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Why Should You Teach Your Kids Archery

infographic Why Should You Teach Your Kids Archery

Infographic Why Should You Teach Your Kids Archery

It is no secret that children do not get enough exercise. Schools are shortening or completely removing physical education. If children do not start playing a sport at a young age, it is nearly impossible for them to get involved in extracurricular sports at school. These are big reasons why archery has become a popular sport, especially for kids. You do not have to buy your child the best compound bow or a fancy recurve bow to get them started. It is an affordable sport that anyone can learn to do.

Archery is Safe

With all of the reports about concussions, parents are no longer encouraging their children to get involved in sports like football. There are plenty of other sports that have safety issues, too. Kids who play team sports like baseball, cheerleading, and soccer often end up with injuries to their knees, hips, and elbows. But, archery is one of the safest sports for people of all ages. The safety rules are well-established and easy to follow.

Anyone Can Shoot an Arrow

Archery is a sport that anyone can do. Literally. Everyone. Arrows can be shot by people in wheel chairs. They can be shot by people who are young and old. There are accessories that can be added to help people shoot a crossbow with ease. While other sports require a serious level of physical fitness and training, archery does not – so it is truly a sport for the people.

Archery kids

Archery is a Season-less Activity

Many competitive sports have special seasons. For example, baseball is a summer sport and football is a fall sport – usually because the sports are played outdoors. Baseball cannot be played in the snow. And, the equipment that football players wear makes it difficult for playing in the excessive heat of the summer. But, archery can happen inside or outside. There are no weather restrictions on the equipment. So, while a young baseball players cannot swing their $300 bats in weather under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a recurve bow, crossbow, or the best compound bow can be shot in any temperature.

Archery Develops Problem Solving Techniques

Archery can develop focus and problem solving. Anyone who has spent time with a small group of children can quickly see that focusing on one thing for an extended time is difficult for them. All too often, children are quick to give up when problems come their way. But, in the world of archery, archers quickly learn that they need to figure out what they did wrong when the arrow doesn’t hit the target. Archers are also required to slow themselves down so they can focus on the target. Quick shots rarely work as planned. The skills learned on the archery field are carried over into the classroom.

Archery Builds Fitness Levels

Archery also provides opportunities for physical fitness. Students do get to stretch and they build strength when they draw the bow. Archery improves the muscles in the upper body. And, when young archers begin participating in tournaments, they can walk miles back and forth between the fields. Of course, walking is always good for the body. Along with muscle tone and fitness, archery also develops balance and hand-eye coordination.

Archery Scholarships are Available

Most parents do not know this, but children who are good archers have a fair chance of earning a scholarship as a reward for their abilities. There are school programs that reward scholarships on an annual basis. There are also awards like cash or scholarships given out a many archery tournaments around the country.

Archers Learn to Set and Achieve Goals

Children who participate in archery learn how to set goals and strive to achieve them. Many children do not know how to set goals and they do not understand the work it takes to succeed. They also learn how to solve problems when they do not reach their goals. Learning to deal with setbacks is a vital part of life that too many children never get to experience. Learning early makes the later setbacks easier to manage.

Archery is Fun

Finally, archery is a fun activity. It is easy to do with the family and with friends. There are so few activities that an entire family can do together that provides so many positives like archery.

How to Shoot a Recurve Bow

The bow of Legolas was singing… The last arrow of Legolas kindled in the air as it flew, and plunged burning into the heart of a great wolf-chieftain.” – The Fellowship of the Ring, “A Journey in the Dark”. In this guide, we will show you on how to shoot a recurve bow if you are just starting out.

The last few couple of decades saw resurgence in the interest in JRR Tolkien’s works. And at the forefront of this is the curiosity people have over a very bad-ass choice of weaponry- the recurve bow.

In modern times where guns and bombs are the weapons of choice, bows provide some form romanticism and mystique to warfare of old. Thus, the passion for archery also benefited from the renewed attention.

But archery isn’t as simple as nocking an arrow and letting it fly. And with no Nazgul to practice shooting on, it’s imperative that you know the proper way of shooting a recurve bow before you injure yourself or another human being.

Shooting a Recurve Bow

You may not end up looking as magically flawless as Legolas, but you can still aim for at least a Katniss Everdeen, right? So how exactly do you ensure you’re shooting your bow properly?

Prepare properly

You’ll need your bow, of course. And arrows. Plus a target. You also need to have your safety equipment ready. This includes your arm guard and finger tab.

Make sure your arm guard is on the forearm holding the bow. This protects your arm in case the string hits it. Your finger tab goes on the finger that’s going to pull back the bow. This is your protection against the string tension as you pull back.

shoot recurve bow

shoot recurve bow

Get in the correct position

Legs should be shoulder-width apart. Your non-dominant leg must be slightly forward. Stand perpendicular to your target. Don’t raise the bow yet as you load the arrow.

