If you’re wanting to know how to get started with archery you’ll require the patience to practice, focus, a bow and some arrows, a quiver, an armguard and maybe archery gloves.
This limited amount of gear is enough to get you out of the starting blocks and running.
There’s many thousands of archery enthusiasts in the world, it’s an activity that comes with a very rich history.
Originally, a bow was used as a hunting tool or weapon but today it is most often used for sport.
There are many styles of archery and numerous types of bows, the skill and concentration required to master such a unique weapon may have inspired you to learn archery but getting started can be a bit overwhelming.
There is a lot to learn about mastering a bow however this guide will teach you all you’ll need to know about getting started.
Is Learning How to Get Started With Archery Difficult?
Ask this little guy if it was difficult!!
Overall, it’s not hard to learn this sport really. You can learn the basic techniques of shooting and aiming, in one lesson. Mastery is what takes a long time to accomplish and become an experienced archer.
If you’re interested in archery competitions or at the very least want to be able to hit a target from 25 meters, that will take a little more time.
Accurate, consistent results require muscle strength and hours of practice. Traditional archery may look simple and effortless in the movies, but in real life, it’s a serious skill that requires time and dedication to master.
What Equipment is Used in Archery?
Clearly, the first things on your archery equipment list when learning how to get started is obviously a bow and some arrows.
You may already be checking oot compound bows, recurve bows, archery ranges and archery clubs. The thing is, there are so many varieties and styles of bows out there it can be difficult to choose.
The basics of archery equipment should include ~
For beginner archers, we recommend a recurve bow. This bow style is very popular and is currently the only style of bow allowed in the Olympics. The recurve bow is also more affordable than a compound bow because it’s a bit less complex. The other benefit of a recurve bow is its ease of use. Takedown bows can easily be broken down for storage and the limbs are also removable and make maintenance a breeze.
Surprisingly, arrows can actually be trickier to pick out than a bow. This is because you need to make sure you’re purchasing the correct arrow length for your bow. The generally accepted length of an arrow should be one inch longer than the draw length of your bow.
If you don’t have a bow the best way to calculate your draw length is to back up against a wall and stretch your arms out as far as you can along the wall (so as to form a cross of sorts) making sure they are horizontal.
Ask someone to measure the distance between the longest finger on each hand then divide the distance by 2.5, the answer you get is your draw length.
So, if the distance between your longest fingers is 75” and you divide that by 2.5 you end up with 30” which is the correct draw length for your size.
And... Don't Forget Your Quiver
Finally, the last really essential piece of equipment you need at this point is a quiver. A quiver holds your arrows and there are a few different options available.
Most TV shows and movies depict people using a back quiver, but people who do this sport recreationally typically use a hip quiver or field quiver because it’s a little easier to access the arrows.
Once you have all of your basic equipment, you can either start practicing by yourself or sign up for lessons at a local recreation or archers club.
Archery Information You Should Know
There’s various types of archery to explore and some are far more suitable for beginners than others. The group that better suits beginners includes target archery, field archery and flight archery. Today we’re going to talk about this group along with where to practice and safety.
This is a very popular choice and can be practiced indoors or outdoors, which makes it a great year-round sport. This option features a stationary target with a bullseye at the center.
This one also has targets but this one is strictly practiced outside. You follow a course, typically located in a woodland or over uneven terrain, and try to hit various targets set up along the course. The shots are all from different distances and usually at different elevations, as well, for an extra challenge.
This option isn’t about a stationary target. Instead, the goal of flight archery is to shoot your arrow the greatest distance and is a more advanced style and requires special performance equipment. However, it’s a fun competition to work toward after you’ve mastered the basics and are looking for a challenge.
Where to Practice Archery
It’s best to practice your skills at a range. Practicing in a designated space reduces the risk of injury and means you’ll have targets available to shoot at. Check for local ranges near you or join an archery club to start practicing.
Shooting your bow in your backyard is certainly an option, but a lot of towns have rules against shooting a weapon in residential areas.
If you’re going to set up your own range in the backyard, then make sure you check local ordinances first.
Best Practice Archery Safety
This pastime makes some people nervous because they worry it’s not a very safe activity. The truth is, however, that archery is safer than golf! Safety is built into the fabric of this sport so injuries at an archery field are very rare.
Whistles are used to indicate when it is safe to retrieve arrows, and beginners are all taught safety issues around archery during their first few lessons.
If you throw in some archery lessons to get your shooting style right first up and choose the right size bow, you’ll enjoy your archery experience way better and be winning archery competitions before you know it!
The archery community is a good one filled with great people so whether you’re into competitive shooting, bow hunting or target archery you will enjoy your experience immensely.
Following are some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis ~
“How Do You Get Really Good at Archery?”
To some degree it’s dependant upon the individual, some people simply ‘get it’ quicker than others. Your learning ability can also vary based on your mindset and the style of archery that you’re considering.
Many may disagree with me but I firmly believe that archery is played in your mind.
Great archers generally start off focussing on their physical form before they even consider the benefits of mindset and mental health.
There’s no doubt that this sport requires ongoing focus, attention and practice to weed out bad habits and to ensure that you constantly improve.
Achieving peak physical fitness alone won’t result in you shooting any better, but the right mental attitude will and for most of us, it can feel somewhat alien but it’s something we need to learn.
If you can be relaxed, free of anxiety, your mind totally and completely focussed on the job at hand, your body void of any muscular stress, then you’re more than halfway there.
