Last week, two of my long time axe throwing buddies, Vicki (Kitchener Sunday Black Member) and Blair (Pickering Wednesday Black Member) had the opportunity to go and visit Urban Axes in Philadelphia…lucky bastards…and enjoyed their visit so much I had to do a piece on them.
To quote Vicki:
“It was an absolute blast! We pulled one over on our coach and he took it very well. It’s a great venue that I would recommend anybody in the Philly area to go try!”
Just as an FYI to those that are wondering what they pulled with their coach, they pretended they had never thrown before for a few minutes before taking of their sweaters to show their NATF Champs league shirts and BATL shirts they were wearing. Their coach had a laugh and a few choice words for them.
Vicki and Blair were kind enough to put me in touch with Lily Cope, Axe Master General (seriously, best job title EVER!) who shared some info on Urban Axes, what they’re all about and what’s in the pipeline for this NATF family member.
Located at 2019 E Boston St, Philadelphia, PA 19125, Urban Axes was founded in 2016 and has expanded rapidly. They currently have three locations (Philly, Austin and Baltimore) with two more on the docket to open in summer of 2018 in Boston and Durham. Like our Kitchener location, Philly and Austin both have five arenas, however Baltimore has six and apparently feels “Ginormous!” according to Lily…enough to fit the NATF community? Road trip sometime? Philly and Austin both run six leagues and Baltimore currently offers three. I personally really like their naming system for their arenas as well. Instead of colours, they are named “Acka Dacka”, “Sabbath”, “Josh”, “Sheila” and “The Honeymoon Suite”. At least if I go and visit and they tell me “your boyfriend is on Sheila”, I have no reason to be angry.
Now for a visually appealing pause in this article. Take a look at their intro video:
Urban Axes joined the NATF community in 2017 since they are the OG standard for indoor axe throwing. They knew it was the community and culture they wanted to be a part of. Urban Axes believes that the more organizations that join the NATF helps to legitimize the sport and help it grow.
I asked Lily what sets their Philadelphia location apart from competitors and here’s what she had to say:
“Besides our incredible staff, our building is an early 20th century, former brush-manufacturing facility and the walls and bricks of the structure are crumbling a bit but it’s just got so much character. And we love our neighborhood of East Kensington. All our arenas were built by our staff as well which gives us all a hug sense of pride. We are also BYO beer/wine and any food.”
When asked what she was most proud of with regards to Urban Axes, Lily commented:
“The fact that so many people come back! And the fact that people remember our coaches names and rave about them on social media. They don’t remember what they scored – they remember that their coach made their night. I genuinely believe our staff here is the most amazing, fun-loving, axe-happy bunch of weirdos and no one could ask for a better team of THROWWORKERS!”
Lastly, Lily shared what he favorite story is from Urban Axes. To this she replied:
“I have so many – both personal and professional. Professionally though it’s got to be the people who really lack confidence or don’t appear that into it and then they hit a bull or a clutch and they crush it and it’s so exciting! That’s such a great feeling! Or maybe when we hosted NATF Regionals and the crew from BATL Ottawa came down. Or maybe when Nick Lachey of 98° or some of the Phillies or Eagles came in. They were all cool but not as cool as the BATL Ottawa crew!”
I have to agree that BATL Ottawa is way cooler than 98°….see what I did there…I know… I’m an idiot.
If you are ever in the area, they would love to have your drop in for a visit so they can meet more members of the axe throwing family. Just remember, as their sign says “Don’t be a Dick”.
All photos and videos used with permission from Urban Axes. Photos courtesy of the talented Meredith Edlow photography.