Hi guys, many of you will have been looking at the shinies owned by the club senior archers and have been wondering what equipment is recommended by us. It’s important that before you buy anything that you know what is a good buy and what will let you down later on (and you’ll be disappointed).
I will also preface this entire document by saying that you should be under no pressure to buy anything listed below. The club has lots of bits and pieces that can be lent out to both novices and seniors, and as many of you have seen, metal bows to be handed out to novices who show commitment and good form.
Please consider speaking to either equipment officers BEFORE purchasing anything that’s not on this page, including bows, arrows, or expensive equipment.
For the moment, as very general advice to novices:
- If you have a metal bow: keep using it. It’s yours to use and shoot until we have another crop of novices next year.
- If you don’t have a metal bow from the club: You may be in line to get one. It’s not announced out loud, but if you are showing commitment, good technique and decent scores, then you are on the radar to get one.
- However, if you have any questions, feel free to ask any of the senior archers as we’re always happy to help, and it’s best to go into buying something knowing you’re going to get quality 🙂
Basic personal equipment
So starting with stuff which doesn’t affect the way you shoot! This list is aimed mainly at NOVICES and pretty much everything I list here is personal preference in terms of colour, and you can often go for the cheaper stuff as it won’t affect the way you shoot:
These range in price from the VERY basic few quid up to a pro quiver at around £50. A good idea here is to choose one that you like the look of, and how many pockets it has. As long as it has enough space to put all the bits and pieces in, then it’s fine. Look around at the seniors who are parading a nice variety of quivers.
Not too much to be wary of here. Get the colour co-ordination right though! One thing to consider is whether it comes with a belt, as some of the cheaper ones don’t (or even some of the more expensive ones).
Finger Sling ~make your own or a few quid
You can buy these, but you can continue to borrow the club ones as there are plenty.
You can make your own finger sling without paying any money. A good example is Converse shoelaces as they last a long time, or get a lanyard, rip it apart, and tie a knot at the bottom. This makes them adjustable, and this is a good thing as some of the manufactured ones are not as adjustable. However, if you make your own, get used to doing the cat’s cradle!
If you want one of the ones that the club has, get in touch with one of the committee members and they can point you to the person that made them all for us!
Arrow puller ~a fiver
These make life SO much easier especially if you’re trying to pull those arrows which seem to embed themselves in the target and you just can’t get them out!
The Flex pullers are alright but they sell out fast and come sometimes shred after a lot of use. Then there is the Nyan Cat Win and Win puller which you may see some people parading around with!
Chest Guard ~£11 (can go upto £50)
Paraphrasing Adam: “Everyone should use one of these to make sure you keep a constant reference on your chest every time.”
Sara says these ones are better for the women:
They’re not essential for shooting, although useful if you wear baggy clothes. Ask the seniors to try theirs so you can find one that is comfortable, alternatively find your nearest archery shop and go and try them on. A lot of male seniors use the Easton Diamond one and it tends to work: https://www.merlinarchery.co.uk/easton-diamond-chest-guard.html
For most people a medium will fit ok. The best idea is to follow your shirt size.
Bow Stringer ~£6
Put your bow together properly! Only really useful for those on metal bows!
It is very useful to have your own stringer especially at competitions where you may not be near the seniors and other types are available but the webbing stringer is most people’s preference.
Equipment for metal recurve
Moving onto stuff for metal bows now, these bits and bobs will only be useful later on if and when you get a metal riser. Again this is aimed at SENIORS and NOVICES WITH METAL BOWS, so if you’re still shooting the wooden ones, stop reading here before your eyes baulk! (It’s not that bad honestly!)
Soma (now called Fivics) Saker II finger tab ~£37.99
This is a good tab for the money. Ask one of the seniors to try their’s on as the club has most sizes.
There are other tabs available. The KSL is the next most popular used in SUAC, but note that you cannot move your hand with them (which isn’t a bad thing for shooting form!). Other platform tabs include the SF elite and the Win&Win tabs.
Shibuya DX button ~£25.80
These are a really good value for money, other buttons are available but these are a good compromise of price and performance.
Once you have bought one of these you can spend time tuning it instead of tuning a club one. Adam says: “There are only 2 buttons worth buying: The Shibuya DX and the Beiter one. If you have the money (£80) for the Beiter one then get that, but the DX is the only other one that I’d buy.”
Bow stand ~£15-£30
Stop the cries of “timber” behind the waiting line!
Don’t get the kick stands! They’re for compounders! Not a lot of difference between stands, just make sure you get a free standing one and not one that goes into the ground, although a detachable spike can be quite useful for outdoors. You can spend a lot on a stand but at the end of the day, you want it to hold your bow and not damage the grip. Adam says: “Get the Cartel RX-10 if you can afford it.”
Equipment for compound
Different person here, thought I’d add on some ones for compound.
Please only read this section if the club is allowing you to shoot compound. Do not buy any of this until then.
Bow stand ~£10-£30
These are different to recurve stands. Compound stands usually come in two forms: ones that clip on, and ones that slip on. They attach onto the lower limb and use the long rod to stay upright.
The club has some of the clip-on ones, so if you have a bow (or are using a club compound), try these first to see if they fit. If not, you may have to buy a slip-on one (I personally recommend the Gas Pro Revolver Stand).
Release aid ~£50-£300
Release aids can be very expensive, but it depends on the type you’re getting.
The club recommends getting a thumb-trigger handheld release aid, unless you have been shooting compound a long time and are comfortable using back tension. Generally avoid wrist releases.
The club has some of these. Try them before you buy one. Or ask one of the very few compound shooters in the club if you can try theirs.
Any questions just ask one of the seniors who will be able to show you different bits of kit and most of them will let you try things.