How to Throw A Knife: The Basics | World Knife Throwing League

How to Throw A Knife: The Basics

Knife Throwing might sound like a dangerous activity, but with the right equipment and setting it can be a fun, engaging and even relaxing activity. When first learning how to throw a Knife, the goal is to get a consistent, controlled and repeatable throw.

In this article we will teach you how to throw a knife by three main principles: Equipment, Stance and Grip.

Every thrower will develop variations on their throw but this explainer is intended for new throwers who want to improve their throw.

Equipment

Not every knife is a throwing knife. Throwing knives are specialty items made specifically to be thrown. The WKTL Stinger is made with Throwers in mind, with blade guards formulated to protect our throwers from bounces and to be stopped by fencing. With varying weight options, the Stinger+ is an excellent knife for beginner throwers.

It is important to inspect your equipment before throwing, making sure the knife is suitable for throwing.

Before you throw make sure:

  • the guard is secure
  • the tip is sharp
  • check for metal burs or gouges on the blade or handle

Stance

Stance and where you stand is the bedrock of your throw. A proper stance is fundamental to a successful knife throw.

Tip #1: Keep your shoulders square to the target

Teaching the basics of how to throw a knife.

This may sound obvious, but you have to be facing the target you want to hit. By taking the time to square your shoulders to the board, you are setting your throw up for maximum efficiency.

Get into a throwing stance- one foot in front of the other- with feet wide enough that you can rock your centre of gravity over your front foot without falling over. Keep your knees slightly bent.

Tip #2: Maintain momentum through your shot

Power won’t come from pure force alone – a consistent, controlled and repeatable throw will be based on transferring momentum through the entire shot. Having a ‘break’ in your stance will negate your throws momentum, thus limiting your power.

Tip #3: Know the distance from the target

Your distance from the target will have a direct correlation on the rotation of your throw. Rotation is a big word in Knife Throwing, and is nearly as paramount to accuracy in terms of its importance to the sport.

WKTL has two distances, 10ft and 15ft. Where you stand will effect the rotation of your knife, and it will be dependent on a number of factors, from the style of throw you are attempting to execute to the ergonomics of the release.

It is important to note that the two distances just demarcate fault lines, many throwers prefer to throw further away from the 10 and 15 ft lines, because distance can result in a preferable knife rotation.

Grip

There are two main styles of Throwing Knife Grip: Hammer Grip and Pinch Grip. Keep in mind that the grip you choose will effect the way your is released for your hand. It’s these nuanced changes that will separate amateur throwers from the pros.

Tip #4: Keep a firm wrist.

A flicking your wrist or keeping a limp wrist will add much more rotation to your throw. Keeping a firm wrist will help you get a consistent, controlled and repeatable throw.

Hammer Grip

Knife thrower demonstrating how to throw a knife using the Hammer Grip

This throwing style is just like it sounds you are holding the knife with a closed fist, like you would hold a hammer. This grip is how most people will first use while throwing knives. It is simple yet effective.

Pinch Grip

Knife thrower demonstrating how to throw a knife using a pinch grip.

Similar to the Hammer Grip but instead of wrapping your fingers around the handle, you are pressing your fingertips against the handle- pinching the knife between your fingers and your palm.

An advantage of this style of throw is added control over the release of the knife.

Tip #5: Keep your elbow tucked in: “Elbow to ear”

When lifting the knife to throw, make sure you lift your arm straight over your throwing shoulder keeping your elbow tucked in so that the knife is raised directly beside your head. “Elbow to ear” means that your ear will come down straight on your throw.

For some new throwers, their only point of contact for throwing is a ‘baseball throw’. Baseball throws can be dangerous, for beginner knife thrower, full body windup, and bringing the knife throw around their body (versus straight over the shoulder) will result in the knife landing sideways, which will not stick and, depending on the strength of the throw, and in some cases, can bounce back at the thrower.

Accuracy

Accuracy is not a goal in itself, but a culmination of all the previous points of this article. Your Equipment, Stance and Grip will all play an integral part of an accurate throw.

Tip #6: When throwing, try to get the knife through the bullseye like it is a hole.

Looking “through” your shot will help you visualize a successful release, and through practise you will develop the muscle memory to execute your vision. Through practice your body will become tuned to what a successful throw feels like, and you will be able to visualize the shot before it hits the board.

To Review

  • Tip #1: Keep your shoulders square to the target
  • Tip #2: Maintain momentum through your shot
  • Tip #3: Know the distance from the target
  • Tip #4: Keep a firm wrist.
  • Tip #5: Keep your elbow tucked in: “Elbow to ear”
  • Tip #6: When throwing, try to get the knife through the bullseye like it is a hole.

Keep in touch with WKTL for more Tips and information