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The Art of Axe Throwing

How to spend a great evening with sharp instruments!

Have you ever played darts? If you are one of the 16 to 24 million Americans who, at one point or another, have had a chance, you are probably familiar with how the game is played and how the scores are kept. Now imagine doing the same thing with axes. Yes, axes…the same axes used to cut wood and warm your campfire or your cabin on the Mogollon Rim. This is what a few friends and I have had a chance to try recently at a new venue in Gilbert – Social Axe Throwing – located in the shopping plaza at the corner of South Val Vista Drive and East Williams Filed Road.


What a crazy fun couple of hours! Daren McCartney and Gary DeSylvia, the owners, made us feel welcome right away, making sure everyone was checked in and ready to go. After a mandatory safety training – they are sharp blades after all – we were coached by Daren on the art of axe throwing. With the smell of freshly cut wood and sawdust in the air, Daren explained that we could either use both hands or one – a la Daniel Boone if you’re old school like me. The trick being as simple as to take a step forward, let go, and make jazz hands. After a few throws to warm up, with axes flying and bouncing, we were assembled into two teams and the fun began.

Now, if you are familiar with darts, you know that hand-eye coordination is critical in order to hit that bullseye. Throwing a 2.5-pound axe, on the other hand, requires a slightly different technique and a strong core. With Daren as the referee, each team competed against the other in games similar to dart games like 501, Knockout, and Baseball. We spent the next couple of hours cheering, jeering, getting loud, and having a good time- all the things we missed during the COVID restrictions. Between the cheering and jeering, the WHACK! of the blade on the wood it can get loud, so be prepared and let your inner Viking run wild.

Opened in February, Social Axe Throwing is the first franchise in Arizona from this Utah company. While axe throwing is not a first in the valley, Social Axe Throwing is the only one offering food and drinks. It already hosts a few league events and hopes to add another fun activity that requires similar skills and definitely less dangerous equipment – Outdoor Cornhole.


The Main Event – A two hours coached experience will help you get the most out of your time at Social Axe Throwing. For our event, Tim, Ben, and Andrew faced off against Jan, Todd, and Nate. It became clear quite early on that some had some natural talent but, in the end, there can only be one and Jan amazed everyone by consistently hitting that bullseye. Congrats!



Social Axe Throwing offers a wide variety of local, domestic, craft beers, ciders, seltzers, and wine. For those concerned about the idea of throwing axes while under the influence, they also offer sodas, water, and other non-alcoholic beverages.


You may need some wet towelettes between throws if you order some of their wings, fries, or homemade pizzas.


Social Axe Throwing – 2530 South Val Vista Drive, Unit 103, Gilbert, AZ 85295

Two private axe arenas - Great for group events!

Four walk-in axe lanes - Just right for your Date night!

  • Tim Colquhon
  • Ben Lamoureux
  • Andrew Jauss
  • It's all in the form
  • Jan Simon
  • Todd Falkner
  • Nate Bauer
  • Two Handed
  • One Hand - OG Style
  • Food & Fun
  • Home made pizza
  • Wings
  • Gary McCartney and Daren DeSylvia
  • Keeping scores!