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Monday, January 24, 2022

Couple opens ax throwing venue in Schenectady’s Crosstown Commons – The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY – A Rotterdam couple have opened a business dedicated to the hobby and sport of ax throwing in Schenectady’s Crosstown Commons.

It is one of five such places in the region, but the first in Schenectady.

The Ax Lounge lives up to its name by adding comfy sofas near throw-away alleys but off the flight path.

Jess Patrick and Samantha Ng have been working on it for months, but the pandemic pushed back their targeted start date to September.

“We were thinking that by now COVID would have stopped,” admits Patrick.

Patrick is a native of Cambridge, who joined the Navy right after high school and earned a psychology degree after a four-year stint. His career veered toward sales rather than psychology, and sales took a hit amid the pandemic.

Ax Lounge is a full-time search for Patrick, but Ng has retained her day job as a CVS pharmacy technician and a sideline as a L’Oreal sales representative.

On a trip to Vermont, he had an unexpected introduction to flying axes.

“It was axial,” Patrick said. “He signed up for the go-kart place, it made his speed sick. They even threw an ax there.”

“I begged him to throw the axe,” said Ng.

“And that’s how he inspired me to throw the first one,” Patrick said. “I really enjoyed it.”

He built most of the wooden features within The X Lounge as the business went through the preparation stages of opening.

First-time workers receive a full safety briefing. Axe-shaped axes on the hand are not razor-sharp but can cause injury if misused. Throwing lanes are designed to prevent errant axes from going too far and a rubber mat on the floor robs falling axes of their motion.

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After only a few days, the wall and even the floor around the target are marked with slits from near-misses.

Children must be at least 10 years old and physically large and strong enough to be in control if they want to participate.

In addition, doubles tend to stick to the axes instead of longer handlebars due to space limitations.

“We’re not allowing the big ax because of the height of our ceilings,” Patrick said.

One-handed or two-handed throwing is allowed. Ng and Patrick hint at both.

All else being equal, Patrick says, a two-handed target is more likely to sink in, but a one-handed target is easier to hit.

He talks about first-timers through two-handed throws.

“Broad stance, like athletic, bend your knees,” he told a Gazette employee. “Bring it back over your head and when it comes to your field of view, that’s when you let it go.”

The first two gazetteers delve into wooden targets with a satisfying THUNK and astonishing accuracy, the kind of start-up little luck that attracts newbies to the game.

The next three give a good test of the safety features by jumping off the target or missing it altogether.

The two-hand throw feels a bit more controlled.

Ng says it’s also his favorite technique.

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Categories: Business News Schenectady County

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