Introduction: Archery Basics

Picture of Archery Basics

archery can be a fun and rewarding sport, as well as being a source of exercise, but archery can be a mystery to some people, in this instructable i will talk about how to get involved in archery, different bow types, shooting styles and types of arrow that are available, remember that this instructable is a BASIC guide so i haven't mentioned every tiny little detail!, so move on to the next step!

Step 1: Getting Involved!

Picture of Getting Involved!

the easiest way to get involved in archery is to join a local club, do some research on the nearest club that is in your area, or if you don't have a club in your area, you could just go it alone and buy a bow yourself, the reason i suggest a club is because of the community - you can talk to other members for advice on choosing bows to buy etc, many clubs also offer beginners courses for you to take which will explain all you need to know about archery to start you off, as well as beginners courses, clubs will have equipment for you to use so you will not have to buy your own bow if you don't want to, although it is suggested.

if you are still interested, move on to the next step!

Step 2: Bow Types Used in Archery...

Picture of Bow Types Used in Archery...

the main types of bow that are used in archery are recurve, compound and longbow, there ARE other types of bow but for the sake of keeping this instructable BASIC i have only mentioned the 3 main types.

RECURVE: recurve is a bow with 4 main parts, the riser, limbs, and sting. The riser is the part of the bow that you hold onto and it contains mounts for the sights, limbs and sight. The limbs are the parts of the bow that store the energy of pulling the string back before you release, there are two that attach to the top and the bottom of the riser and the string is the part which you pull back, it is attached between the tips of the limbs. This type of bow is fairly basic, and is a good bow to start archery with as it is not too complicated, it is easily fired and is reliable.

COMPOUND: a compound bow is much more different from a recurve bow, as in most cases it cannot be taken down for storage, so it stays as one unit, a compound bow may also be easier to fire than a recurve bow as when the string is pulled back past a point, the force is taken in by the cams at the tips of each limb, making this type of bow good for hunting, as you can keep it held back for as long as you like before release, compound bows are usually used with release aids, a trigger which is clipped onto the string and when you need to fire the bow, you click a button or pull a trigger and the string will release. the compound bow is made up of two limbs with cams at the tips, a riser and a string, the string is much more different from a recurve as well because it is wound round the cams, making it longer.

LONGBOW: the longbow is one of the first types of bows to become popular, and it is still used today! longbows are only made up of two pieces, the string and the bow itself. longbows can also be considered the most difficult bows to aim and fire, because you are only dependant on a rubber band for aiming, shooting a longbow is also similar to shooting a recurve bow barebow, which is explained more in the next step!

now you know what types of bows there are...take a look at shooting styles in the next step.

Step 3: Styles of Shooting Bows.

Picture of Styles of Shooting Bows.

now that you should be familiar with the basic types of bows that are available, you should now learn about the different styles or disciplines that you can shoot with each bow.

RECURVE WITH SIGHTS: in this style you would use a recurve bow with a sight attached, the sight would be aligned with the target to help with aiming, this is the more common way of shooting a recurve bow.

RECURVE BAREBOW: recurve barebow is shooting a recurve bow with no sights or any aiming devices attached to the bow you are using, this is the more challenging style of shooting recurve and is similar to shooting a longbow.

COMPOUND WITH SIGHTS: in this style you would shoot a compound bow with a sight attached.

COMPOUND BAREBOW: shooting a compound bow with no sights or aiming devices attached.

now that you have looked over the basic shooting styles go onto the arrow types!

Step 4: Types of Arrows.

Picture of Types of Arrows.

there are lots of arrows that are available with each of them offering different advantages, i will cover a couple of types of arrows below...

CARBON: carbon arrows are very light, but they are less stiff than their counterparts, and they could also be considered more dangerous as carbon fiber doesn't bend and snap, it splinters into lots of small shards that could cause damage to you or your bow, if they aren't used properly.

ALUMINIUM: aluminium arrows are slightly heavier than carbon arrows but they are stiffer and break less easily, they are also safer because they don't splinter. another advantage of aluminium arrows are that they are easier to cut to size if you make your own arrows.

WOOD: wooden arrows are the most basic type of arrow, they were the ones first used with early bows, wooden arrows are used with longbows and some low power recurve bows, wooden arrows are not used with higher power recurve bows or compound bows because they would break much too easily, wooden arrows also use feather flights rather than the plastic vanes of carbon or aluminium arrows, this makes them less durable.

