Edit: This is been a blast, thanks to everyone for their awesome questions but I must be off. If you'd like to see more don't forget to check out the WKTL tiktok where I'll be live at 3pm eastern time today!

Hey there, I'm Evan Walters. As the title said, today is International Knife Throwing Day and I'm the Commissioner of the World Knife Throwing League! I figured I'd celebrate the day by answering any questions you have about knife throwing, the sport, ESPN, or anything else related!

A little backstory on me and throwing sports. I've spent the past few years growing our sister organization, the World Axe Throwing League, from about 10 affiliated axe-throwing venues in 2 countries to over hundreds of companies in 30 countries, as well as connecting our major tournaments with ESPN. We had excellent growth with WATL until COVID hit, we had to pretty much shut down operations like most sports, but we took that time to really focus on getting the WKTL started up. And since things have opened back up, it's almost as if things never shut down in the first place again! But as of this past year onward for the foreseeable future, I'm doing the same for knife throwing!


Proof: Here's my proof!

Comments: 342 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

TheBaggyDapper211 karma

I've been invited to a gunfight. Any advice?

WKTLofficial398 karma

Politely decline the invitation.

winston_everlast193 karma

When throwing a knife is it better to hold the handle and throw or hold onto the tip of the knife and throw?

WKTLofficial331 karma

It depends on your distance. Throwing from the tip is to afford you an extra half rotation so if you're at a throwing distance where you need a bit more rotation then throwing from the tip would be warranted.

That being said, due to safety standards in the World Knife Throwing League throwing we can only throw by the handle. But the rules are made so it naturally supports the distances one would need to do that.

Goodright96 karma

How did you get so invested into throwing sharp objects at things?

WKTLofficial127 karma

Honestly, it was not the career path I thought I would have, to be sure. While I've done some throwing as a kid/teen it wasn't until I saw an axe throwing venue pop up in the city I lived at the time was hiring that I got really into it.

After throwing a bit there something just clicked that I really enjoyed about the activity. It's super satisfying when you start landing bullseye and honestly it's an activity that anyone with a bit of strength in their arm can do.

As for making it a job, that was a LOT of work. Many many 60/80 hour weeks. I saw that the concept had some great potential but wasn't taken as far as it could go at the time. (since at the time the league only had a dozen or so locations) Thankfully there were very many other people who felt the same way who opened up their own venues and joined their local leagues. And many of them started in the industry and sport the same way, visited a venue, got hooked, and brought it back with them. It's those amazing passionate venue owners and league players that really helped push the sport to new heights.

armyboy94132 karma

until I saw an axe throwing venue pop up in the city I lived

Was it Bad Axe Throwing?

WKTLofficial43 karma

It was! It was their second US location opened in Indianapolis.

ndnsoulja6 karma

You ever work food service?

WKTLofficial38 karma

I have indeed, everyone should I think.


Do you ever get confused and accidentally throw a spoon?

WKTLofficial140 karma

Not yet but more importantly, don't confuse them the other way around or you're going to have a bad time when eating soup.

bigfatmatt0166 karma

What's the best way to get into the sport? Can you suggest how to practice in the backyard without scaring the crap out of the neighbors?

WKTLofficial77 karma

Honestly just grabbing some board and building a target isn't that hard to do. And there are plenty of plans out there for targets. The World Axe Throwing League has a great setup article on it. But as for joining in I recommend checking out the WKTL website to see if there's an affiliated venue in your area. If you contact them they should be able to get you signed up for their league or just some practice!

As for how to not scare the crap out of your neighbors, well that's going to depend on how cool your neighbors are.

Dio_Yuji62 karma

What’s a good knife for a beginner?

WKTLofficial81 karma

I'd recommend the WKTL Highlander or the Blackhawk. They're both very forgiving in terms of nailing the rotation.

Augi2g44 karma

Who or what made today the official knife throwing day?🧐

WKTLofficial71 karma

We made it! We wanted a day to celebrate the activity for people who've been fans of it and we went through pretty much the entire calendar of holidays and for a few various reasons came to decide September 8th was a good day for it.

Kelloggs_Cereal_Bag41 karma

I'm so sorry for asking , but this is reddit. Are you familiar with the Poop Knife ?

WKTLofficial51 karma

I had completely forgotten about that until just now.

