Archery in Costa Mesa and the rest of Orange County is on target to spike in popularity with the Friday release of “Robin Hood.” It’s happened before when the Kevin Costner version came out 19 years ago and when “Lord of the Rings” ruled the box office.
Joe Kim, owner of Hi-Tech Archery in Fullerton, said that the movie industry absolutely helps the archery industry.
“Movies do have impact, and for us, it’s a very good thing,” he said, adding that he just wants to get kids out and active. “Archery is good for the body and mind and concentration.”
Like a disappearing Sherwood Forest, archery ranges in Orange County became scarce in 2007 with the closing of two locations. But, take heart. There are still ranges—outdoors and indoors—that will give you the thrill of the sport whether you want to draw the bow at a range, watch the archers in a league or have a party at one of the shops.
Try the ancient art. If you love the sound of the arrow hitting its mark, then commit to equipping yourself. A starter set can run from $150 to $250 (bow, arrows, arm guard, finger gloves, quiver). Just don’t expect to pick up a long bow like Robin’s for less than $500.
Orange County Archery, Fountain Valley and Costa Mesa
Private lessons: This is one of the stores that offer private lessons off-site at such locations as Mile Square Regional Park. Lessons are offered in-store on Monday and Thursday nights from 6 to 7 p.m. It offers 12 lanes for shooting ($7 unlimited use with own equipment, $22 unlimited use when equipment is rented). Costa Mesa’s one lane is used only for testing bows.
2112 Harbor Blvd.
18792 Brookhurst St.
Mile Square Regional Park, Fountain Valley
BYOB: Bring Your Own Bow and equipment to this 40-year-old archery range located in the 65-acre park. One of the oldest ranges around, don’t expect lessons here. It’s open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to dusk. There is no fee for range usage, but it is first-come first serve. During the week you’ll see up to 16 people using the range, according to Supervising Park Ranger Tom Martinez.
16801 Euclid St.,
Oso Lake Scout Camp, Rancho Santa Margarita
Calling all non-profits! Archery ranges here are open to non-profit organizations for group outings. The Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council leases the site from Rancho Santa Margarita Water District. Day use for archery is $8 plus $2.50/person for archery. Archery range reservations must be made in advance. Equipment is provided, said Toni Klemm, executive administrative assistant for camping.
21131 Los Alisos Blvd.,
Rancho Santa Margarita
Reservations: (714) 546-8558, ext. 136
Hi-Tech Archery, Fullerton
Indoor ranges — Robin never had it so good. The archery shop has 28 lanes, 14 upstairs and 14 downstairs. Upstairs is available for party rental (birthdays, groups, organizations), while the downstairs is open for shooting with all-day lane rental $10. Lessons with equipment provided are $15 for one hour. Tuesday and Wednesday night leagues (after store hours) are open to those who want to watch or join.
1912 W. Commonwealth Ave., #A
Archery Outpost, Los Alamitos
Walk-ins are welcome and lessons are available simply by asking, according to General Manager Bob Bingham. This appears to be the newest archery kid on the block, opening in February. The rustic interior includes everything from rocking chairs near the shooting lanes to cedar-shingled shooting lanes—all 36 of them (18 double-wide butts). Bingham sees an increase in the number of women training adding that “Archery levels the playing field.”
10714 Reagan St., Suite B
Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, Orange.
Corporate events and more! This is another venue owned by the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council (donated to the organization by The Irvine Company). This center is open to more than non-profits, but it is not open to individuals. Fee range is $4/hour for archery with a minimum of 10 people. Range Master Scott David Broadbent said that Robin Hood will definitely spark people’s interest in archery. “It would be great to see more kids here,” he said.
2 Irvine Park Road
Since losing its range in San Juan Capistrano in 2007, the group is in “travel mode” but available for group events, camp instruction and lessons. Private instruction fees vary depending on size and location. Private lessons from the coaches are given at El Dorado Archers site in Long Beach. Saddleback Archery Board Chair James Bennett has seen spikes in archery interest related to movie releases over the years. He finds kids are drawn to the sport…which provides an opportunity for kids to find success in less super-competitive arena.