Archery is increasingly growing in popularity due to its fun, challenging and competitive nature. Archery is basically the act of accurately propelling an arrow from a bow, thus the coined term bow and arrow. Archery has been in existence ever since the beginning of time and has been evolving ever since into what it is today.
Archery for Beginners can be a bit overwhelming as there is a lot of information, techniques, and different types of archery equipment that is associated with the sport of archery. The purpose of this article is to give archery beginners a basic understanding of what archery is and how to get started in the sport.
What is Archery?
Archery can be defined as “the art or practice of propelling arrows with the use of a bow”. Archery has been around since the beginning of time and was used to hunt and as a means to fight in wars. Archery today has evolved quite a bit since the invention of it long ago. Today there are many bow types, models and accessories.
Common Archery Terms
Arrow: A wooden, aluminum or carbon based projectile with a head and feathers on the back for stability
Quiver: A container for holding arrows.
Broadhead: An arrow head configured with razor blades that is used for hunting
Rest: A stand type archery accessory used to hold the arrow shaft
Draw Weight: The weight equivalent it takes to draw a bow to full draw.
Draw Length: The total length of the string when at full draw. Measured from the tip of your fingers to the center area of your throat.
String Loop: An addition to the bowstring for attaching your release to. Used to prolong the life of your bowstring.
Limbs: The part of the bow that is compressed when the bow is drawn back.
Nock: A plastic piece that affixes to the back of an arrow so that it can be locked onto the bow string.
Release: A mechanical device with a trigger that you attach the the bow string. Used to help you draw the bow.
Sight: A bow accessory that contains pins that can be adjusted. Used for aiming at the target.
Types of Archery Bows
There are basically 4 types of bows that you can choose from when beginning archery. The following is a list of the 4 types of bows and a description of each:
Compound – A bow that has cams and/or wheels that the string uses instead of just attaching to the bow limbs. A compound bow is a new type of bow and one of the more popular types and can have added advantages such as let-off, increased speed, smoother draw cycles and the availability of adding more accessories.
CrossBow – This is gun type of a regular bow. The crossbow features a stock and trigger just like a gun, but instead of a barrel has a shelf where the arrow sits on top of and is propelled by the bow string. This is another very popular option and also comes with the ability to add accessories.
Traditional Bow – This is the original type bow so to speak. It is basically just a piece of wood or other type of material with notches cut into the tip of the limps where the string attaches to. There is no let-off and does not allow for the addition of accessories. This type of bow is slowly gaining in popularity as it is more of a challenge to shoot and master.
Recurve Bow – A recurve bow is essentially the same concept as the traditional type bow, however the limbs are curved back a bit.
Things to Avoid doing in Archery
1. Never Fire a bow without an Arrow, this can destroy the bow and injure you.
2. Make sure that you are gripping the bow properly in order to avoid being hit with the bowstring.
3. Keep your index finger behind the trigger of the release. This will help keep a tight grip on the string and will also help you to avoid accidental release which could leave you with a black eye and or a bloody nose.
4. Avoid buying your first bow from Ebay or a Pawn shop as most of the time they are not the proper draw weight or draw length for you. They are also usually overpriced.
5. Don’t try to draw too much weight. Draw weight can be deceiving, it utilizes muscles that are not often used in normal everyday life. Pulling too much weight can destroy your rotator cuff and can ruin your ability to shoot in the future.
Buying your First Bow
Archery for Beginners can be quite expensive at first until you have your basic equipment. As with any sport there are expensive lines of archery equipment and there are cheaper lines of archery equipment. The expensive equipment is not always better than the cheaper equipment, like any other equipment you are paying for the name and popularity of the item as well. The best thing to do is to try before you buy. You may find that you like how the cheaper model of bow shoots better than the more expensive one.
When buying your first bow it is also essential that you buy a bow that fits you perfectly. This can be done by [determining your draw length] and then buying a bow with that particular draw length. One of the biggest problems with buying a bow that does not fit you is the inconsistency of your shooting which will just end up frustrating you beyond belief.
One of the best places to buy your first bow is from a smaller archery shop. The smaller shops usually have lower overhead(cheaper prices), and more personable staff that can spend more time with you, teaching and informing you of general archery shooting. If you do not have any smaller shops around then you can go to a larger archery shop. The biggest thing to remember is to try different bows before you buy one.
Where to practice?
Once you have purchased your bow and the rest of your archery equipment you will need a place to shoot. More often than not you can buy and setup a target in your backyard, however if you live in city limits you will need to do some research to find some local archery clubs that you can go and shoot at. These clubs are great for learning more and for picking other archers brains about archery related information.
Archery is a great sport and is a whole lot of fun once you get into it. You should have a pretty good general idea about archery and if it sounds like something you want to do then I encourage you to get out there and get into it.