TheRemonst3r28 karma

About 12 years ago, my friends and I would get drunk around a picnic table and toss throwing knives into the air in an effort to get them to stick into the table point first. Each knife was a point. If you could get the axe to land it was bonus points. We called this, "Knife Club." We haven't played in years and years. My question is, what would it take for us to get recognized by the World Knife Throwing League to legitimize our competition?

WKTLofficial22 karma

Sounds like a spicy version of the water bottle challenge. Honestly, I've toyed around with the idea of that style of throwing before, who knows, the sport is still young. We may see something like that yet as a new discipline in the future.

CurlSagan27 karma

What's the largest knife you have ever thrown? Like, could you land a broadsword after some practice?

WKTLofficial40 karma

I think when you get that big you're not really throwing knives anymore but as with any throwing enthusiast, you do eventually throw some funky stuff. I've thrown some shorter swords and some shovels. The biggest knife I've thrown would be the WKTL Blackhawk. The thing is like a short scimitar

Hamborrower24 karma

When throwing something that rotates while it spins (knives) how do you ensure you hit your target with the blade and not the handle? How many rotations does a knife typically get per throw?

WKTLofficial31 karma

So all in all it involves a lot of simple math. The three main factors are:

The distance you're throwing from.

The dimensions of the knife.

The thrower.

A thrower can manipulate the rotation while throwing of course but there will be a sweet spot where the distance is thrown, plus the dimensions of the knife will give you the optimal rotation.

Our league throws from a minimum 10ft and 15ft. 10ft for single rotation and 15ft for double rotation. With the specifications of the league knives, those distances are about what would be optimal for most people. Though there are some folks who take another foot or so back to ensure they hit those rotations.

But the farther away you are the more rotations you'll be able to get.

IndianaJwns14 karma

Is knowledge of the distance crucial to that determination? If so it would seem that film portrayals of knife throwing are largely exaggerated.

WKTLofficial19 karma

Absolutely, and yeah it's lots of movie magic. Looks amazing but in real life throwing a knife in those situations is very impractical

axethrow_NY21 karma

Do you have a favorite knife to throw?

WKTLofficial31 karma

Right now I'm really enjoying a few. The WKTL Merlin and Highlander are my favorite of our knives, but I'm also really enjoying the Bandito from Toro Knives.

BestCatEva17 karma

I saw ‘throwing sport’ and immediately thought, caber toss. ;-)

I’ve wanted to try the axe throwing places — is it hard on the shoulders? Are there choices of axe, like bowling balls at these venues?

WKTLofficial18 karma

I actually did caber toss in college! though I'm a little guy in comparison to regular highland games competitors so I never got super far in highland games but it was a lot of fun!

Throwing knives are super easy on the shoulders, axe throwing a little less so but not too bad depending on what you throw. And most venues do have a selection of different axes and knives to suit people's needs for accurate and safe throwing! Definitely give it a go!

gerd5050113 karma

if I am playing D&D or some other roleplaying game and i want a character who is an expert at knife throwing, what are some basics I need to know ? how many knives can I realistically carry?

WKTLofficial26 karma

Depends on the knives. I for example lug a backpack filled with knives to my venue but each league knife weighs about a little over a pound. So carrying a lot of those gets really intense. But non-league knives in a fantasy setting could be totally different. I'd suggest a bag of holding or something to just keep all your knives in so you don't have to worry about that.

Fart_knocker500013 karma

I've purchased an item from eBay and the seller has overdone it with the packing tape. Do you have anything I can use to open it?

WKTLofficial15 karma

I might be able to find something

Cuspidx12 karma

How many throwing leagues are there and do you beef with them?

WKTLofficial12 karma

There are other leagues for sure. And they're fantastic and I highly recommend everyone give those a go as well! No beef whatsoever to my knowledge. The more throwing the better!
Every organization has its own goals and objectives but I believe we all come together in the ideal of bringing more awareness and interest in the activity.

Separate_Zucchini_9512 karma

At what point does a knife become a sword? And is the sword throwing?

WKTLofficial23 karma

Honestly that's a good question. It seems that most short swords are considered to be around 20 inches which I would generally agree with. And technically you can throw anything

Sythe649 karma

How do you feel about people building robots to take over the sport?


