One of the first things you need to think about before you buy archery supplies online is compatibility. Different manufactures make different archery related products that follow the industry rules without necessarily being exactly similar. As a result, you may end up purchasing a bow and arrows or any other supplies that cannot be used together properly if you purchase them from incompatible brands. You bear the responsibility of making sure that such a thing does not happen because you may fail to get a refund and thus have wasted your money. Another way of ensuring that you get what you need is to compare the prices of the items you are interested in purchasing. Plenty of online stores offer different brands of archery supplies at different price rates. You have to ensure that you shop around and get the best deal there is in terms of prices and brands. You can get products well within your budget this way.
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Your archery equipment needs to be both safe, and well fitted and suited to you and your needs. Whether you buy your archery equipment from an archery shop or not, it’s a good idea to strike up a good relationship with a helpful and knowledgeable archery shop owner who loves helping people get started. It’s optimal if they shoot recurve bows themselves, and they need to be happy to spend the time it takes for you to get comfortable with shooting your bow, and not rush you at all. You need to be able to shoot a lot of different bows before you decide on anything, so it is best if they stock a lot of different brands and if they stock used bows and can give you advice on choosing used archery equipment that should be considered as a good option too. A reputable archery shop will also offer follow up assistance and advice and this is especially important during the first few weeks when you’re practicing and getting used to the weight of the pull and the feel of your bow. Small adjustments are likely to be needed, especially if your bow and string are brand new, and are settling as you move them.
Another helpful thing to look for when shopping for archery equipment is an archery shop that also stocks a lot of different accessories, such as sights if you choose to use them, in many different price brackets. The archery shop also needs to spend some time helping you select something that you actually need, at your level and budget and not just try to sell you the most expensive, newest thing.
Archery equipment has gotten very technical and there are some wonderful new ideas to fine tune the experienced archers hand. However, as a beginner it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the fancy promises. For example, an expensive sight will not improve your accuracy, many archers choose to use an open sight, which can be a little scary for a novice. In fact, having a sight pin or a crosshair on your sight can lead to ‘over-aiming’ and this is very unhelpful to your technique; if you are consciously aiming ‘too hard’ you will lose your natural advantage. The human brain is very good at centering concentric circles (we can very accurately position a coin in the center of a plate, for example) so let your natural ability do the work of lining up your target circle with your sight circle.
There are many archery equipment companies online, and these can be a great resource for learning about what products are available at what prices, especially when buyers have reviewed the products. Recurve archery forums may also be a good place to learn from more experienced archers about what products are good for a beginner.
By all means, have a look at all the archery equipment available to you, but take the advice of more advanced archers and learn the basic form without expensive distractions. Practice, practice and more practice will serve you best.
Archery is thought to have begun back in 20,000 BC, in the stone age. There was a skeleton discovered in Italy in a tomb that had a flint arrow head in it’s pelvis and it was dated at around 11,000 BC. In Germany, there were arrow shafts found that dated from around 9000 BC. The ancient Egyptians were the first known people to have used the bow and arrow for hunting and warfare. This would have been around 5000 years ago. In China, archery dates back to 1766-1027 BC. During this period archery in China was used on a war chariot that carried a three man team that was made up of a driver, lancer and archer. From 1027-256 BC there were sport archery tournaments that nobles at court participated in. This is where there was the first mention of the Crossbow. Between 1200 and 700 BC the Chinese nobles would attend special schools where they were taught archery along with their other schooling.
