How I Chose My First Bow

What Did I Look for and Why

For the last year or so I was spending most of my weekends on practicing my archery skills. By no means do I consider myself a modern Robin Hood but it just became my passion. The beginnings were not so easy but it did not take long to start enjoying it. As I saw most of my fellow archers-to-be were struggling immensely for the first few sessions. The common reason for the initial failures ( some of them also gave up on archery) was bad equipment choice. I was lucky enough to have an experienced archer telling me which compound bow to pick. If you are thinking about getting your first bow see below what you should be paying attention to and which models are particularly newbie-friendly.

Key factors to consider before buying

There are several important factors to consider before you pick your first bow. Some of them are related to your physique and some are important due to their impact on the bow tendency to forgive some of the flaws in your technique. These factors are:

  1. Draw weight and draw length,
  2. Length of the bow,
  3. Brace height.

Draw weight and draw length of the bow

Draw weight and draw length depend on your physical attributes. The first one is basically the maximal strength you will need to apply to fully draw the bow. Most physically fit man can comfortably shoot a compound bow with draw weight of 50-70 pounds. For women and youth archers the recommended range is about 20 pounds lower. As to draw length is the total distance between string nock and the pivot point of your bow expressed in inches. It is important to remember that compound bows are designed to be shot only when fully drawn – no less no more. The draw length of the bow has to match the length of your arms. To pick a right draw length of the compound bow measure wingspan of your arms in inches and divide it by 2.5. Fortunately most bow for beginners have adjustable draw lengths so do not worry too much about this.

Axle-to-axle length

Length of the bow or more accurately axle-to-axle lengths is important factor for a beginner. Shorter bows are much less forgiving and any flow in your technique will result in a missed shot. On the other hand too long bows can be clumsy in use. A good length for a newbie would be 33-34 ".

Brace height

Brace height is a distance between string nock and the pivot point of the bow once the bow is relaxed and is expressed in inches. Shorter brace height results in faster shots. It also means that the technique needs to be perfect. For beginners a recommended brace height is in the range of 7-8 ".