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Guys -

A few times a week, the same exact question is asked. Usually goes something like this: "I'm thinking about getting into archery", or "I shot bows and arrows years ago and want to get back into it" or "I've been shooting a compound and want to try a recurve, what's a good bow to start with that won't break the bank". A lot of you may have asked that question yourselves.

Well, it's not as good a question as it seems.

First question might, or should be: do you have an end game (reason to getting into it), or just want to try it out and see where it goes. Both are viable answers, and both may, and usually will change over time.

Suggestions:

1. Don't "buy" anything. If at all possible go to a range or club and take a lesson. Most intro lessons are rudimentary by definition, but will give you an idea what's going on and may whet your appetite - OR totally turn you off. Hey, it happens.

2. Use the range's or clubs equipment. While it may not be the best or even closely matched to anything, it will give you an idea about realistic bow lengths and weight. (As opposed to the guy who ultimately wants to kill an elephant and therefore has to start off with a 70# bow...)

Happily, that should directly answer the next question, which bow to buy.

3. The fact is that (almost) any current production entry level bow will out shoot you (and me) for as long as we're alive. The factors you have to consider are length and draw weight. Beyond that, the bow has to appeal to you on some gut level. If it doesn't, you won't stick with it.

Bow length is based to some degree on purpose and to a lesser degree on draw length. In general, longer bows will be more stable in the hand and easier to shoot well, but may be cumbersome in tight hunting environments. While draw length factors in, as long as you don't go to extremes, it's not a real a concern with modern recurve bows. Examples of extremes would be a guy with a 32" draw (measured, not calculated) might not be too happy with a 48" bow and a guy with a 24" draw will rarely get full use from limbs on a 70" bow. Here, the middle ground may be best.

4. If you've done your due diligence and have gotten to a range, taken a lesson, you should have a pretty good idea of what will work for you. The range, if it has some kind of Pro-shop, will recommend something that they stock. That's actually a good starting point.

Hint: no matter how badly you've been bitten by the archery bug, remember 4 things:

1. Go generic, usually not a problem with entry level equipment; your need or tastes will change over time.
2. Don't spend more than you have to. Seems obvious, but see above about your tastes.
3. Go lighter than you "think" you can handle. Drawing a bow a few times has no bearing on being able to learn to shoot, when 50, 60 or more arrows will be required during a session.
4. Go longer than you think is "appropriate". Even if you think you'll be hunting Bambi from a tree stand or ground blind, you really do have to learn to shoot first and the fewer obstacles, the better.

OK, there really aren't any ranges near you. First off, I don't buy it. Sure you might have to drive a hour or more to get to one, but it will be time well spent. If there really aren't any, read, watch and come to some conclusions on what you want.

Then ...

Ask specific question here and on other archer forums. "What bow should I buy" will only get responses about what other folks like, which may or may not apply to you.

Do your research, pick out a few bows that float yer boat, and get opinions on those.

Arrows are another discussion, and for beginners, almost any arrow, as long as it's long enough to be safe (won't be pulled off the rest by a long draw shooter) is probably fine. Don't even think about "tuning" your rig, I can guarantee you, you are shooting well enough to make that happen.

Hope that helped.

and BTW, I'm not suggesting you don't ask questions, only that the better (more specific) the question, the better the answers.

Viper1 out.
 

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I would like to add a little:
1 - Be patient. You will not shoot like the compound archer next to you after just 3 sessions
2 - Don't worry about hitting the yellow center ring or bullseye every shot
3 - Keep it in perspective - its a fun pastime/hobby.
4 - Read, talk to others, watch videos, take a lesson or a few
 

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Thank you for the advice and taking the time to write them down.

I found out the hard way that a 45# long bow was not a good choice for beginners like me. Beginners would get tired quickly with a 45#. So I went back to my 20-25# to practice my form and can shoot 4 hours without being tired.
 

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To moderators:

Could we have threads with this kind of pieces of advice be "Sticky" so they won't get buried by many newer posts ?
 

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Guys -

A few times a week, the same exact question is asked. Usually goes something like this: "I'm thinking about getting into archery", or "I shot bows and arrows years ago and want to get back into it" or "I've been shooting a compound and want to try a recurve, what's a good bow to start with that won't break the bank". A lot of you may have asked that question yourselves.

Well, it's not as good a question as it seems.

First question might, or should be: do you have an end game (reason to getting into it), or just want to try it out and see where it goes. Both are viable answers, and both may, and usually will change over time.

Suggestions:

1. Don't "buy" anything. If at all possible go to a range or club and take a lesson. Most intro lessons are rudimentary by definition, but will give you an idea what's going on and may whet your appetite - OR totally turn you off. Hey, it happens.

