By Bruce Beal
We all appreciate our Second Amendment rights! But, in today’s climate, finding ammo can at times be frustrating and expensive. Enter archery!
Archery is addictive! Once the archery bug bites, most archers can’t seem to get enough of it.
The first time you release an arrow and watch it soar through the air is magical. It’s a captivating experience, even if your arrow completely misses the target.
One of the best things about Archery is that regardless of strength, sports ability, fitness, or weight; anybody can become a great archer with practice.
If you’ve tried archery or want to try archery, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s very easy to get started. Finding the time, equipment, and place to shoot is easier than you may realize.
When starting archery, you’ll need to invest in archery gear, a place to practice (like the Archery shack indoor range), and archery lessons. All of this sounds expensive, but archery doesn’t have to be pricey. You can custom-tailor your experience to match your budget.
Beginning archery enthusiasts will want to start with target-shooting practice. We caution beginners to not go to a big box store to buy your first bow. There are several types of bows and you’ll want help from a pro archer to get the best set up for you.
Compound bows are the most technological of your choices, identified by the string and pulley system and the way the bow curves back toward the shooter. They shoot faster and straighter than other bows. Most are lightweight and made of carbon.
Recurve bows are named for the way the tips of the bow curve away from the shooter. More traditional-looking than compound bows, recurve bows have fewer moving parts and shoot in a higher arc – think Robin Hood! They can be made of traditional wood or high-performance carbon.
Which is best for beginners? It depends. Compound bows are easier to shoot for most beginners because, while they take significant force to begin the draw (say 70 pounds of force), they take significantly less force to complete and hold the draw (maybe only 30 pounds). This means that the shooter can focus more on aiming than on straining to hold the bow back.
Recurve bows take the same amount of force for the whole draw, which means that beginners have to concentrate on holding their draw and aiming simultaneously. However, depending on the bow size, recurve bows may be easier to use all around (and may be best for children).
We recommend you try out multiple bows before you invest! We can measure you and fit you with the right equipment. Your bow’s draw length, which is simply the distance measured from a bow at rest and a bow drawn, needs to be compatible with your arm length. It’s also important that you choose a bow with a draw weight that you can manage. You want to choose the highest weight you can shoot comfortably. If it’s a big strain, it’s too heavy a weight. It is especially critical that children have the proper draw weight. Finally, ensure that you have the correct brace height. If the grip of the bow is close to the string, you’ll have more speed but less forgiving accuracy, and vice versa.
What about arrows? Arrows can range in price, and almost all are made of carbon or fiberglass. More important than the materials, however, is that the arrows selected coordinate with your bow. We’ll help you purchase arrows made for use with the bow you chose.
Bottomline… When it comes to archery equipment, you have endless options that fit every budget, skill level, purpose, and person. Our professional staff can get you started in the right direction. Archery is a highly individualized sport, and your equipment is tailored to fit you perfectly.
A beginner archer’s budget should also include archery lessons and shooting-range fees. When you’re just getting started, it’s more important to focus on your form and practice than the equipment. There is no need to own every archery gadget in the shop; you can stick with basic equipment while you work on technique. Once your shooting improves, you can upgrade your equipment at your own pace.
Get the kids involved so that you can spend time practicing together. You have many obligations vying for your time, but you can create room in your schedule for archery. Like any new pursuit, it’s all about setting priorities; with archery, this is easily justified by the many health benefits associated with the sport. Reduced stress, increased exercise, and improved focus are just some of the great benefits of practicing archery.
If your weekends are spent shuttling kids to different activities, make one of those activities archery. It’s one of the few sports the entire family can do together!
Also, be sure to make practice time convenient. If you are able, set up a target at home so you can shoot a few arrows before or after work. Even a close-distance target will keep you in prime shooting shape.
With a monthly or annual pass to the Archery Shack range, you can easily stop in to practice on your lunch break or on the way home. It’s not necessary to shoot for hours – 30 minutes of shooting is plenty to keep you in form.
If you’re short on time, money, practice space, or equipment, but have plenty of archery passion, you can make your archery dreams come true.
Come shoot with us!
Submitted by Bruce Beal, owner of the Archery Shack, Lubbock, TX. For more information, visit us online at ArcheryShackTexas.com and follow us on Facebook at @ArcheryShackTexas