Get this part right then work on your physical aspect!
“What Does a Beginner Archer Need?”
A selection of the basic requirements to get you going on your journey into the wonderful pastime that is archery.
Armguards – Many archers wear armguards, those that don’t clearly enjoy their forearm being constantly punished by the bowstring. These accessories stop this from happening and don’t they look super cool if they’re made from leather.
Tabs – We aim to cater for every archer and bow so here are three options to assist with releasing your bowstring.
For a compound bow, we strongly endorse the use of a release-aid. These cost around 50 bucks or so and the good news is, they last for many years if treated well. Prior to making your purchase do some research on our friend Google to find out what type best suits your style and equipment.
Gloves – This options will suit all the archers who finger-shoot. In movies we’ve seen Robyn Hood and every archer in any movie since, wear gloves. Gloves look uber cool, I like them and I’m sure you will too.
A Release – Next choice for archers who shoot using their fingers is a finger tab. A tab slips over one of the fingers that you use to draw and covers the inside of your shooting fingers. A lot of recurve archers wear a tab and not a glove to stop the leather wearing out too soon.
Quivers – Every archer will tell you that a quiver is a ‘must have’ piece of gear. How else can you carry a bunch of rows around all day?
I immediately think of quivers that you carry around on your back, but no! Things are changing, hip quivers and field quivers are becoming increasingly more popular
Your everyday hip quiver holds your arrow with the nocks facing away from your body which makes them much easier to reach. A field quiver secures the nocks face up to the rear which allows archers to grab an arrow that they probably can’t even see.
and… you’ll be the envy of the archery range if you choose one made from sumptuous leather!
A Bow Site… Should I or Shouldn’t I? – The majority of us are better archers if we’re using a bow with a bow-mounted sight. For not much money you can buy a bow site that’s suitable and it will allow you to compete with the ‘big dogs’.
You can easily reposition the site pin to the position that best suits you. Another worthwhile benefit is the dark finish that can be written upon to mark distances.
Bows – For around $100 you can get your hands on a recurve bow. These bows are easy to set up and start shooting. They’re available in several lengths and generally speaking, get one that’s around 2 inches of your height. It’s all right if the bow is taller than you.
When you buy a bow, and if it’s a recurve, make sure your purchase also includes a bowstring and an arrow rest. These two items are necessities and you cannot use your bow without them so ‘check in the box’ to make sure.
A Genesis compound bow is great for a beginner but if you’re wanting to go a little more upmarket, have a look at the Diamond Prism Compound Bow.
This bow is available in a selection of great colors and includes a sight, a peep and a rest. A Genesis bow does not have let-off and when drawing it feels more like a recurve bow.
Alternatively, a Diamond Prism actually has the feel and touch of a compound bow and costs less. Great value here.
Arrows – Selecting arrows is not as simple as you may think because you need to know your draw weight along with you draw length so the arrows are suitable for you.
Look for arrows that provide the best value, not necessarily the most expensive. You can actually make your own arrows but this job is best left to an accomplished archer.
Look for cost-effective beginner equipment and stay with it until you’re sure it’s your passion, but most importantly… enjoy!
“What’s a Good Starter Bow for a Woman?”
There’s something interesting happening in the archery world, there’s ever-increasing amount of women that are taking up this wonderful sport.
Suppliers of archery gear, not wanting to miss out on an opportunity, are embracing this change and in response and manufacturing more bows and archery gear for woman and indeed younger people.
There’s never been a more opportune time for the ladies to get into this sport as the equipment options are growing.
However…there are some decisions to be made.
Do you fancy a traditional bow or a modern bow?
What I mean when I say a traditional bow is these are the types that you see in advertisements and retail outlets, I’m referring to recurve bows and longbows.
As for the modern bow I would refer to these as compound bows. These bows are very popular because of their superior performance in terms of power and accuracy.
Their superior power is generated using sets of wheels and cams however the bow i actually easier to use than either a longbow of a recurve bow.
By design, the draw weight of these bows is more user-friendly as it’s easier to draw your bow compliments of the cams and pulleys.
As a result the compound bow is well suited to a woman.
“Why is Concentration so Important in Archery?”
It doesn’t take much to destroy a shot. A slight movement or something off in the distance catches your attention and it’s all over red rover!
To a large degree, archery is played in your mind and the smallest ‘thing’ can have an effect on your concentration. Once your concentration is broken you’ll have to restart your preparation routine and refocus your mind.
Champion archers who have a steely mindset do much better than those that don’t so invest much time focussing on this aspect of their game simply because it pays big dividends.
“How high Concentration Sports Can Help”
Sport and general activity play an important part in maintaining good mental health. That said, having a jog around the block won’t have an effect on either.
When a suitable amount of exercise is done it does have a positive effect on your state of mind.
This is a result of our brain releasing chemicals.
Where you aware that the warm and fuzzies you feel from a good cuddle are the result of a totally different chemical sensation than the natural high you experience from a long bike or jog?
So from where does our happiness come from, what gives us the sensation of happiness, fun and enjoyment in archery and everything else?
That’s right… the chemicals in your brain!
They are ~
These 4 key chemicals are responsible for all the positive emotions that you (hopefully) experience each and every day.
By you knowing why these chemicals work on an artisan level, you’re able to make an informed decision on whether the latest trends will have a positive or negative effect on your basic wellbeing.
Practicing routines that require a short, intense concentration are essential to success not only in sport, but also in your general outlook on life as well as your mental health.