Dilemma Choosing First Bow

HongKongPhooey

New member
Evening all,
right as I might have mentioned in my intro thread I'm new to archery, now only got to wait 2 more weeks for the beginners course to start (seems about a year since I booked it). thoughts have turned to the first bow purchase, rather than just drooling at the various websites.
With all the reading I've done I understand that draw weight can change quite a bit during the first year or so as your musculature adapts to shooting and this is causing the dilemma, as I have the firm ambition of joining the stick and string brigade (ELB chapter) do I dive right in and buy the big stick at a lowish poundage knowing that in a short time ill be needing to upgrade or play with say a flatbow or trad recurve for a few months until I have a better idea of a comfortable poundage.
the usual financial factor is at play here as my head doesn't really want to be handing over 4-500 beer tokens for a big stick and twigs that turn out to be fairly temporary suitability wise, against the heart that's dead set on sailing across the channel and laying siege to Calais and isn't at all interested in being sensible.
Matt
 


chuffalump

Member
Wait.

Once you've started your beginner's course you may change your mind about where you want to go. If you still want to go longbow afterwards then it's a different matter.

You could buy a starter bow, like the ones you'll learn on, and build up the poundage until a new longbow won't need to be replaced with a heavier one in a matter of months.

Or just get really cheap longbows until you feel settled enough to shell out the big penny's.
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Wait.

Once you've started your beginner's course you may change your mind about where you want to go. If you still want to go longbow afterwards then it's a different matter.

You could buy a starter bow like the ones you'll learn on and build up the poundage until a new longbow won't need to be replaced with a heavier one in a matter of months.
thanks that's exactly what the head is saying, buy a beginner's recurve shoot barebow and upgrade the limbs as and when needed then buy the longbow.
the impatient bugger is saying hey you have a physical job and you train martial arts so you should be able to draw higher poundage than expected to start with :-D
 


LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
I didn't wait!

(3 years ago now)

...But I knew even before the course that I wanted to do Olympic Recurve.

I'd done enough research to be confident about my initial choice - Core Pro Metal Riser & 70" 30lb Pulse limbs (I'm a large dude & a former semi-pro Gridiron player) with an Avalon Tyro 9" sight & Tyro stabiliser set.

I've just moved on to my 1st ILF bow, at 36lbs. (WNS Axiom Alpha w/ Samick Ideal limbs & Avalon Tec-X Olympic sights)

...but I'm keeping the Core as I can get 40lb limbs (for SPT training & clouts) for less than ?30.

Yes, the sensible thing to do is wait, but that's advice, not some kind of capital law. I've had zero regrets :D
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Yes, absolutely wait. I know that's a nightmare, but hang on those couple of weeks and take advantage of the kit supplied on your beginners' course. Until you've tried it, archery is another world, and you'll have a complete revelation. Work with the club kit and the coach's advice for as long as you can before spending a penny.
Then, arrange to go with your coach or an experienced archer, to your local shop. Let the shop know you are coming and what you want to look at - no good if they don't have that sort of thing in stock. Saturdays are frequently very busy so you might not get a lot of attention if you have to go then. Make sure they know your budget *and stick to it* you'll be like a kid in a sweetie shop and it's easy to come away with everything you need and load of stuff you don't.
Have fun on your beginners' course!
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Yes, absolutely wait. I know that's a nightmare, but hang on those couple of weeks and take advantage of the kit supplied on your beginners' course. Until you've tried it, archery is another world, and you'll have a complete revelation. Work with the club kit and the coach's advice for as long as you can before spending a penny.
Then, arrange to go with your coach or an experienced archer, to your local shop. Let the shop know you are coming and what you want to look at - no good if they don't have that sort of thing in stock. Saturdays are frequently very busy so you might not get a lot of attention if you have to go then. Make sure they know your budget *and stick to it* you'll be like a kid in a sweetie shop and it's easy to come away with everything you need and load of stuff you don't.
Have fun on your beginners' course!
Sorry didn?t explain I?m going to wait until I?ve done the course before any wallet emptying trips and may even wait as long as a week after too! and being a bad golfer I know all about shiny kit syndrome, we have the saying ?all the gear and no idea?
Great advice on taking someone with experience thanks
Matt
 


Corax67

Active member
Hi Matt,

it’s boring and sensible advice time I’m afraid.


