Is archery right for you or your child?
Let's Get to Business!
Navigating through all the different aspects of archery is challenging, but we are here to help, no matter what age or skill level you are. Scott and I have been through it, and continue to go through it, as parents of archers and as Certified USA Archery Judges. If you choose to accept this challenge, this message will not self destruct, and we will help you get introduced to the archery community and help you get involved.
There are so many different reasons to get into archery. Maybe it is to hunt? Maybe it is to compete? Maybe it is to do both of those. Maybe it is to just have fun. Once you have your reason, your why, you have to determine if archery is right for you or your child. We are here to help you figure this out. If you are ready to go, we will help you determine what equipment is needed to get started.
Is this sport right for you, or your child? If you are getting your child into archery, who wants it more, you, or your child? Archery can be expensive. I said it CAN be. There are different price points where you can make it budget friendly or as expensive as you want. You want to make sure you are investing in something that is liked. Scott and I had our kids try it out. He and his wife had Ryan try out archery with 4-H. My husband and I signed our daughter up for a session at Kids College. If we knew what we know now, would we do it again? Absolutely! Both of us started out simple. Scott started out simple because he was learning and wanted to make sure Ryan liked it. It did not take long for him to go all in. My family was, and still is, on a budget. Also, I just knew Julia would like it a few months and get tired of it just like dance. Boy was I wrong. Regardless of why we got started, we made sure our kids liked it, and we started out with entry level bows. Once we had more knowledge and our kids started growing, so did their equipment and the cost of the equipment. Again, please do not get scared off by the price! Archery can be done on a budget. My kids are proof of that.
You have your reason for getting into archery. You know it could be costly, time and money, but where do you go? Because of us, you know you could go the 4-H route or go to a camp. Another option is to check out a local archery shop. Most archery shops will help you try out the equipment. By going to an archery shop, you have the benefit of talking with people who know archery and will help you get into the equipment to fit your reason, hunting/competition/fun, and help you get into the equipment that fits your budget. There are hunting bows and target (competition) bows. There are bows people use to hunt and compete with. Do you know if you are right or left eye dominant? This is information needed to help you get the bow that fits you. You do not know the answer to that question? No worries. The fine folks at the archery shop will help you figure this out. Do not be afraid to ask questions! There is NO way our kids would be where they are today if we did not ask questions. To this day, I call Scott and ask questions.
Can you get one bow that the whole family can use? Not really. The bow needs to fit the archer. Your wingspan will determine the draw length of the bow needed. You do not know the answer to this question? As I said before, no worries. As you put your back against a wall, stretch your arms out against the wall like you are flying. Wingspan is the length between the tip of your longest finger to the tip of your longest finger on the other side. Take that length and divide it by 2.5. Now you have your draw length. Confusing? No worries. Head on over to an archery shop and they will help you figure it out. That is part of what they do. Why do you need to know this? Bows have a certain range of how far you can draw, or pull, the string back. A ten year old will not have the same draw length as an adult because a child does not have as long of a wingspan as an adult. A different draw length means a different bow. Can bows grow with a person? Yes. Most bows are adjustable. That does not mean a kid can shoot a bow and change it right quick so an adult can go shoot it. Once the draw length is set, it will stay that way unless the archer grows or you are ready for a new bow. Then there is draw weight. Draw weight is how much strength it takes to draw back the string. We had length. Now we have weight. This is also adjustable, but, again, it does not mean a kid can shoot a bow and change it right quick so an adult can go shoot it. Oh! I can’t forget to mention the length of the bow. In compound bows it is called axle to axle, or the ATA. Most hunting bows are on the shorter side. Target bows tend to be on the longer side because this gives more stability. Recurve bows normally fit the height of the archer.
Remember when I said it is a great idea to head on over to an archery shop? Now you know the reason why. Those working in the shop will be able to fit a bow to you and your needs.
Okay, you got a bow. What about arrows? What spine are you getting? Wait! Maybe I need to explain what the spine is. It is not a ridge down the middle of an arrow. It is a number describing the stiffness of an arrow. The stiffer an arrow is, the lower the number will be. The stiffness ranges anywhere from 250 to 700. When we first got into archery, we were told hunters use a lower spine, a stiffer arrow. That would mean target archers, or competitive archers, use a more flexible arrow, one with a higher spine. That is not always the case. There are a lot of variables to factor in when choosing arrows. The basics are your draw length, your draw weight, and the length of your arrows. For kids, Scott normally puts them in 500 spine arrows. By now, you can probably guess what I am going to say next. Those working in an archery shop will be able to get you with the right arrows.
It easy to get overwhelmed with all the information, but do not let it. We are here to help. We want you to get started with the right equipment. Otherwise, you will be frustrated and have spent money on equipment that is not right for you.
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