Beginner’s Guide to Archery

Beginner’s Guide to Archery

Thanks to the large number of fantasy Middle Earth type movies, ancient bow bearing vigilante heroes and TV shows based on medieval era, more and more people are leaning towards the sport of archery. Well, it is very easy to move from being a mere observer to an amateur archer. There are a few basic things about archery for beginners that people should understand and then move forward accordingly.

Different Categories of Archery

There are three branches of Archery- Target, 3D, and field. For people who prefer outdoor sports, archery can be used to serve as a means of hunting as well.

Basic Equipment for Archers at Beginner Level

The choice of bow and arrow is an important one when it comes to archery for beginners. The local stores may offer a large variety that can be quite overwhelming for someone who is just starting out. There are two deciding factors that can help you make the right choice- the type of archery games you wish to play and your level of expertise in the game.

For competitive archery, bow styles are often categorized into separate divisions.

*Target Archery ~ Recurve Bows
*Field shooting ~ Compound; recurve; modern recurve; conventional longbows
*Robin Hood-style shooting ~ traditional longbow
*Shooting on different terrains ~ modern recurve bows, traditional bows
*Hunting (3D archery or field archery) ~ compound bows, crossbows, recurve or long bows

Choice of the bow; its size and shape also depend on the person’s age, height, and experience.

Where to Practice with Your Bow?

Most areas have archery shops. You need to pull up a map and find out the ones in your vicinity. These places often have a practicing range and shooting equipment available. Some also offer archery lessons that can help you learn the sport in a better way.

Safety Rules and Tips for Archery

Despite the intimidating equipment involved in the game, archery can be hailed as the safest sport that people can enjoy. It is easily safer than soccer, football, basketball and golf! You only have to follow a few simple rules, and you’re all set to play the game for as long as you want without ever having to worry about injury.

Making the Right Bow Choice

Length of the arrow

For beginner archers, the only deciding factor is the draw length when it comes to determining the length of the arrow. The rule of thumb is that the arrow should be an inch or two longer than the draw length. It is always safer to go with longer arrows rather than shorter ones.

Three Main Types of Bow

Recurve Bows

     *Only type that can be used in Olympics
     *Suitable for 3D archery and field archery

Compound Bows

      *Popular for field and 3D Archery
      *Also suitable for target shooting

Traditional Bows

     *Used in field archery, target archery, and 3D Archery
     *Serve well for greater draw weights in bowhunting

Choosing the right draw length

The distance between the grip and the bowstring is called draw length when the archer holds the bow to its full draw. The draw length plays an important part in improving the consistency and form while enhancing the accuracy of every shot. 

While there are many ways to determine the right length of the draw length, the wingspan method is the most popular one. It can be carried out in three simple steps:

      1-Spread out the arms away from the body to form T
      2-Measure the distance between the arms with the help of the measuring tape
      3-Use the standard draw length chart to determine the right draw length for you

It is important to remember that the draw length is likely to change for young archers as they grow mature over the years. The pullback weight is also likely to vary. These changes should be taken into account regularly so that the equipment is according to your size and stature.

Eye dominance

Everyone has a visual preference. It means that they favor the vision of one eye over another. This phenomenon is known as eye dominance. Before making the choice of a bow, you can visit the optometrist and determine your eye dominance. Eye dominance is not related to hand dominance. You may be right eye dominant, but that does not mean that you will be right-hand dominant as well. There is no co-relation between the two. There are few people who don’t have dominance for hand or eye.

Determining the Eye dominance:

      *Go to a place where you can see an object placed about 10-20 feet away
      *Keep the hands at arms’ length and create a 1” diameter circle
      *Keeping your eyes on the object, frame that object with the circle visually
      *Now bring your hands closer to the face while keeping the object in view
      *Your hands will automatically settle on the eye that is dominant

Sometimes, beginning archers don’t feel a preference for any eye and, in that case, it is recommended for them to use their dominant hand to draw the bowstring.


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