BILLINGS – Stress relief and confidence building, that’s what owners of a new ax-throwing business say they’re bringing to Billings.
Ox Indoor Axe Throwing plans to open its doors in June at 1711 Sixth Ave. N. in Billings, making this venue the second of its kind in Montana. Missoula has already opened an ax-throwing business, and another one is coming to Bozeman soon.
“Ax throwing is a thing,” said Becky Richardson, who co-owns the business with her husband, Mark, and son, Nick.
“As a sport, ax throwing started up in Canada,” said Richardson.
However, it’s quickly moving to Montana.
“I thought to myself, ‘wow, what a neat opportunity to bring something that’s fun and active to Billings,’” said Richardson.
The art of throwing an ax is probably not too surprising to Montanans, as Richardson explains many often leisurely throw them while out in the great outdoors.
“Mark and I love camping. Nick grew up camping. One of the things we like to do for fun is throw axes at trees and logs and stumps,” she said.
That’s when her business idea became a family affair.
“It absolutely is a family affair,” she said. “When I started thinking about doing ax throwing as a business I started looking and noticed that there weren’t any in Montana.”
But of course, safety is of the highest importance to the venue. Richardson says those who participate will have to sign a waiver. Close-toed shoes are a must, and there are some age requirements.
“Rules like only one person in the throw box,” she said. “There won’t be two people throwing in the throw box at the same time, and no trick shots unless it’s been sanctioned and approved.”
Ox Indoor Axe Throwing plans to allow participants to bring their own adult beverages but will not sell them.
Through it all, Richardson said she learned first-hand why ax throwing is so liberating
“One of the biggest reasons for ax throwing, from my point of view as an aging female, is confidence,” she said. “When you start sticking the axes and start feeling the focus and concentration that you put into it builds a lot of confidence”
A confidence and stress reliever she said she wants others to feel too.
“Just let it all go, throw some axes and it makes everything better,” Richardson said.
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News