Article written by Matthew Crane; Dubois County Free Press
Kyle Rickenbaugh is bringing his passion for throwing sharp objects at wooden targets to Jasper.
The Jasper-native and competitor in the World Axe Throwing League world championships is opening a second location of his Vanderburgh business, Plaid and Timber Axe Throwing Company, in the former Mehringer Plumbing building across from the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center.
The nearly 10,000 square foot location will feature 17 lanes for axe throwing as well as four cornhole courts and an arcade area for plenty of indoor fun in addition to snacks, beer, seltzers and other canned alcoholic beverages. He doesn’t plan on offering food options at this time but is welcoming visitors to have food delivered while they play.
Kyle is excited to bring the business to his hometown and add to the entertainment and recreational opportunities in the area. Growing up here, he is well aware of the limited number of recreational opportunities available.
The 2008 Jasper High School graduate completed a degree in software engineering from the University of Southern Indiana. After graduating, he quickly found that he didn’t like working in a cubicle and began exploring opportunities that would keep him from being boxed in.
He’s always been involved in sports — baseball being his biggest passion — and outdoor pursuits like hunting growing up in the area. That led him into the fitness and cycling industry.
Part of his 10-year plan was to buy out his employer and eventually return to Jasper to contribute to the community through a business endeavor.
He began throwing axes for fun in 2018 and quickly put up his own target in his garage.
“As a kid, I was always you know, a knife and sword fan,” he explained. “So, inherently, like any kid growing up, I’ve thrown a lot of things; axes and throwing knives as well.”
With his entrepreneurial spirit and appreciation for the fun sport of axe throwing, Kyle opened his first location in Evansville in November of 2019.
Then the pandemic hit, and he and his partner struggled through it with all the other businesses by adjusting their operations. Holding on through those hard times paid off, and they came out stronger. He was able to buy his partner out and set his sights on expanding to Jasper.
“Ideally, I would have like to have had a location up here a lot sooner,” he explained pointing to those early setback caused by the pandemic. “But, at some point, Jasper was going to have a [Plaid & Timber] location because this is my hometown.”
He was looking for a building to use for the expansion when he found out about the location on Anderson Street (the building is at 402 McCrillus but the business is on the back side of building along Anderson Street). With Puzzles and Padlocks on the front portion of the building and all the other activities going on in the area, Kyle felt like it was a great location.
“We are hoping that we can share customers and also bring more customers down to the area,” he explained. “Kind of feed off each other and turn the whole area into an entertainment spot.”
Kyle has plans to open the new Jasper Plaid & Timber Axe Throwing Company location in time for Strassenfest.
Knowing the rich cornhole tradition in the area, Kyle feels having the courts will be an added attraction. Along with being open for the more casual stress-relieving rounds of axe throwing, the new business will host leagues and competitions and have options for business outings.
Kyle said he loves bringing this sport and opportunity to the area.
“That’s really what it’s about for us,” he said. “It’s making sure people are having a good time while doing something different that they might not normally do.”
You can find out more about the business on their website. When they open, you will be able to reserve lanes online.