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New archer needs equipment advice

1247 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  omega_archer
I'm an adult male who has recently taken two archery lessons and I'm totally hooked. I want to get into this sport seriously and compete at FITA events once I get good enough. Before then, I need some advice on what sort of equipment to buy.

It seems like it's probably a good idea to buy a real riser and a cheap set of limbs as opposed to the starter bow (i.e. Bullseye) that is the standard for beginner lessons. From what I've read on this forum and elsewhere on the internet, I think I have a ballpark idea of what I should get, but I'm a little fuzzy on the specifics.

Here's a summary of my stats and what I'm considering:
Draw length - 25"?
Desired draw weight - 28#
Bow length - 64" or 66"?

Trex limbs (short or medium?) and either Hoyt Excel 23", Kap Winstar II 25", or Samick Mizar 23" riser.

I'm thinking of not getting things like a sight, clicker, and stabilizer until I can shoot reasonably well.

Not totally sure what my draw length is (and therefore what length bow to build) so here's all the gory details. I'm 5'5" with a 65" wingspan. Looked around online and saw something that said to divide by 2.5 to get my draw length (26"), got someone at an archery range to measure my draw length and he said it was 25" (which is also the distance from the V between my thumb and index finger to my chin). So I think my draw length is 25" and may expand a little as my form develops, but I saw something in a Hoyt manual I've seen linked that says that the standard 28" draw length is measured by adding 1 3/4" to the distance between the throat and the string. Using this method, my draw length would actually be 26 3/4" and could expand to maybe 27 3/4".

Should I build a 64" bow (23" riser and short limbs) or a 66" bow (23" riser and medium limbs or 25" riser and short limbs)?

Is it a good or bad idea to wait on getting the accessories? I've read conflicting viewpoints on this.

For my situation, what arrows should I get?

Thanks in advance!
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wow, there's a lot to tackle on this one LOL

Lessons - I would start off with a few lessons. Nothing expensive, just someone to help you get started so you don't build any bad habits to start with. Sometimes those can really be a pain when you really get going.

Riser - You sound like you're on the right track. I can tell you to pick something up and try it. My daughter has a Mizar riser, and I would wonder if the grip is a little small for me to shoot, so you might be the same. It can always be modified though, and probably will end up that way anyway.

Limbs - You're on the right track, but I might think lower on the limb poundage to start with. My daughter is shooting 32# limbs, and even though I can shoot a 70# compound, hers makes me shake like a leaf........difference in draw force curves and let off.

Bow length is a personal choice. I think either way you're on the right track. If you start out with one limb, and decide you don't like it, you'll be changing limbs in a few months anyway, so don't worry about it. Take a good guess and go with it.
 

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wow, there's a lot to tackle on this one LOL

Lessons - I would start off with a few lessons. Nothing expensive, just someone to help you get started so you don't build any bad habits to start with. Sometimes those can really be a pain when you really get going.

Riser - You sound like you're on the right track. I can tell you to pick something up and try it. My daughter has a Mizar riser, and I would wonder if the grip is a little small for me to shoot, so you might be the same. It can always be modified though, and probably will end up that way anyway.

Limbs - You're on the right track, but I might think lower on the limb poundage to start with. My daughter is shooting 32# limbs, and even though I can shoot a 70# compound, hers makes me shake like a leaf........difference in draw force curves and let off.

Bow length is a personal choice. I think either way you're on the right track. If you start out with one limb, and decide you don't like it, you'll be changing limbs in a few months anyway, so don't worry about it. Take a good guess and go with it.
I have to agree with everything huntmaster has here. a riser will last you your shooting career if you treat it right while you will get new limbs as you work your way up in poundage (so you do want cheaper limbs to start). 28 lbs is a bit much on the fingers to start. It is crucial to learn proper form and if you are holding too much weight it will be an uphill battle from the start.
 

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Sounds like you want your own gear and I can understand that. With that in mind there are a couple of ways to go.

Get a bow with a reasonable starter weight with the idea that you will buy higher weight limbs later. Use a club or lesson bow for lower weight form practice

Or, do what is stated above but add some inexpensive VERY low poundage practice limbs for practicing form. This will allow you to practice form with the feel of your own riser. You can change between your regular shooting limbs and your practice limbs depending on need.

