Extreme archery coming to Courtenay, Campbell River

A new archery tag business will launch next month

A new business on Vancouver Island will soon let you channel your inner Legolas or Katniss Everdeen.

West Coast Archery Tag is coming to Campbell River and the Comox Valley next month.

Campbell Riverite Dustin Lottis, the co-owner of the business alongside his wife Kelsey, said the couple saw the demand to start an extreme archery company in the region.

“Archery tag is something we looked at doing for a few months and we saw that there was no one doing this particular type of archery tag on this side of Parksville,” said Lottis. “We talked to a lot of members of the community who seemed very interested in the idea.”

The sport of extreme archery combines elements of paintball, dodgeball and laser tag. Two teams of bow-wielding players attempt to hit members of the opposite team with foam-tip arrows while hiding behind inflatable barriers for cover.

As in dodgeball, players have to leave the playing area when they are hit. But if a player catches an arrow, one teammate is allowed to re-enter the arena. A team wins once all opposing players have been hit with an arrow.

Video courtesy Archery Tag

Lottis said the sport, though still relatively new, is catching on across Canada. Cities that offer it on Vancouver Island at the moment include Victoria, Nanaimo, and Parksville.

Worldwide, the Archery Tag brand claims there are over 1,100 locations in 63 countries.

Lottis says the company hopes to be up and running by the end of May. The Campbell River location will rent out of the Baptist Church’s gymnasium, while the Courtenay location will operate out of the Get Swung indoor golf and batting cage facility at 780A 30th Street.

The business will be running drop-in play as well as private bookings for birthday parties or private events.

But don’t worry about losing an eye or getting hurt by an arrow; the arrow tips look more like marshmallows than medieval weaponry, and players wear specially designed masks to protect their eyes.

“Everything is covered under our liability insurance and we’ll obviously have daily inspections of the equipment to ensure everything is in proper, safe working order before games are played,” said Lottis.

“A lot of people have asked me if it hurts as much as paintball. The answer is no, not even close.”

For more information on West Coast Archery Tag, or to make a booking, visit the company’s Facebook page at bit.ly/2HvLdbD, send an email to westcoastarcherytag@gmail.com or call 250-204-8904.

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