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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Axe Throwing with Axe Nation in Krakow

Axe Throwing with Axe Nation in Krakow, Poland

In May 2017 I visited Poland for the first time and took a trip to Krakow – A city that I had long thought about visiting for many years. I went with one of my best friends Ant who I have previously travelled to Iceland and Budapest with. We did the typical sight-seeing including visiting the cathedral, climbing the bell tower and looking around the museums in Wawel Castle. We also had a double day trip to Auschwitz/Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

On the final day before our flight home, we decided to try something different – as luck had it, Ant had been given a leaflet on the Sunday that advertised Axe Throwing – Perfect! This looked like a fun activity and the establishment was located only a short distance from the market square – Once we had packed our cases, we headed out in search of Axe Nation.

Grodzka Street where Axe Nation resides

Location - Although the address of Axe Nation Krakow is quite clear, the entrance could be quite easily missed. The official address is Grodzka 46, 33-332 Kraków, however you have to actually go into the tourist information office and the entrance to Axe Nation is through a clearly marked door at the back of the room. You simply go through the door and walk down a flight of steps and you will see the reception area.

Front entrance of the tourist office where the Axe Nation entrance is Grodzka Street

Pricing - We thought that the axe throwing was exceptional value for money, and far cheaper than a shooting range experience. We paid 150 Zloty (Approximately £30.00 between us) for our session which lasted for 1.5 hours – A shooting experience by comparison could cost anywhere in the region of 500-600 Zlotys each(Approximately £100-120 per person). Additionally, a group of 5 people (on a stag do for example) would pay just 50 Zloty each (Approximately £10.00 each). Axe Nation Krakow had no alcohol license when we visited, however you could take your own drink and they did have a selection of soft drinks and snacks.

Ant unleashing hell on the target

The range/setup - Axe Nation Krakow has 5 separate lanes, each of which have their own target range and wire mesh netting to prevent any stray axes. The axes were hand-held size (with a handle approximately 30cm in length); there was also a large two handed axe you could have a go with if you were feeling really brave! (I couldn't lift it!). Behind the lanes, there was seating and tables to put your drinks and snacks on. If you wanted, you could request your own music to create a personal atmosphere.

A succesful throw from myself!

Training - Before we were let loose on the range, the attendant gave us a demonstration and showed us how to hold the axe, the correct posture and correct throwing technique required to successfully throw the axe into the target board. Don't be disheartened if you aren't an immediate pro – Ant picked it up really quickly, whereas I took quite some time to improve my technique – the attendant will answer any questions and tell you where you are going wrong (I wasn't holding the axe low enough on the handle for example). You will also be shown the rule book which lists a variety of different games you can try your hand at.

The target range!

Let the Axe throwing commence - Once we were trained, we spent some time simply practicing and trying to improve our technique. It was hugely satisfying hearing the thud of the axe as it smashed into the wooden target board. It was also satisfying seeing your axe fly inside the black centre circle (this didn't happen as often as we would have liked!). After some time, we decided to dive into a couple of games that were listed in the rule book.

Look at all those axes!!

The Classic Game - This is the simplest game and involves trying to get the highest score possible in a set amount of throws/rounds. The rules are listed below:

  • No. of throws per round - 5
  • No. of rounds – Best of 3
  • Scoring – Black Circle (5 Points) / Red Circle (3 Points) / Blue Circle (1 Point) / Green Circles (7 Points)
  • Final Score – Ant 2 / Paul 0

If you are in a large group, this is the easiest game to play and the quickest. In our game, Ant took an early lead with a string of well-aimed centre shots and I failed to hit the mark – He took the first round comfortably. In the second round Ant pulled away again, but I got on the scoring board and with my last shot managed to hit a perfect clutch shot to bag me 7 points and tie the round. This proved fruitless however as Ant ploughed through and thrashed me in he final frame – Final Score – 3-1 to Ant.

The classic game score!

Blackjack - Once Ant successfully trounced me a second time, we moved to a different game – Blackjack. In essence, this game works much in the same way as the card game of the same name....but with Axes instead....

  • No. of throws per round - 10
  • No. of rounds – You decide
  • Scoring – Black Circle (5 Points) / Red Circle (3 Points) / Blue Circle (1 Point) / Green Circles (7 Points) / Miss (-4 Points)
  • Final Score – Ant 0 / Paul 2

This game proved to be my forte and I managed to win both rounds. Axe Throwing Blackjack is infinitely harder than its card counterpart as you can score negatively – each time your axe fails to stick in the board, you score -4 points! Needless to say, our scores yo-yoed greatly and it was quite difficult to get a positive final total!

Final Thoughts - After 1.5 hours of axe throwing mayhem, I can safely say that this was a fantastic thing to do in Krakow and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone visiting the city. Axe throwing is unique, truly tests your skill and hand-eye coordination, and the Krakow establishment offers amazing value for money in a great location. I am so pleased that we took the chance and gave axe throwing a try – it will stick in my mind as one of the highlights from our Polish adventure!

Axe Nation Website - https://axenation.com/en/

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