Trying something for the first time can be intimidating, but whether you travel, meet new people, or explore personal-growth opportunities, you could go in directions you never expected. If deliberate change piques your interest, consider trying archery.
How do you get started? First, visit an archery pro shop. Finding one is easy with Archery 360’s Store Locator. Just type in your town or city, and it will list all nearby archery retailers.
After finding an archery shop, find a mentor or group of mentors to provide equipment and shooting advice. Other online venues can further expand your archery knowledge and answer questions about the sport. Two great resources are the Facebook pages of arcHER and Bowmen. Both sites are run and organized by 3-D archery pros who can help as needed.
Choosing equipment is the next step. Don’t go overly cheap. Proper research will steer you to quality equipment that’s safe and will last for years. Shopping for a bow can be exciting, but keep a couple of important things in mind.
First, don’t let anyone push you into buying a certain brand. You’re making this choice for yourself, and you must choose the bow you like best; the one that makes you feel most confident. Second, visit your archery shop and ask to shoot the bows on display. After all, when you buy a car, you take it for a test drive. Do the same thing with a bow. Finally, remember this simple fact, which most beginners don’t know: A bow is like a shoe. It must fit just right. In fact, your bow must fit you and only you.
Therefore, the archery pro at the shop will probably ask if you know your draw length. The most accurate way to determine your draw length is to have someone measure your wing-span (both arms held out to the side) with a tape measure.
Once you’re measured, take that number and divide it by 2.5. That should be your draw length. That’s just one of several methods for measuring draw length, but I’ve found it to be one of the most accurate. Draw length is crucial for all archers, whether they’re beginners or seasoned veterans. An inaccurate draw length can cause your shots to hit left or right, and lead to poor shooting form.
Realize, too, that you’ll be learning many new words during your introduction to archery. Don’t be shocked if you’re five minutes into a conversation about setups or techniques, and have no idea what the person is talking about. To help, visit this resourceful “archery lingo” website.
When getting started, you must build a strong foundation. Archery can be a rewarding sport, but don’t expect to learn everything the first time you pick up a bow. However, its challenges are fun!
In the next segment of “how-to archery,” we’ll discuss the importance of preventing bad habits, and we’ll zero in on the worst habits to avoid.