If you have an indoor axe throwing facility, one decision you need to make is what to cover the floor with. There are several elements that go into making that decision.
- Axe Flooring that is safe for throwing
- Flooring to protect the axes
- Flooring that is easy to clean
- Flooring that is not affected by water
- Flooring with a professional look
- Flooring that does not promote insects
- Flooring that does not promote dust or odors
Flooring that is safe for axe throwing
Everyone has seen the videos of the girl throwing an axe, it hits the floor, then hits the boards below the target, then ricochets back towards her head, with her ducking just in time to stop from being hit by the flying axe.
The following is from the WATL web page addressing this: “The combination of mats on the floors when paired with the type of axe used with a rubber handle. So after speaking to the Bad Axe Management, we’ve made sure to clear with them that all their locations will be removing the rubber mats from the floor and we will be recommending to all other WATL facilities do the same if they are using those as well. “
These are the the opinions of WATL, which we are not associated with, and in no way reflect our thoughts or opinions!
They, along with others, feel the best way to avoid this is to worry about the flooring in the axe lane, so if the axe hits the floor, it slows or stops the motion of the axe. The main problem is all the solutions to make the try to stop an axe make the floor surface worse for axes and customers, and instead they should address the foot boards of the target that are the real problem.
The real solution is use a floor that accomplishes all the other aspects in this list, and just use the no bounce borders below the target to eliminate the “floor –> wall” bounce back issue.
Flooring to protect axes when thrown
Not all axes are going to stick. With that being the case a lot of axes will end up hitting the floor. If the floor surface is hard – like just a plain concrete floor, or carpet on concrete, one of two things can happen.
- The axe can hit on the blade on the ground which can bend or chip the blade, or at least dull it, especially the points.
- The handle can hit the concrete and depending on the speed and angle at which it hits, it can cause wooden handles to crack.
So, we want a flooring surface that will limit or eliminate any damage to the axe when it hits the floor.
Axe Lane Flooring should be easy to clean.
The flooring in the axe lane poses some cleaning problems depending on the flooring material. Targets, and or any boards around them (not an issue with the no-bounce borders) can start chipping up and having splinters of wood come off and pile up on the ground. Some locations will keep the sawdust and chips on the floor, just seep them toward the target with the thought that if the axe hits the ground, after it bounces off the target, this will give some cushion.
So that logic is not to clean, but push all the mess up to the target that people will step on or in when retrieving axes. Some even add more shavings or mulch to the floor, making cleaning virtually impossible.
Flooring that is not affected by water.
We all know that you must water your targets for longer life of the wood. A problem can arise if excess water drips off the targets and onto the floors. If there are just wood chips, mulch etc, that can get wet causing a lot of other problems.
It is really advised to have axe lane floors made of a material that is not affected by water, so targets can be sprayed without worrying about the water dripping onto the ground.
Flooring with a professional look
Each business owner has to decide the look they want for their establishment. From studying the trends on the demographics of axe throwing, we see that the ages of recreational axe throwers, those that are doing a date night, a guys night out, a ladies night out, a company team building event… this demographic is normally slightly older than one would think.
When dealing with the 30 something, or 40 or 50 something couple, an establishment that looks like a dog kennel with some boards screwed on a wall and a pile of sawdust on the floor may not be the atmosphere they are looking for! We are seeing more and more facilities that want to differentiate themselves from the cheap pop up axe joint, and thinking through all aspects including the look of the axe lanes seems to be key in providing a welcoming ambiance to the more sophisticated and affluent crowd.
Axe Lane Flooring that does not promote insects.
If you want to take a class in entomology, go to any wood pile and move some wood around. Beetles, roaches, larvae of all types will be found. Insects love wood, wood shavings, and especially if you are going to have it be nice and moist from constant lane watering.
Nothing leaves an impression like seeing bugs crawling around the ground as you retrieve an axe.
Lane Flooring that does not promote dust and odors.
We have talked to lot’s of axe facilities that in an attempt to stop axe bouncing, will put down mulch in the lanes. This can get very dusty, and in fact, one reported there was so much dust in their facilities, the employees were getting bloody noses, and allergy symptoms from it.
To try to alleviate that, they would spray it down with water that would just give an environment for mold and insects and create a foul, stank odor.
So the best axe lane floor?
In our opinion you can’t beat rubber mats. Horse mats from a place like Tractor Supply, or you can also source them as “Gym Floor Mats” although that will probably be a few bucks more. The mats are 6′ x 4′ and 3/4 inch thick. They can take water (lets be honest… horses pee on them) they can take axes bouncing off them… (they take 2000 lb horses pawing with metal horse shoes on!)
So, even though some people want to say “Don’t use rubber mats”, our contention is there is no better flooring material. It covers all the key components you want, and the the people that worry about the bounce, just don’t realize the bounce issue is not because of the floor.. it’s because of the targets. So fix that with no bounce borders, and you have the best solution for your lane design.