Interestingly, the work “punk” was originally timber-related.
“Punk started in the milling industry,” explains Tyson.
“It’s the name for the useless bits of wood you can’t use for anything the shavings etc, that’s how it started with the new guy being called the punk, because he’s useless. Later, the term was picked up for undesirables, Clint Eastwood started using it. The punk industry just ran with it.”
You learn something every day!
Head along to the Grand Opening at 19 Ozone Parade Miami this Sunday 23 July for free axe throwing from 11.00am- 8.00pm in 20 minute sessions.
If you would like more information on Lumber Punks Axe Throwing you can contact the guys on the details below:
Image generously provided by Dan Maynard Photography