The safest knife thrower is the one who takes safety precautions in every aspect of throwing knives. From the knife, to the throw, to how you feel, safety first. Safety rules! It is the master. So, everybody have a head up.
Throwing knives, especially professional throwing knives, do not have a handle. You are meant to grasp the blade, which is one continuous piece of metal, with just your hand. Following that, a safe thrower should use blunt-edged blades at all times. Allow me to repeat: Always use blunt-edged blades. Your hands will thank you for it. Sharp edges bear no true significance in the success of the throw or of the stick. And competitions do not allow for sharp edges.
The manner in which you grip your throwing knife is crucial in the success of every throw. To be sufficiently fit for a good grip, one must have a fairly strong upper body, including the arms and hands. Push ups are a fantastic exercise for this. If you do push ups on your knees, or against a wall, with your fingers as your contact and not your palm or fist, you’ll be conditioning your chest, arms, hands and fingers, all at once. Finger weights or springs can further strengthen your fingers. Hand grips are extremely effective. Think of it this way, if your hands aren’t very strong, your grip won’t be either. Without a strong grip, the skill cannot be developed. If you’re having difficulty gripping the knife, use tape or similar sticking material around the handle. Be sure to extend the tape from the end of the handle to the middle of the knife when you finish wrapping it up. And if you’d like an easy release, only use “tape” material with a flat, smooth surface.
There is a proper stance when preparing to throw. There is a proper arm swing and body movement. A proper release. All of these movements combined make your complete throwing form. While practice will affect your accuracy and success, one thing you must not ignore: how you feel. That’s right. Do not throw when you are tired, sleepy or disoriented. Even a little. After a bit or practice, your throwing arm, from your chest to the tips of your fingers, will start hurting. Don’t keep throwing. Rest up first. And don’t throw when you’re hungry or mad, sick or recovering from some “small” injury. Really, don’t. You are throwing a deadly weapon and you shouldn’t risk hurting anyone-especially yourself!
How about the target itself? What makes a good target? A chunk of durable wood is very good for a target. Anything metal, concrete or of a material of similar hardness must not be used. The knife must be able to penetrate and stick to the target. Otherwise, what’s the use? It should be in a safe location where bounce-offs can’t injure anyone or damage any thing. The trajectory path must be clear and free of all traffic. A good safe distance is one hundred feet clear in all directions. Your distance from the target is also very important. It is much better to hit your target five times at ten feet away than it is to hit your target once at twenty feet away. When you’ve mastered throwing at a short distance, only then should you increase your distance from the target. Baby steps.
Let’s add a dash or two of common sense here. Surely some will think that it’s unnecessary to say this, but there are some for whom you MUST say this: Do not throw knives in the rain or during a snowfall. Do not throw knives in inclement weather or during a storm. Make sure your throwing area is well lit and clear of debris or material that can become airborne. Buildings and trees should be well out of your safety zone. And when you throw, don’t take your eyes off of the knife until it comes to rest.
It’s just a bit of knowing what is best to remove all risk of injury. After all, you are throwing pointed blades at high speed over a distance. Be the safest knife thrower. Good luck and Be Careful!