Before my beginners course I’d had several ‘have a go’ sessions at various clubs and obsessed in shops & online on what shiny kit I was going to buy & shoot.

My 6-week course was on club recurve kit starting out with 16# limbs and finishing on 26# - at week 4 I was offered a friend of a friends complete setup for silly money as they too had bought before the course and packed archery in within 3 months. I snapped it up despite the advice to hold off.

I am a big guy, 6’3” doing a very physical manual job but I admit that brute strength means little in this game and good form wins hands down every time. Within 12 months I was shooting 40# off my fingers (36# carbon limbs & 28” draw) and had had to sell off the limbs from the kit I initially bought as they were too low, also had to sell on the arrows - now the bargain is looking less like a bargain but it would have hurt a lot more if I’d paid full price for them.

Club support is amazing so take full advantage of it: use club risers, limbs and stabilisers as long as you can - in our club 12 months or more - until everything beds in.

I came to longbow following an injury where I couldn’t shoot recurve using an old club bow got the bug really badly and bought my next two as “pre-loved” bows from fellow club members as they upgraded before blitzing ?400 on my Gary Evans competition bow.

By the time this dented my retirement fund I’d been shooting 3 years - I can manage my 50# ELB for a full York or 1440 but struggle with my club mate Bill’s 55# Gary Evans for the same rounds.


Don't go buying before your course is over, use the club kit and just enjoy the learning curve & look out for club members selling off kit - take as much advice as you can before you do buy. Try out a longbow if you can before buying one as they don’t suit everyone - they should but they don’t ;) - and getting the wrong one is an expensive mistake.



Karl
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Hi Matt,

it’s boring and sensible advice time I’m afraid.


Before my beginners course I’d had several ‘have a go’ sessions at various clubs and obsessed in shops & online on what shiny kit I was going to buy & shoot.

My 6-week course was on club recurve kit starting out with 16# limbs and finishing on 26# - at week 4 I was offered a friend of a friends complete setup for silly money as they too had bought before the course and packed archery in within 3 months. I snapped it up despite the advice to hold off.

I am a big guy, 6’3” doing a very physical manual job but I admit that brute strength means little in this game and good form wins hands down every time. Within 12 months I was shooting 40# off my fingers (36# carbon limbs & 28” draw) and had had to sell off the limbs from the kit I initially bought as they were too low, also had to sell on the arrows - now the bargain is looking less like a bargain but it would have hurt a lot more if I’d paid full price for them.

Club support is amazing so take full advantage of it: use club risers, limbs and stabilisers as long as you can - in our club 12 months or more - until everything beds in.

I came to longbow following an injury where I couldn’t shoot recurve using an old club bow got the bug really badly and bought my next two as “pre-loved” bows from fellow club members as they upgraded before blitzing ?400 on my Gary Evans competition bow.

By the time this dented my retirement fund I’d been shooting 3 years - I can manage my 50# ELB for a full York or 1440 but struggle with my club mate Bill’s 55# Gary Evans for the same rounds.


Don't go buying before your course is over, use the club kit and just enjoy the learning curve & look out for club members selling off kit - take as much advice as you can before you do buy. Try out a longbow if you can before buying one as they don’t suit everyone - they should but they don’t ;) - and getting the wrong one is an expensive mistake.



Karl
Thanks Karl I?m intending trying before buying anything, I bought my golf irons online but made sure to try exactly the same model in one of the local shops first to make sure they suited so can be sensible occasionally (despite what my Mrs thinks)
Great opinions and advice everyone thanks it?s a good job I?m busy for the next two weeks with work and social stuff although the MR may find a war bow missing after I visit next weekend
 


chuffalump

Member
Yeah. If you were going to shoot recurve then the main risks are giving up archery after a few months or picking the wrong kit (like a beginner picking out individual golf clubs without advice). Longbow is like picking the entire set of clubs and realising they are all too short and you hate the colour and the bag doesn't have enough pockets.

Bow poundage is less about brute strength than control. Your muscles will end up holding 15 to 20kg for example. Holding it steady enough and relaxed enough and in the same position every time......while aiming.
 


Kernowlad

Member
Or take my route and spend a fortune on-line because the nearest archery shop in two hours away! TBF, thanks partly to great advice on here, I didn?t make too many mistakes.

