Do you want to learn archery, but don’t know exactly what’s important? Have you already started, but wondering whether you have the correct stance? Then we have the right article for you! With the help of our ultimate guide to archery for beginners you will improve in no time. Have fun with these archery tips! Also, check out our guide to the best bow for beginners!
Like so many sports, Archery looks easy if you just watch. It looks like bow hunting for beginners. But if you really want to learn archery, you’ll see that there’s a lot of thought put into the right archery technique. We have to start small. Small is beginner bow and arrows.
Professional archers have refined it over the years to the point at which the sport becomes muscle memory. This is exactly what it comes down to in the first place. Another keyword is concentration, because without it you will not get far in archery. The correct breathing technique also plays a role as well as the muscle positioning.
Once you have perfected your technique, you will find that many processes are based on your mental attitude. This sport requires practice, practice, practice and more practice!
The right stance
Be careful not to tense up while standing. Your posture should always be comfortable and relaxed. Stand at a 90- degree angle facing away from the target. Your toes should be exactly level with each other. How you place them best is primarily a question of trial and error. This requires a little patience. It is important not to twist your hips or you will not get a clean shot.
There should be a distance of about one shoulder width between your feet. So you should neither cramp your feet nor straddle your legs. The keyword here is loose. The main thing is that your stance is firm and that your weight is evenly distributed so that you don’t stumble when the tendon is loosened and the arrow flies away.
The bow handle
Even with the best bow for beginners, is important not to cramp your hand holding the bow handle. It is the extension of your arm and prevents the arrow from twisting when released. Therefore the right bow grip is very important.
It is difficult for beginners to pay attention to their complete stance including the bow grip. Take your time and check your whole body, and whether you are tense or firm.
Arc arm positioning
In bow hunting for beginners, the position of the bow arm is very important because you have to repeat the optimal shot over and over again to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. If you strain the wrong muscles, your joints will remind you in a few years time.
You should immediately get used to the correct bow arm position. The weight of the bow is not, as many beginner bow and arrow shooters may think, on the arm muscles, but on the back muscles. Your elbow should not be fully extended, but minimally bent. This relieves the strain on the joint and at the same time refines your technique. Your pulling arm is extended high, while your head remains straight. While you keep your bow arm stretched, your shoulder blades contract and support the extension. Your shoulder must remain straight and must not slide higher than your bow arm, otherwise your entire posture will cramp up, resulting in poor form!
To describe the correct anchor position to you, we would need another article. The archery anchor position is often the subject of heated discussions between archers.
There are shooters who avoid the term anchor point because it suggests that the movement at the chin stops – which of course is not entirely correct. However, some prefer to use the term “transfer position” for this very reason – as one movement is replaced by the other.
No matter how you use the terms: you must ultimately decide which position suits you best. Many shooters bring their pulling arm up to their jawbone and let it anchor there. It is important that the elbow is either in line with or slightly above the arrow – both when viewed from the side and from above..
Now make sure that your pulling hand is stable and firmly under your jawbone. Imagine your pulling hand as a kind of joint that locks into the lower jawbone. The connection has to be just as strong! Before shooting, take the time to check this position again and again, because only if you are able to execute it really cleanly, will you succeed in getting a good shot time and time again. Your pulling hand must be firm and must not move, otherwise you will distort the shot. Do not underestimate the influence that a minimally moved pulling hand has on the direction of the arrow!
The Bowstring now forms a straight line from the tip of the nose over the lip down to the chin.
Head position in archery
The correct head position also plays an important role in archery, but above all its fixation is important. As soon as you have pulled out your bow, the position of your head must not change, otherwise you will vary your posture slightly. Fix the target while you are preparing to draw it out, and then hold your head firmly and stably.
Take care not to move your head jerkily directly before and during the release of the tendon! This is a protective reflex of our body, which happens automatically to avoid the loosening of the tendon. You have to keep this under control as much as possible, because just a few millimetres are enough to make your shot.
All these archery tips are of little use to you if your bow does not match with you as a shooter. For this reason, you need to have your own personalised bow. Something that has a great influence on your shooting style is your draw length. If it is too long, you will not be able to fully draw the bow and you will never get the most out of your shooting skills, no matter how hard you try!
