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Beginner's Recurve Bow?

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I am going to take a semester long course in archery starting next month. However, I don't plan to stop there. I plan to visit my local archery range at least twice a month and work my way up to bowhunting in the wild (live in upstate NY next to the wilds) to feed myself. After a bit of preliminary research, I have decided to get a recurve bow as I don't like the looks of a compound bow :P.


Any suggestions for a beginner? I am pretty strong (relatively speaking) so poundage shouldn't be too much of a concern. 


Any other suggestions for a n00b to archery? Good archery ranges? Gear? Other skillz?

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Ancalagon The Black. Half Dragon Spellsword

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Any suggestions for a beginner? I am pretty strong (relatively speaking) so poundage shouldn't be too much of a concern. 



Not this. I cannot stress enough the importance of starting at a low weight. I have seen so many people complete a beginners course or even half a beginners course then run out and buy a bow without knowing what they are looking for (eBay is a killer here).


Overbowing not only causes injuries but it is detrimental to forming a solid technique. The best archers in the world are the Koreans and a big part of that is that they train for years on elastic bands and low weight bows to perfect technique before increasing the weight. I'm not saying you have to go to that extreme but just a few months on a low poundage will do a world of good.


If you complete a basic beginners course before you buy your kit I would suggest going for a mid-range riser and some basic light limbs. The beauty of a take-down recurve is that you can upgrade parts separately.


Being from the UK I don't know much about US archery shops but try to find somewhere with a range so you can try things out before you buy them.


Rant over :) Good luck and keep us updated


"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and, whatever you hit, call it the target."


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Cabelas and Bass Pro usually have a range in store, and some recurve bows. Make sure you shoot 2-3 different draw weights. If you watch the store site sometimes they have clinics as well. In the North Central Kentucky area we have several archery & gun shops that have ranges either in the basement or in the back. A lot of them sell used as well, I got a $1k bow that was 2 years old on trade for a revolver my wife didn't like that I think was $400 new. That bow has taken down 6 bucks and 10 doe in the 4 years I've had it.


If you have space to shoot at home I suggest the layered targets, they tend to last longer. Spend some extra $$ on good field points (straight heads), you will want them to be the same weight as the broad heads you plan to hunt with. If the weight is the same between your points and broad heads your adjustments for aiming will be less.


I don't hunt a recurve so I'm not sure of all the gizmo's that go on it but make sure you get some string wax and a decent quiver, I prefer one that attaches to my backpack vs my bow, although I don't know if that's an option for recurve. I assume you can use the quick release or triggers with a recurve is well, I like the trigger its more like shooting a gun the quick release is just weird to me, but ask them to show you what they have and suggest. There is a tool to make stringing them easier, buy it. I shoot my recurve rarely and only because it was my grandfathers and I learned how to shoot it 20 years ago, that tools is my best friend when I get the bow out.

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This is great advice people. I plan to initially start out with the bows included in the course that I will be taking and then buying my own. I will keep everyone updated. I found a local archery range - both indoor and outdoors so I will start going to that at least twice a month come fall - only $8 a session ! 

Ancalagon The Black. Half Dragon Spellsword

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I was wanting to get into this. I have a hand carved 45-50lbs. recurve. I don't have the strength to shoot it quite yet without injuring my elbow. But I have used low weight bows in the past so form shouldn't be a problem once I get to it. Price is a major factor when getting a bow. Mine cost about $120 bucks custom made. Definitely research bows before getting one.

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I've got a really nice Hoyt Excel that I love. It's flat black (I think they call the color 'black out') with a nice wood grip. I particularly love it because I can change limbs on it. I've currently got limbs at 30lbs and 38lbs (which are also blacked out for a slick stealth look). I've seen people go up to pretty ridiculous weights with this bow as well. It's a bit smaller than your usual bow (riser is just 23" vs 25"), so whenever you buy limbs, you have to keep in mind that they will generally be ~2lbs heavier than labelled.

I've only done indoor shooting with mine, but this particular model comes highly rated for outdoor shooting as well. It's smaller size is apparently helpful when moving through trees and stuff.

The best thing to do is go and try them out, though. Find the one that works best for you. ;)

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Toxophilite is 100% correct. If you go for too much of a heavy poundage to start with you will not only damage your technique but probably yourself. If you speak to your club/range they will more than likely have the equipment to determine what your draw length and poundage should be. Also with a recurve bow you can adjust the limbs to get more poundage out of them, for example if you get a set of 28lbs limbs, when wound up to the highest level, you could get probably get 30lbs out of them. This also works the other way round when they are wound down. 

When it boils down to it though technique is the key. There is a phrase my instructor told me when I started which is 'archery is the art of repetition'. Doing the same actions in the same position/stance, hitting the same reference point, will get you the same results. Unfortunately that is always easier said than done  :playful: . 

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i've done archery for nine months now, using a 28 pound recurve (drawn to 34...yes i overdraw). I haven't gone for 2 months due to surgery but.....and here's the big but; things to look for

1) good form. Feet shoulder width, use the same anchor point for your hand and hold your hand in teh same position each time you draw. Go for consistentcy not pulling back further.

2) if your arrows fishtail excessively, get your equipment and form checked out.

3) tuck your drawing elbow in, it should be as in line with the arrow as you can get it. No elbows out at 90 degrees from your bow!

4) breathe

5) you will go in a cycle of missing, getting better and breaking arrows, then relapxing a bit, then getting better and breaking more arrows (if you use wood arrows, breakage not so common on fiberglass or aluminium. I use wood).

6) keep score. Figure out what scoring system you want to learn (1-5 or 1-10 or another system) and keep track. I write my  yardage, my arrow type (as i finally got a set of aluminium ones) and my score and my score set (aka my range only goes in rounds of 3 arrows, but every 10 or so rounds I talley up and consider one score set).

7) if you're as picky as me about it, chart it into spreadsheets to see where your problems lie. For instance, I don't hit my stride until i've loosed 20 arrows or more.

8) i wear a glove. Some don't. Chose for yourself but do NOT draw with the string in the crease of your fingers, or you will get inflammation.

9) if you do get inflammation, ice, cold, stopping and oh yeah, ibuprofen will take it down.Ibuprofen is valuable if you get tingling in the fingers too, as taking down swelling helps prevent nerve damage.

10) If you ping your arm (common on recurve bows) your stance is wrong and you need to crook your elbow more. Some people wear a guard, some spectacularly bruise. Its a learning technique for some. Icepacks help agian to take down bruising.

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