By Evan Caldwell | Tuesday, September 3, 2019
A bout 150 people were very “axe-cited” Saturday, Aug. 31.
They descended on Camano Island’s Arrowhead Ranch to try the area’s first axe-throwing site.
“With people already flocking to our area for unique outdoor and recreational opportunities, we thought that offering an axe-throwing venue would add to our area’s already intriguing mix,” said Randy Heagle, co-founder of Arrowhead Ranch and owner of Windermere Stanwood-Camano Island. “We even dream of hosting official league play someday and putting our community on the axe-throwing map, nationwide.”
The future “axe-perts” celebrated the opening with a public open house Saturday. The event marked the completion of the project spearheaded in part by JT Hagglund, a local Boy Scout who helped coordinate the launch to earn his Eagle Scout rank.
Arrowhead Axe is the only member of the World Axe Throwing League in the state of Washington, connecting the venue to national resources and uniform procedures. People can book a 90-minute session for $25 at arrowheadranchcamano.com.
The fairly new World Axe Throwing League, which has more than 2,500 members worldwide, will hold its third world championship tournament in December, broadcast on ESPN. Axe-throwing competition officials say the ultimate goal is to make axe throwing an Olympic sport.
“Our dream has always been to create a destination where people would come together, and a location that offers avenues for exploration into new interests whether it be on a just-for-fun level or competitively,” Heagle said.
The two-lane axe throwing space allows people to compete by tossing axes at a target, much like darts. In a typical league game, participants earn points for hitting or getting close to the bullseye. Each player gets five throws in a game.
“You don’t have to be an experienced lumberjack to enjoy axe throwing,” Heagle said. “We’ve watched the popularity of axe throwing grow all around us, with venues popping up in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as the Seattle and Portland areas.”
Arrowhead Ranch is also home to the state’s only soap box derby track, and a red barn that will eventually become a makerspace — a place where people can work on projects while sharing equipment and knowledge.
The 20-acre Arrowhead Ranch is at 615B Arrowhead Road on Camano Island.