Very low poundage is good for breaking down form details and building muscle memory. TREX limbs are only $89.99 at Lancaster. They will not be throw away since you can always return to them whenever you need lower poundage limbs to address form issues. They go all the way down to 16 pounds. If you go this route, you might consider a separate string for the low poundage limbs so that you are not readjusting your string length (twisting) every time you change limbs (your instructor can explain brace height and string twisting to you).

P.S. Have your instructor measure your draw length. Your instructor can make sure that it is measured correctly.
 

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Sounds like you're on the right track. Good advice from everyone. I'd lean toward the 64" bow for you but you can get away with the 66" especially if there are other issues like face contact or grip as Huntmaster said and if you do get that 27.75" drawlength instead of 25". Where are you in CA? If you're near me I can let you try a few of my family's bows or go to the local shop and try some so you have a better idea of what you want.

Drawlength measurement is not a science. You need to shoot a little while to really figure it out. There is another thread with a link to Bass Pro that has drawlenght tables and those put me 2 inches shorter than I shoot now lol. Get arrows that are longer than your drawlength so you don't have to buy a new set if they turn out too short. Its easy to make them shorter but difficult to make them longer.

You will need accessories to shoot fita style. At least a sight and a rest. A stabilizer will keep the bow from tipping back. You could go cheap but high end archery gear is not that difficult to sell if you change your mind about it. I bought my daughter a not really cheap Cartel. It was difficult to adjust and it kept falling off. I ended up getting her a Shibuya and even though it is way more then I should have spent it is rock solid and easy to adjust.

You might want to check out the classifieds here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the advice!

Sounds like I should do the following:
- draw weight: 20#, TREX limbs
- bow length: figure out some more things
---- get draw length properly measured
---- try out the different lengths and pay attention to the grip and face contact (on the websites of the local archery shops I've seen Hoyt listed as a carried brand, but not KAP or Samick so not sure if I'll be able to check the difference between brands)
- accessories: consider getting at least: stabilizer, sight (Shibuya dual click standard?), and a rest (not just the $2.50 plastic one?). Is a plunger something I can get and fiddle with later or should I consider getting that to start with as well?
- arrows: 2" longer than my draw length (Easton XX75?)

@Boltsmyth: I live in the SF bay area (peninsula/south bay). If you're close, I'd love to take you up on your offer.

I'll make sure to keep an eye out on the classifieds section. Seems like some major drama on that one thread in the classifieds!
 

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Thanks for all the advice!

Sounds like I should do the following:
- draw weight: 20#, TREX limbs
- bow length: figure out some more things
---- get draw length properly measured
---- try out the different lengths and pay attention to the grip and face contact (on the websites of the local archery shops I've seen Hoyt listed as a carried brand, but not KAP or Samick so not sure if I'll be able to check the difference between brands)
- accessories: consider getting at least: stabilizer, sight (Shibuya dual click standard?), and a rest (not just the $2.50 plastic one?). Is a plunger something I can get and fiddle with later or should I consider getting that to start with as well?
- arrows: 2" longer than my draw length (Easton XX75?)

@Boltsmyth: I live in the SF bay area (peninsula/south bay). If you're close, I'd love to take you up on your offer.

I'll make sure to keep an eye out on the classifieds section. Seems like some major drama on that one thread in the classifieds!
that sounds about right. only i'd go with Platinum Plus arrows instead of XX75s. also, the little white stick on rest (Hoyt Super Rest) is an excellent rest. i used that rest for almost three years. and do get a plunger to start with. the Shibuya DX is a very popular model, it's durable and has smooth action, and it's under $25. Cavaliers are also good.
 

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If you want to, you can get away with the cheap plastic rest, not a problem. I've been told there've been world champions and the like shooting/winning with them, that as long as it works, it doesn't much matter. I'd say yes, go for a plunger. Two I'd recommend would be Cavalier Master and Shibuya DX. I'd also say go for a finger tab, armguard, finger sling, chest guard and quiver as well, since you haven't mentioned them, but if you've already got those covered, points for you. :)

@XCalibre: Platinum Plus ARE xx75s. (iirc)
 

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Oh yes, my bad, you do want a plunger. Also what Sep said. The Cavalier is good and not to expensive.

I use the Hoyt $2.50 Super rest myself.

The brand of bow is not as important as the fit. Any store can get you KAP or Samick. Even I can through NADA... http://www.shop.worldarcherycenter.com/category.sc?categoryId=4.

XX75s are good as are other aluminum arrows. The Beman Carbon Flash are cheaper but not very straight and are fine to start out with.

