Archery Equipment for Beginners
  • The right kit

  • Equipment is normally customised

  • Members are always willing to help

  • Different equipment for different archery


If you’re wondering how to choose the right archery equipment for beginners, we’re here to guide you. Each archery type has a particular bow archers shoot. In competitive archery, most competitions welcome other bow styles by using separate divisions. To give you a better idea of the different types of bows and where they’re used, the following chart should help you in narrowing down the right archery equipment. The international standard for measurement for archery equipment is in inches.



Bows Used In Varying Types of Archery
What is your interest? Recommended archery types Common bow style Other bow styles permitted in this archery type
I’d like to shoot in the Olympics someday. target archery modern recurve bows only none
I want to shoot on a field. target archery modern recurve bows and compound bows traditional longbows or recurve bows
I want to shoot a bow like Robin Hood. traditional archery traditional longbow bows or recurve bows none
I’d like to shoot on a roving course with different terrain. field archery or 3D Archery compound bows modern recurve bows and traditional longbows or recurve bows
I want to shoot targets in animal shapes. field archery or 3D Archery compound bows modern recurve bows and traditional longbowss or recurve bows
I want to go hunting with my bow. bowhunting compound bows modern recurve bows and traditional longbow or recurve bows


Making the Right Bow Choice

For your first bow, you should ask an archery coach or a more experienced shooter to help you make the right choice. Members are always available to help at your local club. No matter the style, the size of your bow will depend on several factors like your age, height and draw length.

When you are just starting out, the only factor determining how long your arrows should be is your draw length. As a beginner, it is best to use arrows that are at least an inch or two longer than your draw length.For safety reasons, always go with longer arrows./ Never go shorter


The Three Main Bow Types

  • Recurve Bows – Recurve bows are the only bows the Olympics allow. Many archers also shoot recurve bows in field archery and 3D archery, and when bowhunting with higher-poundage bows.
  • Compound Bows – Compound bows are known for their widespread use in field and 3D archery, and bowhunting. Many archers also shoot compounds in target archery.
  • Traditional Bows – Archers shoot traditional bows in all major types of archery. You’ll see traditional bows in target archery, field archery and 3D archery, and some will use them for bowhunting at higher draw weights.




Draw length is the distance between the bowstring and the grip when you hold a bow at full draw. Having the proper draw length improves your shooting form and consistency, which improves accuracy. The most popular method for determining draw length is the wingspan method, with three simple steps:


  • Hold your arms out away from your body to form the letter T.
  • Use a measuring tape to find the distance from the longest fingertip on the right hand to the longest fingertip on the left hand. Ask someone to help you measure this distance.
  • Next, determine your draw length from the following chart.



Find Your Draw Length
Wingspan (inches) Draw Length (inches)
61 23
62 23½
63 24
64 24½
65 25
66 25½
67 26
68 26½
69 27
70 27½
71 28
72 28½
73 29
74 29½
75 30
76 30½
77 31
78 31½
79 32
80 32½
81 33
82 33½
83 34


Note to young archers: If you’re still growing, your draw length will likely change as you grow and mature. The amount of weight you are able to pull back will also change. Make sure that your equipment matches your ability and size.





Most people have a visual preference for one eye or the other, often without even realising it. This is known as eye dominance. Before choosing a bow, it’s important to know which eye you prefer to use. Eye dominance can be weak or strong, and does not have anything to do with hand dominance. For example, you might be right-handed but left-eye dominant. Studies show that about two-thirds of people are right-eye dominant, one-third are left-eye dominant and a small percentage of people do not favor either eye.


5 easy steps to test eye dominance:

  1. Go where you can see an object that is at least 3 metres away.
  2. Hold your hands out at arm’s length and make a circle about 3cm in diameter.
  3. Keeping both eyes open, use the circle to frame the object visually.
  4. Making sure you can always see the object, pull your hands slowly back to your face.
  5. Your hands will come back naturally to your dominant eye.

In rare cases, a new archer will not feel a preference for either eye. When this happens, it is best to use the dominant hand to draw the bow.




We have clubs all over the country. In some provinces there are a number of clubs, but only one archery range. In some cases, we share facilities with our clubs or organisations. Often, for national events, we have to hire facilities. A number of archery ranges are on private property. The easiest is to find a club in your area and to contact the provincial archery secretary who will welcome your call or email and direct you to your closest range.



We have different levels of qualified coaches who volunteer their time and skill. At clubs we have instructors who offer our Feathers and Arrows program as well as our Give-it-a-Go development program. You can also ask your local club to recommend a coach.




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