Knife-Throwing: The Sport of the Ages, is Alive and Well (and Flourishing)
4 Oct, 2017By: Michael Popke
If you thought the U.S. National Boomerang Championships, held recently in Columbia, South Carolina, were something different, check out knife-throwing competitions.
As The New York Times reports, the 2017 Finger Lakes Fling was held the last weekend in August on a residential property in Danby, N.Y., and sponsored by an Austin, Texas-based organization called the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame.
Reporter Pete Croatto describes competitors as “thunk junkies,” named after the sound a tossed knife or tomahawk makes when it hits its target just right. “We all want to hear that sound over and over and over,” Jack Dagger (his real name, apparently), the United States director of the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame, told the paper. “We’re chasing just the sound of success. Every time we do it, it’s a reward and it dumps endorphins in our brain and it gives us immediate confirmation of a job well done — right there, right then.”
Right here, right now, the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame (founded in 2003 and also known as IKTHOF) has more than 500 members and keeps track of international rankings. The organization will hold its annual “Conventional Knife and Tomahawk and No-Spin Knife Throwing Championships” on Oct. 20-22, in Austin, Texas, which IKTHOF calls “the capital of the knife-throwing world.”
The Finger Lakes Fling was held at the home of self-employed antiques dealer and woodworker Paul Maccarone, 52, and his wife, Chris O’Brien, 50. There were no sponsors, no admission fees, no paid participants and no prize money. But a communal vibe, complete with nametags and the national anthems of both the United States and Canada, permeated the proceedings, according to Croatto.
“Maccarone wanted to offer a nice venue to throw and to introduce more people to the sport,” the Times reporter writes. That said, all participants signed a waiver that read, in part, as follows: “…by signing this form, you give up important legal rights including the right to sue.”