for our second Date Night in the City last week we decided to do something really Canadian. We slid into our finest renditions of lumberjack/Jill outfits and we went axe throwing. BATL (Backyard Axe Throwing League) Calgary was so nice to invite us to try out this amazing activity, that many people do for birthdays, bachelor parties and many other occasions. They offer public walk-in sessions, group parties and a weekly league.
The location, that they opened up in 2015 is a short walk from Sunridge Mall. The entrance although with a specially cut wood plank with an arrow from the street is not the most extravagant greeting, but as soon you step in the building and hear the crunch and splitting of wood from sharpened metal your neck hair starts to raise. We didn't know what to expect for the evening but the slogan "it's like darts but with axes" painted us a pretty good picture of what to expect.
Dan, who is the general manager for this location, welcomed us with open arms, and showed us around his establishment and informed us about the entire BATL community, their league and a little bit about the company's history that started in a backyard in Toronto. It was quite fascinating to hear that there is an actual league for this sport and even a North American championship.
After we talked some more with Dan and some of the other BATL staff, who are very passionate about their job and this sport, we got to order some local beer and hand crafted food. While Zack the chef was working away in the kitchen, Dan instructed us on the proper technique behind axe throwing. After a mandatory safety lecture, (that everyone is taking very serious at BATL) we threw our first one and a half pound axes. It was such an unusual feeling, all while in our minds thinking, weren't we told by our parents not to play with sharp tools? Also, Dan explained to us what we did right and what we should improve on after every throw. At BATL they want everyone to learn the proper and safe technique which sets their establishment apart from competitors. BATL strives on consistency, safety and most importantly fun, which is why everyone that comes to BATL gets a coach to learn the skill properly. It is all about consistency, which is achieved by using the same hand position, release point and throwing distance that’s right for you.
After some time our food and the beverages arrived. They don't have the biggest menu but we're telling you if you're not coming for axe throwing, come for the delicious food. It is nothing like the store bought stuff you get at other events. BATL does not mess around with the frozen cardboard pizza's, or over fatty deep fried mozza sticks like a "Joe Schmo" establishment. They shop at local food markets and like we said before the chef makes everything from scratch. Poutine was really loving the Pretzel bites while Schnitzel couldn't decide what she liked the best because everything was simply delicious.
After our little break, we kept practicing our axe throwing techniques and definitely got better and better. Now, it was not just for fun but we had a little competition going on between the two of us. It also got a little bit physically exhausting and you had to focus really hard before each throw but it was so much fun. Dan and some other staff members showed us some other techniques and were show boating some of their "special trick throws" as well and also brought out the bigger axe for the two of us to try throwing. Surprisingly, the larger axe was much easier for Poutine to control, while Schnitzel enjoyed her baby axe. We also took a seat at their custom made throne that is made out of axes and that crowns the winner of every competition.
If you're looking for something special for your next date night or even want to do something fun with your friends and family then this is the place you want to check out. If you're a tourist in Canada and are visiting Calgary, we highly recommend to try out axe throwing, which would not just be a great experience but also a great story for you to tell about everyone back home. We are already making plans for our next get together with our friends there.
The whole BATL team is very professional and take their job seriously. We didn't feel unsafe at all and the positive and happy atmosphere made this whole experience even better. One of the cooler reasons why to choose BATL over its competitors is that you don't need to even go to their establishment. They have mobile equipment and come to where ever your event is!
If you want to know more about this amazing establishment or to create your own BATL experience, find them online at BATL (Backyard Axe Throwing League). If you already have gone axe throwing, we would love to hear about it, so feel free to leave us a comment down below. Also, check out our video from our date night at BATL Calgary.