Everybody has individual taste. Whether it’s a preference for eating sushi versus pizza or wearing pops of colors versus more neutral tones, people love the ability to personalize everything in their lives. So why should archery equipment be any different?
“For me, I don’t want the same exact looking bow and the same exact arrows as everybody else,” said Caleb Drake, owner of Advantage Archery in Twin Falls, Idaho. “I don’t want to just go into a store and buy what they have sitting there.”
Drake and many other bow shop owners work with their customers to create custom setups. From simple swaps to full dye jobs, customizing your archery equipment is fun.
“The bowstring is probably the No. 1 request because you have probably the most options,” Drake said. Bowstrings come in more than 50 color choices. Beyond that, some manufacturers will also do a three-color blend on the string, which makes the possibilities seemingly endless.
If you don’t want or need a new string, adding string silencers is a cheap, easy way to add some flair. “Even without putting a different string on, they can customize their factory setup by putting on the cat whiskers,” Drake said, referencing Nitro Whiskers, available in over a dozen colors.
“About half of our annual sales in arrows are custom-built arrows,” Drake said. Drake and many other shop owners work with customers to create personalized arrows. From vanes to wraps, it’s easy to have fun with arrows.
Drake says there are websites where customers can customize wraps by picking out a variety of patterns and colors. The customer can design, purchase the wrap and have a bow technician put it on the arrow. Assembling arrows by putting on your own wraps or fletchings is also a great way to customize arrows, while also learning how to work on your equipment.
“If you can dream it, we can make it happen. Don’t be scared to ask and get it how you want it. The sky is the limit,” Drake said.
Bows require a lot of accessories like rests, sights, quivers, stabilizers, bow grips, noise dampeners and release aids. Each is an opportunity to personalize your setup. Wrist slings are one of the most common custom accessories. Besides a variety of colors to choose from, people use beading, leather and even nameplates. But selecting accessories isn’t just about the appearance; it’s mostly about performance. Visit an archery shop to test different accessories like rests and sights. The only way to know your preference and what works best on your bow is by shooting arrows and seeing what you like.
Today’s recurve and compound bows come in a range of colors. There’s something for everyone. But even with all the variety, sometimes people want something even more unique. That’s when people turn to custom paint jobs.
“We do about 15 or so a year that are custom painted or dipped into different patterns,” Drake said.
Painting a bow isn’t a simple process. Spray paint not only looks bad, but it can harm the equipment. Unless you’re skilled at working on archery equipment, Drake recommends taking your bow into a shop. A proper custom paint job requires breaking the bow down into individual parts, having it professionally painted and then reassembled and tuned by a bow technician.
For a simpler DIY route, use paint markers. Professional archer Sara Lopez uses this option on her equipment and demonstrates how in this video.
To check out how you can customize your equipment, visit an archery shop.