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Tomahawk Throwing FAQs

Why has the name axe throwing been changed to tomahawk throwing?

Tomahawk throwing is a term more widely used within the industry. Changing the name also helps to make it clearer about the type of equipment that must be used. Tomahawks are used for sporting activity, whereas the purpose for most axes is to chop wood.

Why is tomahawk throwing not part of the permit scheme?

There is not currently a recognised UK National Governing Body who we could map the permit scheme against.

Why is knife throwing banned and not tomahawk throwing?

Feedback from members during the 2015 review showed that knife throwing was not currently taking place within Scouting. It was also felt to not be appropriate to teach the throwing of knives with the current perception about young people and knives.

Why are we promoting young people to throw axes?

Tomahawk throwing, if done in the correct manner, can be an exciting and challenging activity. It should not be encouraging young people to throw axes and other items which are not designed for the purpose of throwing and outside of the controlled tomahawk throwing sessions.

I don’t want to do this activity with my young people?

It is not compulsory to run this activity within your programme, but it is an option. Leaders should always consider the young people’s age and maturity as well as local feeling towards an activity when choosing activities for their programme. It is encouraged that parents/carers are informed of this activity taking place as it is still relatively new, so that parents/carers understand what is going to happen and can make an informed decision about their young person taking part.

Can under 18’s run tomahawk throwing sessions?

Yes. If appropriately trained and supported by adults then this is absolutely fine. Young people must not run tomahawk throwing activities without adults present.

Where do I get the equipment from and how much will it cost?

Specialist equipment should be used for this activity, not using household or felling axes. There are various suppliers within the UK.

Approximate Target Materials and Costs for initial set up

These costs are based on two portable tripods with 900mm rounds and some external plastic fencing.


Softwood CLS timber (tripod)




Target Rounds

£10 - £15 each

Cold Steel Norse Hawks

£38 each (minimum 2 recommended)

Small Hawks/Angels/Fleurs

£18 each (minimum 4 recommended)

Barrier Net Fencing (50m)


Metal Pins for fencing x20


Target rounds can be obtained free of charge but you will need to find a friendly arborist.

One traditional competition target with three rounds attached would increase costs by approximately 30% which would include an extra Norse Hawk.

Where do I go for training?

There are a variety of Scouting and external providers of tomahawk throwing training. This activity is becoming more common, so you could start with contacting your local Scout activity centre or campsite or your Assistant County Commissioner - Activities.

I’ve watched several videos online and practiced in my garden, am I ok to go ahead and run a tomahawk throwing session for my section?

Whilst you might have picked up some useful tips online; it’s very different to having to teach and manage young people. It is strongly advisable to attend a practical session so you can see how it can be run and managed with a group.

Can people who run shooting and archery activities run tomahawk throwing?

No. People running tomahawk throwing must have specific tomahawk throwing knowledge and a minimum of one day’s (7 hours) practical tomahawk throwing experience prior to leading sessions.

Is there a recommended size of tomahawk or handle length for young people?

Small hawks (including throwing angels) tend to be easier for younger sections. 16inch handles for tomahawks are the most suitable size for young people, but it will depend on their height and strength.

Can we wear shorts whilst doing tomahawk throwing?

The wearing of appropriate clothing and footwear should be part of the risk assessment for the activity. Whilst there isn’t a rule that states you can’t wear shorts; trousers may be more appropriate to wear to help protect your legs, dependant on the technique used to throw.


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