Locate the target

Look at your target. Raise the bow to shoulder height. Draw halfway. Chest in, shoulders down. Do not rotate your elbow so much.

Your pointer finger should now be pointing directly to the target. Modern recurve bows have handles that naturally allow for the hand to be in this position. This means you have the proper grip.

Pull back

Pull the string back. Your hand should end up resting just underneath your jaw bone. The bowstring should be touching your face. Now, take aim.

Slide, don’t jerk

Now that you’re in position, you can release the arrow. Remember to slide your fingers off the string instead of jerking it back. Otherwise, the arrow won’t fly straight.

You have to remember to do this consistently or you’ll be plagued with inconsistent shooting.

Sounds easy enough? Sure it does. It doesn’t mean that beginners aren’t making mistakes, though. And there are in fact, many ways to mess it up.

How You Could Go Wrong

Here are some of the ways to get shooting wrong:

Poor stance – many beginners have their feet or knees pointing to the target
Arm gets hit by the string – arrows are slowed down when the string hits any other object
Very tight grip – notice the arrow fishtailing or wiggling side to side? That’s a sure tell that you are gripping your bow too tight.
Not anchoring in the same place – you must draw at the exact place everytime if you want your arrows to have good grouping

Recurve Bow Shooting Tips

There are just so many ways to mess up. But how do you get it right everytime? PRACTICE, that’s how!

Even without using a bow and arrow, you can do this. Just raise your bow arm up and down. Do this while keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. Pretend to draw the bow back until your forefinger reaches your mouth. Remember, you have to make sure you keep standing straight and tall.

When you actually start shooting, you might want to consider placing the target as close to you as possible without damaging or interfering with your form. 5 to 10 yards away is a good starting point. This way, you can learn about correct forms and postures first.

There’s just no better way to go old school than doing archery. The bow and arrow have been around for hundreds of years. In the old days, the tool helped men in hunting food and games. Many famous historical figures used the “stick and string” and passed legends of its use.

Final Words on How to Shoot a Recurve Bow

Modern times have given us various advancements in the field of archery. We now have compound bows, sights, rangefinders and a whole lot of other gadgetry. But regardless of the form it takes, archery will always have its draws.

So don’t be scared of unleashing your inner archer. The above tips on how to shoot a recurve bow should help you get started. Who knows, shooting your handy recurve bow, you may yet become the Elven archer of your dreams.

Recurve Bow Draw Weight

Archery has become more and more in vogue of late, what with popular culture bombarding us with characters like Legolas and the very bad-ass Daryl Dixon. But archery is more than just pulling at the bow and shooting arrows. And those people didn’t even have to worry about things like the recurve bow draw weight.

There are different kinds of bows – straight, recurve and compound. And pulling at the bowstring is rarely as simple as stretching it and letting the arrow fly.

What is Bow Draw Weight?

The draw weight is how much strength it takes to pull back the bowstring. That is equal to the force that’s put into the arrow. So, pulling a 50lb draw weight bow, in this case, is similar to lifting a 50lb sack. With one arm.

Ask any archer, he’ll tell you the same thing: a heavier draw weight means you can shoot heavier arrows with more energy and momentum. Simply put, the more weight you pull, the faster you can shoot.

More than Just Speed

So is speed and momentum the only reasons for learning the correct bow draw weight?

NO.

A heavy draw weight, one that is not right for you, increases the likelihood that you won’t learn the proper biomechanical form. And archery won’t be a very enjoyable experience.

You know what else?

The wrong draw weight can cause actual bodily harm. How? If you have a hard time pulling the bowstring back and accidentally let go, you could have your arrow flying all over the place, possibly injuring another person.

Recurve Bow

Recurve Bow

And lastly, using the wrong draw weight can put a lot of strain on your shoulder muscles and cause you pain.

Best Draw Weight for Recurve Bow

Using a recurve bow for archery means being able to draw and hold the weight long enough to aim and shoot.

Of course, before determining the weight, you’d have to figure out the length. As you pull back, the resistance also increases. And if you cannot reach the optimal draw length, you won’t be able to shoot consistently.

So, if you already know the length, how do you find out the draw weight if you’re using a recurve bow?

The simplest way is to get a scale, like those used in the grocery to weigh fish or fruits. You’d need to nock an arrow then draw the bow back to its maximum. The scale needs to be in-between your hand and the string.

Whatever the scale reads is your draw weight. This is also how archery shops would usually do it.

Is the draw weight from the scale your best draw weight, too?

Not necessarily.

The draw weight that is best for any person varies depending on skill level. And the more you shoot, the better your physical condition and skills become. This means the best recurve bow draw weight for you could also change.

