Tucked into a little strip mall off of East Sims Way is a small business with a big reach. Brent Kinchen of A3 Archery Custom Bowstrings twists scores of colored strands into strings for …
Tucked into a little strip mall off of East Sims Way is a small business with a big reach. Brent Kinchen of A3 Archery Custom Bowstrings twists scores of colored strands into strings for archers world-wide.
While many folks think archery is synonymous with hunting, many enjoy target or 3D shooting. Regardless of the quest, Kinchen says the string is always a bow’s weakest link.
Raised in an archery shop, Kinchen has bows on the brain. His father taught him how to make his own bowstrings when he was a boy; now, he’s been building strings for more than 15 years. He’s developed his own technology and process for pre-stretching bow strings, which allows for greater accuracy.
Essentially, two stands of fiber are spun into one to make a string, wrapping over each other alternately. A compound bow set-up can have three to five separate strings, composed of up to 24 strands, for a total of around 240 feet of string total. As every meld requires a twist, it’s easy to imagine a little movement in the final product.
It’s Kinchen’s goal to eliminate that before it costs a hunter a dinner, or a competitor a medal, using his own pre-cycle technology. (He’s currently applying for a patent.)
So far, he has been overwhelmingly successful.
Kinchen is stolid and methodical, and humble considering his achievements.
“I’ve been shooting for almost 30 years,” he said during a recent conversation.
“Competitively, 20 years,” Kinchen added. “I entered to the world atmosphere a few year’s back.”
He’s competed at the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas, the largest archery event in the world, using his own bowstrings.
Kinchen’s company became an international phenomenon just weeks after opening the shop this July.
“The way social media works today; we touch a lot of people,” he added.
He’s mailed strings to Bulgaria. Some of the top women archers in Columbia swear by A3 strings. A show that airs on the Outdoor Channel, “Raised Hunting,” will only use A3.
“They’ve never seen better strings,” he added matter-of-factly.
Kinchen has more than 50 staff members, including 10 professional archers, who use A3 strings.
He and one other employee work at the full-service retail shop at 2011 East Sims Way in Port Townsend; repairing bows, creating custom strings, and fielding customer questions.
A3 is definitely a family based business. It’s named after the three women in his life whose names begin with the letter “A”, his wife and two young daughters,
Just last week, he launched an all-new website with an industry first: a bow strand color selection tool using an exact color match to the actual product. Buyers can use the string visualizer to experiment with scads of color combinations before locking in their new look.
Kinchen is working with the Jefferson County Sportsmen’s Association on 112 Gun Club Road to create a 3/4=mile walk-through range with 20 to 25 three dimensional targets.
He anticipates holding tournaments, with categories ranging from peewee (3 and 4 year olds) on up.
“We’ve got a lot of big plans,” he said.
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