The art of archery is an interesting activity that offers several benefits. These benefits include better hand-eye awareness, physical fitness, and a better social life. This makes the art interesting to many individuals as a hobby. However, is archery hard?
Archery is a simple activity for newcomers to learn. You, first, need to purchase the proper equipment, then you can venture into learning and improving your archery technique (s). But, you will require much effort to develop your form and precision. If you follow these consistently, you will go to competitions and practice your skills.
In this article, we have discussed if archery is hard to learn? What equipment you need? Also, is it possible for a left-handed person to practice archery? Read on as we consider them below.
Is archery hard To Learn?
Is archery hard? Archery is a relatively easy art to learn and master. It requires individuals to shoot arrows at a target positioned some set distances from the archer. However, the process of developing your body, focusing on the target, precision, and consistency of accurate shots is the problem.
Archery provides sufficient room for growth and improvement, such that even a professional with years of experience can get better. In ancient times, when archery was a war art, the archers had to practice for long hours frequently and be in proper shape. In truth, archers of antique were muscular and physically fit.
This was so because of the nature of their ancient-time bows and the purpose of their practices. Archers then were warriors who needed to fire several arrows on battlegrounds while defending their territories from intruders.
After that, men and women used archery in hunting for wild animals. Thus, they had to practice intensively for accurate and powerful shots against wild games. However, that is not the case in our time, as individuals no longer require powerful bows or extremely intensive training—except Olympics athletes.
So, it is relatively easy to become great at the art, but to be extremely skillful, you need much longer and detailed training. Training with a skillful instructor takes only a month and a half (six weeks) to become good enough. Also, if you don’t have an instructor but practice more frequently, you’ll still improve. You need more development in your body, mind, and timeliness to become deft at archery,
Furthermore, archery is regardless of age, gender, or race. Therefore, you can begin to learn it from any age. However, what is important is the ability to concentrate, strength, and stamina to draw the tough string and hold it for a while. Also, you must develop the ability to keep on firing accurate shots consistently at varying distances.
On the flip side, the kind of archery you are practicing determines if your ability to become a proficient archer will be difficult or not.
What Equipment Do You Need To Start Archery?
The equipment you need as a beginner archer consists of a bow, a chestguard, and an armguard. Although some individuals start large with expensive and advanced equipment, you can still go for an affordable set first. Of course, the most crucial equipment you need for archery is your bow and arrows, so let’s head on to consider them below.
The bows you need to start with?
There are several kinds of bows available for archery. However, there are four standard bows you might need to consider. These include the recurve bow, compound bow, crossbow, and English longbow. These bows are the most widely adopted and accepted in competitions. Although, when shopping for a bow, you need to consider your draw weight and height.
We all know that the bow is one of your key pieces of equipment for archery, so ensure to get a compatible bow for your ordeal. For a simple and effective bow, the recurve bow is an ideal choice for you. On the other hand, if you need something more advanced and effective, the crossbow or compound bow will be the right selection for you.
For a beginner, the recurve bow is an ideal choice, and this is because it’s much simpler to use. Dissimilar to the compound bow that requires you to use a pulley, you don’t need those in the recurve bow. After considering the type of bow you’re going to wield, you should consider the model you’re going to use.
For the model, you need to evaluate the draw length of your bow—depending on your height. As a rule of thumb, measure your wingspan in inches and divide the number by 2.5, which gives you your draw length.
Then, your draw weight for your bow—the amount of force you need to exert on the string. Most times, the draw weight depends on your physical strength. Also, beginners should use recurve bows that have takedown limbs, as they are removable and replaceable. This allows you to edit the bow’s poundage as you get better.
The arrows you need to start with?
For your arrows, ensure that they are a minimum of 1-2 inches longer than the bow’s draw length. An ideal arrow will be just the perfect length. You need the arrow to be some inches longer than the complete draw length to ensure that it doesn’t slip off the front of your bow while aiming. Such a situation can be hazardous, as you might not control your arrow.
Also, find out what materials the arrows comprise, usually aluminum or carbon. These duos are lightweight and durable, thus hard and easily controllable.
Can you practice archery if you are left-handed?
