It’s a good time to be someone who doesn’t like traditional workouts. The fitness world is realizing that the subset of people who actually like exercise is only so big — the rest of us need some incentive. Hence rooftop yoga, beer yoga and most recently goat yoga (okay, most of the innovation has been in the yoga sphere), but there’s an option for those who want to get in touch with their primal side: axe-throwing.
That’s not all you’ll be throwing at Manhattan’s first projectile weapon recreational club, Gotham Archery. Opening May 25 in the Lower East Side at 73 Allen St., the gym where every day is arm day would make Patrick Bateman envious of all the axes, knives and arrows ready to be slung. The 3,500-square-foot range has 32 archery and axe lanes for classes and 10 lanes ranging from 5 to 15 yards that can be rented.
Gotham Archery started in Gowanus in 2014 after Hsu and Pang got tired of working in finance and got into the alternative sports business. Unlike Brooklyn’s lodge-style Kick Axe Throwing where a wine and beer bar makes the action a bit more complicated, Gotham Archery is for the dedicated sportsman.
Went to shoot with @stevierayder the other night. It had been a while so I kept opening my left eye by mistake so they gave me an eyepatch☠️. Worked. Maybe this should be a thing? 😹 . Photo creds: @thecleverguy84 . . . #archeryismytherapy #archery #archeryfun #thisismyrifle #apocalypsetraining #gothamarchery #ilovearchery #ladyarcher #unfuckwithable #🏹 #pirateninja #iseedeathinyoureyes #lolz
“For safety reasons, Gotham Archery does not serve food and beverages,” says spokeswoman Lola Phonpadith, though she notes there will be a selection of waters and Gatorade, as well as snacks like chips and beef jerky. “We do permit private/team-building events to bring in caterers with alcohol, but only after all the action is over.”
In fact, that’s why partners Ken Hsu, Jimmy Pang and Chris Stein chose the location, which used to be a storage area for a hardware store. “Gotham Archery was looking for locations that had plenty of nightlife in the surrounding area,” says Phonpadith.
Archers have a choice of compound or recurve bows. First-timers must take a 40-minute practice session ($40 online, $45 in person/by phone), and beginners can tack on a tutorial on form and safety. You must be at least 10 years old to shoot, and lane rentals are $16 per hour plus $11 to rent the equipment. For serious Robin Hood types, the gym has a Junior Olympic Archery Development program for ages 8 to 20.
To throw axes and knives, you must be at least 16. All first-time visitors must take an hour and a half-long introductory class ($50 online, $55 in person/by phone), while lane rentals are $25 per hour with no additional fee to use the equipment.
There are no sandals or open-toed shoes allowed for hopefully painfully obvious reasons.