Cancellation Places for Shooting

Kit advice for beginner

Wondering if anyone can offer advice about what I should be equipping myself with in the early days after the beginner course and where I need to spend money / where I can economise (and where to get it...). Thanks!

25th Mar 2014 12:50

helped me a lot
25th Mar 2014 18:39

You may want to hold off the urge to purchase kit for now. Spend some time using the club bows to get an idea of your draw length and how high a poundage you'll be comfortable with. At the very least spend a few sessions with the higher poundage club bows to see if you can handle the increase on your fingers. If you ask some of thee club members you may get a chance to try their bow ...

If you are are set on buying kit and this is your first purchase then I recommend Quicks. It's pricey but you at least get the chance to try out the stuff before you buy. This is absolutely crucial unless you have managed to persuade club members to give you a go on their bows and you know what you want.

To save money you can try the following suggestions:
1) Finger tabs, no more than £8-£12.
2) Arm Guard, again under a tenner should suffice
3) Don't bother with a chest guard unless you tend to wear loose clothing
4) Quiver, again £15 will get you everything you need
5) Arrows, I went with a set of Easton Jazz but you can get cheaper. It's all down to personal taste. They are the same aas the club arrows and i have seen people shoot these in competitions.
6) Bag, youdon't need a mahoosive bag. Anything for £30 will suffice.
7) Spend what you can afford on the riser. You won't be chaning this bit of kit for a while.
8) Get cheap limbs. You can replace these when you are ready for more weight on the string.
9) Use a shoe lace for your finger sling
10) Don't both with wax for now
11) Don't get a tricked out sight. You only need to aim a dot at the target. Hell some people don't even use a sight. So don't get some fancy holographic laser etched doodad.

Everything but riser, arrows and limbs can be bought online to save money. But I do recommend going to Quicks to test the feel of the riser limbs and arrows.
25th Mar 2014 19:44
Not to be a dick and directly contradict Kim.. (!!!) BUT...! I don't recommend Quicks at all. I've seen them palm off all sorts of entirely unsuitable rubbish on beginners. It does depend on who you get.. some people are brilliant.. but some will strip you of £500 and send you away with wooden arrows for a sighted recurve (we've actually seen that happen from a novice purchasing at Quicks).

I love Graham at Clickers in Norwich - if you can combine with a lovely weekend in Norfolk go to him! Otherwise everything that Kim said.. stick with a training bow for a bit (I actually bought my own training bow when I first started) and gradually get to see what club members are using.. if you get to know a couple of people you can ask to hold or draw their bow so you can feel the different risers in your hand. "Can I feel your riser in my hand?" is probably not a good way of asking though.

I also know of at least one person that totally bought the wrong riser when they first started and because they'd invested in a pricey one felt that they couldn't change it. Best to keep everything a bit on the budget side and keep practicing..

Final bits - don't get anything cheaper than a Jazz arrow. You may not be able to shoot it in the club if its complete kak (i.e. anything bought at Decathlon).. and whatever you do don't get something that's too heavy to be in complete control of. Overbowing is very common with beginners and it will put you off archery faster than any other single thing that you do! I recommend shooting a club bow for at least 6 weeks or so.. have a try with the heavy ones as Kim said (at the end of 6 weeks).. and then under no circumstances do you want more than 30lb weight on your fingers. (Limb weight is measured at 28" draw - if you draw further than that you can add 2lb per extra inch of draw length).

Phew - loads of info! Best of luck!
25th Mar 2014 20:01
Hi Robert

Welcome to the Club :) I would recommend the following in order of priority:

1. finger tab and arm guard
2. arrow puller [often overlooked, but really useful]

This should keep you going for a few months until you get the bug [the club bows are actually really good] then deep breath and...