A left-handed person can practice archery. However, for archery, your effectiveness depends on your eye dominance. Therefore, you must use the correct bow handedness for your bow.
Also, as there are fewer left-handed people in the world today. That’s why there are also fewer pieces of equipment that are left-controlled, and these include bows. Handedness determines the placement of your key components, including the bow’s targeting sight and arrow rest for a compound bow.
So typically, you don’t use a bow with the opposite handedness that it’s created for. Therefore, to determine if your bow is left- or right-handed, scrutinize the bow for the positions of these components.
For the recurve bow, there is an arrow rest, which is among the riser (the riser is the main part of the bow that you can hold with your non-shooting hand to keep the bow overhead). You place your arrow shaft on the arrow rest to situate in it while you’re aiming with your arrow. The arrow rest is a hooked notch made for placing your arrow shaft when you have clipped the bowstring to your bow with the nocking points.
However, the story is different for compound bows. You can tell the handedness in this bow by inspecting how your target lens is orientated. Right-handed archers who draw the bowstring using their right hand have their targeting reticle by the left-hand side of the bow. The reverse is the case for left-handed archers. For these individuals, the reticle is by the right-hand side of the bow.
Manufacturers produce bows this way (positioning the arrow resting opposite to the riser to the drawing hand) because the bowstring stabilizes everything. The dominant hand draws the string, while the lesser dominant hand holds the bow.
Now that we have settled the case for the dominant hand, you need to understand your dominant eye. If you don’t yet know which eye is your dominant eye, we can try an easy trick to find out. Raise your hands aloft before you and form a triangle with both of your index fingers and thumbs. Let the triangle be straight before you, then shut one eye. If you can see best through the middle of the triangle after closing the left eye, you’re a right eye dominant. Thus, ensure to get a bow compatible with your dominant hand and eye, as this will give you a seamless archery experience.
How Can I Become A Better Archer?
While we have stated that it’s easy to become a proficient archer, it takes more work to become an expert archer. So, we will consider a few steps to become a better archer.
1. Your Stance
Your shooting stance is a pivotal part to improve upon. As an archer, you need to work on your stance to get a great shot, even excellent or bull’s eye. This is because to consistently shoot your target, whether inanimate or game, you need to maintain a good stance. Thus, practice more exercises for your hips and lower body region.
To get an optimum archery experience, you need a stable anchor point. There are three procedures you should note when it comes to bow anchoring. These procedures include the release-to-hand, the hand-to-face, and the string-to-face.
The release-to-hand process involves constantly releasing the arrow in the same location in your hand in every shot. Find a comfortable place to practice it until you get used to it. In fact, if you can mark this place in your hand, that will be better.
After that, you need to get a comfortable hand-face stance. We advise you to dab your hand on your face to the same place each time.
Last, the string-to-face. We advise you to dab your nose with the string. This makes it easier for you to anchor constantly and not make mistakes.
3. Breathing Exercising
Practicing your breathing exercises will be very helpful if you need to be better at shooting. This helps you calm down and focus more effectively.
4. Target Panic
In this method, you need to take some time off your bow for a long period. We recommend you don’t even touch your bow or arrow for like two weeks. After that, get back to your practice. This time, propel over sixty arrows daily for two weeks. This will help you maintain composure at all times.
5. Your Mind
Having a stable mindset at all times is key to becoming successful at archery. Take out time to practice activities that will strengthen your thought process. The processes are unique with different individuals, but regularly, practice aiming at varying distances. Also, prioritize aiming and ranging instead of releasing the arrows.
Precision in archery has to do with consistency. You need to work on the time between anchoring the bow and releasing your arrow. Work on this time constantly while ensuring consistency with your arrow release time.
Finally, after improving your firing technique, you should spend more time practicing focusing on targets in different scenarios. You can fire while seating, while kneeling, and even at original positions.
Is archery hard? Learning archery as an art is much easy. Usually, you require less than three months to become a proficient archer. However, if you desire to become a professional archer who contests in competitions, it becomes harder for you. This is because it requires more precision, focus, consistency, and accuracy of prime points to excel in competitions.
That said, we have outlined all you need to know before venturing into the art of archery. Ensure you follow the tips above if you want to become better as an archer.