However now I?ve given up target shooting, I think my 10 ACGs may be surplus to requirements. I?m hanging onto them just in case...
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Yeah. If you were going to shoot recurve then the main risks are giving up archery after a few months or picking the wrong kit (like a beginner picking out individual golf clubs without advice). Longbow is like picking the entire set of clubs and realising they are all too short and you hate the colour and the bag doesn't have enough pockets.

Bow poundage is less about brute strength than control. Your muscles will end up holding 15 to 20kg for example. Holding it steady enough and relaxed enough and in the same position every time......while aiming.
that last is an interesting insight chuffalump and sounds similar to the principals of Wing Chun Kuen where technique is mostly preferable to raw power although like most things power has its part to play, its kind of a hard and soft style where the muscles need to be relaxed without compromising form, although probably best not to transfer the training technique of blindfold lok sau to archery
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Or take my route and spend a fortune on-line because the nearest archery shop in two hours away! TBF, thanks partly to great advice on here, I didn’t make too many mistakes.

However now I’ve given up target shooting, I think my 10 ACGs may be surplus to requirements. I’m hanging onto them just in case...
I guess that's where I'm extremely lucky as there are about 5 archery shops within an hour from me that cover pretty much every discipline and style from what I can see, although I can see a road trip to the Wirral in my future.
noob question what's an ACG?
 


jonUK76

Member
that last is an interesting insight chuffalump and sounds similar to the principals of Wing Chun Kuen where technique is mostly preferable to raw power although like most things power has its part to play, its kind of a hard and soft style where the muscles need to be relaxed without compromising form, although probably best not to transfer the training technique of blindfold lok sau to archery
Yep, muscle power and endurance certainly plays it's part in drawing and holding the bow, but at the same time good shots are generally relaxed and effortless...

Believe it or not blindfolded practice is something you can do (at close range into a large target) to train in feeling the shot process. I don't know if it's widespread but my coach advised giving it a try once.
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Yep, muscle power and endurance certainly plays it's part in drawing and holding the bow, but at the same time good shots are generally relaxed and effortless...

Believe it or not blindfolded practice is something you can do (at close range into a large target) to train in feeling the shot process. I don't know if it's widespread but my coach advised giving it a try once.
Probably for a similar reason, in Wing Chun it?s to rely on feel rather than the eye anticipating the moves, I?m guessing in archery it?s to hone technique without having to worry about hitting the target.
Use the force Luke
 


Kernowlad

Member
Martial arts and strength and helpful but beware of assuming you?ll be able to comfortably shoot 60+ arrows at almost your maximum draw weight.

I?m a lifelong martial artist and exercise/strength freak and some elements are useful, some get in the way.

Start with a fresh mind and see what feels best instead of going straight for the most butch looking form of archery; whatever that is!

The combination of strength and focus and quite unique though.
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Martial arts and strength and helpful but beware of assuming you?ll be able to comfortably shoot 60+ arrows at almost your maximum draw weight.

I?m a lifelong martial artist and exercise/strength freak and some elements are useful, some get in the way.

Start with a fresh mind and see what feels best instead of going straight for the most butch looking form of archery; whatever that is!

The combination of strength and focus and quite unique though.
I?ve long since stopped assuming things like that, if martial arts has taught me anything it?s starting with a fresh and open mind, what style do you train out of interest?
Longbow is just the style of archery that speaks to me rather than being a macho thing
 


Kernowlad

Member
Eight years of Shotokan Karate (both my kids do it now) then ten years kickboxing with a few national tournaments thrown in. Did a bit of Win Chun but the instructor was a bit odd. Good martial art though.
 


HongKongPhooey

New member
Eight years of Shotokan Karate (both my kids do it now) then ten years kickboxing with a few national tournaments thrown in. Did a bit of Win Chun but the instructor was a bit odd. Good martial art though.
Impressive, the organisation I?m a member of has a school down your neck of the woods in st Austell I think
 


Corax67

Active member
I guess that's where I'm extremely lucky as there are about 5 archery shops within an hour from me that cover pretty much every discipline and style from what I can see, although I can see a road trip to the Wirral in my future.
noob question what's an ACG?

ACG? are aluminium core carbon fibre arrows - the cheapest of the Easton carbon/ali?s but still around ?12 each per shaft !

Honestly you won?t need to consider carbons until you are out to 80 or 100yds looking to achieve 1st class or Bowman, until then XX75?s (aluminium) will get you where you need to be scoring and be a lot kinder on your wallet.



Karl
 


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