2. Use the range's or clubs equipment. While it may not be the best or even closely matched to anything, it will give you an idea about realistic bow lengths and weight. (As opposed to the guy who ultimately wants to kill an elephant and therefore has to start off with a 70# bow...)

Happily, that should directly answer the next question, which bow to buy.

3. The fact is that (almost) any current production entry level bow will out shoot you (and me) for as long as we're alive. The factors you have to consider are length and draw weight. Beyond that, the bow has to appeal to you on some gut level. If it doesn't, you won't stick with it.

Bow length is based to some degree on purpose and to a lesser degree on draw length. In general, longer bows will be more stable in the hand and easier to shoot well, but may be cumbersome in tight hunting environments. While draw length factors in, as long as you don't go to extremes, it's not a real a concern with modern recurve bows. Examples of extremes would be a guy with a 32" draw (measured, not calculated) might not be too happy with a 48" bow and a guy with a 24" draw will rarely get full use from limbs on a 70" bow. Here, the middle ground may be best.

4. If you've done your due diligence and have gotten to a range, taken a lesson, you should have a pretty good idea of what will work for you. The range, if it has some kind of Pro-shop, will recommend something that they stock. That's actually a good starting point.

Hint: no matter how badly you've been bitten by the archery bug, remember 4 things:

1. Go generic, usually not a problem with entry level equipment; your need or tastes will change over time.
2. Don't spend more than you have to. Seems obvious, but see above about your tastes.
3. Go lighter than you "think" you can handle. Drawing a bow a few times has no bearing on being able to learn to shoot, when 50, 60 or more arrows will be required during a session.
4. Go longer than you think is "appropriate". Even if you think you'll be hunting Bambi from a tree stand or ground blind, you really do have to learn to shoot first and the fewer obstacles, the better.

OK, there really aren't any ranges near you. First off, I don't buy it. Sure you might have to drive a hour or more to get to one, but it will be time well spent. If there really aren't any, read, watch and come to some conclusions on what you want.

Then ...

Ask specific question here and on other archer forums. "What bow should I buy" will only get responses about what other folks like, which may or may not apply to you.

Do your research, pick out a few bows that float yer boat, and get opinions on those.

Arrows are another discussion, and for beginners, almost any arrow, as long as it's long enough to be safe (won't be pulled off the rest by a long draw shooter) is probably fine. Don't even think about "tuning" your rig, I can guarantee you, you are shooting well enough to make that happen.

Hope that helped.

and BTW, I'm not suggesting you don't ask questions, only that the better (more specific) the question, the better the answers.

Viper1 out.
I would like to add a little:
1 - Be patient. You will not shoot like the compound archer next to you after just 3 sessions
2 - Don't worry about hitting the yellow center ring or bullseye every shot
3 - Keep it in perspective - its a fun pastime/hobby.
4 - Read, talk to others, watch videos, take a lesson or a few
I completely agree with both of these posts!!!! Especially the point that I bolded above....
Most folks get into archery because there is someone that they know who is already into it. They take advice from their friend (who may be a great source of information or an idiot). I've seen quite a few "new" guys at the club who say "I bought this bow because my friend said it's the best and anything else is a waste of time and money". While I agree with the term "Buy once, cry once." But, even if you do eventually end up with one, that doesn't mean your very first bow should be a 70# Full Throttle!

When getting started, it's about managing expectations!!!
 

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I may get banned for speaking my mind but that's a pretty condescending position and thread starter for a public forum where people should feel free to come looking for advice from the "experts". I agree that the research involed in answering the basic questions about any subject are a major part of the education however, everyone today looks to their favorite search engine to make them an expert. This sounds like you are discouraging posts beneath the level of expertise required to be a participant here.
 

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JRT51 NOT sure where you see that... "condescending!" And the rest, "discouraging posts?" Viper really nailed the topic, IMO.
Anyone that has spent much time actually instructing folks recognizes the absolute truth and good advice given. YES!! Ask questions, IF you don't know ASK!!! But too, if you ask questions, you MAY want to listen to the answers. I see many that want to buy just one bow for hunting so it has to be XX#. I shoot a million pound compound so think I can shoot a 60# recurve. We see this all the time then when the advice is 25 or 30# they are insulted and move on or argue the point. It's just frustrating to try to answer questions with good advice based on years of teaching to have that effort disregarded. Many of use are REALLY here to help lead a person to SUCCESS not failure.

GREAT POST VIPER!!!!!!

Arne
 

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Apparently, some people's feelings can be easily hurt by reading into something that isn't there...

All Viper was saying can be summed up in three words: "Do Your Homework".

