This page is a general guide for all you guys starting archery or feeling you need a basic point to set off from; A good place to start is one where you are on firm ground as far as knowledge is concerned.
Archery is like many activities full of jargon and terminology. To feel comfortable with new names and phrases is part of being comfortable with your equipment. This is true for you when talking to others on the beginners’ course, or to a coach, or indeed to Quicks to get advice or to buy equipment.
We are always happy to talk through it if you are unsure. Many of us feel silly when we don’t know, but other archers and coaches in particular want you to get on and enjoy the sport, so ask them and even get them to test you. They will remember a time when they didn’t understand either!
Here is some initial guidance from Quicks Archery to help you get started……
Things to Do To Help Yourself
- Find an instructor:
If you can, go to a club, individual or organisation who can instruct you. Phone us for details of somewhere near you, or browse our Useful Links page for a list of some of the archery clubs as well as the sport’s governing bodies. This will enable you to be lent the equipment and shown the basics while you work out what you need. It avoids you buying the wrong thing! Many clubs, indeed most clubs, have a good coaching and beginners' system and a good selection of equipment to teach you on as well. Even if you only want to shoot on your own at home or in the local farmer’s field (with his knowledge and permission) this is a good way to start. You can of course go it alone and many do, using books or from the ground up. We can offer help if this is your preference; just contact us or call the number above.
- Read about Archery:
We recommend getting a good book about archery basics [link to books page]. It is useful to have a reference manual or book to browse so that (even with the web) you can dip in and out of it to confirm or disprove the ideas going on in your head as you learn. Such as names of parts of the bow, or the technique the instructor has just shown you for holding the bow and the string. Then next time you return to the bow you have learnt a little more. Homework in this way is not hard but is of immense value. A book we recommend is 'The Archery For Beginners Guidebook', which came out in December 2012 and is a good all round book. You may prefer others of course.
- Learn your equipment:
Learn the names of the parts of the bow and of the arrows. Perhaps even ask your instructor(s) to test you, and you can ask them the names and function of the bits and pieces on their equipment. The more views and snippets of instruction you can obtain the better picture of the sport you will get.
- Have a go:
Get used to the feel of bows and arrows at a club.Once you have done this for a few sessions, and you feel at home with the equipment....then you will need to work out some important basic information to fit you to a set of your own equipment.
- Buy a beginner archery set:
That ensures the kit will match.Once you know what sort of bow or shooting you want to do, we would recommend one of our Archery Sets if you are starting from scratch on your own and then you can be confident that the gear will match. You can get straight on with shooting and learning. If in doubt, talk to us about it. We can help you to be confident you have got the correct stuff before you place your order.
Quicks often advises people to hold off from spending lots on equipment until they have a good idea of what they want, usually found out after a few sessions learning at a club or similar. There are also various archery videos online. They don't always help you much in shooting technique, but will be fun to watch.
Getting your own bow and arrow
- Know your arrow length:
Firstly it’s important to know how long an arrow you will draw/shoot. This is determined by how long your arms are and, as long as you use a bow that is nice and easy to pull, this will give you a good starting point for choosing yourself a bow. A good rule of thumb is to measure the distance from your chin to the base of your thumb and forefinger when your arm is stretched out sideways, inline with your shoulders, and your head turned towards the hand that is held out. ....we hope you can follow that description! (Basically you’re positioned as if holding a bow fully pulled back).
- What type of archery:
Which type of archery do you want to enjoy? This may seem a funny question, but there are many different bows and different forms of shooting such as Target, Field, Flight, Clout, Traditional, and with Longbow, Recurve Bow or Compound Bow. You can talk to others at your club or to us and get advice on these types. The type of Archery seen in the Olympics is Target Archery!
- Know your strength:
How strong a bow pull can you manage? And what strength of pull bow have you been using? Beware: you should always be thinking "now where is this arrow going" and not "how am I going to pull the b***** bow" when you go to shoot an arrow! We have had customers leave our retail shop having bought a bow they cannot pull or string (the action of putting the string onto the bow), despite our protests and best advice.
- Arrow deflection: Watch An Arrow Leave A Bow
Select Arrows that suit you and your bow. This can be tricky, but with a little thought is easily understood and, once you have hold of the idea, it won’t change much for you. The problem is that the arrow bends as it leaves the bow and the amount of bend has to be about right so that it flies straight and doesn’t hit the bow as it leaves. The tricky bit is that the "bendiness" of the arrow changes depending on the length of arrow shaft. Have a look at our Arrow Selection Guide.Then use Eastons Arrow Selection Charts and set your bow up using 'Easton’s Arrow Tuning and Maintenance Guide’. We can always help if you are unsure.