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Essential Archery Gear for Beginners

Man Holding Traditionl Bow

Archery is a fun sport that can be used for recreational target practice, competitive leagues, or hunting. If you’re looking to get into archery, it’s important to think about your primary goals. The right gear for you will depend on what you hope to do as an archer.

When you’re just starting out, it’s best to keep it simple. You’ll get to know your equipment, your style, and the type of archery you want to do as you begin shooting your new bow and arrow. However, there is some essential gear that beginners will need in order to have the complete archery experience.

Bow


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The most important thing is your bow. The recurve bow is generally the best for beginners. The dual-curving shape of this bow allows archers to shoot with more power while they are still developing strength. They’re easy to set up, and you can generally find a quality recurve bow for around $100. As a rule of thumb, get a bow that is within two inches of your height.

If you’re concerned about choosing the right bow, head into your local archery shop or sporting goods store for assistance. They can help you make sure all of your gear will work together, and you can try out different bows.

In addition to recurve bows, you could get a compound bow, longbow, or crossbow. These are generally better for intermediate or expert archers, but you may have particular needs that make one of these bows a better fit. To learn more about your bow options, check out our article detailing the different types of bows.

Arrows


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After you’ve chosen your bows, you can select your arrows. It’s important to make sure you are choosing the correct arrow for your bow. You’ll need to know your bow’s draw length and draw weight in order to choose the correct arrows. If you’re not sure what is best, ask a sales associate at a local archery or sporting goods store to assist you.

Some expert archers custom-make their own archers. They often sell them for $7-10 per arrow. You may be able to ask to shadow someone in your area who makes arrows if you are interested in learning yourself. You’ll need to learn how to cut the shafts to the appropriate size, and work in the nocks, inserts, and fletching.

Bow String


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Most bows do not come with a bow string. Your bow string should be 1-2” shorter than the bow itself. You’ll need to take care of your bow string as you do your bow – after all, without it, your bow cannot shoot! Invest in a high-quality bow string that is properly waxed.

Arrow Rest


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This is an optional accessory, but greatly improves your ability to shoot successfully. An arrow rest can usually stick on to your bow. They keep your arrow steady more than an arrow shelf, which arrows often fall off of.

Armguard


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An armguard will protect your arm from the bowstring each time you shoot. This is a comfort item, but it can be more than that if you find yourself repeatedly bruising your arm when you shoot. This is especially important as you are learning how to shoot well, which can lead to more injury. There are open, breathable arm guards, or leather arm guards if you want to look like a serious archer when you shoot!

Quiver


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When you’re practicing, you need a way of storing your arrows. You can opt for a Robin Hood-style back quiver that will allow you to carry your arrows on your back, but there are now many more options for quivers.

A hip quiver keeps your arrow nocks facing out in front, while a field quiver keeps them facing up and behind. Either of these options keeps your arrows in sight, so you don’t have to reach and feel around for a quiver on your back that you can’t see.

Whichever option you choose, your quiver should allow you to grab a new arrow without changing your stance, which means you shouldn’t have to move your legs. This way, you’ll be able to release arrows more quickly while maintaining strong form.

Sights


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Using sights is a matter of preference, but they generally help archers shoot more accurately. Archery sights help you line up your shot so you will hit your target precisely, and you can mark yardage settings on the sight itself.

Gloves


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If you’re going to be shooting several arrows for extended target practice, you may want a pair of archery gloves. This is especially important as you are learning proper hand placement. Gloves keep you from building up calluses, and may be more comfortable when you are drawing the bow back.