Indoor archery is only for people with the best gear, who shoot perfect scores. This is one of the many misconceptions about indoor archery and competitions.
To help dispel some of these myths we enlisted the help of professional archer Alex Wifler, one of the lucky few making a living shooting a bow and arrow. Wifler burst onto the pro scene after winning the biggest indoor archery tournament, The Vegas Shoot. It’s safe to say Wifler knows a thing or two about indoor archery, but at one point he was a beginner going to his first tournament. Here are his thoughts on a few indoor myths and his tips for getting started.
Myth: You Need the Best Gear
Spend time in a local archery shop or on social media and it’s easy to get caught up in the gear craze, especially if you plan on competing. There’s a lot of great archery products that can help you improve your shooting, but they aren’t necessary right away. “To get started in indoor archery you need a bow, arrow, sight, quiver and release,” Wifler said. “Anything else is extra stuff you can upgrade later.”
If you would like to upgrade your equipment, there are some accessories that make indoor easier. “I would say a micro adjust sight is the first thing I would upgrade, then a new release,” Wifler said.
Myth: You Have to Be Perfect
Indoor archery is typically shot at 20 yards, which is a relatively close distance when compared to outdoor distances. This close range means experienced archers rarely have arrows stray far from the center. “In the professionals, you do need to be perfect, but getting started absolutely not, everyone is going to miss,” Wifler said.
There’s no need to put added pressure on yourself when you are trying out something new. “Go out there, experience it, do the best you can and figure out what you need to work on from there,” Wifler said.
Myth: You Need Fat Arrows
It’s common practice for competitive archers to switch to a larger diameter arrow for indoors. Why the bigger arrows? They can give you a few more points because if your arrow touches a higher value scoring ring, you get the higher score.
This advantage isn’t without compromises. “Do you want to shoot something smaller that might be more forgiving or do you want to shoot something fatter that will catch more lines,” Wifler said.
Big arrows can give you an edge, but it’s not for everyone.
“There isn’t a definite recipe that will work for everyone,” Wifler said. “You need to experiment to find what works best for you.”
Just like upgrading your accessories don’t rush into buying new arrows. Practice with the arrows you have and if they leave you wanting a change, talk to your archery shop about your options.
Myth: I’m Not Ready to Compete
You don’t need to be a title contender to attend an archery competition. Even if you’re using more of the outer rings than you would like, you should still try competition. “They have classes for everybody, and everyone should experience indoor archery,” Wifler said. “I think that’s what’s great about archery, is that anyone can do it.”
Indoor archery is a great way to get started in archery and competitive shooting. “Indoor is a more forgiving first experience because the distance is close and you don’t have to deal with the wind,” Wifler said.
Plus, here’s an archery secret, competitions aren’t about winning. Archery is a discipline all about self-improvement. Competition is simply a forum for you to test yourself and see what areas you need to work on.
Now that all these myths are put to rest, you’re probably feeling better about indoor archery. You can start by renting a lane at an indoor range. It’ll be good practice before you try competition.
When you’re ready to step onto the tournament line, ask your archery shop for advice, they’ll tell you all about leagues and local tournaments and get you through your first competition.