Archery is a great sport that is rewarding on many different levels. However,to enjoy your entry to the sport, there are a few pitfalls to avoid for the beginner. This is particularly relevant when it comes to investing in the right equipment to get started. This beginners guide will introduce you to the basics of getting started. You are welcome to contact the club for further information.
1. Don’t buy cheap archery gear online or from generic sports stores or department stores
Archery is a sport of precision. This precision is a combination of developing the physical skills and possessing the right equipment. A novice can shoot surprisingly well with a decent entry level bow, however, even a skilled archer will not get much out of a cheap bow typically sold on e-bay or in department stores or generic sports stores.
Take it from us, it is always disappointing to see an eager young child turn up at the club with his or her well meaning parents who have bought them a cheap bow. Regardless of the natural talent a novice may possess, it won’t be reflected by using cheap equipment. The experience of shooting a rubbish bow is demoralising.
Your physical skills will develop very quickly in just a few practice sessions.The last thing you want to do is have to replace poor quality equipment within days as your skill level outgrows the ability of your gear.
2. Visit a professional archery store to get fitted to your bow
Your first bow in particular should be purchased from a professional archery supplier who can fit you to your bow. Your arm length (known as draw length),age and strength are all relevant factors to be measured.
In addition, you will be able to get good advice on the different styles of bows, and the different styles of archery.
There are two well known archery stores in Sydney and we recommend you contact either or both of them for advice in getting started. Both stores sell good quality entry level packages that include a good entry bow and arrows for the novice archer.
There are also some very reputable online dealers based in Australia. However, as it is important to get fitted for your first bow, we really do recommend you visit a store.
3. Never ‘dry fire’ a bow
A fully drawn bow contain an enormous amount of energy. This energy is transferred to the arrow when you release the string. If you release a bow string without an arrow,the consequences can be catastrophic and may even destroy the bow entirely. This is called a ‘dry fire.’Don’t do it.
4. Your arrows must be matched to your bow
An arrows weight is measured in grains ( not grams), and a bow’s draw weight is measured in pounds. As a basic guide, you need 5 grains of arrow weight for every pound of a bow’s draw weight. Therefore a 60lb bow requires a minimum 300 grain arrow. Shooting an arrow lighter than 5 grains per pound can result in a ‘ dry fire’ type of event that can destroy a bow. Likewise, shooting an arrow that is too heavy will affect accuracy.
To ensure you have the correct arrows for the bow you are shooting, only shoot the arrows that have come with your bow package. Never shoot a traditional timber arrow from a modern compound bow and don’t shoot arrows from any bow if you are unsure that they have been correctly matched to the bow you are shooting.
Don’t fall for the trap of buying cheap arrows online thinking you can shoot them from any bow you might purchase.