I live in Salinas, about 2 hours away but we can meet in the middle at Predators Archery in Gilroy. They'll let us try their inventory (though I think they sold or loaned out most of their fita risers recently) and if you buy there they include 5 lessons. I keep threatening to drop off my kids there and say, "Give 'em all the lessons you owe me... I'll pick them up on Monday!" :wink:

I f you want to get together I'll pm you my number.
 

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If you find a good place to take lessons, they sometimes have their own bows. I got away with not buying my own bow for a while and used the range's 20# bow. Also I'd suggest getting a thera-band or other tube like thinger to practice form with. It is also useful for warm-up before you start shooting.

My .02
 

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Do these look like appropriate arrows for me?

Can't copy the link as a link... Classifieds thread, showthread.php?t=871384

@Boltsmyth: sounds good. I'll PM you.
maybe you should meet up with Boltsmyth first. Those arrows, 2213s, while inexpensive are absolutely waaaaay too stiff for your proposed set up. You'll need the most flexible arrows you can get your hands own.

I've only heard good things about Predator's archery, BTW. I'll have to get myself out there someday.
 

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A bunch of recurvers including myself shoot at Palomo Archery in Palo Alto. Have you been there? Lots of help and free advice as well. Wednesday night is 20 yard league night... yeah were still doing it as it's an excuse to get out and shoot on a weekday night and eat pizza. Peter the owner is a big supporter of Predators as well.
 

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A bunch of recurvers including myself shoot at Palomo Archery in Palo Alto. Have you been there? Lots of help and free advice as well. Wednesday night is 20 yard league night... yeah were still doing it as it's an excuse to get out and shoot on a weekday night and eat pizza. Peter the owner is a big supporter of Predators as well.
I thought you were going to say he owned an interest in a Pizza joint...

I'm going to have to get my butt over to Palomo, as well, in my usual "disguise" as a terrible FITA recurve archer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A bunch of recurvers including myself shoot at Palomo Archery in Palo Alto. Have you been there? Lots of help and free advice as well. Wednesday night is 20 yard league night... yeah were still doing it as it's an excuse to get out and shoot on a weekday night and eat pizza. Peter the owner is a big supporter of Predators as well.
Sounds fun. What time on Wednesday night? How much does it cost to be a part of the league? I'm out of town next week, but might drop by some other time.
 

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Hoyt Excel 23", Kap Winstar II 25", or Samick Mizar 23" riser

I'm a 5'5" adult female with a 26 1/2" draw length (from the nock grove of the arrow to the front of my riser) and smallish hands. I currently shoot a 23" Hoyt Nexus with a small Jager grip (I'm not sure what they call it) and medium limbs.

I have shot all three of the risers you are considering. I didn't care for the Samick Mizar's grip or the feel while shooting, I felt there was too much vibration for me. I liked the shape of the grip on the Excel (the grip at the pivot point is the narrowest of the three, and therefore more comfortable for my hand). The material the KAP Winstar's grip is made of has a great feel to it and your hand will not slip even when wet. I think both the Excel and the Winstar II and good starter risers, but your best bet is to try archery equipment yourself whenever possible!

Have Fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm a 5'5" adult female with a 26 1/2" draw length (from the nock grove of the arrow to the front of my riser) and smallish hands. I currently shoot a 23" Hoyt Nexus with a small Jager grip (I'm not sure what they call it) and medium limbs.

I have shot all three of the risers you are considering. I didn't care for the Samick Mizar's grip or the feel while shooting, I felt there was too much vibration for me. I liked the shape of the grip on the Excel (the grip at the pivot point is the narrowest of the three, and therefore more comfortable for my hand). The material the KAP Winstar's grip is made of has a great feel to it and your hand will not slip even when wet. I think both the Excel and the Winstar II and good starter risers, but your best bet is to try archery equipment yourself whenever possible!

Have Fun!
Jackpot! A review from someone who's tried all 3 of the risers I'm considering, thanks!
 

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Sounds fun. What time on Wednesday night? How much does it cost to be a part of the league? I'm out of town next week, but might drop by some other time.
We start shooting at about 7:15. Warm up starts anytime before then. $10/night. Pay as you go. If you do a monthly shoot pass, it's $5 for league.
Depending on the number of people/lines determines how many arrows we shoot. The last few times, we've been shooting NFAA 300 round (60 arrows).
 
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