Saturday, July 2 2022

PLYMOUTH – A local family has drawn on their Scandinavian roots to bring a sharp new pleasure to downtown Plymouth.

Longhouse Ax Throwing and Craft Beer gives everyone the chance to find their inner Viking by throwing axes at wooden targets.

The O’Brien family of South Plymouth decided to open the business after enjoying ax throwing with friends on the North Shore. The longhouse ax throwing opened on September 10 and features 10 throwing lanes in five spans.

Located at the end of a long hallway at 46 Main Street on the west side of Shirley Square, Longhouse Ax also offers a full range of craft beer refreshments for pitchers. But it’s not a bar. Only ax throwers are allowed in and they must be 18 years of age or older and sign waivers. Open-toed shoes are not allowed.

Longhouse Ax Throwing in downtown Plymouth has 10 throwing lanes in five bays.

Before throwing an ax, all participants receive a mandatory safety demonstration from the Longhouse Ax trainers. Longhouse Ax welcomes throwing of all experience levels; no previous experience is necessary.

Chris O’Brien, a recent Springfield College graduate and Redbrook YMCA personal trainer, runs the business, but his whole family was involved in its creation. The family chose a Viking theme in honor of a great-grandfather who came from Norway to Massachusetts.

The family started working on Longhouse Ax over a year ago, but decided to put it on hold until this fall due to COVID-19 restrictions on indoor activities.

Chris O'Brien holds two of the axes players use at the Longhouse Ax Throwing in downtown Plymouth.
Longhouse Ax Throwing features a Scandinavian theme that reflects the Norwegian heritage of the O'Brien family.

They used the extra time to focus on the interior, which O’Brien built with his father and brothers. Rough sawn lumber is everywhere, even the ground, where target shavings disperse during competition. O’Brien said he runs about two targets per night, but they are easy to replace and stenciled.

A game is generally played with 10 throws for each player. Points are scored based on where the ax lands, much like darts. But players can score bonuses twice per game by hitting one of the two dots on the board. So-called kill shots must be announced in advance and no points are awarded if they are missed.

Longhouse Ax Throwing Manager Chris O'Brien explains the scoring system used by the World Ax Throwing League.

The O’Brien’s and their coaching staff offer help and instruction as needed, but usually even beginners play on their own in about 30 minutes. It’s more about technique than power, said O’Brien, but like hitting a baseball, power can be added once technique is perfected.

Keeping a firm wrist is the key. When released, the weight of the ax head rotates.

Chris O'Brien explains the scoring system used at Longhouse Ax Throwing.

The cost is $ 25 per person per hour, with up to six people allowed in each bay.

Longhouse Ax Throwing is open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made on


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