You’ve probably seen them before: people in the park, in a field, or at a range shooting arrows. But have you ever thought about learning how to shoot an arrow yourself? Learning archery is a great way to get outside and be active while enjoying the company of others who share your interest.
It can also be practiced on its own as a hobby for those who want something new to try that’s challenging but not too difficult. Here are some essential gear recommendations and must-haves for beginners! Let’s get started…
Compound or Recurve Bow?
Ok. It would help if you had a bow. There are two main types of bows that beginners can use: recurve bows and compound bows. They’re both great for archery beginners, but their differences include the physical size, complexity of the bow, and price.
Recurve bows are generally cheaper. Beginner recurve bows are available for around $120. They are technically not as powerful as compound bows. However, they’re easier to use and easier to set up. In the end, you “only” have the actual bow and a bowstring.
Compound Bows, on the other hand, are more expensive than recurve bows at $200+. They’re also quite complicated with adjustable cams, draw weights and draw lengths.
Either way, I strongly recommend that you go and visit your local archery store. The bow has to fit your needs – and especially for beginners, it could be too much of a hassle to figure out draw length, draw weight, etc.
The arrows you choose will depend on a few factors, including the type of bow you have, your draw length, and what archery equipment you want to buy. You can always build your own arrows, but I advise getting professional help picking your arrows if you are a beginner.
Again, the archery shop is your best bet. Remember that you don’t need the most expensive arrows, but they should be high quality enough to meet your needs.
String Slap. You may ask, what’s that? Well, trust me – you will know once it happens. Simply said, due to bad form, the bowstring hits your forearm when releasing the arrow. It hurts. This is why you should use an armguard.
Armguards are made of different materials like leather, rubber, silicone, etc. They also come in different sizes. Pick one that fits and feels good on your arm.
A chest guard is a great way to protect your chest area from string slaps. Once you experience it – I promise you will go and buy a chest guard right away. They are not expensive and are available in different sizes, colors, and materials.
Gloves, Releases, or Tabs
If you are shooting a recurve- or compound bow, you use a glove, finger tabs, or a release aid. All those serve only one purpose, to protect your fingers.
Pulling back the bowstring and releasing the arrow puts quite some stress on your fingers (and fingertips). In the long term, you could even damage the nerves in your fingers, shooting without any finger protection.
Archery gloves are made from leather or synthetic materials. They are available in different sizes, and you can buy a glove for $15-$20. Make sure it fits your hand/fingers. If possible, try it on and see if you like the feel.
Alternatively, you could use a finger tab. That is what I am using when I am shooting my recurve bow. Finger Tabs are also really affordable for around $10-$15. They will only protect the last three fingers of your draw hand (the ones that hold onto the string). You can find different tabs in different sizes, colors, and materials.
- Release Aid
Release aids are available in different colors, sizes, and functionalities. You can choose from thumb-button releases, wrist-strap trigger-finger releases. They can be a bit pricey, but they make a world of difference in the long run. For beginners spending something like $30-$50 should be sufficient.
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The best quiver for you will be entirely personal preference. There are many different styles to choose from, including back, hip, and shoulder. All three have pros and cons. Modern compound bow quivers are attached to the bow. But if you are a beginner, you probably are good with a “regular” quiver.
Bow Packages & Upgrades
There a quite a few decent bow packages available. Those include all the essential accessories you would need to get started with archery. Also, it’s always possible to upgrade your gear later on. If you already own a bow and would instead buy everything else separately to save some money, that’s also fine.
Cheap Bow Packages for Kids
Some bow packages are specifically designed for children. They generally come with lower draw weight and shorter draw length.
I hope this article provided some insight into what to look for when buying your first archery equipment. All the gear I mentioned is available online.
I strongly advise you to visit an archery shop. It’s worth the trip. Find out what draw length and size of bow fits you. Get some professional advice and pick the gear that fits your needs best. But most importantly: Have fun! Archery is a great sport. Remember, “The sky is the limit and there are no limits!”