Archery-on-the-lawnBuying Guide: Best Beginner Bow Models and Features

Archery is a sport where it helps to start early. Not just because of the amount of skill necessary to become skilled, but because unlike rifle hunting, you can start early without restriction. Having said that, only specifically designed bows will be effective for beginners, due to draw weight restrictions, and because of how cumbersome a bow can be to handle. Most beginner bows for this reason are modified recurve bows, which simply are shorter than adult recurve bows, but easier to handle than the sophisticated compound bows. Here is a list of some of the best beginner bows, as well as some of the attributes that you should look for when making your purchase.

PictureNameTypeDimensionsPriceRating
Barnett Outdoors Lil Banshee Jr. Pink Compound Archery SetCompound18-pound pull weight; 18- to 22-inch pull length$4.3
Bear Archery First Shot Youth Bow SetRecurve14 to 16-inch pull length; 8 to 12 pound pull weight$4.3
Barnett Outdoors Team Realtree Banshee Quad Junior Compound Bow Archery SetCompound25-pound draw; 24- to 26-inch draw length$4.2
Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound BowCompound24 inches draw length 17-21 pounds weight$4.2
Bear Archery Right Hand Brave 3 Bow Set (Black)Compound15" - 20" Draw Length, 15 - 20lb. Draw Weight$$3.8

Attributes to Look for in a Beginner Bow

Draw Length: Your first job, when picking out a bow for beginners, has to be to determine what kind of Bow Draw Lengthattributes the bow needs in order to fit the specific skill set of the young archer, whether that be a young child, or teen who is aspiring to be an archer. This means determining how much draw power the bow needs in order to maximize its straight line trajectory(important for young girl archers), and whether the bow is aligned for right handed or left handed archers.

Another important step is to determine the draw length necessary for the bow, by determining the arm length of the young archer. In order to determine the length, have the archer extend their arms out from the sides of their body with palms facing forward, as if they are pretending to be an airplane. Next, run a tape measure starting from the tip of the middle finger of one hand, and measure to the tip of the middle finger of the other hand. Finally, divide that number by 2.5, and that is the draw length of the bow that you should be purchasing.

The Height of the Material: This is pretty straight forward. Unlike draw length, this is a measurement of the equipment itself and is a determination of the number of inches from top to bottom. Most beginner or junior sized bows will measure anywhere between 31 to 41 inches, and its suggested that each archer try a bow to determine which height works best. If you can’t do this however, a rough estimate is to purchase a bow at about 3/4 the height of the archer, so a 3 foot bow for a 4 foot archer.

Draw Weight: Again, this is a rough estimate as it is almost impossible to know for certain how strong Draw_Weight_Chartthe beginner archer is without knowing how strong they are, but we can roughly estimate this figure. A child weighing between 50 to 70 pounds, should be able to handle a draw weight of between 10 and 15 pounds. For a child weighing 70 to 100 pounds, a draw weight of 15 to 25 pounds is recommended. After that, the numbers get trickier due to puberty and such, but a child weighing between 100 and 130 pounds should be able to handle between 25 and 40 pounds, and between 130 and 150 pound young archers should be able to handle between 40 and 50 pound draw weight. This is where compound bows have a great advantage, being able to handle the load at a fraction of the effort, although they tend to be a bit more expensive.

Determining a Budget

Something that usually gets glanced over, is how serious young archers are at the beginning. Young archers want to purchase the best beginner bows possible. This is another reason why most beginner level bows are recurve, because a lot of times children will want to be Robin Hood or Legolas, but not want to put in the work necessary to be good at the sport. These bows typically range around the $50 dollar mark. As they mature however, it may be time to upgrade to a more expensive competition level piece of equipment, or upgrade to the compound variety so that they can carry it into adulthood.