Archery Equipment for Beginners — A Basic Guide


UPDATED 1/22/21

There’s been a lot of hooplah in the news lately about how Americans aren’t getting enough time away from their computer screens and out of doors. While this no doubt has some truth to it in our post-internet age, the fact is that outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and hunting are as popular as ever. In fact, nearly 40 million people went hiking last year alone, and camping popularity is up by 3 million!

In honor of this uptick in outdoor enthusiasm, we like to feature an unorthodox activity from time to time and give advice on how to get started. You probably already have a good handle on hiking gear, and camping gear is available on every corner. But what about the more niche hobbies — scuba diving, small game hunting, etc.? These types of hobbies and their assorted adventure gear can be a little more difficult to find information on.

Today, we’re going to talk about archery. Buying the right archery equipment for beginners is extremely tricky, and often archery equipment for beginners depends on what kind of beginner you are! Below are a few categories of interest and tips for getting started based on that archery interest:

“I would like to stalk game with my bow and arrow.”
If this is your vision, then you’re going to want to get into the specific niche of archery known as bow hunting. You can use a variety of different bow types for this sport, but the ones sportsman recommend the highest is the compound bow. You’ll recognize them instantly in stores — they’re the ones that look more like a metal robot arm than a bow. Nonetheless, they qualify as archery equipment for beginners if hunting is your thing!

“I basically want to be Arwen from Lord of the Rings and kind of fool around for pictures.”
If you want to practice archery like they did in the old (very old) days, then you really want to get into what’s called “traditional archery.” For this sub-sport, no robot arm boy is needed. Instead, you’re going to want to invest in a traditional longbow or a recurve bow. The longbow is thought to be more forgiving and requires less power to draw, but it’s also not as powerful when shot. The recurve bow in contrast is a more efficient weapon but requires good muscle strength in the back, chest, and shoulders as well as good form to be accurate.

“I want to be an Olympian. I WANT TO BE A CHAMPIONNNN!”
Slow down there, Tiger! We want to see you on the big screen every four years just as much as the next person, but first you’re going to have to invest in a modern recurve bow and a regulation target. Olympic arching (like most Olympic sports), is extremely rigid and standardized when it comes to the sort of form and equipment you can use, so you want to start off the right way and develop good habits early.

Archery is a unique and very fun hobby to get into. However, you do need some supplies in order to get started. A bow seller will be able to get you started and tell you exactly what kinds of archery items you’ll need depending on what kind of things you want to do with your archery. Hunting, competitive, and casual archery will all need different supplies and it is important that you get the right ones in order to be successful. Archery supplies arrows and bows are available in many stores, though you might need to do some research to find archery supplies for sale near you. Go to sporting goods stores and ask around if you need to. They might have resources for you there or they might be able to send you to another store to find the archery items you want. Either way, don’t let the work involved discourage you from trying out archery. You might find that you love it and have a new hobby to get you active and fit outdoors.

We hope this very basic guide gives you a jumping off point the next time you find a moment to explore a hobby shop. And please, show off your beginner bows below in the comments section!

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