In our third look at Chattanooga’s best opportunities for the competitive-minded, we turn our sights toward wit, agility, and strength.
Throw Something Sharp.
There are a few different ways to declare a winner at Chattanooga’s indoor axe throwing facilities. Playing by the rules for “Around the World,” you’re aiming to hit each number on the bullseye in ascending, then descending, order. In “Cornhole,” you’re simply playing to 21. But, similar to the card game Blackjack, you’ve got to score 21 exactly. A bullseye is six points, and any time your axe blade splits the line between two numbers, you round up. The blue dots on either side of the rings play a high risk with a high reward. You’ve got to call the shot ahead of time, and if you miss, you’ll face a penalty. Chattanooga axe throwing venues include Craft Axe Throwing on Camp Jordan Parkway in East Ridge, Valkyrie Axe Throwing on East Main Street downtown, and Civil Axe Throwing on Market Street downtown. Each location gives you a chance for a quick lesson, open lanes, and private parties. At Craft and Valkyrie, you can also buy a beer. Civil Axe Throwing is BYOB.
Backhand, Then Bluff.
The ping pong tables are open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 3rd Deck Burger Bar at The Southern Belle Riverboat on Riverfront Parkway downtown. The restaurant sits 40 feet above the Tennessee River and includes leather couch seating, an outdoor patio, arcade games, darts, and ping pong on handcrafted wooden tables. Thursday nights are your best shot at meeting the competitive locals who plan the table tennis tournaments on-site. On Monday nights, you’ll find a free poker night hosted by Theresa and Gary Crews. Between 40 and 60 people frequent this Turbo-style tournament each week. Come in at 6 p.m. to order burgers and beers. The cards fly at 7 p.m.
Parade Your Nonessential Knowledge.
Chattanooga breweries and bars are the place to go head-to-head with random knowledge related to music, sports, politics, food, movies, and pop culture. Tremont Tavern in North Chattanooga hosts team trivia on Mondays at 8 p.m., with a Chug Off to determine the loser. OddStory Brewing and The Tap House host trivia on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. Heaven & Ale Brewing Co., located on East Main Street on Chattanooga’s Southside, hosts Thursdays at 7 p.m. with the chance to win house cash.
Putt for Prizes.
Caitlin Yelvington moved to Chattanooga in 2017 and started attending a local co-ed disc golf putting league with her husband, but she never quite felt like she could compete. A regular disc golfer at Dallas Island and The Sinks, she wanted to level the playing field, so she started a monthly competition specifically for women. Chattanooga Women’s Putting League meets at Heaven & Ale Brewing Co. the second Tuesday of each month from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Yelvington brings a disc golf basket to the brewery for a free, friendly putting competition for women of all ages. Prizes for winners vary from month to month. The co-ed putting league, Chattanooga Disc Golf Putting League, currently meets at Hutton & Smith Brewing Company on Mondays at 6 p.m.
Swing, Balance, Climb.
Challenge your friends up the warped wall, jumping spider, or salmon ladder during open gym in the Ninja Zone at Synergy Climbing and Ninja. Here, the ninja obstacles are designed by Isaac Caldiero, best known for his success on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Ages 5 and up have access to this part of the gym, but obstacles are organized in lanes based on difficulty. Race lanes and the infamous Isaac’s Gauntlet require participants to be at least 13 years old and pass a specific level of proficiency. Synergy Climbing and Ninja was founded after Chattanooga caught the eye of world renowned rock climber Lisa Rands. In 2019, Rands and her husband Wills Young partnered with Caldiero and Tennessee Bouldering Authority (TBA) to relocate and transform the TBA gym into a premier place for rock climbing classes, bouldering, yoga, general fitness, and ninja obstacle training. Closed toed athletic shoes are required, and harnesses are available upon request.
Take on the Target.
A highlight of Chester Frost Park’s floating inflatable playground NOOGASplash, the Target is basically a giant circle with spokes. The goal: Run completely around the circle without falling into the lake, then claim your victory with a hop to the center target. NOOGASplash obstacles also include the dome and springboard (for jumping), the curve (for sprinting), the wiggle bridge (for balance), the monkey bars (for strength), and the action tower (for climbing). To qualify to compete on the inflatables, you must be at least 6 years old and 45 inches tall. Sessions last for one hour, and life jackets are required. The season runs from May through Labor Day.