Archery is an exciting, fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Still sound like an activity you want to try? Well if the answer is yes, than you have come to the right place. Don’t be put off by all the high tech gadgets and thing-a-ma-bobs that you may see all over the internet if you have already googled archery equipment. Let’s break what you need down into a nice shopping list that can be altered to fit anyone’s budget.
1 – The Bow – Long Bows – usually made of one continuous piece of wood like“`Robinhood“ would have used. Recurve bows – Slightly more advanced than the long bow. Often made in three pieces (but can be 1 piece), which need to be assembled. Consisting of a riser and two limb sections made with modern materials such as aluminum, fiberglass and wooden composites. Compound bows – risers made from lightweight aluminum with fiberglass limbs and cams that create the energy in the string to propel the arrow. Choose the right style of bow to suit your liking and experience level, you can always move up to a more advanced model as you learn and grow.
2 – Arrows – the selection of arrows on the market today is extensive. From wood, aluminum to carbon, each has its purpose and there are multiple sizes and lengths. All arrows have a shaft (main body) that has three fletching’s (feathers, plastic vanes) that stabilize the arrow in flight. The Nock at one end of the shaft seats the arrow onto the bow string. Depending on your target, the arrow is either tipped with a practice point (field point or target point) or if your hunting with a broadhead.
3 – Release Aid – you have a couple options here. First you should learn to shoot using your fingers with either a shooting glove or finger tab on your string drawing hand. The other option is using a mechanical release aid that you hold in your hand or strapped to your wrist. These aids attach to the bow string and release the string due to a mechanical function much like pulling a trigger.
4 – Arm Guard – looks like a splint that is rigid and straps over the forearm of the bow holding arm. It provides some protection from the bow string contacting your arm when released. Also used to keep any baggy sleeves tucked in out of the strings path when released and returning to its home position.
5 – Quiver – provides a nice place to hold and organize your arrows. Can be a simple standing tube on the ground, some are more fashionable and hang around your waist or over your shoulder on your back and for hunting attach to the side of your bow.
6 – Arrow Rest – if shooting a longbow the arrow rest is often a “ledge or shelf“ cut into the bow just above where your hold on with your hand. Modern day equipment is a bite more sophisticated. These rests are more advanced and tailored to the method you use to release the arrow. (ie: using a mechanical release or fingers discussed in item #3) One thing they all have in common is they are a resting, holding, launching pad for the arrow.
7 – Sight – attaches to the riser of the bow with an adjustable pin or marking used to aim at your target. Most have adjustability for up/down and left/right. Basic models are a pin or aperture, more advanced models have finer adjustments and magnified lenses similar to a rifle scope complete with a level bulb. Not a mandatory item, but a useful addition.
8 – Stabilizer – the long weighted attachment usually below the bow grip on the riser. The stabilizer helps steady the bow while aiming but has a second function after the arrow is released to absorb the excess energy and vibration in the bow. Not a mandatory item, but a nice addition.
9 – Target – there are many different targets on the market, most are square in shape but some are 3d replicas of wild game that many choose to practice on to simulate hunting conditions and anatomy. When choosing a target things to think about are: is it big enough, is it durable, can it easily be moved, is it sturdy, will more than one person be shooting at it?
10 – Club – Joining a good club can be a great benefit. Most clubs have a come and see approach before you sign up for a membership. They also may have equipment you can use or be loaned out as part of a trial membership, so you can truly get a feel if archery is the sport for you, before you make a large investment. Another benefit with joining a club is the knowledge base of the membership. You can always find a more advanced archery willing to give tips, tricks and help if not answer your questions.
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