My grandson wants to try archery. Any suggestions on a recurve bow for a beginner?
Oh the memories
I got started in archery when I was a few years older than that, because my best friend was doing it. I clearly remember the kid’s point of view, and don’t think the quality of the bow is that important. Get something decent enough to function properly and not have a “cheap” appearance and they’ll think it’s the best. The most important choice is strength of draw. I’d suggest going to a decent sporting goods store where the salesman knows what he’s doing and the kid can try a few bows of different pound ratings. You don’t want the rating to be too high, because it will shorten practice times and encourage bad technique. Get a book on archery skills too, and throw that into the package.
They make kid’s sized compound bows
Recurve is old school.
Real Archery is Old School .
I shoot a recurve
that’s old school
A 9 yr old will be more interested in something more modern.
Get the kid a compound and get yourself a recurve and go shoot with him.
Clear those rafts off the river, son!
I started with straight bows, lemonwood and osage.
I am a long time archer and bow hunter. I gather the “hunger games” is popular and driving a renewed interest in recurve bows and “traditional archery” among the younger crowd. I shoot recurves and longbows myself. I went the compound bow route many moons ago, but now much prefer the simplicity of traditional archery. I live in central SC.
I go to Florida the first weekend of March and shoot in the Traditional Bowhunters of Florida state championship each spring. I compete with a yew English longbow I made. The last two years my son and I have kayaked Juniper Springs run while we are there. They have a number of Archery vendors and I have seen some very nice youth bows at reasonable prices. I know Georgia has a number of archery shoots and SC has a shoot at Rocks Pond near Bowmen, SC in February.
There are several good archery websites. You should direct your question on one or both of these. Good luck.
Good advice from Castoff
I would add that Maddog archery makes youth bows at a very reasonable price.
Thanks everyone. He expressed an
interest in a traditional bow.I have shot both recurves and compounds and like recurves better.
I had fiberglass bows growing up but got into making my own bows from the woods the indians used in my area, was just for fun but good experience. When I was traveling in the UK a couple of years ago I came across a company that makes traditional English Long bows but in low draw weights for kids, really , really cool. Something to look into if he really likes it.
I’ve shot compound bows but it’s kind of like motorboating and kayaking, you either get it or you don’t.
I hadn’t thought about
that movie Hunger Games sparking an interest in traditional bows. My kid and his friends have high dollar compounds with more bells and whistles than I can figure out, sound like gunshots when they let loose. They fill up the freezer every year with them though and smile politely at me when I talk about target shooting with mine.
He’s going to have an aneurism when he sees this.
Ooo! That’s gotta hurt.
If you have shot bows in the past then you will most likely know what I m about to review.
Make sure with the bow you get him an arm guard as the string slap can be painful and discourage him. Also a finger tab or shooting glove instead of using just fingers to draw the string. It is important to tune the arrows for good arrow flight as it will provide consistency with each shot (this is a whole topic unto itself). However, in the beginning this is complicated by the boy’s inconsistency while learning to execute proper archery form during the shot. Make it fun (get close and shot balloons that pop etc.) The suggestion of an archery book is a good idea even if you have to read it and pass the information onto your grandson. Also as suggested a low draw weight that is easy to shoot will help him learn to shot with good form and be much more fun. Stress that the bow and arrow are deadly and the responsibility that entails.
Do use the links I have posted as they are like paddling.net where you will get lots of help from many good people. Disregard the inevitable bickering over aiming methods as just like here people are passionate about their way. You may even find that someone will be willing to send a bow and arrows to your grandson if they have something suitable.
Also I think there is an annual traditional shoot near Hickory, NC in May each year with many vendors.
I would post where to find a youth recurve, but just don’t keep track of them as my youngest is out of college. For me archery has been a life long passion as has being on the water. If your grandson gets a good grounding in archery and the passion takes root he will be ever thankful for the time and effort you put in with him.
I used two kinds of bows to teach mine
One was the fiberglass bow that we still like and use. the other is the bamboo bow that only lasts about half a season. The bamboo bow is neat because is works for any size child up to 250 pound children that want to deer hunt with it.
Go to the garden center. Buy 6 foot bamboo stakes us one the it full length and on cut down to five feet and one cut down to four feet. Bind them together with twine. Varnish or glue the twine to make it tougher. Ad a bow string and use it. Then you can make them any draw strength you want by adding more stakes. They last about a summer of shooting and when any of the bamboo starts to crack a little you throw the whole thing away buy $3 worth of stakes and make a new one.
Another thing we really enjoyed was the fishing arrows that are solid fiberglass. We put blunt tips on them and had a blast with them in the woods. Blunt tips are pretty safe except for squires and rabbits.
Hope this helps.
I bought stuff from 3 rivers
I think they have a good supply of child sized bows and gear.
I got started
when I was 9 myself.It was an Indian all yellow glass recurve with a grey plastic handle.It came with a tab and arm guard.Got it with a few books of my mom’s S&H green stamps.I dearly love traditional archery.Today at 56yrs old I still have that old bow but shoot a Martin Hunter recurve and a custom built M.R. Hamilton Scorpion longbow.I to suggest getting him started with a recurve.Though I also have a compound they’re just not anywhere near as much fun to shoot and it spends most time in it’s case.Search traditional archery sites and you’ll find all needed to get started.
Ahhh, yes. Many fond memories there.
I *lived* with my cheap all fiberglass bow for a couple of years. Several of the neighborhood kids had them and we spent many summers and falls in improvised target shoots and roving the nearby woods. I think they were made by Bear or Martin or someone. Mine had about a 35# pull. I remember going to the hardware store and spending an hour going through the display boxes of cedar arrows, checking each one to find the straight ones. Could only manage to buy a few at a time, you know, whenever I could raise the money.
I bought a decent recurve in High School with the first check I got from a real job. Still have it. I used it in a college archery PE class. Since it was considered a "lifetime sport", an A got you out of taking half a semester of some other lame PE class. I also scored some good deals on Browning recurves when the compound craze started and no one wanted them, so stores were selling them off deeply discounted.
Good choice to get a recurve. Even better a longbow. I am seeing decent recurves making reappearance in sporting goods stores, even a few longs.
Looks like some pretty good options here in a moderate price range but decent quality based on customer reviews.
Good luck! Get him a decent one, he'll appreciate it!
If the kid ends up wanting to compete through his school, he will most likely be required to use one of these:
To someone who used to shoot both recurve and compound bows, the idea of a bow not having a specific draw length made me immediately think, “junky toy.” But I’ve handled these in person, and they are anything but toys. Quite impressive.
Castoff is correct in that there is
renewed interest in recurve bows, expecially amongst the ‘Junior Olympics’ here in Michigan, but they’re not cheap.