Competitive archery features a wide variety of equipment styles, ranging from longbows with wooden arrows to tricked-out compounds with space-age arrow shafts.
The bow you choose depends on your goals and personality. To help you decide, let’s look at some of archery’s competitive divisions.
The Olympic recurve is the type of bow used by Olympians. It’s also the bow of choice for thousands of recreational archers seeking a fantastic, challenging discipline. Therefore, Olympic archery provides an ideal hobby that combines physical exercise and mental discipline.
Olympic recurves have three main pieces: the riser and two limbs. The bow can be quickly disassembled for travel, or to switch to heavier or lighter draw-weight limbs. The riser includes the bow’s grip. It’s also where you mount your sights and arrow rest. The limbs generate the bow’s power when bending in unison as you draw the bowstring. When you release the bowstring, the limbs snap forward while releasing the limbs’ stored energy to propel the arrow to the target.
If you look at an advanced Olympic archer’s bow, you’ll also see long rods jutting out from the riser. These are stabilizers, and help archers steady their bow for precise aiming.
Traditional and barebow archery provide a challenge and are extremely fun disciplines. Traditional bows are a stripped-down archery form that’s simple, elegant and romantic. Traditional recurve and longbows are usually made from wood and fiberglass laminations. A barebow is like the Olympic recurve, but without sights and stabilizers.
If you love precision marksmanship, consider shooting in the compound open division. These bows are capable of incredible accuracy and are built to provide excellent shooting experiences. They can be tricked out and accessorized to deliver maximum accuracy. Target-shooting accessories include long stabilizers and magnified sights with finely adjusted settings.
If you shoot a compound bow but don’t want lots of accessories on your bow, consider trying the bowhunter division. This is a competitive division that restricts competitors to a short stabilizer, usually less than 12 inches, and forbids competitors from adjusting their sights during competition.
To learn more about equipment for competitive shooting, visit an archery store to check your options in person. To find a store near you, click here.