Half Axe introduces Marlborough to axe throwing


By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

Derek Johnson is the President of Half Axe.
Derek Johnson is the President of Half Axe.

MARLBOROUGH – Axe throwing is safe, fun and increasingly popular. 

That’s the message of Derek Johnson, whose creation, Half Axe, is currently in the midst of its fourth year in operation at the Apex Entertainment Center in Marlborough.

“You’ll be sure to have a great time doing the latest, must try, thing to do in Massachusetts,” reads a message on the front page of the Half Axe website.


Axe throwing comes to Marlborough

Half Axe got its start shortly after Johnson graduated college when he got his first look at axe throwing while looking for a job at a game development conference in Montreal. Curious about the sport, Johnson learned that the only other axe throwing establishment in the country at the time was located in Philadelphia.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this would be a great thing to do in New England,’” he said.

Johnson said he then “stumbled upon the APEX center,” which was being constructed just as he was looking for a home for his business. 

Seeking approval from city officials while also seeking support from investors, Johnson embarked on a mission of education on the sport of axe throwing.

“No one really understood what it was, or if we could even do it,” he said. “So it took a lot of convincing people that ‘No, no, this is actually a thing. It’s perfectly safe.’”


Axe throwing facility ensures safety

In well over three years, Half Axe has not seen any major injuries at its facility. Johnson credits copious safety protocols for that.

Coaches teach and monitor groups while they’re throwing, ensuring that everybody is following the rules. Half Axe further uses wooden axe handles and special non-elastic flooring that limits the axe’s ability to bounce if and when it does not stick in its intended wooden target. 

The atmosphere further encourages a sense of caution and safety.

“It already seems like an activity that you shouldn’t be doing,” Johnson said. “So most people are already pretty cautious when they’re in that environment.”


Half Axe offers options for all

Half Axe welcomes any customers over the age of 15, though throwers between the ages of 15 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

“Everyone can throw,” Johnson said. 

Throwing bays themselves feature two targets apiece and are reserved for one party at a time. Customers can choose from a variety of booking options that cater to parties of different sizes as individuals always get 20 minutes of throw time after an introductory lesson.

Half Axe is also part of the International Axe Throwing Federation, hosting tournaments and leagues that can qualify local champions for the International Championship event held annually in Toronto.

Half Axe is located within the Apex Entertainment center at 21 APEX Dr. in Marlborough. 

Learn more at halfaxe.com or by calling 508-251-2815.



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