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Taking Aim

Once dominated by a macho image, archery is turning into a family-friendly sport.


The Island Archer was begun in 1987 by the father of the current owner, Danelle Pulawa.

Photo: Rae Huo

As a young girl, Danelle Pulawa would go to the archery range with her father and brother. “I wasn’t really interested in it at the time, and now I own an archery store,” she jokes.

Pulawa runs The Island Archer, which sells bows, targets, customized arrows and camouflage clothing, and she works with hunters, as well as representatives for camps, state parks, recreation facilities and schools. 

Pulawa says that the sport has been revitalized in Hawaii by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). “NASP brought archery back into the public-school program,” she says. The program started in Kentucky in 2002 with the goal of teaching international-style target archery in physical education classes for students in grades four through 12.

Castle High School, Waialua High and Intermediate, Kahuku High and Intermediate, Kapolei High School and Maui Middle School have embraced the program, Pulawa says. It teaches archery history, safety and technique, mental concentration, physical fitness and self-improvement.

“There’s archery gear that can be handled by a child as young as 4 years old,” says Pulawa. “It’s really safe. Some people think, ‘Oh, no, you can’t give these kids a bow and arrow,’ but you can, because this program [NASP] is so organized.”

Despite her childhood disinterest, Pulawa says she has grown to love the sport. “Once you get a taste of archery, it’s something that sticks with you for life,” she says, “and anyone can do it.”

3180 Koapaka St. # C, 833-8731, theislandarcher.com.



Kapolei Archery Range

Hours: Open to the public Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free, $1 donation welcome

Illustration: istock

Bring own equipment
There are four areas: a range with distances up to 100 yards, a 10- to 60-yards static range, an indoor, 20-yard range and a 24-target, 3D animal course.

Central Oahu Regional Park (Waipio)

Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Cost: Free
Bales are provided
Bring your own equipment

Kapiolani Park Archery Range

(Diamond Head end of park)
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Cost: Free
Bales are provided.
Bring your own equipment

Koko Head Shooting Complex

Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Cost: Free
Bales are provided
Bring your own equipment


Check out more on local archery club Hawaii Kyudo Kai.



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