Everything Viper stated in his post is true. I don't see anything "condescending" about his post at all. in fact, This was the end of his post:

I'm not suggesting you don't ask questions, only that the better (more specific) the question, the better the answers.
I agree with ABK about make what Viper posted here into the sticky in the New User's Forum as well as in the General Archery Information forum. This advice is very helpful to all new archers.
 

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I don't find the posts by Viper or others above to be condescending. Rather insightful and experienced.

One theme in particular I had not really thought about the problem clearly until I considered Viper's comments earlier today... but folks really aught to try a fair amount prior to buying, and with some work they should be able to find someone in their area to help. My friends shoot ~7 different bows over several weeks when I help them start out, then we shoot the ones they recall liking again, then pick something at the end similar to or identical to what they enjoyed most. For most folks that means finding an instructor, a range, and/or a pro shop.

I especially liked the "Arrows are another discussion, and for beginners, almost any arrow, as long as it's long enough to be safe (won't be pulled off the rest by a long draw shooter) is probably fine."

In sum, I find the posts highly helpful and insightful to the problem of "what is the role of the forum for a beginner, how can we help put out more consistent and useful information that is simple enough for a beginner?" And the top suggestion has to be- find someone that knows enough not to tell you bad ideas. Viper is one of those fellows. And he is kind enough to share here.
 

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I may get banned for speaking my mind but that's a pretty condescending position and thread starter for a public forum where people should feel free to come looking for advice from the "experts". I agree that the research involed in answering the basic questions about any subject are a major part of the education however, everyone today looks to their favorite search engine to make them an expert. This sounds like you are discouraging posts beneath the level of expertise required to be a participant here.
I don't see it that way.... In fact, I hope it sends a message to people to do a little reading/research first before starting out with "Hi, I'm new to Archery. What bow should I buy?" (not that anyone here would be rude about it) But, there are so many details missing it would be impossible to make a realistic suggestion.

It never fails, this time of year there are a ton of threads almost verbatim to this.... and every year we type in the same questions to pull more information from them.
 

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Well there's one thing we can all agree on.
It should certainly cut down on all those annoying rudimentary questions all these flipping new guys ask who are just here to get free advice.
 

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Well there's one thing we can all agree on.
It should certainly cut down on all those annoying rudimentary questions all these flipping new guys ask who are just here to get free advice.
Would certainly be nice if the search function was used or scroll thru a couple pages before asking. But agreed, there are LOTS of these posts, repetitive and daily. But its the times, instant need for what is wanted with less effort.

That said without fresh contributors, a forum can go stagnant.

This post needs to be a sticky at the top for sure.
 

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I’m a flipping new guy with questions to ask...
guess I should find a less sanctimonious plCe to ask them...
No!!!!! Don’t do that. Everyone starts somewhere and even the guys who complain about new guys questions once asked the same questions either in this forum or to a friend. Don’t let it get to you. The majority will help you out and are awesome! Ask any question you want! If they don’t like it or annoyed they can not read it and not respond. It’s crazy to think that someone can get upset about seeing “a new guy” ask a question. That’s what this is for and at the end of the day we are a small community and should always be promoting the sport of archery and each other. Please don’t let this discourage you.

Nate




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TJ Jax - Everyone is welcome to ask questions, and is welcome on the forum. But, it helps when we know your ultimate goals and interests, which may evolve as you do. Also, personal information is important. Are you 6'4" and 30 YO or 5'4" and 60+ YO. It all helps to answer pointed, specific questions. Arne Moe (Moebow), Viper and others have given some very good suggestions and instruction to many archers, experienced and not so experienced. Enjoy the ride.
 

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I think this should be another sticky, not just because the post is spot on, but also simply for the matter of efficiency. If the same question keeps getting asked, because of unfamiliarity or dysfunction with the search feature (new site overhaul, don't know how well it actually works), why waste knowledge resources (people's time) with what is effectively cut and paste.

I'm happy to help people as I'm able, but there are only so many times a person can answer the same question, and only so many people who can actually answer it in a way that is actually helpful, based on experience and a track record.

It's kind of like a teacher can assign reading, and then have a discussion on the reading.

If the kid doesn't want to do the reading, and then wants to debate the topic, well...
 

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I agree this is a great thing for a person to read that is new to the sport. I also agree that the search function is awesome and people should do some searching to find their answers. It shows that you have a desire to find the knowledge. Hopefully this becomes a sticky soon and then if someone asks a question and the respondent doesn’t want to type it all out they can say “check this out”. I don’t agree with bustin new guys chops for asking questions though. That being said there are guys that just ask anything they can think of to get their post counts up for classifieds. I think the guys that have been around here a bit are able to identify the differences of a genuine question and a post to boost.

I love this forum, I joined 8 years ago and it’s been a tremendous help!

Nate


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