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25 Oct 2018
Hurling axes through the air is not how most people imagine making a living.
It certainly wasn’t on the radar for Sydney-sider Lloyd Bombell either, until he happened upon competitive axe-throwing by chance.
Famously picking up an axe, he nailed the throw and was offered a job on the spot.
Two years later, Bombell and his partner Sarah Hilyard were road tripping around the South Island when they decided New Zealand was the place to launch their own axe-throwing experience.
But it was another chance visit – this time to visit a friend in Wellington – that led to the Sweet Axe Throwing Company becoming a fixture on the CBD’s Kent Terrace. For Lloyd and Sarah, packing up their belongings (and their furry pup Whiskey), moving to Wellington and establishing their own business has been a fantastic experience.
“We researched opening our business in Auckland or Queenstown but both spots weren’t quite right. After unexpectedly driving around Oriental Bay and spotting people out swimming in March and walking their dogs, I sensed this was the city for us,” says Lloyd.
“Wellington very quickly became a serious contender. We loved spotting people out in all kinds of weather, across the week. Wellington is so centralised – I remember thinking ‘What is this magical place.’”
Being closer to nature and having a better quality of life were also drawcards in moving to Wellington.
Sarah’s background in business and marketing, and Lloyd’s hospitality prowess make for a great team. Lloyd is a trained ‘axe-pert’ and coaches each group before they pick up one of the hefty axes.
They’ve also enjoyed working and collaborating with businesses close by – including Wellington on a Plate’s Burger Wellington winners Casey and Blair Wilson, from Wilson Barbeque, adprint, Hop Garden, embroidme and Tuatara
“The Wellington business community is great. It’s so satisfying living in Wellington and building our own business,” says Sarah.
One of Sarah’s goals is to prove to women they are stronger than they think when it comes to wielding an axe.
“Some of the women who visit us can sometimes think they aren’t strong enough to pick up an axe, or they won’t make the target. A massive highlight for me is coaching them through their stance and how to throw the axe – and seeing them progress to the heaviest axes we have in no time while gaining confidence in themselves.”
Sweet Axe Throwing is designed for all fitness levels – a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or the end of the working year.
Sweet Axe Throwing Co is New Zealand's first urban axe throwing experience, located in the heart of Wellington.
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