Axe Throwing is Gaining Momentum at HalfAxe


Axe Throwing is Gaining Momentum at HalfAxe
Derek Johnson is the owner of HalfAxe in Marlborough. (Photo/Kathryn Acciari)

MARLBOROUGH – Derek Johnson opened HalfAxe in 2018 after enjoying an axe-throwing session in Montreal, Canada. 

Axe throwing, which originated in Toronto, was growing in popularity in Canada, and Derek was hooked. There was only one other venue in the northeast at the time in Philadelphia, and Derek saw an opportunity to open his own studio. 

HalfAxe was one of the first axe houses in the Greater Boston area.

“Everything is going well this year,” said Johnson. “We were closed for three months during the pandemic, and then we could only open on a limited basis for a year and a half. Now, we are almost back to full functioning.”

HalfAxe serves a wide range of clientele, ranging in age from 15-years-old with parental accompaniment to over 80 years.

“The oldest person we have had was 86,” Johnson said. “But the average age of our customer tends to run between 25 and 45 years old. We have all kinds of groups come in: people on dates, groups of friends, family fun nights – you name it.”

The facility has a maximum capacity of 70 people and can accommodate six small groups at any one time, based on the number of coaches available.

HalfAxe’s studio is available for full-space rental for corporate events. It also has flat rates for events such as birthday parties and bachelor parties. Customers can bring in food or have it catered. HalfAxe also has a bar that serves beer, wine, and soda. Outside alcohol is prohibited, however.

Each participant is given an equal amount of time to play at HalfAxe. A coach demonstrates how to play safely, how to throw, and also facilitates games.

“I like to hire coaches who are outgoing and personable,” said Johnson. “If they don’t have experience, that is okay. I will train them.”

Each axe is a standard size and weighs one-and-a-half pounds.

“A common question that I get is, are they real axes. The answer is yes, they are real,” said Johnson.

“We get a lot of repeat customers. Some people get bitten by the bug and come back multiple times,” said Johnson. “Axe throwing is a thrill activity. It is a great feeling to hit the bullseye.”

HalfAxe is a member of the International Axe Throwing Federation and hosts competitive leagues that last six to eight weeks and culminate in a playoff competition. Each player gets points for the International Axe Throwing Championship in Toronto each year.”

Johnson recommended booking a session in advance. Although the studio does take walk-ins, it is first come, first served, and the studio does fill during high-demand times.

To book space for an axe throwing session, go online at

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Half Axe introduces Marlborough to axe throwing

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