Langseth, who owns the business with his wife, Robin Langseth, said Axe Masters frequently hosts bachelor and bachelorette parties, which is why he is a member of the Bay Area Wedding Programs Facebook group.
“They [eat] it up,” he said, adding the business also now hosts gender reveal party. “You name it, we’ve had that party.”
Customers of all ages can test their skills throwing 2- to 3-pound axes of various shapes and sizes inside the League City-based business. Langseth and his wife aim to provide a space where novice and experienced axe-throwers alike can hone their skills.
Axe Masters closed its doors due to COVID-19 for about two months, reopening in May at 50% capacity. Walk-ins are still permitted, but parties have been limited to a maximum of eight people, Langseth said.
The space’s design is already conducive to social distancing requirements, Langseth said, so they plan to remain open unless state guidelines dictate otherwise. Staff cleans the facility regularly, including after each party, and coaches are required to wear masks.
Axe-throwers can wear or not wear masks at their own discretion while throwing, but must wear them when in common areas such as restrooms, Langseth said. The business keeps its Facebook page up to date with current regulations amid the pandemic, he added.
Amateur throwers have the option of a one-hour party, typically for two to four people, or a two-hour party, which, outside a pandemic, can accommodate up to 70 people. Langseth said he has seen throwers ages 5 to 90 since the business first opened in March 2019. Throwers can bring their own alcohol.
To start each party, coaches review rules and throwing techniques; take throwers through a warmup; then start gameplay with a variety of original, in-house competitions that are all based around dart games. Individual games typically last about 15 minutes. At the end of the party, throwers get a photo shoot in front of the targets with various decorations and props.
World Axe Throwing League standards dictate the size of the targets, which are made out of cottonwood, Langseth said. League City’s axe-throwing league, which is part of the WATL, is in its fourth season, and it uses the space as one of several Houston-area practice facilities, he said. Children are generally discouraged from coming to Axe Masters past 7 p.m. any given night, but they can throw for free on Sunday afternoons.
Even the most hesitant or reluctant throwers begin to put down their phones and have fun within a few minutes, Langseth said.
“Nobody sits in here doing this,” he said, mimicking playing with a phone, “unless they’re Instagramming.”
Langseth is actively looking for additional business space, and Axe Masters already has mobile capabilities. A trailer with two targets can be set up at large events such as festivals.
Axe Masters also partners with the Children’s Oasis Foundation in Dickinson. In the future, Langseth—who has two sons with autism—hopes to leverage his experience running the business into creating a transition center where young adults with autism can learn life skills after graduation.
“There’s an ultimate goal other than just slinging axes,” he said. “There’s a bigger calling.”