Things You Need to Get Started with Barebow Archery

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If you are interested in learning more about barebow archery, you should check out this blog post. Here, I will go over what you need to start practicing. 

What is Barebow Archery?

Barebow archery is a form of archery that involves shooting without a bow sight or any other aids (except for an arrow rest).

It has given barebow archery some level of popularity. Because not only can it be practiced by people of all ages, but it also minimizes the need to buy expensive equipment. This makes barebow archery more accessible than other kinds of archery.

The Bare Essentials You Need to Get Started

You can find the official definition by World Archery in their rulebook (barebow division):

“A bow of any type provided it complies with the common meaning of the word bow as used in target archery, that is, an instrument consisting of a handle/riser and grip (no shoot-through type) and two flexible limbs each ending in a tip with a string nock. The bow is braced for use by a single string attached directly between the two string nocks, and in operation is held in one hand by its grip while the fingers of the other hand draw and release the string.

The bow as described above shall be bare except for the arrow rest and free from protrusions, sights or sight marks, marks or blemishes or laminated pieces (within the bow window area) which could be of use in aiming. The unbraced bow complete with permitted accessories shall be capable of passing through a hole or ring with a 12.2cm inside diameter +/-0.5mm.”


Here is a list of the gear that is allowed: 

  • Riser
  • Limbs
  • Bowstring
  • Plunger
  • Arrow-Rest
  • Finger Tab
  • Arrows
  • Quiver

Why Barebow Archery is so Great for Beginners

Barebow archery is an excellent way for beginners to get started because barebow archery doesn’t need a lot of equipment. In barebow, each shooter simply needs to practice certain aspects of the sport to improve upon them until they become skilled enough to participate in tournaments.

Your archery stand and your overall form have a significant impact on the shots your barebow makes. Beginners usually start with draw weights around 25- to 30 pounds. Which again makes barebow archery attractive for people of all ages to get started.

Most guys are prone to starting out with too high of draw weights. Yes, maybe you can draw 45 pounds – but how does your form look like? And even more importantly, how often can you draw 40 pounds without ruining your shoulders/elbows? Start with lower draw weights and work your way up!

The Benefits of Barebow Archery

The use of barebow archery can also be an excellent way to relax and relieve stress. When you shoot barebow, you focus on your form and breathing rather than on the equipment. Thus barebow archery also makes it easier to develop an almost meditative state of mind.

And if you feel like competing? Sure thing. There are plenty of tournaments to participate in with barebow equipment. 3D, Field, Indoor, and Outdoor Target Archery. You name it!

How Do Barebow Archers Aim?

In barebow archery, there isn’t anything called a “sighting device.” Instead, you use your eyesight to line up where you want to shoot. This requires different methods of aiming.

Here are different methods barebow archers use to aim

  • String walking
  • Face walking
  • Instinctive shooting
  • Gap shooting 

String Walking

In string walking, the position of your fingers pulling the bowstring will influence if an arrow hits higher or lower. The further away from the target, the higher the grip.

The markings on the finger tabs are used for string walking. Each marking represents a certain distance. It takes some time to learn how to use this method effectively, but barebow archers usually find it very useful.

Face Walking

Face walking means that you have different anchor points in your face. By positioning your anchor higher or lower in your face, you again influence if your arrow hits high or low.

Instinctive shooting

The term “instinctive archery” refers to a technique in which you shoot your arrows without conscious effort, without an aiming system or mechanism.

Gap shooting 

Basically, you aim with the tip of your arrow, point-on distance. After shooting enough arrows, you know your distance. So if you are shooting at a target farther away from your point-on distance – aim higher. How much? Depends on your bow setup – your experience will tell you.

There is more to the methods mentioned above. But I am not going into depth here. Still, I will be writing a barebow archery article about how to aim in the future.


Unlike “regular” archery, barebow archery doesn’t need a lot of equipment, making barebow an attractive option for beginners. A bow and an arrow are the bare minimum. When barebow archers start out, they often use low draw weights, around 25-30 pounds, which allows smaller framed people to get involved.

It’s essential to work on one’s form rather than focusing on the equipment when barebow archery is learned. Barebow can also be good for relieving stress and developing an almost meditative state of mind. And barebow archers can compete in barebow tournaments, such as 3D, Field, Indoor, and Outdoor Target Archery.

Alexander Knobloch

Hi, I'm Alex, the owner of BowAddicted. I've been shooting recurve bow since 2019 and recently got into string walking. I'm passionate about archery, the outdoors, and my kids. This journey has had its share of ups and downs, but the moments spent outside with friends and family are truly worth it. Feel free to get in touch!

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