After our archery lesson we caught up with Peter Dubberstein to find out what he loves about the sport and what it’s like to be a Guinness World Record Holder…
How did you start Mit Pfeil und Bogen?
It began in 2012 when I lost my job. I’d wanted to open my own studio for a long time so I jumped over the hurdles and in November it will be the 6 year anniversary.
How did you first discover archery?
I’ve always done sports – American football, basketball, volleyball, softball. I was in a volleyball team for 13 years and when we broke up in 2005 I wanted to do something on my own. So a friend of mine recommended I shoot bow. I wasn’t interested at first, but as soon as I tried it I knew it was my passion and I didn’t want to do anything else.
On my first try I shot so well that the trainer asked if I’d shot before. I told him no and he said “Do me a favour. I’ve been teaching for 30 years now and you’ve got so much talent. Please keep on shooting.” And 9 months later I won my first tournament.
What was it you loved so much about archery?
We all have the shooting instinct in us from hunting for food and fighting in wars. When you shoot you just let go – it’s a primitive release. As soon as I hit that target I realised it was all I wanted to do. I still feel the same way and I have the added pleasure of teaching people and showing them how great the sport is.
Is the sport becoming more popular?
At first people can be sceptical, but once they come they love it and then they bring their friends and it snowballs, so in that sense it is becoming more popular. You don’t know until you try it. It’s such a great feeling.
You have lots of awards and trophies on your wall and there’s a picture of you with Ant and Dec. How did you get on TV?
A friend of mine, Joe Alexander, is an extreme coach and it was always his ambition to catch arrows. Since 2002 I’ve been his archer. We’ve won the Guinness World Record 3 times for catching arrows and we were the first in the world to catch arrows blindfolded. I met Ant and Dec when we were catching arrows on the TV show Red or Black.
We’ve also been featured catching arrows twice on Wetten, dass…? and on Galileo, Johannes B. Kerner, and the SKL Show.
You said your friend always wanted to catch arrows… Why?
Joe isn’t from this world. When he was young he used to watch lots of Chinese movies where the ninjas would catch arrows. Joe is the Guinness World Record holder for catching the most marshmallows with chopsticks. He has about 16 world records – he’s a world record junkie.
Do you still work together?
Yes. Someone in America just broke our record for catching arrows blindfolded in America – they caught 5 so we have to catch 6 now. We’re going to start training this month and will try to break the record by the end of the year.
What are your plans for the future of Mit Pfeil und Bogen?
I love it as it is. It’s always booked out and I get to meet everyone here. If it gets any bigger then it won’t be the same as I’d need more staff. I like it as it is – small and unique.
What are the benefits of archery?
It’s great for your back muscles especially if you work in an office – it helps you sit up straight. And it’s a good stress reliever. You can come down after work, shoot for an hour, clear your mind and then relax at home. A lot of families come here and parents with their children. We also have a lot of couples who come to get some time together without the kids and we have groups, company events and children’s birthdays.
What advice do you have for USC members who’d like to try out archery?
Just phone me, book a lane, come and have fun. Either you love it or hate it, there’s nowhere in the middle. And it’s totally addictive.
Mit Pfeil und Bogen is unique as it is currently USC’s only archery partner, so head over to Hamburg to try it out for yourself. And if you want to find more activities for the family, take a look at our Family Sports partners.
And take a look online at Mit Pfeil und Bogen for all their latest news, events and updates.