WKTLofficial9 karma

I saw that a bit ago, honestly super cool! I look forward to the ay technology gets better than people at it but I don't think that day will be anytime soon.

Hanz_Q7 karma

Does your organization have anything to do with the queen being in the hospital?

WKTLofficial3 karma

No. I hope she recovers well enough.

brendanjones7 karma

What is the farthest distance you have ever thrown a knife?

WKTLofficial11 karma

With a successful hit about 50ft

Graviton_Lancelot6 karma

What would be a good starting set of throwing knives? Maybe on the larger/heavier side as I've had tiny ones before, and those seemed pretty hard to control.

WKTLofficial6 karma

The tiny ones you see that are super cheap usually are just that. The WKTL BlackHawk and Highlander are the biggest league-ready knives and they're very forgiving on rotation for beginners.

MrJoeMoose6 karma

As a teenager I attended a "mountain man camp" that was affiliated with boy scouts. We slept outside, maintained our fires, and cooked all our own food. The time not spent on camp chores was mostly dedicated to black powder, knife throwing, and axe throwing.

At the end of the week we had a tournament. I placed second with axes and knives, but I won the surprise pan throwing event.

So, when are you going to launch the World Pan Throwing League, and where can I find a venue in my area?

WKTLofficial5 karma

Did the pan have to stick in the wood? That's pretty impressive

Beavshak6 karma

What is the worst mistake you’ve seen happen during an official contest?

WKTLofficial11 karma

Thankfully I've not seen any injuries in knife throwing competitions. Most of the knives we throw don't have active blades as most would think since they're not really needed to stick a knife in wood. Safety designs of course. Probably the worst thing I've seen so far is players miscalculation their throw and missing an important score losing them a match.

milknsugar5 karma

Where can I get a really nice, professional set of throwing knives? I've asked other knife aficionados, and every time they look at me like I'm some dude who gets swords from the mall.

WKTLofficial6 karma

We have many we make specifically for throwing that do a good job of standing the test of time more so than most. I would say the thing to keep in mind is that more often than not you get what you pay for.

NerdJudge4 karma

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

WKTLofficial7 karma

A majority of the day goes to communications, emails, meetings, and calls. Then the few hours I'm able to get outside of that are done working on logistics or marketing typically. Once a week I have a few hours to get into a venue and do testing, social media videos, and practice as well which is my favorite time of the week.

Old_Magician_65634 karma

Do you ever fantasize about getting ambushed by ninjas unaware of your knife throwing skills?

WKTLofficial7 karma

Sure, as much as anyone does I suppose. But in reality, I very much would not want that to happen. Life isn't a movie and I would never want to be in any dangerous situation if I have a choice.

TheGomeeez4 karma

For those of us who aren't up to date on knife throwers, who is a kick ass thrower? Can we find videos online if them?

WKTLofficial7 karma

In terms of the sport, Mike Philabaum is the current world champion and an amazing thrower. Some other ones to look at are Lucas Johnson and Travis Blank. All of them have been on ESPN and are phenomenal. If you have an ESPN subscription you can watch the World Championship from 2021 and the 2022 U.S. Open Tournament. After a certain amount of time, we'll have them up on our youtube as well.

In terms of regular throwing, I had the pleasure of meeting Jason Johnson who is a very popular social media thrower and is incredibly talented.

Wisestfish3 karma

Would you use a knife in self defense if the situation called for it or are your powers too great?

WKTLofficial7 karma

In self-defense I would use anything available to me to preserve myself. I would not however throw a knife. Very impractical in real life scenarios

Mind1013 karma

Is it true that you can0t just throw a knife from any distance but have to gauge it beforehand?

I saw a video once where no matter how fast the person threw the knife it would only stick when they were standing at predetermined places as that's when the knife would align itself to sink into the target correctly.

WKTLofficial10 karma

Distance is very much key to throwing. Though there are many throwers who are practicing what's called "instinctive throwing" and that is essentially training the eye and body to know instinctively the distance they're at so they can hit the proper rotation.

wecangetbetter8 karma

In the movies everyone nails knife throws 100% of the time

In real life, what percentage of throws actually hit clean?

Super cool stuff!

