How to Learn Archery
Archery is definitely one of the more difficult hobbies to master, that’s for sure!
Since it is not as popular as other hobbies and sports, online tutorials or guides on how to learn archery are few and far between.
I was in the very same place you are now when I first started learning archery, and I found it very challenging to find the information I needed.
That’s why I put together this guide; to help you not only learn archery, but also show you the best way to go about it.
You can learn in an enjoyable and efficient way, or you can get overwhelmed by the number of questions you have and the lack of proper answers you can find.
Archery is more than just a hobby; it is an art.
And as long as you treat it as such, you will become proficient in no time at all.
Get Familiar With the Equipment You Need
You will already know that for archery, a bow and arrow is essential to start the hobby. But you will not obtain the same results by using any old bow.
Beginners have different needs regarding archery equipment compared to those who have more experience. We’ll explain the options that are best suited to your experience.
The Parts of a Bow
A bow might look simple, but once you learn what it is actually made of, you will see it in a more sophisticated way. Here are the parts of a bow that you should get familiar with!
This is also called the riser, and it is the part of the bow that you will hold in your hand when you use it.
A riser is also used to host the arrow before shooting. Different types of bows will have different handles.
A bow wouldn’t be functional without the limbs. Some bows have replaceable limbs; others have permanent ones.
There is one limb attached on the top of the bow and another one on the bottom of it.
You will notice the string as soon as you see a bow. It is the wire that connects the two limbs.
Pulling back on this string is what creates the tension that propels the arrow forward. The quality of the string is essential to your performance.
The Nock Point
In order to use your bow, you will need to place an arrow in it. The arrow will be placed in the nock point, which should be stable at all times.
Types of Bows that you Might Find
The parts that we talked about above will be present in any kind of bow. But that doesn’t mean that all bows are the same.
As a matter of fact, there are two major bow types that you might want to consider:
These recurve bows are ideal for target shooting, but experts use them for hunting as well. They are simple to handle, and they have a very minimalistic design as well.
Recurve bows are those bows that have limbs pointing the opposite way of the archer. They deliver a great deal of energy and shoot at high speed.
A more sophisticated type of bow is a compound bow.
Different than the classic bows, these ones have wheels at both ends and cables. These parts form a sort of pulley system, which increases the force of the shot.
The Best Bow for Beginners
You can keep the “bow science” to a minimum or get into as much detail as you want. But as a beginner, the information provided here is enough to get you started.
For beginners, the temptation might be to go for the sleek, complex, and powerful look of a compound bow. However, I think it might be best to start off with a recurve bow.
Using a recurve bow is much more straightforward and simplicity is key when you’re a beginner. Trying to over complicate the learning process can discourage you from continuing with the hobby. You’ll learn the correct form for shooting, and you’ll understand the whole shooting action a lot better.
Until you get into the swing of things and have built muscle memory, strength, and technique, you shouldn’t need to start using overly complicated bows or equipment. You might want to keep it as simple as possible so you can focus on strategies and techniques.
Parts of an Arrow
A bow would be useless without an arrow. And just like with bows, arrows have different parts that you’ll need to understand and be aware of.
This is precisely the part of an arrow that you think it is; it’s the pointed end that digs into the target. This is also considered the front of the arrow, and there are different types of arrowheads.
You want to consider the weight and the shape of these; it’ll make a big difference in performance.
The length of an arrow is called a shaft. This should be compatible with the bow you are using and the type of archery that you are planning to engage in.
This is the plastic vanes or feathers at the rear of the shaft. The fletching helps to keep the arrow stable in flight.
The nock of the arrow is the backside that sits on the bowstring. This is why the nock of the arrow should be compatible with the nock of the bow.
Types of Arrows
Arrows are made from multiple materials which I will layout below.
Aluminum arrows are compatible with recurve bows as well as compound bows. This makes them very versatile and useful.
Carbon arrows will give the best results when they are used with compound bows. Most archers use these arrows when they hunt.
The traditional wood arrows are still very appreciated as well. The best way to use a wooden arrow is with a recurve bow. They are too fragile for compound bows.
Arrows for Beginners
If you are just starting out in the world of archery, you should go for aluminum arrows. The main reason for this is that you can use them with any type of bow and they are easy to find.
Other types of arrows are a bit restrictive. And no one needs new restrictions when they are starting out in a new sport or art.
Types of Archery
Archery is generally defined as the use of a bow and an arrow to shoot a target. But let’s break down the different types of archery that you might want to know more about before you invest time and energy into this hobby.