3. Your own bow and arrows. To be bought together! Top tips:
Poundage: don't go over 30lbs weight unless you're really fit. Good rule of thumb is your draw length in inches, minus three gives you your poundage. e.g. 28 draw length gives you a 25 pound pull, which is more than respectable.
Arrows. Get Roger or Diccon to measure you for arrows, it's imperative you get the right length and it only takes a minute. Make sure you get the right spine! Carbon fibre is better than aluminium
4. Get a button
5. stabilisers: when you hit above 400 on a regular basis then get the set :) [as a traditional archer I think they're a waste of time, but modern people disagree!!]
25th Mar 2014 20:27
ps or

I use both very happily :)
25th Mar 2014 20:28
I got my bow from Perris in Essex, spent a fine couple of hours being measured and trying out the set up I was about to buy.
The other advice is great, as a modern archer :) I would get a long rod straight away for a recurve as they balance better with one.
But definitely go with a club bow for a while, have a chat with club members as we all shoot a variety of bows. You may want to consider traditional bows or shooting barebow.
Also club members are a good source of second hand gear especially limbs as they are more often upgraded as pounage is increased with more experience.

25th Mar 2014 20:43
Thanks everyone that's really useful - I'll check out the youtube link as well (and I also need to google to find out what finger slings and buttons are for). I won't however be googling for 'trying a riser in hand' as it may be an awkward conversation with the missus...
25th Mar 2014 20:49
A finger sling is a piece of string that you tie from your thumb to your middle finger around the bow. The idea is that you don't hold onto the bow while you draw it as your fingers add torque which causes movement, so the finger sling stops the bow from falling out your hand when you release.

A button is a little thing that you screw into your riser next to the arrow rest so that the arrow sits nice and square on the rest and gets a nice smooth release.

Re: traditional archery, I am a massive fan of my Longbow and would happily recommend it to anyone. If you do go down that route a) there's a nice blog post on what to look for in a traditional bow and b) get a really good arm guard because it ****** hurts if you don't!
26th Mar 2014 9:43
Thanks Dan - is a button also called a plunger?
26th Mar 2014 11:42
Not sure :) i think a plunger is part of a button :) a button looks like this as with all things archery you can spend as much money as you want, personally unless you're taking on armies or shooting in the olympics good enough is usually good enough.
26th Mar 2014 12:17
A plunger and button are the same thing. This in my view is essential. Many risers come with an arrow rest and a button (plunger). If you choose one that doesn't then get a button and decent magnetic rest. Do not rely on a plastic stick on rest or you'll never be able to correctly tune the arrows to the bow. Stay away from Samick risers. We have seen problems with the lower end range of these risers such as the limbs getting stuck in the riser and not coming out.

I would suggest going for either the SF Forged+ (made by Win&Win) or the Hoyt Horizon (don't get a Hoyt Formula Excel as you'll be forever bound to Hoyt Formula limbs instead of International Fitting Limbs (ILF). Don't do the SF premium as it doesn't have limb alignment adjustment. Don't spend more than £100 on your first limbs. You'll be changing them within 6 months to a year as you grow to handle more poundage. Don't spend money on carbon arrows. Go for Easton Platinums, very reliable and forgiving shafts.

Do make sure you buy a bow stand or you'll never be able to put the bow down at the club.

For a tab go for the Aco Hockii (also known as the Decut tab), this is under a tenner and all the tab you'll ever need.

As others have said, stick with the club bows for now and work your way up the poundage on those. It's one thing to try someone's 34lb bow for a couple of draws and another to shoot 34lbs for 2hrs. Also be aware that (for some unknown reason) all bows feel lighter to draw when there isn't an arrow loaded. We don't know why, it just is.

I shot a club bow for 6 months and set myself a target of scoring 450 on a Portsmouth round before allowing myself to buy a bow. I moved up in poundage to a 24lb club bow and then bought 28lb limbs when I got my bow. A year later I changed to 34lb limbs which I draw to 39lb on the fingers due to my drawlength being nearly 31 inches. I don't see myself going any higher than this for a good while. Most risers can adjust the poundage of limbs by up to 10%. So if you went for 28lb to start and then felt they were feeling light you can screw the limb bolts in to take it up to around 30/31lbs to fill the gap before you replace your limbs.

One last thing, definitely get a long rod. I see a lot of people skipping a long rod and unless you're going to shoot barebow it's not an optional accessory. Don't need to spend a lot on one but you do need to have one.
26th Mar 2014 13:18