The Best Way to Use Instagram’s Boomerang App: Filming Axe-Throwing

On a recent trip to Kensington axe-throwing club Urban Axes, I realized it’s perfect for using Instagram’s Boomerang app.

Still from an axe-throwing Boomerang

Things are going well at Urban Axes, the Kensington axe-throwing club that was in development when I wrote about in June. It opened late in the summer, and has garnered press everywhere from ABC News to the Washington Post. Though the club specializes in leagues and corporate events, there are also walk-in hours Tuesday through Thursday.

I finally went there again on Saturday. Having already been schooled in the way of axe-throwing by axe master general Lily Cope, I was pretty psyched to get to show off my axe-throwing skills. Unfortunately, my girlfriend and her friend from out of town were just about as good as I was — as were the two strangers we rotated throwing axes with.

Here’s how walk-in time at Urban Axes works: You pay $20, and get an hour of time throwing in the “arena” (a set of two lanes, each with a giant target at the end). You might have to rotate with a few people depending on how many walk-ins there are at the time. An “axepert” guides you through the proper form and release point, and you let off steam by throwing an axe into a board at the end. It’s pretty simple, and lots of fun.

Looks like I'm getting the hang of this, too!

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But what I really discovered at Urban Axes was that axe-throwing is a perfect use for Instagram’s Boomerang app — a tiny app that creates a gif-like stream of a few seconds of action — then rewinds it back to its original stop before looping infinitely. I’d seen plenty of ways people use Boomerang in the year since it debuted, but this was the best. An infinite loop of me hitting a bulls-eye in axe-throwing! If Boomerang weren’t free, I would’ve paid for it to make that.

Cope says she’s seen a lot of action on Instagram, including Boomerang, since Urban Axes has opened. She also suggested the slow-motion video-recording feature on iPhones works well with axe-throwing. That’s true, but I don’t think anything is as cool as clip of an axe going from your hand to the target, then back into your hand over and over and over again until the heat death of the universe.

Jan is getting the hang of this axe-throwing thing.

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See? Look how cool this is, even when you’re short of the target.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BLCMkh7Bwzn/

To record on Boomerang, you have to hold down the record button for a few seconds. The trick is to start when the person throwing the axe is at the back of their throwing motion and just about to start moving forward. The length of a Boomerang clip is pretty much the time it takes for an axe to get from the hand to the wall, so you might not even have to take your hand off once it hits.

Axe throwing! Zombie defense against the dark arts! Conjure hatchet! Accio axe! #urbanaxes #urbanaxesphl

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I remain open to the idea that I will find a better use for Boomerang than recording axe-throwing, but for now this is the best use of it.

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