Getting into Archery


When looking to buy your first set of equipment, the following information should help you in your selection.
When you first talk of archery most people think of longbows and Robin Hood. In fact, today archery is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, capturing the imagination of thousands of archers and many more at 'have a go' events run at activity centres, holiday parks, game fairs etc. it is a sport for all, providing opportunities whatever age and ability.
A very inclusive and social sport, archery attracts seniors, juniors, young and old as well as able and disabled all shooting and competing together. You may even come across a whole family shooting at a club or at the same tournament as a large number of parents, children and often grandchildren are members of the same club.

Today archery comes in many different styles, so one of the first things we recomend is to locate a local club.
Archery GB is the largest govening body within the UK, their web site if full of information and also includes an online club finder online - Club Finder

Another main contact to have is the NFAS
The NFAS exists to foster and promote Field Archery as a sport. All their courses are unmarked (i.e. unknown distances), usually situated in woodland, with targets predominantly 3D or paper animal faces, think of it like archery golf, archers walk around a planned coarse, shooting from specific points, at targets placed at unknown distances.

Main Governing bodies
Target Archery
Archery GB
Field Archery - Archery GB & EFAA both offer marked distance woodland shooting
EFAA - English Field Archery Association
Archery GB
NFAS - unmarked woodland shooting - NFAS
With crossbow shooting, we first suggest the NFAS, but there is also a small target crossbow group within the UK, the NCF
and if target crossbow is more interesting to you, the best resourse for information will be the IAU - International Crossbow Shooting Union

If you have already taken a look at our online shop you will see there is a vast choice of equipment all with unique names and descriptions which probably mean nothing to you if you are just starting out. The following information will hopefully help you understand the basics and help in your first selection of archery equipment.

The following information assumes you are looking at buying a take-down recurve bow.


Arrow Length:

Now you have an idea of you draw length, we advise you add at least 1" to your measurement, this is for personal safety as it can be very dangerous to shoot with an arrow to short.

Bow Length:

Ideally your bow length needs to match your draw length. The reason being that the bow limbs are designed to be used at a particular draw length range, if you use a bow with limbs to long for your draw length, i.e. you have a 26" draw length and use a 70" bow, you won't be flexing the limbs enough to make them effecient for your draw length, the other extreme is that if the bow is too short then you will pull it so much you will nearly pull it in two.

A matched 'limb-to-draw' length will be far more effecient, the bow will feel smoother and arrow speed will be maximised. So somewhere in the middle is the happy medium, a bow which your arm length will when fully pulled flex the bow enough to deliver the power to the arrow but not too much so as to over stress the bow. Usually the arrow length for a man 5' 10" is about 27-29" and this needs a bow length of 66-68" for target archery

14-16" = 48" bow

18-20" = 54" bow

20-22" = 58" bow

22-24" = 62" bow

24-26" = 64" bow

26-28" = 66" bow

28-30" = 68" bow

30+ = 70" bow

What poundage to select:

In target archery with a recurve bow, a starting bow weight is around 24-30lbs at the archers draw length...the longer your arms the further you pull the bow back and the higher the pulling weight of the bow becomes as you pull it back further and further. If you pull 30" then you will increase the pull of the bow about 2lbs for each extra inch you draw over 28" compared with the pulling weight that is marked on the bow itself. (Because they are generally measured at a standard 28").The weight will be less than the indicated weight if you dont pull as much as the 28".....again you can adjust the weight for you by about 2lbs for each inch under the 28" draw.

As you progress and shoot to the long distances then you will probably want to use 38-40lbs or even 40-50 lbs bow weights, but it is important to not get too heavy a bow at the start until you can truely manage the technique...then a heavier bow can be controlled and can be of benefit in improving you shooting. In Field Archery, the bow is often shorter and of a heavier pulling weight than for target archery, but the same guide lines apply.
Basic Bow Assembly:

Basic Bow Assembly:

1. Distinguish the upper limb from the lower limb (the lower limb shows the label with indications of measurements and power).

2. Fix the upper limb in its appropriate space on the plastic of the handle, making sure that it is well aligned and hand tighten the screws. Repeat the same operation for the lower limb.
Using a Bow Stringer:

Using a Bow Stringer:

We recommend that you use a bow stringer to string your recurve bow because this is a difficult operation and you can damage your bow without one.

1. Slide the bigger loop of the string over the top limb.

2. Attatch the remaining loop of the string to the other limb tip.

3. Take the bow stringer, it has a saddle one end and a cup the other.

4. Slide the saddle over the top limb and wind the smaller cup over the limb tip you atatched the string to.

5. Take the handle of the bow and block the stringer with your foot.

6. Pull the handle vertically to bend the bow and support the saddle while doing so.

7. When the limbs are sufficiently bent, the bow stringer should remain in place and allow you to slowly slide the string up to the notch on the tip of the limb.

8. Release slowly and remove the bow stringer. Make sure the string is correctly positioned.

The bow is now assembled.

Please note: We recommend that you disassemble the bow after each use.

For disassembling follow the instructions for the assembling.


Many clubs, indeed most clubs have a good coaching and beginners system and a good selection of equipment to teach you on as well. Even if you only want to shoot on your own at home or in the local farmers field (with his knowledge and permission) this is a good way to start. You can of course go it alone and many do from books or from the ground up. We can offer help if this is your preference.