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The New Hot Spot for People with an Ax to Grind (or Throw)

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By Samantha Lambert


Do you enjoy throwing darts? How about bowling? Well, combine the two—throwing at a circular target board in your own closed-in lane—and you have the new craze of hatchet throwing.


The Ratchet Hatchet officially opened on May 4 of this year in downtown Fort Walton Beach. Co-owners Steve Garcia and David Woodrow met while working at Eglin Air Force Base. Six months ago, Woodrow had the idea of opening a hatchet-throwing business and came up with the name The Ratchet Hatchet. They tried it out in Woodrow’s backyard first and then began looking for places to house the business.


“We needed a place with high ceilings,” Garcia says. They found a location downtown where a business was closing and had the inside of the building ready in a month for their new venture.


The Ratchet Hatchet offers a safe indoor ax throwing range for both competitive and casual ax throwing. They provide the axes (or hatchets) and offer tutorials for novice throwers. Plus, they welcome all skill levels and will do their best to accommodate those with special needs.


All participants must sign a waiver before throwing. There are different sizes and weights of hatchets. The owners will then help throwers find the right style of hatchet and go over safety procedures. Rules include only one person throwing at a time and all throwers being finished with throwing before picking up the hatchets from the target.


There are also different throwing styles. Some throw one-armed and some two-armed. Participants can also play different games such as 21 (similar to darts), tic-tac-toe, and baseball.


For those who walk into The Ratchet Hatchet, the cost is $35 per person for one hour and $20 per person for an extra hour. If you book online, the cost is $25 per person for one hour and $20 for an extra hour. Military and First Responders Appreciation Night is every Wednesday, and participants with a valid ID receive 20 percent off. Ladies Night is every Thursday, and ladies receive 20 percent off.


Participants can bring in beer and wine. With an armband from The Ratchet Hatchet, you can also receive discounts from some of the bars downtown.


Presently, The Ratchet Hatchet has a raffle fundraiser going on for the students at Elliot Point Elementary School in Fort Walton Beach. Raffle tickets are $2 each and will go toward the lunch program at the school. The owners of The Ratchet Hatchet feel children should only have to worry about learning, not about where their next meal will be coming from.


The winner of the raffle will be announced Aug. 28, and will receive a prize of an ultimate date night with donated gift cards from local downtown businesses.


The Ratchet Hatchet is currently in the middle of forming leagues for an ax throwing tournament taking place each Saturday in August. The entry fee is $100 per individual. The tournament winners will receive a $1,000 cash prize. Future plans include a “black light” night.


The Ratchet Hatchet” is a business that appeals to everyone. Garcia points out that people walk by and say, “Is this for real?”


The Ratchet Hatchet” is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 PM to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 PM to 2 AM, and Sundays from noon to 10 PM. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, visit or call 850‑533‑4014.

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