The same applies, by the way, to the draw weight, which we will deal with in our archery instructions below.
The right aiming technique
The most important thing for having an optimal archery aiming technique is to find the right firing angle for your bow hand. You can achieve the same for the arrow.
Once the you have found his anchor point, you build up a high back tension to keep arms, bow and arrow in perfect balance. You distribute weight evenly across your arms.
Now comes an important piece of information that you probably didn’t even realise: The focus is not on aiming when archery, but on the tensing of the muscles and the distribution of force on the arms and back. The aiming process is not the main focus, but takes place in passing. This is also something you have to learn first; but once you have mastered this process, you will be able to say that it was relatively easy.
Your mantra should be: Allow yourself enough time to aim. Professional shooters need between one and three seconds from anchoring to releasing the string. But this should not be your concern at first, because, as is well known, you are still a long way from a professional at the beginning. Do not make the mistake of breaking out in so-called “target panic” and not allowing yourself time to aim!
You don’t have to tilt your head to aim. Keep your head straight and concentrate on the shadow of your bowstring. This is right in front of your eye after you have pulled it out on the draw hand side. Place the string on the left side of the sight. Now you can control both sides when aiming without having to change your head position again.
The tendon shadow is now in the arch window. You can now aim at the target, increase the pull in your back and release the arrow.
Information about the bow – the Draw Weight
A Bow always has a certain draw weight, which is indicated in pounds, or lbs. This makes it the best bow weight for beginners. The tension weight determines the force required to tense the bow. We strongly advise you to go with a lower draw weight in the beginning. If the draw weight is too high, you will have difficulty tensioning the bow and will not pay attention to the correct technique. After tensing the bow several times, you will usually have had enough of archery and put the bow aside – maybe forever. And that would be a great pity.
So make sure that the draw weight is correct for you. This means that it should be low enough for a beginner archery shooter to be able to draw the bow without much difficulty, to aim well and still pay attention to his technique. However, it should also not be so low that it is child’s play to tension the string. The weight of the bow may require some effort – otherwise the right muscle groups will not be trained.
Once you have some practice under your belt, you are welcome to switch to a higher train weight.
The choice of the right arrow when it comes to bows and arrows for beginners is as important as learning the right archery technique, because a clean shot depends on material, arrow length as well as spin value – which we will explain in our archery manual.
The arrow length should of course be adjusted to your bow and your extension. If the arrow is too short, there is an acute risk of injury; an arrow that is too long cannot be optimally placed on the string and shot. Ideally, the right arrow should protrude five to eight centimetres above the bow.
Arrows of different material are available:
Every material has its pros and cons and not all materials are suitable for every bow. Let us advise you, buy a complete archery set and have a look at our archery arrow guide.
The right arrow spine value
During firing, the so-called tendon parallax comes into play. This indicates that the arrow swings from left to right when released. The spine value expresses the hardness of the arrow and thus how fast the arrow is straightened.
The higher the spine value, the harder the arrow. When choosing the right arrow, it is essential that the spine value matches your bow, otherwise you won’t have much fun shooting. An optimal technique is of little use if you have chosen the completely wrong spine for your arrows.
You can find out the correct spine value for your arrows with our Online Spine Value Calculator.
Avoiding blank shots
Especially with regards to bows and arrows for beginners, blank shots should be avoided at all costs in archery, because it puts a lot of strain on the bow. But what exactly is a blank shot?
It is actually already recognisable by its name: A blank shot means the release of the string without an arrow – either because nobody was on the string or because it slipped off the string during shooting.
If you have a stable bow, it will definitely not be broken by a few blank shots. Nevertheless, blank shots will always cause minimal damage to the material, since the colossal energy that is actually supposed to be transferred to the arrow will virtually spring back into the bow. One can imagine how much the bow is stressed by such blank shots. Therefore, you should definitely avoid shooting without an arrow, be it for any kind of demonstration purposes or out of ignorance!
The right technique as well as the right archery stance are therefore the key to progressing from beginner archery. We hope you enjoyed our guide to archery for beginners. Have fun learning how to shoot a bow and arrow!
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