So, you’re interested in archery? Like most new endeavors it requires a bit of an investment upfront. But the good news is you don’t need to break the bank to shoot a bow. You can tailor your intro into archery to match your budget.
To get started you’ll need equipment, lessons and a place to practice. But with the right planning, all of this can be done extremely affordably. Here are some tips for getting started on a budget.
Lessons Pay Off
Taking a lesson should be the first step for beginning archers. Most archery shops offer lessons in a variety of formats. Sometimes they’re one-on-one, while others are in a group setting. Some shops host lessons aimed at specific groups of people, like youth or women. There might be a one-time class or multiple meetups. The price of the lesson depends on the format. For example, a one-on-one session will likely be more expensive than a class.
If you’re tempted to save a buck and learn from a friend or family member, be advised that learning from a professional pays off in the end. Certified archery instructors have undergone extensive training, not only to be able to shoot proficiently but to understand how to teach the fundamentals. Learning the proper form and safety precautions from the beginning builds a strong foundation.
Check with archery shops to see if they’re offering any deals on lessons. You should also check in with local archery groups. Many clubs offer lessons at public ranges. Generally, you don’t even need your own equipment to get started because instructors will have it on hand.
Bows: New, Used or Borrowed?
You can’t shoot archery without a bow, but you can shoot a bow without spending money. There are numerous affordable equipment options.
Traditional archery is cost-effective because it requires minimal gear. Compound bows are typically more expensive and require more accessories. But there are plenty of options for budget-conscious compound archers. Most manufacturers offer budget-friendly compound kits that include most of the accessories, and in many cases the bows are highly adjustable, so they grow with the archer’s abilities.
Some archers choose to borrow equipment from family or friends. This might be because the bow is no longer being used or so the person can get a feel for the sport before investing too much money. However, before shooting someone else’s bow, be sure to bring it to a bow technician. A bow needs to fit the individual. That means it needs to be the proper draw length and an appropriate draw weight. If the bow hasn’t been used in a while, the string might be worn out or parts could be loose. A bow technician will review all of this and make sure it’s safe to shoot.
This advice also goes for buying used bows. Be sure to have a bow technician review the equipment to make sure it fits and is safe to use. While many of the new compound models are adjustable, older models might not be. If the used bow isn’t the proper fit, be sure there are parts available before purchasing it.
Invest in Arrows
Invest in six to a dozen arrows right away. Archery is about consistency. Arrows need to be built to fit the equipment. So, it’s impossible to be consistent if you’re shooting mismatched arrows. It’s also a safety issue because arrows need to be the proper weight and length for the setup. The pros at the archery shop will help you find the right arrows. Buying a bunch at the beginning will ensure you have arrows for a long time.
Gear – Go the Bare Minimum
Archery enthusiasts can come up with a never-ending wish list of gear. But that doesn’t mean you can’t practice with the bare minimum. What you need depends on what you’re shooting. Archery shops will be able to help pick the right accessories in a price range that will fit your budget.
Find a Place to Practice
Once you have the equipment, practice can be practically free. It’s way more affordable to shoot than it is to play a round of golf or join a local gym. Consider building a backyard range. This makes practice free and convenient. Stump shooting is another way to shoot at no cost. Just head to the woods and find some old trees.
Many archery clubs have local ranges. Some are free for everyone to use, and others require a membership. Archery shops usually have indoor ranges that are great to use when the weather isn’t cooperating. Most shops charge a daily fee for range use. Archery 360 has a list of ranges and shops in your area that makes finding a place to shoot a breeze.
Don’t let cost keep you from archery. Anyone with a desire to shoot can get involved. More money doesn’t equal more success. Archery is about commitment and consistency, not the bottom line.