What makes archery an awesome sport? For some, it’s arrowing bull’s-eyes like Olympian Brady Ellison or being badass with a bow like Green Arrow and Katniss Everdeen. Others enjoy bowhunting to ethically source their own meat. For the Manzo clan, however, archery is all about family fun and bonding.
“Real Housewives” alum Caroline Manzo and her family shot archery in Bravo TV’s “Manzo’d With Children” Season 3 premiere. Check out the archery action in the clip below.
Watching the Manzos shoot recurve bows is entertaining, to say the least. But it might make you wonder what an archery store is really like. You know, without all that reality-TV drama.
Visit your local archery store if you’d like to try archery, or just want to learn more about it. Expect these seven things upon your first visit.
1. Your local shop might be closer than you think.
Archery 360’s store locator can help you find your closest archery store. Use your current location or manually input a city and state for a list of nearby stores. Next, use the top toolbar’s drop-down menu to narrow the selection based on your needs. Find a shop that offers lessons, range time, club activities, or equipment purchases and maintenance. You can also get driving directions in one click, and access the store’s website, contact information and hours of operation.
2. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed.
When you first enter the store, you’ll likely see different types of bows, boxes of arrows, shelves filled with gear and accessories, and maybe a few taxidermied animals hanging on the walls. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. You can’t know everything. That’s where the store associates can help.
3. Questions are welcome.
Introduce yourself to the store’s associates and tell them you’re new to archery. They’re a wealth of information and can help you decide what type of bow to try based on your budget and interests. If you have a long list of questions, that’s great. If you want to meander the aisles by yourself and get acclimated to the space and gear, that’s fine, too.
Before your visit, check out Archery 101 to learn the different types of bows and archery disciplines.
4. Get ready to shoot.
Choosing a bow is much like the process Hogwarts students use for choosing wands: “The wand chooses the wizard,” and the bow chooses you. In other words, there’s a bow out there waiting for you to pick it up, pull it to full draw and fire an arrow. You just have to find it.
First, the archery store professional will determine your draw weight and length. Next, the pro will equip you with arrows and a release aid. You’ll likely test a few bows to see which one feels best. Is it too heavy or too light? Does it come in your favorite color? Does your heart sing when you release your arrow? Trust us: You’ll know when it’s right.
Don’t worry about learning proper form and technique before your visit. The associate will guide you. It’s OK – encouraged even! – to shoot multiple times.
5. What’s the range like?
Some archery stores have one lane with a standard target for customers to try different types of bows. Other stores have multiple lanes for lessons, leagues and events, like parties, themed shoots and tournaments. Ranges might be indoors or outdoors.
Don’t be afraid to call first or visit the store’s website and social media to get a feel for the shooting environment.
6. Dress it up with accessories.
Once you buy a bow, you might want or need a few accessories, like an arrow rest, a sight for aiming, and quiver for holding your arrows. Let the store’s associates help you select accessories that fit your budget and work well with the bow you choose. Ask the associate to set up and adjust your accessories for your bow. That way you know it’s properly set up for success.
The same goes for your arrows. Different bows require different arrows. We won’t discuss the nitty-gritty details here. Your archery store will choose arrows that fit your bow’s draw length and weight.
7. Build a relationship.
Your local archery store is like your primary-care doctor, but without the shots. Well, needle shots. You’ll return for lessons, maintenance (bows get “checkups,” too) and new equipment. Over time, you’ll develop a comfortable relationship, and the people at your shop will feel like family. Remember: They want you to succeed and your bow to perform to its capacity, just like your doctor wants your body to perform its best. Whatever your archery needs, visit your nearest archery store first. And tell them Archery 360 sent you.