One of the best things about archery is that it’s not only lots of fun, but the gear you need to get started is fairly inexpensive and easy to select.
Gotta have the bow.
One cool perk archers enjoy: being able to choose between compound bows and recurve bows, kind of like choosing downhill skiing or cross-country. There’s no right or wrong choice. Just do what you enjoy most. Want to unleash your inner Katniss Everdeen? Try a longbow instead! Visit your local archery pro shop to get fitted, and you’ll be able to try lots of different bows and bow types. Bows are a bit like shoes: With few exceptions, one size does not fit all. You definitely want some help choosing the right one.
Once you’ve decided whether to shoot a compound or recurve, it’s time to choose arrows. Most people start with aluminum arrows, which are perfect for indoor or outdoor shooting. Arrows flex when you release the bowstring, so your archery coach or retailer will help you choose arrows that flex just right for the weight you’ll pull (draw weight) and the distance you’ll draw the bow (draw length).
Success in sight.
Many archers choose a beginner’s sight for their first bow to help them aim at the target and hit it more successfully. Many other archers start with more traditional setups, but a sight helps you shoot more precisely with your compound or recurve. Many great sights offer adjustability and durability at beginner-friendly prices.
Time to accessorize!
No archer is complete without these key accessories: armguard, quiver, and finger tab or release aid. These basic additions to your setup are inexpensive but important. The armguard protects your arm from being grazed by the bowstring when you shoot, while the finger tab (for recurve archers) puts protective leather between the bowstring and your fingertips. A mechanical release (for compound archers) helps you release the bowstring cleanly. The quiver holds your arrows in one convenient, easy-to-carry (and grab) location.
Personalize your gear.
Now the really fun part: You can personalize almost all of your archery gear! Bows are often available in different colors, and arrows can be fletched using different vanes or feathers in almost endless colors. Archers can also usually choose the color of their nocks, the plastic prongs on the end of arrows that snap onto the bowstring. Finally, quivers and armguards come in many styles and colors.
When you get even more serious about archery, you’ll find TONS of options for intermediate and high-performance bows, arrows, sights and accessories. Your first step, though, is to get comfortable and consistent with your first bow setup. Once you do, you’ll enjoy success with your archery gear!