Bow and arrow: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about an instrument that became a professional sport: the bow and arrow.
Used in competitions around the world, the bow and arrow has evolved and today there are several models, with different functionalities for each person, level of knowledge and objective.
In the midst of so many options, we will show in this article what you should take into account before buying the bow and arrow that will meet your expectations and needs.
First, the most important
- The bow and arrow has become a sport that attracts people of all ages.
- Nowadays there is a huge variety of archery models for each objective and each person.
- We will show you what are the characteristics that differentiate one model from another and how to choose the ideal bow and arrow.
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The best bow and arrow models: Our choices
Those looking for a bow and arrow want the perfect combination of comfort and efficiency. Knowing this, manufacturers invest in increasingly personalized models.
Whether you already practice archery or not, it is important to know that, in order to buy the ideal equipment, it is necessary to take into account your objective, level of knowledge, among other factors.
Therefore, we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when purchasing the most suitable bow and arrow.
What is a bow and arrow?
The bow and arrow is an equipment originally used for hunting and wars. Nowadays, however, its most common use is in sports championships.
The arches are formed by curved and flexible segments with two ends joined by a rope. The back of the arrow rests on the rope, a rod-shaped projectile with a piercing tip.
Once the string is tensioned backwards, the bow is flexed. And as soon as the rope is released, the arrow is propelled with great speed in the direction pointed by the archer.
The greater the traction, the greater the distance traveled by the arrow and the force of its impact.
In addition, during maximum rope traction, you will need to support a weight of up to 120 pounds, which corresponds to approximately 54 kg. So it is already seen that this is a sport that requires physical conditioning.
This is also why this equipment has evolved over time, including in terms of manufacturing material.
Originally the bow and arrow was made of wood. From the second half of the 20th century, it started to be manufactured with more resistant, lighter and more durable materials, such as carbon fiber, glass fiber and some metal alloys.
Nowadays, although there are several different types of bow and arrow, from the most traditional to the most modern.
Still, there are only two models of bow and arrow used as a sport. We will talk about them in detail in Purchase Criteria.
When did the bow and arrow appear?
The origin of the bow and arrow has no precise date of origin, but cave paintings prove its use since the Paleolithic Period, in the Splintered Stone Age.
Used in hunting and war, the bow and arrow has been used since the Paleolithic period to give way to firearms.
And this evidence appears in most cultures, from the Nubians, through the Indians of America, to Europeans and Chinese. In the beginning, the two main uses of the bow and arrow were hunting and war.
A hunting and war weapon, the bow and arrow has been used since the Paleolithic period to give way to firearms. But with the appearance of firearms, the bow and arrow lost its importance.
Over time, however, even today, the bow and arrow has remained present both in the practice of hunting, in traditional cultures, and in sports competitions.
How did bow and arrow become a sport?
The bow and arrow came to be used as a sport in the 17th century, with a tournament held in England.
The sport was introduced at the Olympic Games in 1900 and remained until 1920. In 1931, the International Archery Federation (FITA) was founded.archery arrived in the 1950s, brought by Adolpho Porta, a flight attendant at Panair.
On November 19, 1958, the Metropolitan Federation of Archery was founded in Rio de Janeiro. And, in 1991, the Federation of Archery was born.
And although the sport has been out of the Olympics for a while, it returned in 1972 and remains present today. first participation in the Olympics took place in 1980, at the Moscow Games.
Nowadays, archery can be played in open (Outdoor) and closed (Indoor) environments. The goal is to get the highest score possible.
To give you an idea, in the tests organized by FITA, the archer makes 144 shots, with 12 series of three arrows for each of the four regulatory distances.
The score is obtained by the sum of the results of all the shots. The bow used in the competitions is usually made of steel or of compositions of fiber, plastic and wood.
Their dimensions vary: the longest bows are characterized by stability, while the shortest bows shoot faster arrows.
There is also a difference between male and female bows. Those used in men’s competitions measure from 1.73m to 1.83m; those used by women are 1.50m to 1.68m.
The arrows measure between 60 and 79 centimeters, with a maximum weight of 28g. In competitions, the archer can count on the help of a crosshair, as well as different marks of orientation.
What are the characteristics of the target in the sport of archery?
The target, usually made of twisted straw or rope, is fixed and has a paper or canvas surface.
Each target is divided into 10 concentric zones, numbered from 1 to 10 (from center to edge) and identified by colors.
Hitting the arrow in the center of the target, that is, in the center of the number 10, is the great goal of every archer, who is also known as X.