WKTLofficial5 karma

Depends on the type of throwing but I can easily say it's not like the movies haha

majorjoe233 karma

Did you listen to the Stuff You Should Know podcast on Knife throwing? (They just pulled it back out as a "select episode" about a week ago). If so, what did you think of their take on knife throwing? Did they get it right on wrong?

WKTLofficial4 karma

I'm not much of a podcast guy but I'm going to have to check that out, thanks for the heads up.

smoke29572 karma

Where can I practice knife throwing if I live in an apartment? I considered throwing at a tree in a metro park but I thought that may get frowned upon

WKTLofficial2 karma

Definitely don't want to be throwing at live trees. I wouldn't advise building a target in your apartment (the landlord may be upset at it) I'd advise looking for a WKTL-affiliated venu in your area to go practice at!

travellingscientist2 karma

Do you make your own knives? I've recently become really interested in it and considering taking it up as a hobby.

WKTLofficial2 karma

I've been involved in the process of larger-scale knife design for the sport but I have not made a knife in the traditional way. The knife makers who do are incredibly impressive!

heavyMTL2 karma

What's the best knife sharpener? YouTube is not unanimous on this subject...

WKTLofficial3 karma

I don't personally have a preference. But a common misconception is that throwing knives are all bladed. You don't need bladed knives for throwing, you just need a good tip so I don't recommend sharpening them

adrach872 karma

As a rough percentage, how many people do you know who go around strapped like Danny Trejo in Desperado?

WKTLofficial2 karma

Very small if any. Unless you go to a tournament, then everyone has a good bit on them usually.

SirClarkus2 karma

Where can I get a good set of throwing knives? I don't have access to a metal shop, so I can't make them myself, and the ones on Amazon seem to be crap.

WKTLofficial4 karma

With throwing knives you get what you pay for. The cheapest stuff is exactly that.

We do have knives on amazon currently (discounted for the holiday) and we have a webstore as well. One thing to keep in mind is all throwing tools will become damaged over time and especially if you have poor technique. They're only going to last as long as you take good care of them. But I've used my knives we make for well over a year now of regular use and I've had no issues. But they'll get damaged one day no doubt.

shygiraffeonaroof2 karma


WKTLofficial5 karma

I'm ok with moving targets but training up to the instinctive style throwing you see in movies is a master's level of throwing skill (in my opinion) which is very rare in real life.

gussy1z2 karma

Is this in any way related to why the Queen is in hospital?

WKTLofficial3 karma

Well that's an unfortunate thing to learn of. I hope she recovers well enough.

MrAbadeer1 karma

Do you dress as bullseye every Halloween?

WKTLofficial5 karma

Honestly not a bad idea, though I've been having more people ask me to dress as Dio from JoJo's Bizare Adventure. Though I'd love to dress as Hawkeye from the Ultimates run of the comics in the mid 00's.

parentheticalme1 karma

How do you not have a ponytail? j/k

WKTLofficial3 karma

I used to have a wee Viking-style braid for a while with a big bushy beard, but I much prefer having short hair and beard.

urbeatagain1 karma

Can you hit lawyers running? If so I may have a gig for you.

WKTLofficial7 karma

Definitely not, safety is top priorety for the sport.

uses_for_mooses1 karma

Do you cringe when you see magicians do the knife throwing trick where they have some assistant stand against a wooden wall and throw knives to just miss them?

I’m pretty sure all of those are fake / just tricks (like the knife isn’t thrown but pops out of the board). But still seems cringey.

WKTLofficial6 karma

I don't cringe really, I'm usually on the edge of my seat cause it's scary. But that's the point of the show. And I can assure you those situations are very real and should not be attempted by anyone outside of a professional. I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Dagger who's extremely talented at it and it took many years of training to throw as well as he does.

Book81 karma

Is the gun vs knife scene in the magnificent 7 possible?

WKTLofficial3 karma

Yes and no. In the original, he does a quick underhand no rotation. I think at the distance he threw it, it's pretty improbable that the other guy wouldn't be able to dodge or fire his gun in the time. BUT it is a bit more realistic than most movie knife throwing.

ElsonDaSushiChef1 karma

Is it easier to throw a knife, a shuriken, or an ace of spades?

