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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Recreational axe-throwing business coming to Davis

Smart Axe will expand to Davis with plans to start UC Davis student axe-throwing leagues

Smart Axe, a recreational axe-throwing business which originated in Rancho Cordova, plans to open a location in Davis in the next three to four months. 

Doug Link, the CEO and co-owner of Smart Axe, along with partners Mark S. Allen, Jim Corbett and Mike Lispon, described his plans for Smart Axe to become part of the UC Davis community.

“We’re going to focus on getting in with the college students, building leagues that are inter-fraternity, sorority and club,” Link said. “We want to build our league there in Davis and focus on the college students.”

Brandon Bui, a first-year political science major and a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, agreed that some fraternity members would most likely want to participate in a league.

“We already have brothers who like to throw axes, so I’m sure there would be a lot of interest,” Bui said.

Members from Phi Delta Theta echoed a similar response — Logan Winston, a fourth-year chemical physics major, was not sure if any members already throw axes, but he said members would likely participate. 

“We have people in our fraternity who are part of a bunch of different clubs, so we’re a pretty diverse group,” Winston said. “I’m sure some people would be part of it.”

Phi Delta Theta member Kent Cassidy, a third-year computer engineering major, was interested in joining himself.

“Axe-throwing is bad-ss, and I want to be a part of it,” Cassidy said, slamming his fist enthusiastically on the table. “I did it once before and it was cool, but in a competition environment — I think I’d have a lot of fun with that.”

Cassidy’s enthusiasm supported Link’s belief that younger people want physical, unique experiences. 

“I think this generation is always looking for some kind of out-of-home, fun activity,” Link said. “They don’t do a lot of camping, so axe-throwing just kind of fits. You come and enjoy it — an outdoor-feeling experience — but it’s a safe, indoor activity.”

Not all students are completely sold on the idea. Erolina Kamburova, a first-year theatre and dance major, said while she would join friends to throw axes, it wouldn’t be her first choice of activity.

“I guess I would go, but I would say plate shattering is more up my alley if I were to do something physical to relieve stress,” Kamburova said. “I think if a group of my friends was going I would say, ‘Yeah, sure,’ but I don’t think it would ever be my idea to go.”

Kamburova added that she couldn’t see herself joining a league, saying that her schedule is already busy enough.

For 75 minutes of axe-throwing, Smart Axe will charge the general public approximately $20, according to Link. There will most likely be a discount, however, for students and leagues.

Everyone in the Smart Axe facility will be required to sign a waiver. Link explained that axe-throwing can be dangerous, but Smart Axe takes precautions to prevent any injuries.

“Axe-throwing is inherently a dangerous activity, but we on-board every single person with a safety briefing,” Link said. “We have an ‘axe-pert’ who monitors you at all times.”

Link emphasized his excitement over bringing Smart Axe to Davis and making his business an important part of the city. 

“We’re really looking forward to Davis,” Link said. “We think it’s a great market — this is something unlike anything else down there. We’re looking forward to becoming a cherished community aspect.”

Written by: Eden Winniford –– city@theaggie.org


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