Step 5: Finishing Up.

Picture of Finishing Up.

so thats the basics of archery rounded up, i hope that you have enjoyed this instructable and if you were considering starting archery that i have given you the push to start taking part! if i get enough interest i will post another instructable expanding a little bit more on archery stances, tips on shooting each style of bow and taking care of your bow if you have already purchased one.
so until then, bye!


SkylarD4 (author)2016-10-09

dos t help at all this sucked cuse I just lost arrow but need new ones so wanted to now what arrow I have poop

AB25 (author)2015-10-03

I found this instructable very helpful.... can't wait to read the second post :)

andrewthegreat98 (author)2014-05-03


badideasrus (author)2010-08-31

i have to disagree on the wooden arrows not holding up thing. wooden arrows, back when, where used with very good results. and bows that they used them with had insane poundage. i've heard people say as much as 150 lbs for a longbow. they used wooden arrows. its been said that after a battle, they would go and get the arrows from the bodies and use them again. so they hold up just fine. i think the reason they use carbon and alluminum is the amount of control. a wooden arrow is organic, and subject of growth flaws and variations. this makes a wooden arrow bend differently. each arrow is unique. they are harder to spine test, and to find the right arrows for. they are also heavyer than other arrows. they work just fine however. also, i have yet to meet a hunter that shoots anything but carbon fiber out of modern compound bows, so the disclaimer that carbonfiber is dangerous is ridiculous. if you shoot it right, you're going to be fine. most use carbon fiber because it is the lightest, and most think it shoots the fastest. a carbon fiber arrow with the same spine as an alluminum has a smaller diameter shaft, meaning less drag. its really up to the user to determine which they like best.

pfred2 (author)badideasrus2010-12-29

I hear wooden arrows can splinter and shatter. I've never bothered with them. I've shot aluminum and carbon and carbon is incredible! If aluminum was an improvement over wood then carbon something else entirely.

aweis (author)pfred22011-06-25

i have heard bows up to two hundred pound drawbacks in medieval times, and also with basic types of bows where you have the arrow resting on your hand when you shoot carbon fiber arrows and probably aluminum arrows with the plastic veins to keep the arrow straight; I image could easily lacerate your hand. i prefer wood arrows because i can make them myself. and aluminum seems such as it would be too light, and aluminum is not very sturdy. in my opinion.

pfred2 (author)aweis2011-06-25

Well when you heard about those high draw bows did you hear how they were fired or what they were used for? Anything about lying down holding the bow with feet and using both arms to draw to fire volleys of arrows ever come up? No?

I bet you think they were just he men back then huh? History is often far more banal.

Carbon arrows are even lighter than aluminum arrows the same size. I do not know why you want a heavy arrow shaft when the tips are interchangeable. I prefer my arrow shafts as light and as strong as possible.

Your opinion aside aluminum is about 10 times stronger than wood.

And carbon fiber more than 10 times stronger than aluminum. Yeah them carbon arrows are that much better. Lucky for cowboys that native Indians couldn't get their hands on any.

badideasrus (author)pfred22011-02-11

of course they can splinter and shatter. but when? when the arrow is released? then you have not enough spine probably. in the arrow? so do carbon. and aluminum.

i do agree that they are improvements, but wood works very well too.

aweis (author)2011-06-25

nice A-10 warthog picture.

aaron1414 (author)2009-09-27

i have a carbon arrow ....i think but iys back came off were it clips to the string for a compound bow will super glue work to put it back on

badideasrus (author)aaron14142010-08-31

the nock came off? many nocks are not glued in. just a press fit, so that you can replace the nocks. nocks cost like 5 cents. carbon arrows cost $12-20 each.

bedbugg2 (author)aaron14142009-09-29

You should use proper archery glue on arrows that are being used on a powerful compound bow...look at this...

sparkster1 (author)2010-04-23

 could you give me links to some targets

bedbugg2 (author)sparkster12010-04-25

Sure thing, here is a good range of targets for cheap the big ones are called bosses, and are good if you have lots of room to store them away when you aren't using them, but that target on the tripod would be a good choice if you had limited space :).

wbrm77 (author)2010-02-23

what is the board with the target called

bedbugg2 (author)wbrm772010-03-01

It's called a boss.

