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If you look for a target, first have the surrounding in mind. The choice of the throwing range follows strictly the security rules (chapter Security ) . Any danger for others must be excluded!
And there are more restrictions. You may not damage other's property. No others must be disturbed by your banging. Don't shout and dance and celebrate loudly when your knife sticks -- it is not a Casino jackpot, so just congratulate yourself and enjoy! You must find the fallen knifes easily. And how you deal with the spectators, who are attracted by your banging, well, that's your joice. Now you know why knife throwers often come from the country side.
A beginner, looking around for a solid target, may come across tree trunks first, which are somewhere left for no other use. Of course, do never throw on living trees!
A pine tree trunk near a parking lot, which
I often pass. An very nice target, very tempting!
After throwing sometimes on it, I had to learn,
that it is a kind of natural memorial, the
forester left over. I should have been thinking
about. Good luck the damage is not too bad,
and the forester has some sympathy with throwers.
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The same pine tree. Why would it be an ideal
target? (1) The security situation is
good at this place. The road is about 30
yards behind. Well, this is enough for me,
but not enough for a strong longrange thrower!
(2) The long fibrous pine
wood is ideal, especially if wet. Then
the wounds almost completely close after
pulling out the device. (3) It is wide.
(4) Almost no spectators because no listeners.
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It makes a difference, which kind of wood you throw on. The harder the wood, the harder one has to throw, what is not always wanted. The length and resistance of the fibers of the wood determines how fast the wood becomes torn down, means how long the target endures.
A trunk in my garden after one throwing season.
It ist a poplar (so I was told), not so suited,
because it is brittle. With every throw pieces
split away, no matter whether dry or wet. Not
nice with this sticking picture are the angles
of the axes. The handles should point more
downward, not upward like here. But nice is,
that the angles are inclined equally.
This target is actually too small for four axes,
because if you throw them so near to one another,
then they will hit one another eventually, what
quickly ruins the edges. Anyway.
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A round log with a big diameter is ideal for throwing. It is a wood,cut across the trunk, not along it. The fibres show no direction, but come to the surface as points. The knives stick easily and do not cut the fibres, but push them apart. After pulling out the knife, only a minimal wound is left.
|A classic axe target fron Scott Gracia (chapter "Devices - List - Axes - Firestone Axe ") . For axes, you need at least such a massive disk. For knives, thinner ones are sufficient. The sticking picturer here demonstrates the especially wide sticking angle of the Firestone Axe with it's protruding point (similar to the Franziska and the Hibben Pro-Thrower . If the upper one of the three devices were e.g. a tomahawk, it probably wouldn't stick.|
Nice chaos, isn't it!
The target at the Midsummer Throwers Meeting
(chapter "Event calendar 2004 -
Report Iune, 19th of 2004
Zoom into it, and see the many different
devices, which are in use for such event
(here e.g. knitting-needles, nails, screw drivers,
Spanish Dart, double pointed knives,
survival knives, carpenters hammer,
diverse axes, tomahawks, franciscas).
(Foto by Christian Thiel, www.messerwerfen.de)
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Indoors, you will throw with light devices anyway. So also the target may be lighter. E.g. cardbord is fine, eventually glue several layers to a thick pack. Be aware of ricochets anyway! Make sure, there is no window near the target, through wich a device could fly down the street!
|Cardboard target for indoor. Good for needles, schaschlick spits, small knifes, scissors and so on. But this is also good for expensive delicate knifes like cooking knifes, which you normally do not throw, because they soon will break. This is not classical knife throwing! If the cardboard is placed near the carpet ground, and the distance and power is small, then even delicate tools survive quite some ricochets.|
|Small dart disk of 4 inch diameter, abused for 3 inch long needles, thrown with 1/2 turn on 1 yard distance. If not one day this disk plus this needles were stored beside one another by chance on my desk, I would never had the idea of throwing with such tiny devices. They are pritty tricky to throw. The movement must come frome wrist - as opposed to throwing normal knives, where you normally avoid to rotate the wrist.|
If you get advanced with throwing, your pretensions will grow. You may want a target with optimal properties in all aspects, this means (1) flat (2) big (3) free standing and (4) massive. Such thing you will hardly find by chance somewhere, but you have to build one with some expenditure.
|Last not least the classical target, you know from professional throwers. Here a picture from the throwing instructions on the box of the Hibben Pro-Trower-Axe (chapter Devices - List - Axes - Hibben Pro-Trower Axe ) . The text there says: Use a flat surface. Several layers of soft wood boards or a series of 15 - 21 2 x 4's held together with dowels or "liquid Nail" wood glue will make an ideal target. DO NOT use trees, as your axe could deflect off the curved surface. A picture with such classical target, you find e.g. in chapter "Technique - Two Aiming Strategies " .|
Did you notice? What I described as a nice target on the first picture above - a round tree trunk - that is told wrong by the above Hibben instructions ("do NOT use trees"). As well John Bailey warns from such round targets in his throwing instructions (chapter "Devices - List - Knives - Starlight " . Hm .. professional may have different needs than amateur? Sure, the devices do deflect sideward form a tree trunk. This must be considered in the side safety distance! With a tree trunk, one has actually not an area to aim at, but only the horizontal middle line, because the distance has to be calculated to about 4 inches, and due to the bending, the sides of the tree trunk are farther than the middle. Anyway, for me a tree trunk is good enough. But fine were such a huge flat surface of course!
|Always watch the security!|