Archery for Beginners: Tips for Getting Started with a Compound Bow

Posted on: December 22, 2016

Archery is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding to see yourself improve with practice. But it’s also important to start off on the right foot by getting the proper archery equipment for beginners. Here’s a quick guide explaining basic archery supplies and how to choose the right gear for the best results.

Determine Your Eye Dominance

Whether you shoot left-handed or right-handed doesn’t actually have anything to do with your hand dominance (i.e., the hand you to write with). Instead, it’s all about eye dominance. Test your eye dominance by focusing on an object far away, centering it in a triangle with your hands. Close one eye. Notice where the object is in relation to the center of the triangle. Now switch to closing the other eye. The eye that’s open when the object remains centered in the triangle is your dominant eye.

Measure for Draw Length

One mistake that many novice archery enthusiasts make is using a hand-me-down bow that’s not properly fitted for their size. Have an archery shop measure you for draw length, which is usually defined as the wingspan of your arms outstretched, middle fingertip to middle fingertip, divided by 2.5. A proper draw length will give you better shooting form and, thus, better accuracy.

Find a Comfortable Draw Weight

Likewise, the weight of your bow is important for proper form, especially since archery works a unique set of muscles. If you work with too heavy a bow at the start, you could strain your back and your shooting accuracy will suffer. It’s better to start with a lower poundage and work your way up.

Choose Equipment for Your Goals

Another important consideration when choosing archery equipment for beginners is what you plan to do once you’ve improved your skills. Are you an indoor target shooter, or do you plan to go bow hunting? Hunters spend an average $1,638 every year on the sport, so investing in a quality bow from the start will pay for itself after enough time and practice.

We recommend these compound bows for archery beginners:

  • Bear Cruzer
  • Bowtech Fuel
  • Diamond Infinity Edge Pro
  • Parker Lightning

Once you’ve gotten the proper equipment set up, it never hurts to take a few lessons with an instructor to make sure your form and technique are correct. Remember, as with any sport or skill, it takes time and practice to get better. So be patient with yourself, and keep on shooting!

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