Your best friend unwrapped a new compound bow for their birthday. Your favorite brand just released its new line. Your Instagram feed is flooded with the market’s latest and greatest gear.
Many things can trigger desires to buy new archery gear, but when is it really necessary?
To shoot safely and effectively, your bow must fit your body, especially your draw length. The draw length is the measurement of how far back you pull the bow to your anchor point. This length shouldn’t change for adults, but it will increase as youths grow.
Your bow must fit your draw length, or you’ll shoot inconsistently. If your draw length doesn’t fit, it’s time to adjust your bow or buy a new one. Many bows have variable draw lengths that adjust to match each growth spurt.
Adjustments are best done by professional at archery shops. They’ll measure your draw length and adjust your bow accordingly. They’ll also tell you if you’ve outgrown your bow, and help you find a new one that fits.
You Want a Heavier Draw Weight
A bow’s draw weight is another factor to consider when upgrading. The draw weight measures the force required to draw a bow. Archery requires specific muscles that strengthen as you shoot. Beginners should shoot a lower draw weight while building those muscles and learning the proper foundation of form.
Why would you want to pull more weight if it’s harder? Higher draw weights generate faster arrow speeds, which deliver more consistent shots and the ability to shoot farther. Most bows have variable draw weights. Some cover a 50-pound range, but others only vary by 10 pounds. You’ll need a new bow if you’ve maxed out your bow’s draw weight.
Competitive archers must also comply with regulations about their draw weight. If you plan to shoot competitively, check the events’ regulations to ensure your current or potential new bow complies with the division in which you’ll compete.
Tap into New Technology
The archery industry employs many innovative professionals who consistently improve their company’s bows and accessories. Sights, arrows, stabilizers and releases are just a few of the many accessories that get better every year.
Some people buy the newest models year after year. That gets expensive, however, and doesn’t always improve your shooting substantially. But if your bow and its accessories are several years old, you’ll probably see improvements without hurting anything but your wallet if you slowly upgrade while exploring new products.
After all, you can usually try each product before buying. Visit an archery shop and test some new models. By shooting a few styles of release aids, for example, you’ll get a feel for new models that suit your shooting style.
Speak with the Pros
Taking your bow to an archery shop is the best way to learn if the setup fits your physical and mental shooting skills. Tell the experts your archery plans. State your goals, where you want to improve, and if you want to try something new. They’ll assess if your current bow still fits, or if something new would better suit you.