When considering the best way to get into archery, I’d strongly recommend going to an archery club, which is the path I used. I’ll explain why the advantages of this approach.
There are many advantages to starting archery in a club or group setting.
First, you will have access to experienced archers who can answer your questions and give you pointers. Learning from instructors and being around other experienced archers can potentially speed up your learning time immensely. They’re your doorway onto the archery world. You can eliminate bad habits early while getting pointers about details that may otherwise take months or years to learn. The instructors as well as the regular will all have experience beyond you. They can recommend techniques, other clubs or locations to practice, and introduce equipment most suitable to your size, strength and specific archery interests.
Second, most clubs you will have access to quality equipment equipment that you can try out to see what works best for you. At a club, there are generally several bows of different types and draw weights for people to try. This allows you to figure out the correct draw weight, length, and what you enjoy using before making a purchase. Beginner archery equipment can be expensive, and it is important to make sure you are getting something that you will be happy. Another easily overlooked aspect of being inexperienced and buying equipment is chance of buying the wrong things. An example could be, buying a traditional buy that uses an arrow shelf, and getting arrows with plastic vanes rather than feather fletching. getting a suitable draw weight that isn’t too hard or too easy to pull is another thing you should get right.
Trying out archery by first borrowing or renting club equipment can save you money and hassle as well. When I began archery lessons, I started with a draw weight of around 15 lbs. It took a while for my fingers to get used to the string. I tried different finger bits as well before finding something that fit comfortably. As weeks and months passed I moved up to a heavier draw weight as I grew more comfortable pulling and holding the bow string and increasing my shooting distance.
My first purchase was a set of arrows, since the rental arrows were too banged up to fly straight beyond 10 meters. Almost two years later, when I finally did buy a bow, I got something beyond the beginner wooden takedown recurve that I had been renting. Had I bought a beginner bow, I may have still wanted to move up. So, I believe I saved myself the trouble of making two bow purchases instead of one. Although, I could now go for a heavier draw weight at this point again.
Another big reason why using the club bow is a better way to start than buying a bow at first is because, you may not like archery a much as you expected, or you may just not commit to it. That could mean having an expensive bow collect dust in your closet or basement.
The group setting of a club or class can be more fun and motivating than shooting alone. One of the best things about getting started in archery at a club is that you can make friends who have the same interests as you. Learning along with other beginners allows you to bond and motivate each other throughout the learning process. I always had fun competing with classmates who were at or close to the same level as me
Another reason to join a group is. you will be able to take part in competitions and other fun activities with other archers. I was encouraged to compete in an amateur competition after my first year. The nerves and intensity of competition day added another element to target shooting. Going through this experience with other archers near my level allowed a bond to form among us.
Of course, archery clubs are not for everyone. You can also get into archery through YouTube videos, books, or blogs like this one. But if you want to get started quickly and make friends while doing it, then finding an archery club or class is the way to go.
If you’re going to purchase a bow without attending a club or taking lessons, it would be recommended to pay a personal visit to an archery store. They will be able to assist you in your purchase. They will likely have a recommended kit or group of items suitable for your level, size, etc.
featured image: Robin Battison