So you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings or the Hunger Games or you’ve always wanted to give archery a shot. So, where do you begin? Here’s some quick advice on how to get started in archery.
Start Archery: Where do you begin?
To sum up, if you want to get into archery there are a couple of ways to go about this.
You could buy your own bow and have a bit of a shot with it. You can spend $150 to $200 on a takedown recurve and that will last you for a while.
You can go for a much cheaper bow to satisfy a short-term interest.
Also, you can take lessons from an archery club and get a feel for what archery is. If you do that, you can skip these lower tiers and start thinking about your first serious archery investment.
But above all, have fun. Whether you join the club scene or you’re messing around at home there’s no point investing in archery if you don’t enjoy it.
Find A Club
The best thing you can do is to find your local archery club and ask about their programs.
You can also search online to find your local archery organizations. Even archery stores have contacts for archery clubs.
Archery clubs will almost and always have some sort of beginner program designed just for the sake of introducing you to archery.
Often, these are one-off sessions with no mid-term or long-term commitments.
Different clubs have different structured programs. Some will have a prescribed program that they’ll teach you from. Others will let you shoot and learn on a casual basis.
Advantages of Joining Archery Club
Taking lessons from a club is a good pathway for the following reasons.
- You will learn the fundamentals of archery including equipment, technique, and safety.
- All the equipment is provided for you.
- Training is provided to you by experts.
- You’ll get a feel for whether or not you like archery at a minimal cost.
- You’ll be around other people with the same interest. And meeting people is one of the big hooks for people to get into archery.
- Plus, you can get advice from more experienced archers about what to get and where to go.
So, if you don’t know much about archery and you just want to give it a go this is the place to do so.
Getting A Bow
Many people have the impression that you need to get a bow in order to do archery. And it kind of makes sense – I mean, how do you do archery without a bow? So, you start looking up things and doing research, and asking for recommendations.
Dont’t buy a bow in the beginning
My recommendation is to actually not get a bow to begin with. Here’s why:
Archery Clubs provide equipments
If you’re taking lessons from a club the club will provide the equipments (bow, quiver, etc…) for you. You could buy your own bow, but the entry-level stuff you can buy is probably the same things they will use at the club.
It’s the same as how you don’t have to own your own golf clubs or bowling balls in order to try out golf or bowling. Nor do you have to own a gun to go to a shooting range. So it’s kind of a waste of money to buy equipment that you can already use.
Lack of long term commitment
Another reason why you should hold off on getting a bow is that you probably won’t know whether you’ll take up archery as a pursuit until you’ve had a few sessions of archery.
Many people will invest in a bow but they find they lack the time, passion, and commitment to continue archery.
Lack of knowledge
Additionally, you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about what style of archery you want to do. After you’ve had a few sessions and spoken to different people, you’ll be able to make a better judgment as to why you actually want to do archery.
For example, you may take up archery as a recreational activity or a sport or to go hunting. You might develop a preference for compound or recurve or longbow. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to make specific decisions about what you want.
Essentially, I don’t feel like you have to get a bow early. You can save a bit of stress and perhaps a bit of money if you take the time, get a feel for archery before you invest in equipment.
If you want to get a bow
Let’s say you just want a bow.
Maybe you just want something to mess around within your backyard. Maybe you can’t find a club.
You might want to get something for your partner or for your kids to see if they are interested in archery.
Decent archery equipments
While it’s easy to search up cheap bows on Amazon or Ebay but many of these bows are budget buys that are more like toys than archery equipments
If you really want to give someone a good taste of archery and getting decent gear, I recommend getting a takedown bow. These cost around $100-$200. Popular examples include the Samick Sage, the Fuse Focus, the SF Optimo, and the PSE Razorback but there are dozens of these and they are all very similar.
While you can find these on Amazon or eBay it’s usually a better idea to purchase from an archery store.
If you don’t have one nearby, buying online is a good option. Some popular stores include Lancaster Archery in the USMerlin Archery in the UK and Abbey Archery in Australia. But there are dozens of stores you can find online. Google is your friend.
Archery stores have a much wider range of options for beginners and advanced archers and often have packages to get someone started. Additionally, they can tailor a kit just for you so you have the things that you need.
Stores are used to dealing with beginners all the time and they will happily walk you through the things that you need. If you’re in doubt, don’t hesitate to send them an email or give them a call.
Bow on Amazon and ebay
You can find some seemingly good bargains on Amazon or eBay such as fiberglass bows or junior kits that can go under $50 and they have positive reviews so they look like good buys.
I’ll be honest here. As an archer, I find it hard to recommend these. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s that they’re aimed at people who aren’t archers.
The positive reviews usually come from people with little to no archery experience.
A lot of the time, archery stores don’t bother stocking these items. You can only buy them off sites like Amazon.
When to buy bow from Amazon
A situation where getting bow from amazon wouldn’t be a bad idea would be if you have kids who want to try archery but you know they don’t want to actually commit to it. So they fill in that curiosity niche.
The kids have something to shoot and they grow out of.
If you just want something that you can bring out to your backyard, they’re okay.
But understand that you get what you pay for. Shooting a cheap plastic or fiberglass bow isn’t as satisfying as shooting the real thing.
Now, I’m expecting a bit of hate for that comment but look, if you’ve got one of these bows and you love it that’s fair. All I’m saying is that you probably won’t find these bows in the field or on the range.