Any Archers in? Beginners kit advice please…

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  • Any Archers in? Beginners kit advice please…
  • …or point me to the ArcheryRangeWorld!

    I’m just finishing a beginners course at a local club and really fancy taking it up. I’ve seen full kits for under £200 (and the club say these are OK to start with) but feel I’d very quickly be wanting something better.

    So what kit would you say is OK (up to £400 ish) – I’ve been looking at this…

    …and what are the ‘Apollo’ type brands one should avoid at all costs!

    Ta 🙂

    Show me your butt!


    Premier Icon dirkpitt74

    Been a long time since I’ve done archery – but the kit you link to IMO looks pretty good for the price – things have moved on a bit since I last shot!.

    Perhaps discuss it with the guys at your club?


    Do not, repeat, do not buy any kit until you’ve been to a club and tried differing bows styles, you’ll also need to establish draw length, poundage, preferred hand and so on.

    it is a very bespoke sport, much more so that riding, get it wrong and pay the consequences with injuries and a sore wallet after having spunked out on gear you then can’t sell (not much of a second hand market).

    Find a local club;



    There should be guidance enough through these.

    Any more questions give me a shout (I’ve been shooting internationally for a while and know the scene)



    Premier Icon Cougar

    Do not, repeat, do not buy any kit until you’ve been to a club and tried differing bows styles, you’ll also need to establish draw length, poundage, preferred hand and so on.

    This is good advice IMHO.  If you don’t know what you want to buy, don’t buy it.

    (and preferred hand = dominant eye)

    Thanks – I’m already on a beginners course with my local club (Derwent Bowmen). Done 8hrs so far and the final 4 this Sunday (including mini competition). They’ve been excellent so far and have gone through the different types of archery, lots of positioning tips, exercises, physio advice, stuff with the big rubber band(!) and the many types of bows. They’ve sorted my preferred hand/eye out too and will let us know our recommended draw length, poundage etc at the end.

    They haven’t gone into specifics brands yet though (this may come this this weekend). I intend to go to one of the shops they recommend and not buy online, but want to avoid being sold naff kit they want to get rid of (just in case I get the Saturday boy).

    So are there any brands you wouldn’t touch at all?

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Ok, that’s much better.

    One tip I’ll give you – don’t get the heaviest bow you can, get the heaviest bow you can shoot all day.  I used to see so many overbowed new starters, they were great for for the first two targets and bollocksed by the end of the shoot.


    Field Archer here.

    What do you want know 🙂

    Read this…


    What Cougar says^^

    I suggest no more than 40#

    I draw 38#. Hoyt Excel riser (23inch) Hoyt limbs 36# (medium)

    Long shot…Anyone shooting Severn Valley this Sunday ?


    How about this…

    The Riser

    The Limbs

    You’ll need a string…obvs.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    I suggest no more than 40#

    In my ‘heyday’ I shot 38@28 and it was considered a relatively ‘heavy’ recurve for a teenager who was ten stone wet through.  But I could draw compounds that muscly novices couldn’t get over the cams, I knew how to draw for maximum leverage and I was a wiry little shit.  For a reasonably fit adult I’d concur with redthunder’s advice, 40@28 is probably the top end of where you want to be for a first recurve.

    Though IIRC redthunder shoots longbow, and most seasoned longbow archers I ever met had muscles on their spit.

    To answer the OP’s question, there aren’t generally any brands to avoid other than to be guided by price. Archery is a pretty specialist sport so unlike cycling you don’t really get BSO products. You do get what you pay for though. Higher prices get you faster limbs for a given draw weight, more consistent performance, better finish etc etc.

    If if it were me I would probably buy something fairly modestly priced to start, and make sure I really wanted to get into the sport before lashing out big bucks. There is a reasonable s/h market particularly for beginner kit.

    Deffo agree about draw weight but that’s another reason to buy cheapish to start as physically you may want to build up to a weight of bow and hence change after a year or so.

    However, on the other hand many of the more pricey bows have adjustable draw weight so my argument doesn’t stack up (see what I did there) so well.

    NB all the archery shops I used to use were extremely responsible about selling newer archers what was appropriate. The sport’s too small to risk getting a rep for ripping people off and there’s also the obvious safety considerations.

    Premier Icon simonpedley

    +1 as above. When I started out I brought a Hoyt riser and then hired cheap limbs on a rolling programme until I maxed out the poùndage. I then got a decent set of carbon Hoyt limbs. I currently shoot 38lb at 28 inch (40lb limbs). Try lots of different risers and limbs for your final purchase. Although they all look very similar the vibrations from the riser and limbs can be very different between brands. When I got my current limbs I ended up buying the more expensive ones as the draw felt smoother, which meant I would get less fatigued. Make sure you buy a riser with international limb fitting if you want to mix and match brands. E.g. Hoyt and border limbs.


    Archery is just like MTB there’s lots of styles and governing bodies

    If you like the club go with the flow, the facilities look very good. Watch out for fees as well as the club fee you might get hit for archery GB and regional fees.

    Personally I find governing bodies that worry about what you wear, the shape of the fletching and the paint job on the bow a little too anal.

    As for kit, you can have just as much fun with a £120 AFB as you can with a posh barebow setup

    Thanks all – good to hear there isn’t any real tat out there.

    I intend to stick to the traditional target archery to start with and learn how to shoot properly – then give field archery a go at a later date. There is a field archery club whose shoot I can see from my bedroom window!

    The club is very good too – they own the premises so you can shoot any time of day or night 365 days a year.

    I used to shoot match air rifle, field target air rifle, skeet and sporting shotgun – so I’m well aware of various factions! 🙂


    I started out with a Les Howis Portland bought from the man himself.  It was the wooden riser version, i think he went on to make metal versions.  My dad and my sister had them as well.  I shot really well indoors, in fact I still hold some club records nearly thirty years later!  The disadvantage with the wooden risers is that you are not supposed to use kevlar strings (but some people did).  I think my dad moved on to a Hoyt of some description before finally moving over to compounds.

    My top tip is to get some proper instruction from someone who knows what they are talking about – unconventional styles can work but make trouble shooting very difficult so start off from a good base point.

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