Tuesday, October 2, 2018

LA Ax: A Place To Throw Axes Akin To A Bowling Alley

By Jonathan Bilski

Sunday evening. 
The Valley. 
Men and women were throwing axes.
Josh Chalom
Ka-chunk, ka-wam! You could hear the place cutting it up with a random music selection in the background. And then I took up my own axe and let it go freely, almost like releasing a dove. A dove, if it were made of metal and wood that could cause serious injury. Though safety is too high for that to happen here. I'm at LA Ax, the brand new axe throwing location in LA. And, I'm really just enjoying throwing a 2-pound axe at a wooden target.

I met with founder and owner, Josh Chalom who tells me the ins-and-outs of getting started and playing the game. He's an American artist whose been working out of Toronto, but he use to live in LA back in the 80's. I'm surprised to see him with a curly mustache and a pleasant presence.
He really wants me to join the league, which is playing when I arrive. Yes, there's a National Axe Throwing Federation. Though, I'm informed this official league won't start up until next year. The league your in, if you join, is just for LA Ax, for now.

People were screaming for joy after another ka-thunk sound is made as Josh started answering questions.

They're waiting on a liquor license, but Josh seems hopeful they"ll get it later this year and was talking to me about some sort of a kitchen-like area going up. Right now, you can bring your own food and drink (no alcohol) until Nov 30, 2018. Food trucks and not so pricey snack foods should feel the void for a while.

So, after you sign the waiver for being a walk-in... Josh starts telling me, "You're given about an hour, you get trained real good. Then, there's someone there to teach them in the technique. And then they're free to throw and have fun."

LA Ax is very much like a bowling alley.  For a group, you"ll have half an "arena" made of two targets separated by strong metal fencing. This half arena is two lanes. This allows you to compete against a friend or your date or whomever. So, you sort of have your own 2 lanes to chuck axes in.

When I tried it and competed with a fellow reporter from the site, it really put me in a zen state. However, you can get into a very competitive state too. As I started talking cr@p to get my friend and fellow reporter, Eric, not to suck so bad, it was getting a bit more fun. If you get the hang of it, it's great for anger release, thought it requires skill to hit the target and not just anywhere on the wood. Hitting that piece of wood and having your axe stick to it... it"ll just put a smile on your face.

To reiterate, you'll be throwing axes for an hour if you do a walk-in. And longer, two hours, if coming with a group of at least 6 or more. For groups you need to book a reservation.

"This is just gonna be like bowling was back in the 50's and 60's,"
Josh telsl me.

I'm also told and can see people keeping score using apps on iPads. Josh tells me display and scoreboard monitors you find in bowling alleys will be going up eventually, so, everyone can see what's going on.

When I was there I could still smell some paint fumes as some beautiful murals were going up. Josh tells me the next time I come in there will be a wall of league champions up too.

Josh wants to give back, so there's are plan for charity nights. A certain charity will get all the proceeds for one night of LA Ax. This was planned for one night a month after opening.

And we did hear plans of something for Halloween like costumes and axe-throwing, but nothing set in stone.

The place is spacious, you would never tell it use to be a drum-skin factory, so well-kept with strong floors it made itself a perfect location for Josh to take up as LA Ax's first location in LA. As, yes, more are planned to be opening up around LA.

I ask Josh how well he thinks I'll do throwing an axe. He just tells me, "Listen, I just gotta tell you, it's fun."

And it is. You at least have to try it once to say you have. Really, there's just a fun sensation of cracking wood with a toss. Hearing the ka-thunk loosens you up. Letting your anger out or like me, just letting everything go makes for a good evening out.

And then telling your friend that they suck at it doesn't hurt either. Eric, go back to to ax-tossing elementary! Maybe, don't, cuz you got schooled so much on Sunday! Oh!!!

Their grand opening is this weekend. There's a special promotion for the October 5th and 6th. Group bookings of 6+ people scheduled for October 5th and 6th will receive their special Grand Opening weekend price of $25 per person. It's usually $40 in groups.

7308 Coldwater Canyon Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA
Walk-in Hours:
Monday-Wednesday: 6-10pm
Thursday & Friday: 6-11pm
Saturday: 5-11pm
Sunday: 4-9pm
$25 per person for walk-ins
Other pricing options available 
There's ample parking in the back, just be careful going in and out.