Basic Guide to Archery
From childhood to adulthood, as a sport and a theme in popular movies and books, Archery is a source of fascination and excitement. As a sport, archery requires skills of precision, control, focus, repetition and determination. It is available to be practiced by all, no matter age, gender or ability, and is a widespread pastime in Canada and around the world.
As with any sport, athletes training to compete at the High Performance level will dedicate hours every day training, and will shoot 1000s of arrows each year. However, in archery, you can go at your own pace and enjoy the sport for the sake of your own enjoyment. It’s addictive, trust us. Casual archers make up the bulk of those who participate across Canada- and worldwide. With an introductory course, or some basic tips on the range you will be hitting the target in no time. More advanced aspects of the sport, however, can take years to master.
Archery is a safe sport, but it is important to always be conscious of safety and your surroundings when practicing archery. You will learn the basics of range etiquette and safety the first time you visit a range/club. Have fun! Most Archery Canada clubs will have coaches available to help guide you through your first steps into the sport.
FINDING SOMEWHERE TO SHOOT
The best way to start archery is find a club or range with dedicated instructors and beginner equipment available. Getting an introduction to the sport does not cost a lot of money and new archers improve very quickly with proper coaching. Archery Canada believes in the importance of working with a trained or certified coach, which is why we have a National Coach Certification Program. Like any sport, it’s better to learn the correct technique from the very beginning!
It is encouraged to complete an introductory course with a local archery club or centre. Many will start you with a recurve bow, but may encourage you to try out the different kinds of bows, recurve, compound and traditional, as well as the different disciplines within the sport.
For more information contact your Provincial/Territorial Federation
DISCIPLINES OF ARCHERY
While Target archery is likely the most well-known , there are a number of different ways you can enjoy the sport of archery:
- TARGET ARCHERY
- 3D ARCHERY
- FIELD ARCHERY
- PARA ARCHERY
You don’t have to choose one, type, as many archers will cross over into different types, though generally at the high performance level you will focus on a particular discipline.
Target archery can be shot indoors or outdoors, weather permitting, and is shot at a distance of 18 meters indoors or 30, 40, or 50 meters outdoors (compound and recurve) or up to 70 meters for recurve, depending on the age of the archer.
3D can also be an indoor or outdoor sport, and is shot at life-size, three-dimensional animal reproductions at distances from as little as five meters to as long as 60. Some forms of 3D archery require archers to calculate, using only their eyes and brains, the distance to the target, which will vary from target to target. It can be very challenging!
Field archery is an outdoor sport, and archers walk through a forest or field arriving at each target’s shooting location. Archers are told the distance to each target and adjust their sights accordingly.
Don’t worry about buying your equipment right away if you haven’t already. Many clubs will have equipment you can borrow for their classes. After a number of lessons, your instructor will be able to guide you in buying your own archery equipment.
It is better to use borrowed equipment and wait until your technique has developed for a couple of lessons before purchasing your own bow. The specification of gear required may change over time, particularly draw weight and length, or even the bow type!
When you are ready to purchase your bow, you will find there are many options to choose from. The Archery Trade Association has produced a great primer article that may help you: https://www.archery360.com/archery-101/
Find out more about some of the basic equipment used in Archery
We have listings on our Find a Club/Store tool that may help you find a store near you.