Target archery is the type of archery that you will find in the Olympic Games. It implies shooting at a bulls-eye target. This type of archery is excellent for beginners, and you can enjoy it indoors and outdoors.
This is also known as outdoor archery because, as the name says, you need to be in the field to practice it. It is also a more challenging type of archery as you can shoot in the forest, downhill or uphill, and increase the level of difficulty.
3D archery is exactly what it sounds like: you will have a 3D target. This target can be a 3D stuffed animal or any other 3D object of your choice.
It is a great way to practice your hunting skills.
Besides these three main types of archery, other ones tend to be more specific. For instance, you might be interested in bowhunting, which is a combination of field archery and 3D archery.
Bowhunting is used by hunters who enjoy this as a hobby or even as a way to provide food for their families.
What Skills You Need
When you decide to learn archery, you might wonder if you have what it takes for this type of sport. The good news is that you don’t need an incredible, native talent to pursue this.
But you do need to possess certain abilities to be better than others.
For instance, you will have an advantage if you can keep your balance and a straight posture as you are arching. As easy as this might sound, many archers struggle to maintain an aligned back as they are holding the bow.
Good vision is another essential skill archers should have. If your vision is weak, most likely you will have problems aiming and reaching the target; as long as you have corrective lenses, though, you should be okay.
Archery will also help you develop specific new skills such as precision, attention, patience, and the ability to clear your mind as you focus on your target.
Also, it will help you a lot if you are naturally strong. You’ll use your arms and shoulders quite a lot during any session.
Where You Can Learn
We have gone over the aspects you should be taking into account when learning archery. But where should you actually go for such classes?
You can Learn Archery by Yourself
You’ll need to be aware of the equipment that you need. This is why the information in this guide will be beneficial to get you started.
The internet is full of archery techniques and videos that can help give you starting knowledge. Many websites can help you learn archery.
Take an Archery Class
If you want to make sure that you approach archery in a professional manner, you can take an archery class. Prices vary depending on the level you are at and the location you live in.
By taking a class, you don’t need to invest in any equipment at the start. Your teacher will provide all the tools you need to practice during the lessons.
To find the best class for you, you might want to make up your mind regarding the motivation you have for learning archery. Also, decide what type of archery you are interested in.
Picking a Good Class
The market will overwhelm you with the many archery classes that you can take. But here are the main aspects to keep in mind before trusting one over others!
Choose a qualified instructor
The most significant identifier of a good archery class is having an excellent instructor. And good instructors have the qualifications and diplomas to prove their value.
If you go for an instructor that doesn’t have the qualifications, but they claim to be experts in the field, you are taking a risk.
Qualified instructors are not just professionals in the art of archery, but they also know how to teach it to other people. And pedagogy skills are just as critical as performance ones.
Check the Testimonials of other students
What other students have to say about a particular teacher or class can greatly affect your decision. Go for the classes that have the best reviews and minimize the risks that you are taking.
If you have a friend or a family member who took archery classes, make them your first source of information. Ask about the instructor they had, the equipment they used, and the overall atmosphere of the class.
Price is also an essential factor to ask about before you show up.
A good archery class will also provide high-quality equipment to the students. Some classes will have the equipment you need for rent while others will offer it for free to use during the class.
You should be able to evaluate the equipment a class has. You already know from this guide what type of bow and arrows you’ll need.
Most likely, once you understand archery and you become better at it, you will want to invest in your own bow and arrows. But there is no need to rush into that ahead of time when you can use the equipment in class.
While an archery class should be fun for everyone participating in it, it should also be safe. A bow is still a weapon, and it can cause injury if you are not using it correctly.
It is the instructor’s job to teach you the rules of archery as well as the hazards that you expose yourself to if you don’t follow the rules.
Also, you will notice that your class will take place on different lines. A shooting line should always be marked appropriately so that everyone stays safe.
There will also be a waiting line, distinguished from the rest. Signs like these are essential for everyone’s safety.
Archery is an accessible hobby to have, and you will most likely find it very relaxing as well. When you are using your bow, you should disconnect from your daily worries and problems to make the most out of it.
There is no age limit for those interested in the art of archery. However, this seems to be more popular among teenagers and young adults.
This guide should answer all your questions when you wonder how to learn archery. Once you master these aspects, you can improve from a beginner level to a more experienced one.
Make sure to place any question or observation you might have in the comments section below. This will add value to the guide and help others learn from your experience as well.