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Lac La Biche group takes aim at creating longest arrow in the world

Rene Schaub, president of the Lakeland Archers, driving force behind project to build 80-foot arrow which will soon be on display outside of archery club in Lac La Biche.

LAC LA BICHE - Many towns are renowned for their unique and quirky landmarks. Soon, Lac La Biche County will have the distinction of being home to not only the biggest – but longest – arrow on the planet.  

Rene Schaub, president of the Lakeland Archers, came up with the idea of building a gigantic aluminum arrow spanning exactly 80 feet 3/8 inches. This initiative coincides with the 2024 World Field Archery Championships, which are being held in Lac La Biche next year from Sept. 16-22.  

“About six months ago, some members of the club and I decided that it was important to do something special for the World Field Archery Championships,” Schaub explained. “Lac La Biche has some of the top archery facilities in North America, so why not lay claim to the world’s biggest arrow?” 

Schaub researched world records pertaining to archery, a bit surprised to learn that Russia was home to the world’s largest arrow while the largest in North America is located in Texas. While the broadheads of both of those arrows are dug into the ground, the one designed to put Lac La Biche on the map will be mounted so that every part is visible, from the pointy tip at one end to the nock and bright red and blue fletchings located at the other end. 

Building an arrow meant to outrival all others is no easy – or cheap – affair. Thankfully, with donations from many local businesses in the form of both time, labour and money, the project was able to get off the ground. 

“Lac La Biche Power Sports donated four 20-foot pieces of aluminum pipe worth $10,000, while Savailin Enterprises Ltd. is building the arrow,” Schaub said, adding that when the arrow is completed, Lac La Biche Transport will move it to its permanent home next to the archery club’s building on a 65-foot trailer. “While I don’t have an exact estimate yet, the cost could be as high as $50,000, the majority of which has been donated from local businesses and individuals.” 

The soon-to-be world’s largest and longest arrow is actually built to the exact same scale of a normal sized aluminum arrow, the type commonly used for sporting purposes – but it’s 80 times larger.   

Josh Hattum, shop foreman for Savailin Enterprises Ltd., confirmed that the process of building not only the arrow itself but the fletchings (or flights) and the broadhead involved utilizing CNC (computerized numerical control) cut-outs for custom design purposes.  

“The three fletchings are comprised of two pieces of 1/8 aluminum plate with UHMW board between them,” he explained. “Now that the arrow has been built, the next phase of the project involves putting on the finishing touches such as pipe shoes and painting.” 

At first glance, such an undertaking might appear to be very time consuming, but Hattum says his shop crew had little difficulty completing their regular work while still finding time to manufacture the area's newest landmark.  

“There were about three days when we had a lull in our workload and used that time to focus on getting this done,” he said, adding that initial construction took roughly one week. “It has been an awesome experience knowing that I played a significant role in building the world’s longest and biggest arrow.” 

Schaub says once the arrow has settled into its permanent home next to the building where the Lakeland Archers train, it will serve as another incentive for visitors to make their way to Lac La Biche.  

“People will be eager to get pictures with the arrow, although, due to its length, taking selfies could be a bit challenging,” he said, with a lighthearted grin.  

He added that a project of this magnitude takes the efforts of an entire community. 

“A lot of work has gone into this arrow, especially the creative minds of those who helped build it, as you simply can’t order something like this on Amazon,” he said. “Everybody who participated in this project will be recognized. There will be a sign next to the arrow with a list of sponsors on it.” 

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