Carbondale's community connector

689 gets a new edge

Locations: News Published
A young participant practices his axe throwing. Photos by Sue Rollyson.

A young participant practices his axe throwing. Photos by Sue Rollyson.

Upon arrival, it’s hard to know what to expect at AX’D BABE, Carbondale’s newest venture behind 689 Main Street. Through the wrought iron gate, straw bales circle up to wood-burning fire pits and light spills from the windows of a large white tent.
Parting the entry curtains, mystery unveiled, AX’D BABE is clearly to be a new favorite hangout. Warm air and conviviality usher you in, despite social distancing and a viral pandemic. Airy wicker light features float over comfy lounge seating of wood, leather, and steel. String lights glow and the beverage stand calls through a backdrop of mighty thwacks and howls: Colorado ax throwing is here!
If anyone can swing opening a new business during the COVID downturn, it’s Taylor Freeman. AX’D BABE is her third enterprise in the Roaring Fork Valley. Ready for change after a cross-country Airstream pilgrimage, Freeman had never heard of ax throwing as a sport. Nor had she ever thrown an ax before this winter.
Freeman reached out to the World Ax Throwing League (WATL), similar to darts or bowling leagues, with regulations, members, and tournaments. Through WATL, Freeman connected with the top-ranked ax thrower in the world, Miguel Tamburini, whom she hired as a consultant and ax throwing coach for AX’D BABE.
“This is a real sport, it’s a big deal!” she exclaims. “There are no women in this sport. I’d love to be the first brand that sponsors a woman all the way to ESPN. Or a local!”
Built to league standards, AX’D has two throwing lanes with two large, wood wall targets per lane. Each lane has a metal basket bearing deadly missiles: machetes, stars, and of course, axes. A beautifully designed and crafted tool in the hand does something to a person — and it’s extremely satisfying.
“You have to breathe. It’s like a meditation. You have to be in your body. You have to be present,” says Freeman.
With her own life complexities and hurdles, Freeman speaks from a deeper experience. What she calls “the forgotten populations” hold a soft spot for Freeman.
On a Friday night, a dad is having a blast with his kids, one wielding an ax, the other a saber.
“And I’d love to see seniors here, at two in the afternoon!” says Freeman, who with her brother, co-founded Aspen Compassion for senior companionship. Twenty percent of AX’D proceeds will support its nonprofit arm, Aspen Compassion Adventure, connecting seniors to day jaunts.
AX’D hosts team building events for organizations. They have already hosted a gender reveal party and a 13-year-old’s birthday party. The weekends are hopping. Tuesday is Locals Night, followed by League Wednesdays, Thursday Date Nights, and Family Sundays flesh out the schedule.
“This community hooked me up and saved my life,” she says. “This community loved me until I could love myself. Now it’s my turn to give that back … where it can be fun and be joyful.”
An exceptionally satisfying thwack gives rise to jubilation as another group arrives. Taylor turns to the arrivals and calls out, “Welcome, welcome, everyone. I’m so glad to have you here!”For more reservations and more info, visit axdbabe.com

Tags: #AX’D BABE #business #Taylor Freeman
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