It is said that the Chinese introduced archery to Japan in the 6th century. In Japan this brought about martial arts known as kyujutsu (the art of the bow), now known as kyudo (way of the bow). The modern kyudo is utilized as a method of physical, moral and spiritual growth. During the Greco-Roman times archers were often seen on pottery. The bow during that time was used for personal exploit or hunting. The Parthians (what is known as Iran and Afghanistan today) were horsemen. They were able to swivel around in the saddle and shoot backwards at a full gallop. Attila the Hun and his Mongol defeated much of Europe and Asia because of the superiority of the archer equipment and technique that carried on for centuries. The record shot with a Turkish flight bow was approximately 900 yards. These bows were very efficient. Some of us have heard of Sebastian the Patron Saint of Archers. Sebastian was a commander for the company of Preatorian Guards for the Roman Emperor, he was tied to a stake and shot to death with arrows when his belief in Christianity was found out in 288 AD. After he was thought to be dead a friend found him and nursed him back to health. He later on pronounced his faith on the steps of the Emperor’s palace floor and was ordered to be beat to death and his body was thrown in the sewer. His body was found by friends and was buried in the catacombs under the city of Rome. That is how he became known as the Patron Saint of Archers. Genghis Khan of the Mongols, in 1208 AD, used composite bows in warfare. Another interesting piece of history occurred in 1346 AD when the French used crossbow men in warfare. The crossbows were fitted with cranks. These cranks were used to draw back the bow strings. Edward the III from England led his army in the Battle of Crecy. They defeated the French because the day before the rain had weakened their bow strings which caused them to misfire and snap during battle.
In 1520 AD the musket was discovered. The English defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. There was 10,000 soldiers with the English fleet and they were armed with muskets. In 1545 AD, Roger Ascham wrote the first book in English about archery and it was called “Toxophilis” (Lover of the Bow). The last battle where English archers were used was in 1644 AD. During the later half of 1600′s contests or competitions of archery became popular in England. We first saw archery included in the Olympics in 1904, 1908 and 1920. We did not see it included in the Olympics again until 1972.
Today we see archery used in many ways. We still have the avid hunter that becomes very efficient at the sport of hunting. For the hunter there are many reasons that keeps them passionate about the sport. Getting close to nature, the challenge and success that they feel providing food for their family is what keeps them passionate about archery. That feeling is probably similar to the feeling that the hunter and gatherer had in ancient times. It is true that it is not used in warfare today but we do see it used in some professional sports competitions. That skill does take practice, proper equipment and a passion for the art.
Practicing archery improves focus and confidence. During every shot, things like the weather condition and the outcome of the previous shot can affect the archer. So an archer needs the mental strength to control and clear all these thoughts from the mind to focus on getting the arrow onto the inner yellow ring 70 metres away. Besides the steady hand, it takes great confidence to release the arrow because hesitation may affect the outcome of the shot. These skills may spill over into all other aspects of one’s life. You develop mental agility and nimbleness of mind you never know you had and you find yourself concentrating better when reading, cooking, working, and so on and so forth.
Archery is relatively inexpensive. It all depends on your involvement. If you are going for leisure, there are archery clubs that provide equipment rental. So there is little expense on owning and maintaining archery equipment. The only things you have to spend on will be on personal equipment such as arm guard and finger tabs. These are for hygiene purposes. Other than that, you will need a hat and probably arm sleeves to protect you from the weather if you are shooting outdoor. On the other hand, it can indeed be quite costly for serious archers. However there are a wide range of products to suit your budget.
Archery is a great source of satisfaction and enjoyment. After countless number of arrows and hours spent on the shooting line, you get satisfaction seeing your arrows grouping tightly in the middle of the target. Or you find yourself being the ‘unlucky’ one shooting through your own arrow. The enjoyment comes from winning medals and trophies in competitions and attaining the FITA star awards. If that is not achieved, improvement to your overall score from the previous competition is a satisfaction too.
Archery has a fun and social side to it too. There will be people from all walks of life coming to the range to train. So archery is an avenue for interaction. Over time, a community will develop and it too spills over into other aspects of one’s life. When we participate in archery competition, we extend the circle. Even though we are there to compete, it’s just human behavior to interact. From my experience, there will be food and drinks and sometimes tents too. It feels like we are having a picnic.
There is little barrier when it comes with participation in archery. Almost everyone is welcome to join. Both able bodied and disabled people can do archery. Nearly every age group can get involved. People as young as six or seven years old and people as old as in their 80s or 90s are involved with archery. And there is no restriction to gender too. This sport is suitable for both male and female.
It has physical benefits. Archery is a physically demanding sport. It may not be a cardiovascular sport, but it definitely has a racing development to boost physical fitness. It takes an archer thousands of arrows to perfect the shooting technique. The strength used to pull and anchor up to 60 pounds of weight for each shot, develops the arm muscles, along with the back and pectorals.