Feeling in need of a bit of stress relief over the busy summer break? Maybe you need to let go and axe throw! Popular in North America and the UK, the sport of axe throwing has found its way to Taupō just in time for summer. Owners Ashleigh Yates and Dan Bagg launched their company Kiwi Axe Throwing after a visit to Scotland. “A friend convinced us to try it out, so we had a go at throwing while we were in Edinburgh. It was such a blast and a brilliant stress relief – we loved it!” says Ashleigh.
After returning home to New Zealand, the pair couldn’t find anywhere locally that offered the sport. “We decided it was time to bring axe throwing to Taupō. There’s nothing else like it in the Central Plateau, and it’s a great summer activity for tourists and locals. Anyone over the age of 14 can give it a go” says Ashleigh.
The sport involves throwing an axe at a target, and requires more technique than strength. Ashleigh and Dan have designed a mobile trailer with two wooden targets. “We decided being mobile was a good option, as it means we can come to our customers. We give everyone a short safety briefing and some technical tips. Then they can start releasing their inner Viking!” says Dan.
The team at Enterprise Great Lake Taupō have helped the fledgling business get off the ground. “The EGLT crew were brilliant. They gave us access to information about the Taupō tourist market and some really good business advice. For example Rick helped us see the benefit of a mobile business over a fixed location - the costs are lower and we are able to service a larger geographic area” says Dan.
A number of other businesses have supported Ashleigh and Dan in the initial phases. “Taupō is a close-knit community. Everyone’s been great to deal with and really encouraging. We’ve worked hard to source things locally when we can, apart from the axes which are imported from North America.” says Dan.
Kiwi Axe Throwing is now open for business and taking bookings for the summer season. You might also see them at the Taupō Sunday Market, where they plan to be a regular fixture.