Bow International looks back at the time we took a visit to Silver Archery, one of the newest archery retailers to open up shop in the UK, to find out what’s in the shop and to meet the people behind it
Silver Archery is a relative newcomer onto the British archery scene; registered as a company in February 2013, the premises officially opened in London in October 2013. Owner Lale Krivacevic explains, “I took the place to store stuff initially, and a friend installed the lights and built a door. We’re focusing mostly on field archery equipment – I can order target stuff for anyone that wants it, but if I keep a lot of it I won’t sell it all.”
Business quickly proved successful. Lale says, “We have plans to expand and develop a bigger shooting lane. I’ve had to get another unit, and it’s already half-full of things in storage. As well as that, I’ve been working on getting all the products we sell onto the website – I’ve only got about 20 per cent of them on there at the moment, but finding the time to do more is difficult. There will be two people starting in October that will be able to do the website, so that will be helpful. Peter Humphrey will also be starting to help out in the shop soon.”
Being a shop specialising in field archery equipment has both advantages and disadvantages. Experienced archers will find a lot of options they might not have considered before, but Lale says that does mean sometimes having to send customers elsewhere. “We send a lot of people to Merlin if they’re after beginner equipment,” he explains, “and if I can’t get something in, or can’t source it at decent price, I’m happy to tell people where else they can try.”
What Lale is particularly proud of is bringing brands and equipment that might not be so well-known to a UK shooting audience to people’s attention. Scouring the Archery Trade Association in the USA for potential stock, Lale admits that going for some less well-known brands could have been risky, but that it has paid off. So much so that Silver Archery now holds some exclusive distributorship deals with companies that hadn’t previously been available in the UK market. He says, “I’m hoping to break the mindset of people who won’t buy brands they’ve never heard of,” and adds that two of the brands that have been doing particularly well are Obsession and Victory. “Obsession Bows are the most difficult to get. Everyone wants the Evolution model – I can’t stock them fast enough. People are welcome to try anything in the shop before they buy it, and a lot of people will use that as a chance to shoot a few bows they might never have heard of before. I’d say people spend an average of three to four hours in here.”
Victory Archery arrows have also been ‘amazing’. The barreled, spine-aligned all-carbon VAP shafts have been very popular, and Lale reveals; “When I first got a few sets in I gave some to members of my club and asked them to test them. I wanted an honest opinion to find out if they were something I should sell. I couldn’t help but laugh at the looks on their faces when they shot these arrows for the first time and got better groups and arrow flight than they had before.” They have been selling well ever since, particularly in combination with spine-specific points, and the Silver Archery philosophy of testing its products isn’t limited to arrows.
As well as selling a wide variety of equipment, accessories, and gear, Silver also has the facilities to tune up equipment with an in-house bow press and balancing system. The balancing system is a small addition to the workbench, but lets people put on different stabiliser configurations and see how that changes the balance of the bow objectively before trying it in the hand, and also allows people to perfectly balance a bow if they need to off-set the effect of a sight, for example. “That’s been popular,” adds Lale.
As well as Obsession bows and Victory arrows, other products doing well for Silver Archery are Stokerized stabilisers, and Black Gold Sights – Lale comments, “This company has been making sights from the beginning. When someone has been focused on making something for 40 years you know it’s going to be good.” Another couple of products in testing are from US makers Goat Tuff; the GT Fletcher and High-Performance Glue. “That glue is amazing,” says Lale. “I lost an arrow round a field course once, and it was found two years later with the fletches rotted off but the backing strips still glued on.
“If I make a mistake on a product, I can’t sell it to someone in the shop. I’m an archer – if it doesn’t work I can’t endorse it falsely.”
With a dedication to sourcing new archery products, and a willingness to test samples to destruction, Silver Archery’s enthusiasm for all things shooting is undeniable.
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105 Culvert Road