Absolute Archery scores a bullseye
Want a sport you can do with your family, with equipment that you can purchase once and not have to worry about outgrowing? Something that builds eye-hand coordination and is inexpensive? Archery may be just the ticket and Absolute Archery is just the place to learn.
Darin Mack, 40, an archer on the professional circuit for 13 years who hosted a television show on the Outdoor Channel, moved his family cross-country from Pennsylvania to Shingle Springs to fulfill his dream two-and-a-half years ago.
“I always wanted to have my own shop and in California you have the open space, the great weather, the opportunities and lots to do outdoors,” he explained.
“Archery is something everyone can do,” said Mack. “From 4 years old to 80 — it’s a great family sport and a lot of husbands and wives are now doing this together.”
The focus at Absolute Archery is customization from bows, arrow rests, bowstrings, sights, mounts and lessons.
“We customize every lesson for each individual whether they are the very beginning beginner or a seasoned archer” Mack said, adding that he and his son Kevin, 22, use their experience and knowledge to help customers.
Custom-fitting a bow starts with shooting a lot of different bows to find the one that fits the archer’s shooting style. “People can try everything in the store — rests, stabilizers, kickstands, bows — before they buy,” Mack offered.
The wall of the pro shop are covered with photos of Mack’s tournament days and the mounted heads of game he hunted with his bow. Against a wall near a very large taxidermied bear are the antlers from a moose that Mack brought down in Alaska, securing him the 2009 Safari Club International World Record Moose.
“Kevin and I had to pack the 1,600-pound moose out and it took two-and-a-half days,” said Mack.
High-end brands such as Athens, OK Archery (made in Germany), High Country and Win&Win (made in Korea) are carried in the shop with new inventory arriving weekly.
“The Koreans are the best archers in the world and everyone in Korea does it — men, women, children. It’s the national pastime,” said Mack.
Mack worked for Lancaster Archery Supply in Pennsylvania and said the company serves as his inspiration. “Lancaster Archery is huge and they specialize in target archery. That’s what I want to do … build an archery shop that is as huge and well-known as Lancaster, here on the West Coast,” Mack explained.
With his 27 years of experience in archery, Mack is a fount of knowledge about archery, equipment, proper fit and competition. His connections in the professional archery world bring professional archers to Absolute Archery to teach seminars and, in addition to customized lessons, there is a Tuesday night archery league and an indoor practice range at Absolute. The Winter Archery League has been so successful, with an average of 20 archers each week, that Mack plans to start a second league when the current one ends.
“There is a huge, huge archery community here and it’s growing,” said Mack, adding that he thinks some of the growing popularity of archery may have something to do with movies like “The Hunger Games” as well as tightening gun laws and the rising cost of ammunition.
“We sell some bows that are $1,500, but you can get into the sport with a $300-bow and be accurate and have a lot of fun,” said Mack.
It’s also cost-effective for families as Mack demonstrates with a bow that adjusts from a 5-pound to 70-pound draw weight and from a 13-inch to a 30-inch draw length, making it suitable for a child to use as he/she grows to adulthood. “Once you have your equipment, archery is very inexpensive to do, either at an archery range or in your own yard,” he said.
Absolute Archery is located at 4101 D Wild Chaparral at the former Carnelian Dodge dealership in Shingle Springs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and closed Monday. For more information call (530) 672-1002 or visit absolutearcheryllc.net.