Having been inspired by some of the recent articles on here, including ones by Jordan Sequillion I thought I would put a posting together on buying equipment as a newbie. The only problem is it grew longer and longer, so I thought I would do a couple of postings, so here goes.
This is very much an overview and I’ll go into more details in future postings.
As a coach I often get asked by students about buying a bow, how much do they cost, what should I got for, where can I get one, I’ve seen one on ebay,etc. I always reply by saying wait a few weeks or couple of months, use the club equipment for now until you have a better idea of what is a good buy.
But sooner or later your students will want to purchase their own bow (which is great don’t get me wrong) but there are a few things that might be worth getting first. So I have put this post together to offer some advice
First things for any new archer to buy (before a bow) should be
- A tab or glove of their own, normally I recommend a beginner starts with a tab, it’s easier on their fingers and promotes good finger position on the string
- Belt quiver, you can pay a small fortune for some quivers, but when you are starting go for something simple.
- Arrow puller, makes life easier for drawing arrows
- Whistle (for safety calls and is a necessity for insurance on some sites)
- An arm bracer or arm guard that fits (doesn’t fall down the arm or is too tight and cuts off circulation, and they like, there are loads of different designs, some that go all the way up the arm some that only cover the forearm.
- Arrow rake for finding those arrows that fall short (a cheap decorating roller can be used, once modified for the purpose )
What kind of bow should I buy?
As a first bow the best is the take down recurve practise bow in my view.
They are relatively cheap (£55-£75 depending on where you get them), so if they don’t stick with it it’s not such a huge investment. Also you might be able to pick one up from club member who has progressed.
The limbs can be upgraded to heavier poundage as archer develop their strength and skill (I did this after a few months myself, with some shops giving a discount if you trade your old limbs in )
They are forgiving to use which is what you want as a beginner.
They come in a vast variety of sizes, shapes, poundage so good for all abilities, heights, draw lengths etc so are easy to find one suitable for all shapes and sizes of archer.
A basic beginners recurve doesn’t require as much maintenance as a longbow, compound or performance recurve. Sharon still has her first bow and we use it for coaching all the time and its over 4 years old.
Arrows – for arrows I tend to recommend aluminium arrows for a beginner, they are durable and cheap. Easton Neos Beginners Alloy Arrow work well and come in variety of lengths and spines.
I tend to recommend avoiding carbon arrows at this stage even though you can get them for less than aluminium. There tend not to be as durable if they catch the side of a target or branch and some clubs don’t allow beginners to use them. They are also harder to find in the undergrowth with a metal detector.
Where should I buy my first bow from?
- NOT eBay – there is nothing wrong with eBay before anyone says anything. I simple would not advise anyone to buy their first bow off it, as you don’t know the history or condition of the bow.
- Try before you buy – really important, try bows of different draw weights, bow lengths and manufacturers. You will find that some limbs will feel harder to draw than others
- Visit local shop – There are a number of archery shops (Quicks, Merlin etc) round the country and all quality ones will give you the opportunity to try first and spend time with you. My first bow was bought from Quicks Archery and they were very helpful and spent time explaining everything. (If possible take an experienced person with you when looking to buy one ideally your coach or fellow club member)
Ok that is a start, I’ll add more and another post on other facts to consider like draw weights, measuring exact draw length for arrows etc, comfort and bow lengths etc next week
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think.