The new rage: axe throwing, rage rooms take on Waco

Waco Axe Company owner, Thomas Ellis, says axe throwing is a safe way of release and to unwind. Sarah Pinkerton | Photographer

By Brennen Dimarzo | Reporter

As the Waco population grows, so does the demand for new attractions and leisure activities around town. To meet this demand, a newer form of entertainment has entered the scene: axe throwing and rage rooms.

For those looking to make weekend plans or simply find a new outlet for stress, Waco Axe company and Waco Rage Room offer their customers a more hands-on way to deal with their problems.

Winston Kali, owner of Waco Rage room, opened its doors in June. He said he had come to realize that the lockdown was causing many people to resort to more digital forms of release.

“Everyone got into video games and cellphones and all this digital stuff right around February to March,” Kali said. “They were gorging on Netflix and it did feel like the last half of last year people wanted to get out and move around and do stuff.”

Kali said that many people have come into the Rage Room to deal with all kinds of different things and that some just come to break stuff.

“I have a grandpa that brings his autistic grandson here to break things because he is getting bullied at school,” Kali said. “People are cooped up, frustrated. People want to get out and relieve some stress.”

While the Rage Room focuses on destroying things, the Waco Axe Company offers its customers a different outlet for stress relief.

“It is a safe way of release, a way to unwind,” said Thomas Ellis, owner and Baylor Alumni. “We want this to become people’s 3rd place. A place where you can hang out that isn’t home or work. A place to let loose and have fun.”

While both the Waco Rage Room and the Waco Axe Company act as outlets for people, Ellis said they each have their own vibe to it. The experience at each is completely different for the people who go.

“But this is all about doing something together,” Ellis said. “You and a loved one can go off and smash things together. Here you are at the table with everyone talking trash with one another.”

While these services offer a way for people to release stress, there is some speculation amongst the medical community on how effective they truly are.

Kevin Bennett, Ph. D. wrote in an article about how he thinks that the rise of these more physical ways to deal with stress may not be as healthy as people believe.

“We should be working towards minimizing aggression and violence in society, not encouraging it even if it is dressed up as a fun afternoon demolishing things normally off-limits,” Bennett wrote.

However, both the owners of Waco Axe Company and Waco Rage Room said they believe that having an outlet for stress in a safe manner is actually a positive thing.

“People do come to relieve stress, and some people come just for fun and they leave and tell me that it is better than therapy,” Kali said. “It’s always nice to see people leave better than they came in.”