WKTLofficial1 karma

If by ace of spades you mean the WATL axe then I'd say the axe.

kapntoad1 karma

There's a comedy-juggling-knife throwing group I enjoy watching. The knife thrower does a stunt where he slices a cucumber strapped into another performer's arm as the other guy is on a spinning wheel. The performers say no one else does this, and I've always wondered about the veracity of that claim.

Is this as unusual as they're saying, or something any good knife thrower could do?

The only video I could dig up quickly is Facebook video, sorry about that. Non fancy video link

WKTLofficial2 karma

It's the first time I've seen it and they probably are the only ones who do for good reason. I'm sure they're trained for many years to perfect it but that is borderline reckless. I would absolutely never suggest anyone attempt that, even with proper training.
Could any good thrower, probably. But most would have the good sense not to.

Victory_Over_Himself1 karma

Why not just use a gun instead?

WKTLofficial14 karma

I don't think throwing a gun would be that effective

no-kooks1 karma


WKTLofficial2 karma

The knife would certainly go through the window, but him still hitting his target with no issue after that isn't realistic.

Jopkins1 karma

Who makes up these "world _____ day"'s?

WKTLofficial2 karma

We did for this one. It's usually organizations that would like a day to celebrate something to bring awareness to an activity or cause.

DownRangeDistillery1 karma

Does your knife throwing skills transfer to other skills like throwing cards?

WKTLofficial2 karma

I would say yes and no. Throwing anything, in general, translates a little bit but you have to adapt to the tool you're throwing.

Cone-shaped_Man-tits1 karma

Do the throwing knife guys look down on the other knife communities?

WKTLofficial2 karma

Not sure who in particular you're referring to but I can say I certainly don't. My belief is as long as people are throwing, we all benefit. The more the merrier!

sarzec1 karma

How was the King of Cartoons or Cowboy Curtis to work with? Just assuming you used to be on the cast for Pee-wee's Playhouse with such an outrageous title

WKTLofficial2 karma

More outrageous than having a Commissioner for any other sport? Though I wish could've been on Pee-Wee's playhouse, sounds like a blast.

sheppyb1 karma

How many fingers do you have, and why is it not 10?

WKTLofficial17 karma

Sometimes people are just born with more

AmbiguouslyStr8Duo1 karma

Was you haircut done with a throwing knife?

WKTLofficial1 karma

I do not advise throwing knives being around anyone's head.

Traditional-Mall-7881 karma

What’s the best angle to sharpen wktl knives?

WKTLofficial3 karma

I honestly don't recommend sharpening any part of the knife aside from the tip. a throwing knife in competition doesn't need to be sharp, it just needs a point.

Optimal_Read70381 karma

How often do you imagine throughing knifes while being outside? And what about your dart skills? Finally, what about catching knifes?! Have you ever thought of trying this?

WKTLofficial3 karma

I've thrown knives outside. It's great on a nice day. I've honestly not thrown darts much. The folks who do are incredibly talented but it's not as satisfying for me. And I 100% do not advise attempting to catch a knife. There's a saying in the throwing community that "a falling knife is sharp on all sides"

hotmessexpress441 karma

What invention would you eliminate from existence? This cannot be a person, a concept or a problem (e.g. homelessness). It has to be a physical object that you would remove from existence.

WKTLofficial5 karma

In a hypothetical, I'd be interested to see what happened if money suddenly just ceased to exist. But if this were a real scenario and I had the power to zap something into non-existence I'd probably have to say nuclear arms.

Notchsmind0 karma

pls Don't take offense but how does dudes throwing knives become a sport league?

WKTLofficial6 karma

No offense taken! If there's a skill people can compete in, then they will! Making something a sport requires a lot of logistics more than just passionate people though. rules, organization, and implementation are equally as important.

WKTLofficial4 karma

No offense taken! It takes lots of time, effort, and (most importantly) people who are passionate about it. Just like any other skill if there can be a competition for it to display that skill then there is the potential for it to become a sport.

goooseJuice0 karma

Who is the best or worst thrower in anime?

WKTLofficial5 karma

Is this a Jo-Jo reference?

therealfatmike-2 karma

Isn't axe throwing the superior sport?

WKTLofficial7 karma

Both axe and knife have their merits. I wouldn't say one is superior to the other. While they're pretty similar, it's still a bit like comparing apples and oranges. I will say that most people I know will probably say knife throwing is much more difficult.