MOREHEAD CITY — A sport that’s taking the country by storm has arrived in Carteret County with the recent opening of Crystal Coast Axe Throwing in downtown Morehead City.
The new business, the first of its kind in the county, opened Saturday at 410 Arendell St. It is owned by Crystal and Kitch Hines, who relocated to the area recently to open the business.
The sport of axe throwing has been around for a long time, but it has gained popularity with casual players in recent years, Ms. Hines said. Playing is simple – launch your axe toward a target and rack up the points as you get it to stick as close to the bullseye as possible.
Ms. Hines said after a few practice throws, most people get the hang of it pretty quickly.
“It’s really easy. You don’t have to be a big, strong, muscly guy to do it,” She said.
One great thing about the sport, Ms. Hines noted, is it doesn’t require much brute strength, so most throwers are on a level playing field. Ms. Hines has noticed women in particular seem to take to the sport because they can be competitive with it.
“What I personally want to overcome is that vision that it’s a guy sport, because it’s really not,” she said. “I do it, and I’m kind of better than my husband, honestly.”
To encourage women to try it out, Crystal Coast Axe Throwing will offer a ladies’ night discount on select Thursdays throughout the month. There will also be a monthly “Axe your Ex” night in which participants pin a photo of their ex-partner to the target, as well as other special events.
Crystal Coast Axe Throwing is affiliated with the World Axe Throwing League, which was formed in 2017 to govern the rules and league play for the sport. As a WATL member, Crystal Coast Axe Throwing can host competitions and send the winners to compete at higher levels.
Ms. Hines said she and her husband decided to open Crystal Coast Axe Throwing after trying out the sport a few times. She said they were hooked by it right away.
“I went and took my mom for her birthday. She wanted to try something a little different, so I thought ‘Why not?’ I had the best time ever, so I took my husband on a date night and he had fun too,” she said. “We loved competing, it was something that neither one of us had really done before so we were on an even playing field. We had a blast.”
The couple was living in Alabama at the time, but Mr. Hines’ parents live in Atlantic Beach and they visited often. During one recent trip, they realized the area has nothing like axe throwing nearby, but people may want to try it out.
Ms. Hines said axe throwing seemed like a perfect fit for a beach town because it gives vacationers another entertainment option for when it is raining or late at night, since the business is open until midnight on weekends.
“We kind of jumped on the opportunity. There’s nothing down here like this,” Ms. Hines said. “There’s not much night life, there’s not much to do when you’re not sitting at the beach.”
That was about two months ago, and Ms. Hines said the time since has been a “whirlwind.” She said it is a true family business, as she and her husband built the throwing lanes and targets by hand, and the logo was designed by her mother-in-law.
Ms. Hines said the business’s opening day over the weekend was a success. She said it was particularly popular with military service members stationed nearby at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, especially because the business offers a daily military and first responder discount.
“Everyone who came in had such a great time. We had the military men, we had teenagers, we had an older husband and wife couple come in,” she said. “It’s really a fun activity you can do regardless of age.”
Crystal Coast Axe Throwing is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. To try your hand at the sport, you can book a session online at crystalcoastaxethrowing.com or walk in. The business can accommodate groups up to 45 for birthday parties, corporate events and other gatherings.
Throwers must wear closed-toe shoes and be 14 years or older and sign a liability waiver to participate. The most important thing to bring, Ms. Hines said, is an open mind and willingness to try something new.
“You have to be willing to have fun,” she said. “You can’t be too serious, you have to have fun with it.”
For more information, including upcoming events, visit Crystal Coast Axe Throwing on Facebook.
Contact Elise Clouser at email@example.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.