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A Practical Guide to Getting Started with Archery

The question most people interested in archery will ask is, how do I start? So, we've put together this handy guide to getting started with archery if you've never had a chance to do so. Or if you’ve tried, although with little success.


What Types of Bow are There?

We can divide the bows into 4 types: the traditional, the Olympic, the longbow, and the pulley or compound bow.


The traditional bow is the smallest, ideal for those who have little practice. Despite being small it can be very powerful, however, because it doesn’t have any elements to improve your precision, it’s important to shoot carefully (unlike some of the other bows). 


The Olympic bow is similar to the previous one, although the materials that it’s made from are more advanced. It also incorporates some additional elements that can be removed in certain cases, such as an arrow mount, a telescopic sight, or a precision trigger.


The longbow is, as its name suggests, longer than a traditional bow. It’s quite difficult to master because the arrows make a parabola. It also has less power than the other bows. Still, some professional archers prefer them for their elegance.


The pulley bow or compound bow is a much more sophisticated weapon than the other bows. It’s designed both to increase shooting power and to improve stability and precision. It’s much smaller than the others as a general rule, although the speed and precision of the shot make it the most powerful. Hunters use this bow because it has a very straight shot. Check this compound bow for beginner’s guide to learn more. 


small boy practicing archery


How to Start

If you want to start learning archery, it’s recommended that you sign up for a course. Some clubs allow you to practice archery in your area.

Before catching the bow and arrows, which we already see you wanting to run away, there must be a theory and technique class. This key point is taught that will help you improve faster when it’s time to practice. Although not required, some courses teach advanced details, such as lining the ropes or putting feathers on arrows.


Buy a Bow

If you get bitten by the bug and you want to dedicate yourself to this a little more seriously, even if you’re an amateur, it’s normal to consider buying your bow. If so, go for a traditional bow, not too short - detachable or one-piece. The ideal is an arch of about 60 inches, more or less a meter and a half. You will find cheap models, most of them made in China, of wood or fiber with moderately acceptable quality.

If you are stuck between several options, choose the one that seems most attractive to you. After all, this is a sport in which aesthetics are important.

Being your first bow, don't spend a fortune. The best is one that gives you good results at the beginning and also aids your practice. Then, once you’re more comfortable, you’ll want to change and improve so you can invest what you saved on the first one.


The Matter of The Arrows

There are different types of arrows, and therefore different prices. Some arrows to start can be around £5 per unit. 5 or 6 units to start will be enough.

Weight, flexibility, and precision will depend on several factors, such as tip, tube, or length. Ideally, your arrows should be slightly longer than the opening you can get with the bow.


Archery arrows


Accessories and Extras

These accessories will be necessary to enjoy archery:

  • An assembler to put and remove the bowstring.

  • A quiver to carry arrows over smoothly.

  • A sheath to keep the bow.

  • A protector for the forearm, since without it you won’t be able to shoot.

  • A glove to hold the bow well.

  • Shooting ranges


Keep in mind that you can’t go out and shoot anywhere. Unless you go to a field and nobody sees you.

Also, they won't tell you if you buy the material online, but you need to be federated to shoot. For this opportunity, you can join a club as most clubs do it. 


Questions from Beginners in Archery

When you start in any sport, it’s natural that lots of questions come to mind. Archery is far from being an exception, so it’s normal to feel the need to find answers to certain questions. Since we can't answer all of them in one article, we've rounded up the most frequently asked questions from beginners and provided a summarized answer here. Start by reading these and possibly solve a part of your doubts.


Has archery become a popular sport?

It must be recognised that the number of fans of this sport is rather low, so an increase is always noticeable. Perhaps there’s a growing interest in learning to shoot more or less seriously, although not enough to say that it’s a phenomenon. It’s not a detrimental thing, however, as is the case with other sports that start to grow overnight and stop doing it just as quickly.

What happens with the world of the bow is that it’s highly addictive and whoever tries it becomes a prescriber. So, it's not uncommon to find someone recommending others to try what it's like to shoot an arrow.


olympic archery


Is it possible to shoot many arrows in a row at high speed?

If you mean imitating Silvan elves in Lord of the Rings battles, it’s not possible to do so. It’s also not usual to do what Robin Hood does and give twice at the same point.

What you can see is a video in which an archer is challenged to extinguish a candle with an arrow or to cross a coin thrown into the air. But it’s a challenge that rarely has a good ending.


What is the price of a custom quality bow?

This question is helpful to know if archery is an expensive sport or not. If you want a bow that will never have a rival, in terms of characteristics and quality, you can get one for £1500, more or less.

But if you think that by spending more money you’ll be a better archer, you’re wrong. The arch has many legends around it, but the archer's expertise is essential. Learn to improve your technique and then you’ll find a suitable arc to get more points.


Can I decide on a bow by shooting multiple arrows with it?

The thing about choosing a bow by shooting arrows with it; it’s like the trick of whacking a melon to see if it’s ripe. It doesn’t work. The important thing is to make a thoughtful decision and try to test for at least one complete session. It’s also a good idea for someone with experience to advise us. Don't rush or believe that shooting half a dozen arrows will help you choose a good bow.


Can you travel by plane with a bow?

For legal purposes, the bow and arrows form a weapon, like a pistol and its bullets. So, you can take it on a trip, but after presenting documentation and taking into account the restrictions that certain countries apply if you plan to travel abroad.


Can I bow where and how I want?

Archery is regulated and can only be practiced in a federated field. So, if you thought about buying a target and take it to your grandparents' plot to practice, be very careful. If the authorities see you doing it, you can find a complaint and a nice fine as a souvenir for your training session.


outdoor archery practice


Do you have to be an athlete to shoot with a bow?

Although stretching the arch requires some strength and you will gain a little as you practice, the truth is that you don’t need to go to the gym to prepare. Although it may sound strange to you, in the shooting ranges you’ll see archers who have a belly and it doesn’t affect their aim at all!


How much do you have to practice to make it to a high level?

It all depends on what you achieve on a technical and physical level, although at least you should practice once a week in sessions of a couple of hours each. About eight hours a month will allow you to notice an evolution. If you can go every day then that’s ideal, although that’s just not possible for most people.

Thank you for reading through this article, we hope we’ve answered at least many of your archery related questions and hope you have a clear idea of starting in archery.

Lisa Willard
Blog Writer
Published on 29-04-2020