Caym (author)2010-01-24

I always wondered why people say wooden arrows wont hold up ...
especially when you consider how heavy the longbows were in medieval times...

p0g068 (author)2010-01-15

 nice simple and to the point! the way it should always be! thank you... it was very helpful

edfel01 (author)2009-11-14

very good instructable!!! make another one!!!

NRen2k5 (author)2009-10-26

I wonder which recurves are so powerful that you shouldn't be shooting wooden arrows from them... ? I have a 50# Damon Howatt "Hatfield" that seems to shoot 70-75# shafts best and yes they are wood. Sure wouldn't mind shopping around for other nice bows.

tincanz (author)2009-10-18

I've shot a composite recurve barebow for the past year, and for three years before that I shot a kids bow. I love archery...

mattyts (author)2009-03-21

i like archery but i make my own bows out of cane since im not hi tech im only ten but this is a really good guide

bubba j (author)mattyts2009-06-01

then if you want a nice reliable bow if made right got to these two instrutables how to make a bow for twenty bucks and bamboo bow and arrow so try then and have fun

sharlston (author)bubba j2009-08-31

which two?

arrow shot (author)2009-07-17

heh... i was hoping to find a bunch of flaws to correct you on, but i couldn't find any... except you should say arrow materials, not types. Although there are different types of arrows, or at least different placement of fletchings. Also, you forgot composite bow :o

temp (author)arrow shot2009-08-24

You could include composite bws in their own category, but most composites are shaped into recurves or longbows.

redsuit09 (author)2009-08-15

do you use a stabalizer?

bedbugg2 (author)redsuit092009-08-23


aleigh45 (author)2009-08-11

nice hoyt bows but what are they called

bedbugg2 (author)aleigh452009-08-15

The compounds?

red-king (author)2009-08-02

good Instructable for anyone getting into archery!

now if only I could find an instructable about making a quiver... because I'm too cheap to buy one =P

H0V3R1_0rd (author)2009-07-14

That's the GAU-8 avenger cannon. Other interesting facts: It shoots a few hundred rounds in a 2-second burst, penetrates all types of Armour, is built by General Electric, the A-10's front wheel had to be mounted off-center for the cannon to fit and pilots say that when you fire it the plane feels like is about to fall apart. In a video I saw a pilot said that his wife could tell if he had been firing this cannon because of the smell!

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-12-29

Nice. I shoot recurve without any sights with aluminum arrows.

bubba j (author)LinuxH4x0r2009-06-01

what brand?????

LinuxH4x0r (author)bubba j2009-06-01

I have a PSE Buckeye and a no name one I got at a garage sale.

bubba j (author)LinuxH4x0r2009-06-02

i got that pse for my bro for christmas

whatsisface (author)2008-12-29

Nice work. May I suggest you include scoring in your next one?

bedbugg2 (author)whatsisface2008-12-29

sure!, thanks for adding some constructive critisism :) do you do archery?

whatsisface (author)bedbugg22008-12-29

I used to, stopped because of too much work.

bubba j (author)whatsisface2009-06-01

sad to much work but you've got a good point plze do that that would help youngens like me out alott

gameboy7oa (author)2009-04-15

I use aluminium arrows with my English longbow. Longbows can be made up of more than two pieces because some bows, like mine, can be lamented with another wood or fiberglass. I have hickory backed with bamboo.

bubba j (author)gameboy7oa2009-06-01

i use too have that one it was too hevey though but i sold it for 200 bucks and i made it my self

PyroManiac96 (author)2009-03-27

lol shark with a vulcan coming out of it's mouth for some reason that is so funny to me right now

SG1Oniell (author)PyroManiac962009-05-20

That's an A-10 Warthog designed and built by the now bankrupt Fairchild Republic, there have been documented cases where a wing was shot off and the pilot managed to fly it back to base and land it successfully.

PyroManiac96 (author)SG1Oniell2009-05-28

lol thx for the info- thats some damn good piloting.

SG1Oniell (author)PyroManiac962009-05-29

mhm, if you google it you might find a picture

bedbugg2 (author)PyroManiac962009-03-28

its even more funny for the people that its attacking XD

PyroManiac96 (author)bedbugg22009-04-22


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