Beginners Guide to Basic Archery Equipment
Originally developed for the purposes of hunting and warfare, archery is the skill or practice of shooting arrows with bows. While firearms have replaced bows and arrows as weapons of combat, the practice of archery lives on among recreational archers and bowhunters. Archery is an excellent hobby for people of all ages as it helds build physical strength, confidence, and sharp mental focus. Practicing and improving one’s skills and form on the archery range can be a fun and rewarding pastime while bowhunting––the practice of hunting game with a bow and arrow––remains a popular form of hunting in many rural areas. Many cities in the country have archery clubs and ranges where archers of all levels can go to practice.
Beginners Archery Equipment 101
As a novice, it is very important to gain a thorough understanding of the various types of equipment used in archery before making any purchases. The internet is a great resource for information about archery equipment and techniques for beginners. Here is an overview of necessary archery equipment and accessories.
The bow is a flexible, arc-shaped piece of equipment that uses a bowstring to create the force needed to propel arrows through the air. Traditionally made of wood, the two curved elastic limbs of the bow are strung together at their ends by a bow string. Today, most bows are made of strong, lightweight composite materials, carbon fiber, and metal components. The main types of bows found today are compound bows, recurve bows, and longbows. Recurve bows are widely considered to be the best choice for beginning archers. They are distinguishable by their outwardly-curved limbs that point away from the archer when unstrung. Before choosing a bow, it is important to have someone help measure your draw length. Your draw length is the distance between the drawn bowstring and the grip when in shooting position. To find your draw length, have someone take a tape measure to measure the distance between the tips of your middle fingers while you extend both of your arms out to either side forming a “T” shape. Dividing this length by 2.5 will give you a very precise idea of your draw length. Most archery supply stores should have an associate who can help you measure your wingspan and find your draw length with the help of a chart.
Arrows are the long projectiles shot by the bow. Arrow size is very important for safety considerations and has can significantly affect your accuracy as an archer. Choosing an arrow that is too short for your draw length can cause an arrow to fall off of the arrow rest and potentially lead to serious accidents. As a beginner, it is best to choose an arrow 3 or 4 inches longer than your draw length to be safe. Target arrows are significantly lighter than those needed for hunting. Standard target arrows with blunt tips will do just fine for beginning archers. Remember to buy arrows of the right length.
A number of accessories are available at most archery supply retailers. These include bowstring wax, silencers (for hunting), and sights to help archers improve their accuracy.