JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – They say “third time’s the charm”, and for Brandon Palmer, that could be the magic number. This weekend, Palmer is competing to become the 2020 World Ax Throwing Champion. This is his third attempt, and he’s ready to show what he’s made of.
“This is my second time actually being in the competition,” Palmer explained. “Last year, I just missed qualifying out of the Wild Card tournament.”
Palmer says he got into ax-throwing almost by accident. He started racing at Autobahn Indoor Speedway about 6 years ago. When the venue launched its ax-throwing feature, his status as a top customer earned him some free hours to practice. He says he started out pretty good, but soon got to where he stood out.
“It’s like every tournament I go to, I learn a little more and get a little bit better,” Palmer said. “Had a pretty good year for 2020. With as hard as things have been, 3 tournaments. I finished 16th in all of them.”
With the world competition this weekend, Palmer says the 128 competitor field is larger than in previous years. He says the top 32 get automatic bids into the Pro Skill league for winter and spring 2021.
“I don’t know if everyone is going to be there with travel restrictions, but it is going to be a pretty big field,” Palmer said. “My smallest goal is to make it into the top 32, my big goal is I want to win.”
Best of all, Palmer says the relationships he’s built over the years with the sport is a big bonus.
“I love it, the camaraderie with the community is really great,” Palmer said. “You make a lot of close friends and lots of close family with it.”
But of course, the competition is always fierce. Palmer says he has learned quite a few lessons along the way.
“Don’t worry about who you’re throwing against, it’s just you and the board,” Palmer said. “Go one throw at a time, don’t be thinking about throw 10 at throw 1.”
With his journey leading to this point, Palmer has advice for anyone interested in trying something new.
“Come on out and try it,” Palmer said. “Don’t be afraid, it’s a lot easier to throw an ax than it is to catch it.
No axes grinding here, just throwing. And sharing in the love of a sport. Palmer says he’s ready to show up, show out, and win big.
“Totally different competitor this year, totally different field while the competition has gone up every year,” Palmer said. “It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be tough.”
Also included in the top prize is $25,000. Palmer says check-in is Friday, competition is Saturday, and it will air on ESPN Sunday.