"A what?" is the most common phrase I hear when I mention these things to people. It is simply a spear throwing implement and this is the Aztec word for it. The Aboriginal Australians use something similar; a woomera.
I was introduced to this at a Robin Hood Event day and had a lot of fun trying to get the hang of it.
So the next step was to get my own one, which started with some failed attempts to make the launcher. Instead I found a guy called Joe selling them on e-bay, so bought one along with some darts. Joe was very helpful with hints and tips and has a true passion for the sport. His website is called Nottingham Atlatl. Give it a visit to see the quality of his work.
Unfortunately I don't get much chance to practice, so my skills are somewhat limited at present, but I am keen to improve, and practice is the only way to do it.
Not your normal everyday interest, but who wants to be normal!
I must admit to knowing very little about this subject as I have only done it a few times, but those couple of goes has caught my interest. I first had a go at it when I was helping out at a Corporate event where Robin Hood Events were there to give the delegates a taste of archery and axe throwing. Having never thrown an axe, I volunteered to help with the axe throwing and needed to be able to show people how to do it.
It appears that the art of axe throwing is to get the right distance away from your target. The first throws didn't stick but by seeing which part of the axe hit the board you can tell if you need to take half a pace backwards or forwards. In this instance as the axe needed to rotate once to stick in, 5 paces was about right.
Once this was sorted the success rate was at least 95%, and it was as intoxicating as archery is. If you feel compelled to have a go, please make sure you are careful as axes will take chunks out of you and anyone standing close-by.