Hub City Axe Throwing hosts first sanctioned tournament

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 6:58 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - An Aberdeen couple turned a hobby into a business, and less than three years after opening Hub City Axe Throwing, they’re preparing to host their first sanctioned tournament.

Ryan and Amanda Perrion first started throwing axes out of boredom during the pandemic.

”We actually put a target in our backyard during Covid. We were just kind of bored and looking for something to do, and that was something different and cool and nobody had done it in this area before,” said Ryan Perrion.

In November of 2020, the Perrions opened Hub City Axe Throwing in the Uptown Aberdeen Mall. Last October, they expanded their business and moved to Main Street.

”We had actually never been into a venue before we opened ours. Because of Covid, everything was closed. So, we spent a lot of time on YouTube and just going to websites and just trying to learn as much as we could, and then, coming here, taking everything that we learned and making what we wanted to,” said Ryan.

Ryan now competes professionally. He has become a recognizable name in the professional axe throwing community, and wanted to bring a sanctioned tournament to the Hub City.

With four kids all under the age of 11 and a full-time job, that isn’t easy. Fortunately, the Perrions’ passion for axe throwing helped motivate them.

“When you’re working a full time, plus running a business, plus I’m a pro thrower, so you know, my traveling schedule, taking care of the kids, the kids’ schedule...I don’t think anybody would put themself willingly in that kind of a situation without a little bit of passion,” said Ryan.

This weekend, more than 50 competitors are registered for the Hub City Open Tournament, which includes women’s’, hatchet, big axe and dual events. The tournament is sanctioned by the World Axe Throwing League.

For the Perrions, it’s an opportunity to show their peers in the professional axe throwing world what they’ve created in their hometown.

“It just came down to the passion that we wanted to show our friends in the axe community what we built and bring them to Aberdeen. I think they’re going to have a good time this weekend,” said Ryan.

Even the young Perrions will get to participate.

”All of our kids throw. Even my four-year-old has gotten some axes to stick. My daughter will be competing in the women’s thing tonight,” said Ryan.

For Ryan, his love of axe throwing doesn’t stem from the bullseyes or trophies, but the openness of the community.

“I think any axe thrower, especially ones that travel a little bit, will tell you that the community is what makes the sport what it is. Traveling to tournaments isn’t very profitable right now. We’re a small sport. There’s not a ton of money involved. So, to go to these things, there has to be more than just to throw and to win a trophy,” said Ryan.

That acceptance could be the key reason the sport is rapidly growing.

”It’s just such a welcoming and open sport that anybody can do it. Our bullseye wall can attest to how many people have come in and even hit bullseyes. So, anybody can come through a league, it doesn’t matter your age. Because of how inviting and open it is, I think that speaks to the growth potential of the sport long-term,” said Ryan.

The Hub City Open Tournament is open to the public for viewing, and a livestream of the competition will be available all weekend.

Ryan said that while he’s just making sure the weekend runs smoothly for now, he is hoping the tournament will become an annual event.