Check below the score according to each target area and their respective colors:
If the arrow touches the line between two scoring zones, the highest score is worth. For example, if a competitor reaches the line that limits scoring areas 8 and 9, his score will be 9.
If the athlete misses the target, his score, of course, is zero or M (from the English “miss”, or in free translation, “lose”).
The target size, in turn, follows international size standards, which vary according to the distance the arrows are shot and the competitor’s category.
When practitioners begin learning, however, the target is placed between five and 10 meters away from the line of fire.
With the practice time, the athlete starts to train with greater distances, until reaching 18 meters, which is the standard measure of indoor competitions. In this case, the target diameter is 40 cm and has 10 rings.
In outdoor competitions, the distance between the line of fire and the target, the diameter and the number of rings of the target depend on the category in which the archer competes.
Next, you can see the table with the information related to the target according to the category of the indoor competitor:
How are arrows in the sport of shooting?
As we have seen, the arrow consists of a long, thin rod, with a circular section, originally made of wood. Nowadays, however, there are arrows made of aluminum, fiberglass or carbon.
It is sharpened at the tip or armed with a separate tip at the end, having a nock for attachment to the bowstring.
Arrowheads are available in a variety of types, depending on the use to be made of the arrow, whether sporting, hunting or military.
Right after the nock the feathers, or vanes, are fixed. Usually three feathers are glued.
There are several measures of arrows that are considered according to the athlete and his pull. You need to consider all of these factors to choose the ideal one for you.
Therefore, we recommend that you talk to your trainer first. But we’ll also talk more about that later in Purchase Criteria.
What should I know to practice archery?
The bow and arrow is a sport that requires a lot of physical and psychological training. It takes strength to pull the rope. Body awareness is also necessary to combine shoulder, elbow, head and chin movements.
In addition, breathing must be controlled, as a simple sigh at the wrong time can take the sniper out of focus and cause him to lose his aim.
The posture and the correct biomechanical structure are also decisive for the stability, strength and endurance required to practice this sport.
The feet, for example, should be separated by a shoulder-width apart. In addition, your body weight distribution should be 60 to 70% on the front of your feet and 40 to 30% on your heels.
Concentration is another critical step. Experts recommend that one or two deep breaths assist in this process.
Thus, the routine for beginners and professionals includes training to improve motor coordination and strengthen muscles of the spine, hands and arms.
In addition, of course, there are precautionary recommendations. The practitioner should never aim at people and animals. More than that, one should not aim upwards, since the arrow can reach great speed on its return.
What are the curiosities about the bow and arrow?
The bow and arrow is a weapon that, due to its archaic origin, survives in the popular imagination and, of course, in period films. Not for nothing, the bow and arrow made history, both in ancient cultures and in the world of sport.
Therefore, we have gathered for you three great curiosities about the bow and arrow. Check it out below:
- Robin Hood : The hero of the Middle Ages, Robin Hood, lends his name to one of the rarest moves of the bow and arrow: one in which the competitor manages to hit the back of an arrow, which is already stuck in the target, leaving it in half.
- Medal record : Belgian Hubert Van Innis holds the record for medals won in archery at the Olympics. At the Paris Games in 1900, he won two gold medals and one silver. Twenty years later, at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920, he won four gold and two silver medals.
- Korean dominance: South Korean athletes dominate archery on the international stage. Of the four gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012, the Koreans won three.
What are the advantages of the bow and arrow?
Archery is a sport with numerous advantages. The main one is that there is no age or physical structure limitation. The fact is that, today, children from 6 years old to adults of 80 years old practice the sport.
The bow and arrow is used as a therapy for self-knowledge and emotional control, in addition to exercising patience.
Although it is a physically demanding sport, another advantage is that the bow and arrow works the back muscles, helping in posture, in addition to concentration, breathing and relaxation.
The bow and arrow is even used as therapy for self-knowledge and emotional control.
Another advantage is that the bow and arrow is also a good instrument for practicing patience. In addition, this is a sport that can be practiced both indoors and outdoors.
Still, there are some disadvantages. To compete, spending on the gun and accessories is usually quite high.
The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of the bow and arrow:
- Works body musculature
- Improves posture
- Develops focus and attention
- Stimulates patience and relaxation
- For all ages and body types
- Requires strength and physical conditioning
- It can be very expensive
How much does a bow and arrow cost?
The price of the bow and arrow varies greatly depending on the model and the accessories that are included. In general, you will find the bow and arrow costing between R $ 200 and R $ 3 thousand.
Of course, you don’t have to buy the most expensive, unless you’re a professional. For beginners and amateurs it is possible to choose the lowest value.
Where to buy a bow and arrow?
