Students can now use their K-Cards to purchase a form of entertainment evocative of our woodsy rural environment. Summit Axe Throwing, which opened in Mount Vernon last summer, offers patrons a safe way to engage in a sport befitting of lumberjacks.
Axe throwing falls into a family of forestry-related sports alongside events like competitive sawing, woodchopping and fire building. College students compete in these sports at Woodsmen’s competitions, a tradition dating back to 1947 at Dartmouth College that has since spread to other schools.
The space is set up with lanes divided by nets, each with a large wooden target at the end. Throwers stand between two lines as they propel their axes toward the bullseye of the target. Holes adorn the wall above each target from axes thrown too high — many of which, an employee mentioned, were planted by the Kenyon football team. Landing the axe in the wood makes a deeply satisfying chop sound that echoes around the large open space.
“It’s really not as hard as you might think,” said Bree Kirby, one of the owners of Summit Axe Throwing. “A lot of people think you have to throw the axe as hard as possible to get it to stick, and you really don’t. It’s kind of like darts; you’ve just got to get the right motion, and it’ll stick.” Indeed, Summit Axe Throwing is open to anyone ages 10 and up with closed-toed shoes, so experience as a burly woodsman isn’t required.
Kirby’s husband Josh came up with the idea for the business. “He was trying to think of what Mount Vernon lacked, and the main thing was entertainment. We have lots of cool outdoor parks, but when it’s winter or it’s raining or whatever, we have a movie theater and a bowling alley.”
No matter the weather, on Thursdays between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., Kenyon students can gather their friends to hone their axe-throwing skills. Once an assigned “axe-pert” walks a customer through the rules and method, it’s just you, a target, sharp tools and a good “axe-perience.” (Plays on the word “axe” are a frequent and enjoyable feature of Summit Axe Throwing’s axe-mosphere.)
The process for obtaining a K-Card payment system wasn’t difficult. After speaking with Senior Advisor for Community Relations Jan Thomas, the system was delivered and set up within a day. Summit Axe Throwing’s website, however, doesn’t have an option to book sessions via K-Card, so the best way for students to reserve a timeslot in 30-minute increments is by email — firstname.lastname@example.org. An hour-long session is $25 for an adult.
The space is equipped to host parties, featuring an area with games and tables where people can eat and lounge. “[Customers] can just email us, and if you want it blocked off for a couple of hours for a birthday or whatever, bring a bunch of food, then we’ll block it off for you to have use of the space however you want it,” Kirby said. Beer and wine are allowed, but hard alcohol and intoxication aren’t.
No matter the occasion, K-Cards now offer students a “cutting-edge” way to have fun in downtown Mount Vernon.