How To Pick The Perfect Bow
To practice archery effectively, you need a bow that suits your needs and fits your body. The wrong bow will be difficult to pull and won’t produce the force required to properly launch arrows. It can be tough for a beginner to choose, but some basic archery knowledge and a little bit of preparation will make the decision easier. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the right choice.
Decide how you will use the bow
Target archers generally prefer longer bows because they are easier to draw and provide more stability. However, if you’re a hunter, the physical weight and arm length of the bow are more important — a bulkier bow is harder to carry through the woods and more difficult to fire from tight spaces.
Choose between compound and recurve
Compound bows are typically easier to aim and pull; recurve bows require more experience and skill for accuracy. Although a compound bows may be easier to pick up and use, a recurve bow can be a better choice for beginners since you have to develop proper shooting skills without depending on the built-in guides.
Measure your draw length
Draw length is the distance that you can naturally draw a bowstring. To get a rough measurement, stretch out your bow hand and make a fist. Place your fist against the wall, assume the proper posture for shooting and have someone measure from the wall to the corner of your mouth. Your bow hand is always your favoured hand — the right for right-handed archers and left for lefties.
Identify your draw weight
Draw weight is the amount of force required to pull the bow string. The ideal draw weight is based on a combination of size and strength. For example, an average-strength but larger-framed archer might choose a draw weight of around 50 lbs, while a stronger but smaller, or larger but average-strength archer might need a draw weight of 30-35 lbs. If you’re a target archer, you’ll fire many rounds in succession so you should choose a lighter draw weight to avoid getting tired quickly.
Buy a bow from an archery specialist
An experienced archery specialist can help make sure you buy the right equipment and give you the best advice. Look for a store with an experienced archer on staff to ask the right questions, determine your needs and guide you through the process. A general sporting goods store may not have anyone who understands the science of archery, while a specialty store is more likely to be staffed with experienced and knowledgeable hunters or target archers. A store that caters to archers may also let you try before you buy, which is the best way for the salesperson to analyze your body type and technique and recommend the best bow for you.
While there are many brand names, weights and sizes, there is no manufacturer or model that will work for everyone. You need a bow with the correct combination for your size, strength and shooting style, and you’ll probably move up to another bow as your strength and skill increases. However, following these tips should help you choose the perfect archery bow to get started.