How Easton’s shooting giant came to be from a freak accident and chance meeting

How Easton’s shooting giant came to be from a freak accident and chance meeting

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08 February 2024

        <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://www.usarchery.org/../images/tinymce/070224151005-Doug Easton.jpg" alt="" width="923" height="485"/>Easton is among several generous partners who have kindly contributed to the 2024 USA Shooting Sweepstakes, which launched in November and offers hundreds of prizes totaling more than $100,000.</p>

Between January 5 and November 19, the lucky sweepstakes participant drawn will receive one of 40 sets of Avance Arrows generously donated by Easton. Below is Easton’s story.

Enter the 2024 USA Archery Sweepstakes

The year is 1922 Warren Harding is the President of the United States. The Nineteenth Amendment (women’s right to vote) was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Babe Ruth signed a three-year contract with the Yankees.

There were events happening globally that would have long-term ramifications, such as the creation of the Soviet Union, and Benito Mussolini becoming Prime Minister of Italy, which would inspire the likes of Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco.

While the global scene was taking shape, there were changes coming to the sport of shooting thanks to one young man, a California teenager named Doug Easton. In 1922, 15-year-old Doug, the grandson of a Scottish immigrant who arrived in the Bay Area in the 1840s, turned to making hand-carved bows, inspired by a book whose author learned from the ways of Native Americans.

Now one of the most respected brands in archery, Easton’s humble beginnings were fueled by pure chance and the result of an accident. This incident occurred a year earlier, in the fall of 1921. Doug was out hunting near his home in Watsonville in Northern California. He placed his gun on the fender of the family car. The gun slid and fired, hitting young Easton’s legs. He almost lost his left leg due to the injury, but he slowly recovered. While recovering, a friend gave Doug a book titled, hunting with bow and arrow, Written by Dr. Saxton Pope.

Gary Cornum has worked for Easton Technical Products since 1993 and is now Director of Marketing. He added: “This book contains instructions on how to make shooting equipment. He studied it for several months, and when Doug was healthy enough, he began making bows and arrows based on what he had learned. He was very meticulous, and improved his methods. He soon began manufacturing some impressive equipment that he regularly tested at a nearby park.

One day, a man approached Doug and said, “Oh my God, this is some really cool shooting equipment.” He thanked him for the compliment and during their conversation Doug discovered that the man was, incredibly, the book’s author, Dr. Saxton Pope. A freak accident followed by a chance encounter and Doug Easton (pictured right) was on his way excitedly!

Easton was encouraged by Dr. Bob, who himself was inspired by the last member of a Native American tribe known as the Yana. The Pope cared for and befriended the man he named Ishi, and he is a human being.

Ishii, who taught Bob how to make bows and arrows, died in 1916. The knowledge Ishii imparted to him formed the contents of the book that would ultimately change the course of Doug Easton’s life.

“He continued to make equipment for other archers,” Cornum continued. “He’s become very popular.”

Longbows and wooden arrows were what he was making at the time. He improved these products, creating and inventing bases that were on the front of wooden arrows to make them more durable. Easton would soon begin experimenting with other materials, relying on aluminum due to its more uniform weight and spine.

“He invented a method of producing aluminum arrows,” Cornum explained, “and it was a paradigm shift in archery in terms of the results and consistency in the groups that archers were getting with their equipment. It revolutionized archery overnight.”

Fifty years after the formation of the first Arc, Doug Easton died in December 1972, but that spirit of innovation lives on with his son Jim Easton (pictured). Easton then diversified into other sports, such as hockey and baseball. By the 1980s, they were experimenting again, this time moving from aluminum to carbon, offering aluminum-carbon hybrid products.

Easton Technical Products has been under Greg Easton’s direction since 2010, after his father Jim suffered a stroke. Jim sadly passed away in December at the age of 88.

There are very few companies still around, let alone still thriving, more than a century later. What started as just words in a book, ignited a flame under Doug Easton’s leadership. Grandson Greg is the third generation, driven by the same passion.

Easton prides itself on its world-class products but also speaks to the people behind the product when you look at what was returned. With the Easton Foundation, which began in 1984, the company has helped bring more to the sport. It supports growth from grassroots level to Olympic and Paralympic level. She has shown that she is invested in the sport and the people, providing grants and supporting shooting programs.

With centers of excellence in California, Florida and Utah, the Easton name has become synonymous with the sport of shooting, here and around the world.

“One of the keys to our survival is innovation and commitment to the sport,” Cornum said. “It is impossible to survive for 100 years if we are not on our game every day. The popularity and success achieved by the shooters who use our products is a testament to that, otherwise we would have gone away a while ago.” long.

“The other side of that is the passion that drives us. We don’t make a product that people buy because they have to. We make a product that people want to use and have a passion for photography. We’re all after those impactful moments on the treestand and on the podium at the tournament.

“As fellow shooters, Easton employees share the same drive to experience those moments. The products we make enable those experiences and this fuels our desire for continuous improvement.”

In the book that celebrates Easton’s 100th anniversary, the last page of the final chapter features a smiling Greg Easton (pictured right), along with the words, “The Easton name is built on a foundation of innovation and achievement. That legacy — not limited to Not only innovation, but also a passionate commitment to excellence – constant. We are the host of a story that grows richer with time.

“As much as the ways we work, play and live change, one thing remains constant. It’s about four things: Always be learning. Do it right. Make it better. And we do it together.”

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