and other interesting bits...

Go to a shop, I don’t mind if it’s not mine but if you don’t know what your doing you’ll receive a bow in the mail with either a whole bunch of accessories bolted on with little care or you’ll have to bolt them on yourself.

Do you know how to set a bow up, because if you don’t it will not perform the way you want it to. I spend a lot of time setting up bows that have been bought by locals online and they can’t get them to shoot well and as soon as I see them I can see why. An arrow should start out level and straight, most bows bought in to me have the arrow pointing up to 5 cm from straight at the tip and the sight pointing a cm or more the other way.

The D loop has just been tied on wherever and in no way corresponds with having the arrow level when nocked. If you can visit a shop you should be able to shoot your bow before you leave and they are more likely to take the time to set it up properly because they will want you to leave happy. We don’t like selling bows online as we think it’s important that it’s done right the first time and that the bow is sighted in by you as every shooter is different and that’s what the sights are for.

Also remember not all accessories are created equal and when comparing prices have a good look at what your buying for example does your package come with arrows if not you need to add that to your price. Most packages also don’t include a release aid, again more money so before you commit make sure you are getting everything you need. Packages also vary in quality in terms of the accessories so take the time to check out some of the gear.

This is the most commonly asked question in archery. And my answer is always the same. The best bow is the one owned by the other archer because they will always tell you how good it is.  The reality is having shot numerous different bows they are for the most part all good but for different reasons, it might be how quite it is how positive the back wall feels, how smooth is the draw. For every archer all of these things matter to varying degrees.

Most American made compounds on the market offer a range of bows from entry level to elite target bows. The best answer to this question is to ask yourself a lot more questions. How much do you want to spend is a big one. To get into archery you are going to outlay $600 plus for a good quality entry level bow that won’t let you down. Are you interested in target shooting, 3d, hunting? Most manufacturers have bows that are made to suit each purpose but the reality is most bows will do it all. As a rule the longer axel bows might be a little more accurate but for an average archer we could be talking about small gains. If you want to take your bow into the field then the shorter axel is more convenient as it is easier to fit into tight spots. There is a lot to consider so my best advice is to have a good think about the type of archer you want to be. If you are like me and you just want to enjoy the sport and know that your not going to go to the Olympics any time soon then the choice can be a lot easier. Find a bow that has enough adjustment to do what you want it to do. I have a lot of archers that start out with a good entry level bow with a view to handing it down to their children in the future should they decide to upgrade in a few years.

Similarly recurve bows can have a huge range in price, for those starting out a good quality Korean or US made bow should meet your needs. In the future you may want to spend more but by then you will have a great deal more experience and make a much more informed decision.

Everyone has an opinion and they are all correct. My advice is this, a quality broadhead will shoot well and be reusable. A cheaper broadhead may blunt after one or two shots but if you lose it in the bush you won’t worry about it as much. There are mechanical and fixed broadheads. Again everyone has an opinion, some archers wont use mechanical as they may fail (but if they work they cause a lot of damage and can be easier to remove). Similarly some archers prefer mechanical as they may fly in a way that is more consistent with their target heads. My advise, buy some different loose ones and try them out.

I’ll keep this one simple. Make sure the arrow you use is suitable for the poundage you’re shooting. Other things to consider include looking at what the other guy is shooting (because theirs are the best), the distance you are likely to shoot (a straighter arrow may fly a little better over a longer distance) and the material you want to use.

I personally shoot a carbon mix arrow simply because they are a little cheaper and when I’m teaching people to shoot they will often get broken through robin hooding (my great instruction) or complete misses (some people don’t always listen). I suggest to most people start with reasonably priced arrows and then over time decide what you want to shoot.

When it comes to cutting arrows down I usually suggest to leave them at full length for at least the first few months of learning to shoot then you may want to have your arrows cut to size. Keep in mind taking an inch to an inch and a half off the end of an arrow won’t make much difference to the average archer.