Experts usually advise adult beginners to stick between 26-28 pounds for a start. Children could below 10 years old should only be at 10 -12 pounds. And teens at not more than 16 pounds.

Recurve Bow Draw Weight Chart

ArcherBody FrameWeight
Suggessted Draw Weight
KidsSmall50 - 70 lbs10 - 15 lbs
KidsLarger70 - 100 lbs
15 - 25 lbs
WomenSmall100 - 130 lbs25 - 35 lbs
WomenMedium130-160 lbs
25 - 35 lbs
WomenLarge160+ lbs
30 - 45 lbs
MenSmall120-150 lbs
30 - 45 lbs
MenMedium150-180 lbs
40 - 55 lbs
MenLarge180+ lbs
45 - 60 lbs

Archery can be a fun and challenging sport. But over bowing can take the enjoyment out of it and leave you shooting tired and inconsistently. It can even cause you injury. So knowing what the best recurve bow draw weight for you is paramount to having a good and injury-free archery session.

Differences between the Recurve vs. Compound Bow

When it comes time to choose whether to buy a recurve bow or a compound bow, there are several differences to consider. They both shoot arrows at intense speeds due to tension in a string. They can both be used for hunting and for target practice, but similarities end there. The differences are what make each the recurve bow and the compound bow exciting in their own unique ways.

The Bow Bodies

The bodies of the bows are quite different. The recurve bow is looks like a traditional bow that has been used for centuries. The bow is curved and the string stays taut between the ends of the bow. As the string is drawn back, the bow enters into a deeper curve. Most recurve bows are made of wood because of the flexibility. The newest recurve bows are made of flexible manufactured materials, like carbon or fiberglass.

compound bow and recurve bow difference

Compound Bow and Recurve Bow difference

The compound bow also has a string and a bow, but so much more. The compound bow uses pulleys and strings to create the tension that the bow needs to fire the arrow. The bow itself is usually made of manufactured materials, usually either carbon or aluminum. The bow is made of different pieces including the grip and the limbs, which attach to the pulleys and the strings. A compound bow body is smaller than the recurve body.

Bow Accuracy

When it comes to accuracy, the compound bow has more than the recurve. The bow strings are longer than those of the recurve, so they can be pulled farther back for a more powerful release. The accuracy also improves over the recurve bow because the pulleys make it easier to hold in the pulled back position. This allows the user to aim and fire without having to use strength to hold the arrow back.

Compound bows are also more accurate due to the fact that they often come with sights. Recurve bows can have sights added, but they often upset the balance of the bow. With a sight, the shooter can easily find the target and get an accurate shot off without missing a beat. With a recurve bow, the shooter needs to rely completely on the naked eye. At a distance, this can be challenging, especially if light is dim or there is fog.

With a recurve bow, the shooter needs to use his own strength. If the string needs to be held for a long time, the muscles can quiver, which alters the direction of the arrow thus compromising the accuracy. The limited strength needed to fire the compound bow makes it a better tool for hunting because it is easier to wait for the perfect shot.

But, when it comes to target practice, the recurve bow is a better choice. Being able to shoot this bow accurately is a skill that is difficult to do. Since shooting at a target does not require the shooter to hold the arrow back for a long time like shooting at an animal, accuracy is easier to achieve.

Weight and Power

The recurve bow is significantly lighter than a compound bow. Since recurve bows are so simple, they are lightweight. Since compound bows have so many parts and accessories, their weight can increase quickly. If hunters are going to carry a bow around all day while hunting, the recurve bow is a perfect choice. Since many hunters prefer compound bows, manufacturers have made it easy to put straps on for easy carrying.

The power that comes from the recurve bow is also less than the compound bow. The pulleys and other machine parts make the bow fire harder and faster than the traditional bow. Because the compound bow shoots so powerfully, it is much easier to use heavier arrows that will make an impact on the game that are shot.

Shooting

There is a big difference in shooting the bows. The traditional, recurve bow actually requires practice because it requires skill to hit a target. The compound bow does not require as much skill, because they have so many accessories and tools to make the shot on target.

The compound bow is not as fun to shoot, because it is so mechanical. Some compound bows jerk when the string is pulled back. The weight of the bow shifts slightly to compensate for the mechanics. The traditional bow does not have any jerkiness to it. The smooth pull and the quick release makes them pure fun to shoot. The quiet power of the recurve is empowering for the shooter. The compound bow does not offer the same feeling – despite the immense power released when the arrow is let go. Sometimes, a compound bow can actually be uncomfortable to shoot, especially the ones that are older and not so precisely crafted.

Before selecting the perfect bow for your needs, it is a good idea to consider your shooting needs. A good bow is an investment, so it is wise to conduct thorough research.