A Quick History of Me and Archery
Ok so in simple terms in 2007 my daughter had a go at archery at a come and try it session. I have fancied a decent try at archery especially shooting long bow since I was a kid, so a great thing for us to do together. We talked to the local clubs who all had huge waiting lists or were closed to newbies, other than Bristol Bowmen, but, we still had to wait for Alex to pass her 8th birthday. So once her birthday had gone we booked up for a beginners course which we did during the summer 2008.
With my long term goal to be long bow, I started shooting barebow. Barebow means a modern, olympic style, recurve bow with all the bits taken off - no sights, no balance or dampening rods etc. Well I kind of fell in love, a great sport it's quite mellow, but exhilarating at the same time, and I also love the style of bow. When I buy my first bow I'll going the barebow route, longbow may follow at a later date, but it will be later...
Well, when I finally decided it was time I had my own archery kit, so budget set at a max £450 - 500 I trundled my self over the Severn bridge into Wales and down to Wales Archery.
First thing the shop folk did was measure my draw length (31") and then it was into the real fun.
I've tried a Winstar II riser before and quite liked it, but felt the grip could have been more comfortable, so decided my first try would be another ILF riser at the low end of the price scale, the Seb Flute Super Forged riser at £155. Matched up with some basic Winstorm limbs we went up to little shooting area of the shop and let loose with some arrows. I can't describe it any other way then that things clicked, the riser and limb combo felt spot on. We talked about the options of going up in price to try some risers and I just felt happy with what I had.
I let loose enough arrows to feel that I was happy with the weight of the bow. The limbs are 32lb but given my draw is 31", that gives about 38lb on the fingers, a little heavy - especially for a relative newby but controllable. (probably thanks to the kayaking / gym / fitness stuff I do).
No stabilisers or similar as I shoot barebow.
Then it was a case of which arrows - I opted for xx75 plat plus arrows, I feel the extra £10 compared to the Jazz arrows is worth it for the little finer bit of tolerance and longevity they should give.
Add a case, bowstand etc and it was time to put the hand in the pocket. The whole lot came in at just under £400 so some space left in my savings to go towards a new kayak later this year or if I feel I want to go with some of the options I chose not to take (for example a plunger button, and a bow sling of some sort (haven't tried either finger slings or wrist slings so have yet to decide what I want to do there).
And that was it 2 hours of time in Wales Archery with me coming away feeling very happy. I have kit I feel really happy with and there are constant, little hints, tips and snippets of expertise from the staff in there. Even a cup of coffee. A big thanks to them and their patience!
I'll post some photos when I have the chance to take some! and as soon as the rain stops and I get to shoot some full rounds I'll give an update.
In 2010, Bristol Bowmen was getting pretty big and a group of archers split off to form a new club - Bitton Archers and that is where I have been ever since. Still enjoying barebow still, but Alex has decided to do archery for part of her GCSEs and it looks like she will need to switch from Barebow to Olympic style (i.e. add some sites), if this is true then I will change too so that I can help her learn how to use sites.