Ax-throwing is back in business at SoCal Axe

Susan McPherson of Temecula lands a bullseye toward the end of the night at SoCal Axe. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Come on down and throw some axes around at SoCal Axe in Temecula.

It’s exactly as it sounds – SoCal Axe, 41493 Margarita Road, welcomes friends, families and strangers to gather and show off their skills by throwing axes at targets.

Alexander Glenn-Camden, event coordinator, marketing manager and store manager for the Temecula location, said they recently reopened all their locations Friday, June 12, after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SoCal Axe currently has three locations: San Marcos, Temecula and Lakeside. The Temecula location has been open for a little over a year now, Glenn-Camden said.

The idea, however, first started on the East Coast before the idea made its way west.

“Somebody came to one of our batting cages in San Marcos and kind of mentioned that it was an idea,” Glenn-Camden said. “We just kind of went through and researched it and realized that the overhead would be pretty affordable, so we built a couple targets to test it out.”

He said next they built 10 targets in San Marcos.

SoCal Axe reopens in Temecula Friday, June 12, practicing social distancing and sanitizing all equipment. Valley News/Courtesy photo

“We just had a lot of people that were coming in from the brewery next door that’s attached to us, and they saw it and people were willing to pay to try it,” Glenn-Camden said. “The interest was there so we just kind of ran with it.”

Since reopening, the company has been practicing safety and sanitation due to the ongoing pandemic.

“We have a bunch of disinfectant sprays that we spray on the axes. We’re constantly re-taping the handles as well, and then we wipe off the tables,” Glenn-Camden said.

They’re currently running at 50% capacity.

“As far as social distancing goes, we’ve been doing every other target to keep it a little separated from people,” he said.

Susan McPherson, an Old Town Temecula resident, said she drove by the Temecula location a few times before trying it out herself.

“I had just always wanted to go, but I was like, when am I ever going to go there,” McPherson said, adding that she ended up being invited to join a group who were going.

“It’s going to be a little challenging at first; you have to ask for pointers,” McPherson said of her first experience. “You’re kind of off on your own, so if you ask people around you or you just watch how they’re throwing – I found that throwing one-sided wasn’t really helpful,” she said. “You kind of had to put the ax way up over your head, and then just kind of throw it until you kind of felt how high it would hit and stick.”

Once visitors come in and sign a waiver, staff will take them to their throwing lane and give them a lesson showing how to do it.

“We have trick shots and different things that we can teach you if you want to get more advanced too,” Glenn-Camden said.

“Usually people pick it up within the first two, three tries,” he said, adding that they have coaches who walk around and can help when needed.

SoCal Axe also hosts ax-throwing tournaments.

“We haven’t done one in a while just because of COVID-19, but we try to do one or two, sometimes even three each year,” Glenn-Camden said. “We’ll do like a qualifier at each location, and then the top so many people of the qualifiers can go to one of the other locations the week after. We do kind of like a finals.”

McPherson said she was excited for them to open back up.

“I just kind of like to do stuff that’s outside the norm, so it just kind of felt good and empowering.”

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