Get to know us
It started on a Saturday in December of 2018, when Nick and Amy Doane booked an hour of hatchet throwing at Stumpy’s Hatchet House in Greenville, North Carolina. The following weekend, Nick and Amy were thinking about plans for the weekend and determined that the first Stumpy’s outing was so much fun, they wanted to book another hour. This turned into their main hobby and has expanded from there to include leagues and tournaments affiliated with the World Axe Throwing League.
In 2019 Nick and Amy Doane joined Stumpy's Hatchet House very first league and in that league was where they got to know Randall and Catherine Spillman (they started throwing one month before Nick and Amy would). Over the course of their first league, they got to know each other, and at times throwing against each other in matches, telling stories before and after league, laughing at oneself while trying to throw accurately after tossing too many cold ones back, that a true friendship was born. After that first league season at Stumpy's, the four would in their own time continue to practice several hours and several days each week while learning, developing and crafting their throw to get better. Once Stumpy's started their second league season, and unbeknownst the four showed up on day one and learned that they'll be throwing in the same league again. And in that league the friendship continued to build their friendshi.
In mid 2020, in the height of the pandemic, COVID-19 struck and shut everything down. Amy and Nick talked about creating a new team name and logo to be used once league was back up and safely operating again. Amy developed the name in conjunction with her love of true crime and remembered Lizzie Borden and what she was accused of and eventually being acquitted along with the infamous nursey rhyme (see below). Once the team name stuck, Nick started creating the logo which Amy and Nick both loved after both agreeing on the final design. A few months later, league safely started back up at Stumpy's Hatchet House and everyone learned quickly what Nick and Amy's new team name was, '40 Whacks with an Axe' and many thoroughly enjoyed the new team name and logo.
After a few more seasons of Nick and Amy throwing with Randall and Catherine, Randall and Catherine eventually transitioned over into the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) after Beary the Hatchet opened their doors in 2019 located in New Bern, NC. After Randall completed a season with Beary the Hatchet, he tried recruiting Nick and Amy to come try WATL. In August of 2020 Beary the Hatchet sister store, Ironclad Axe Throwing Co. opened their doors in Kinston, NC and that's where Nick and Amy would get their introduction to the World Axe Throwing League. Ironclad started their first league season, the four would come together again to compete in league. After the first league season at Ironclad, the four would come together to discuss creating a bigger team that could be used after they learned about national tournaments. They learned in 2021 after arriving and competing in their first tournament in the World Axe Throwing League just how popular their team name and logo was; that people were asking how they can get their hands on 40 Whacks shirts. As they traveled to more tournaments the four would be amazed by the continued responses from so many by just how popular our name and logo was.
Months later the four would come together again to discuss options of what it would look like for the four of them to start an LLC together and how the four could grow 40 Whacks with an Axe by improving and growing the sport of axe throwing that they love and hold dear to their hearts. In March of 2021, 40 Whacks with an Axe became an LLC and since that time, the company continues to believe in the power of togetherness, teamwork, and camaraderie while building a reputable brand that their customers can recognize and trust as supporters of the worldwide axe throwing community.
The idea for the team name “40 Whacks with an Axe” was born much earlier, before urban axe throwing was even an idea. In the early 1980’s, Amy watched the 1975 movie “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” starring Elizabeth Montgomery in the title role. This feature nurtured the then teenager Amy’s increasing interest in true crime, which is still very much an active interest.
Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her stepmother and her father with an axe. The trial was the 1800’s “Trial of the Century”. Although acquitted of the crime, suspicion of guilt followed Lizzie for the remainder of her life. During the trial, children would follow Lizzie through the street and chant what is known as a “Jump-Rope Rhyme” that some say was written by a journalist in an attempt to sell newspapers:
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.”
During a standard axe-throwing league, teammates throw four rounds of ten throws each, which equals 40 throws…. or 40 Whacks with An Axe.
At 40 Whacks, we are passionate axe throwers who believe in the power of togetherness, teamwork, and camaraderie while building a reputable brand that our customers can recognize and trust as supporters of the worldwide axe throwing community.
Is to inspire, promote success, challenge ourselves and others in becoming a better version of ourselves in and out of the axe throwing community that we love and hold dear to our hearts.