Your first bow

So, you’ve decided you want to get your first bow…

Whether you’re looking to get a compound or recurve bow, please do yourself a really big favour and DO NOT go to your nearest general sports store which happens to sell a bow or two.
A store that does not specialise in archery equipment will be unlikely to give you any advice that would be worth a pinch of salt and would only be interested in a sale.
Rather speak to your local archery club, or friends that have been doing archery for some time. Certain aspects of your bow need to be selected to suit you and all too often people are sold bows that are not appropriately configured and the hopeful archer gets disillusioned by the sport and gives it up, quite possibly just because they were sold an incorrect kit setup.
There are many choices in selecting archery kit, some of them are merely cosmetic and therefore easy enough, but some can be fairly technical and should not be undertaken by the inexperienced.

At our local club, when we get first-timers coming to try their hand at archery, we discourage them from purchasing a bow until they’ve decided they really do want to carry on with the sport. There are many who come for a few lessons and then realise that archery is not really for them. If they’d gone out and bought a bow they’d then have regretted spending all that money on something they’d no longer be using. Once a student has been coming to lessons for a few months and decides they’re going to continue with archery and would like to purchase their own bow, we assist them especially with the important choices like limb length and weight and therefore arrow selection.

We don’t stop there, just because the student has purchased their own equipment. We will assist with the bow setup and we encourage the students to continue coming for “coaching”, it’s not about trying to make more money off them, we just want them to “acclimatise” to their new kit as it’s typically quite a different feel to the club kit that they started on. Ultimately it’s up to them whether they still want to continue with instruction, but of course being a club member by then they can make use of the range at any time and practice on their own, which most tend to do.

To all those out there that think “archery is easy, just pull the string with an arrow, point it where you want it to go and let go”, I challenge you to find your local archery club or corporate event facility that offers “archery” and give it a go. You’ll discover that it’s not as easy as it’s made out to be (Hollywood be damned) and you may even discover that you actually enjoy it and want to try it again. If you do decide you’d possibly enjoy the sport and want to continue a while then ensure you find a proper archery club that offers at least semi-formal instruction, most corporate event facilities that claim to offer archery will seldom have instructors that will teach you to correct techniques, remember they’re there to offer a couple of hours of fun shooting some arrows, not to turn out competent archers…

It’s very important before you get your first bow, and once you have it, to familiarise yourself with the equipment used in archery, especially if you plan on shooting some tournaments, so that when other archers start talking in archery jargon you can follow and potentially take in some information or advice too.

Have fun, but always shoot safe…

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