You will find the bow and arrow for sale in sports, department stores and hypermarkets. Still, we recommend that you make your purchase at online stores like Amazon.
This is because, in general, the professional bow and arrow has more offer in online stores. And, in addition, you still get the equipment from the comfort of your home.
Purchase Criteria: What you should consider before choosing the bow and arrow
As we saw, before buying your bow and arrow you need to analyze your objective, your level of practice and your physical structure.
With this, you must also take into account the characteristics of each model available on the market today. Therefore, we have listed for you the main factors that must be considered before purchasing the bow and arrow:
- Dominant eye
- Arch type
Next, we will explain each of these factors in detail so that you make the best decision and invest in the ideal bow and arrow.
This is a fundamental factor that you must take into account before purchasing your bow and arrow.
Before choosing from the available models you need to discover your determining eye. In archery, the bow type is usually chosen for right-handed or left-handed.
Manufacturers make this information available on the product packaging. But this choice is made based on the directing or dominant eye, which can guarantee a more accurate aim.
In order for you to identify your correct eye follow the instructions below:
- Look at an object that is 5 or 10 meters away;
- Put your hands forward, joining them, and then leave a space between your thumbs and index fingers;
- Upon realizing that your hand will approach only one eye, it will be chosen as your dominant eye.
Types of Bows
There are a variety of arches and each has its own characteristics. And, as we have seen, the effective use of the equipment will depend on the technique and posture used.
So it is important that you get the right bow for you. We recommend that, before investing in this equipment, you consult your coach or coach.
This is because there are bows and arrows of various models, such as the Traditional Longbow Bow, Flatbows, Recurve Bow, Compound Bow among others.
Here, however, we will focus on the two main and most popular types: the recurve bow and the compound.
The recurve bow is the type used in the Olympics. This model has blades with double curvature, forming a smooth “S”. But, as it does not have pulleys, this type of bow and arrow requires a greater effort for the pull.
In addition, the recurve bow can be found in two formats: one-piece and collapsible. It can be made of wood or high-strength material such as metal, carbon fiber and glass fiber.
The compound bow is a more modern model, which has a system of pulleys (or pulleys) at its ends where the rope passes.
With the help of the pulleys, the rope is stretched with the help of the pulleys, which reduces the amount of force needed to fully stretch the rope, thus facilitating the aim for shooting.
In addition, the composite arc is less affected by changes in temperature and humidity compared to the recurve arc.
It also offers the archer better accuracy, speed and range. Still, both types of bow and arrow can be equipped with accessories that facilitate accurate shooting.
Here are the main differences between the recurve and compound arches:
Another factor that you should note before investing in your bow and arrow is weight. And, in this case, it is not the amount of pounds that the instrument weighs. We are dealing here with the force you exert to pull the bowstring.
If you are a beginner it is recommended that you choose a recurve bow that weighs between 25 to 35 pounds (lbs), which is approximately equivalent to 11 to 15 kg.
For compound bows, 50 to 60 pounds are ideal. This is necessary so that the practitioner can perform the movements correctly.
To choose the size of your bow you need to know the size of your “pull”. The fact is that each person has a different “pull”.
To find this measurement, you must measure the distance between the two arms stretched out on the side. Then multiply that value by 2.5 and you will have the pull in inches.
Check the table below, which shows the size (in inches) of the bow according to its pull (in inches):
Finally, it is important that you consider the arrows when buying the bow. In many cases, the instrument is already accompanied by some arrows, in general, between two and 6. But this is not a rule, so stay tuned.
Like the bow, the arrow has several specificities and units of measurement. One of these measures is the length of the arrow, measured between the nock and the end of the tube, discarding the size of the tip.
It is the span of the archer that determines the size of the ideal arrow. So, again, consult your coach to make the best choice.
That’s because an arrow that is too long can lead to unstable shots. A short arrow can cause serious accidents, since it is faster.
Another important measure is the spine. This unit measures the flexibility of the arrow: the larger the spine, the greater the contortion of the arrow during the flight to the target.
We also recommend that you note which accessories are included with the bow and arrow.
It is possible to find only the bow for sale, but if possible choose the model that already comes with some accessories, including the arrows.
In general, the bow and arrow can include items such as stabilizer, arrow rest, fiber optic sights, quiver for carrying arrows, loop for bow and wrist slingshot.
The cost-benefit is usually higher when you have the equipment with the included accessories.
Did you know that there are derivatives of the bow and arrow like the Beast and the Ballista? The Beast is a weapon that has greater precision and ease of execution, since you can use it with only one hand. The Ballista, which is a portable version of the Beast, fires darts and was widely used in the past mainly in wars.