We are often asked about what equipment is required to take up archery. One of our coaches has put together this list, which should give you a rough idea what is required, and approximately how much it should cost. 

One very important piece of advice: Do not go out and buy a bow before getting advice from us! The specific details of which bow, size, weight etc. is more complex than you could imagine. Wait to consult us first, we can save you money and disappointment.

All links to equipment on this page will take you to Merlin Archery (a reputable and recommended archery shop in Loughborough). Prices are correct as of 18/12/19.

A basic recurve setup

A basic recurve setup would consist of something like this. The equipment would be similar to what you would use on a beginner’s course: 

Intermediate level recurve setup

If you think you may stick with archery for a while, then you will probably want a slightly better setup: 

Approximate price for an intermediate kit as above would cost about £500, but prices may vary. When you start shooting you need low poundage limbs so that you can concentrate on technique and slowly acclimatise the muscles. It’s not about the weight you can pull once, it’s the weight you can comfortably shoot 200+ arrows with, and make the last shot as good as the first. 

In an ideal world, you would increase your draw weight every 2 or 3 months, building up slowly until you settle on your peak draw weight. Most clubs arrange a system for swapping second hand limbs around its new members so that this regular upgrading costs little or nothing until you settle on your final weight (probably a couple of years into your archery practice), when you may wish to spend more and get something of higher spec. 

Do not buy bows or arrows from Ebay. Bows are sensitive things and can easily be distorted by temperature change or misuse and some bows are flawed when they are sold. Such equipment is then usually disposed of on Ebay. Buy new or from someone you trust. There are some reputable second hand buy and sell groups on Facebook, gear bought from these is usually good quality but discuss with a club coach before buying anything.

Arrows must be accurately matched to the archer’s draw length and poundage of the bow. (They must also be straight as an arrow!) Having correctly matched arrows makes a big difference. It’s a big mistake to randomly buy arrows. Do first have a club coach measure your draw length (ie string to handle at full draw) and draw weight on fingers, and give this information to a reputable archery supplier when you buy your equipment. They will give you the correct arrows. 

Remember, it can be extremely dangerous to use arrows that are too short for you!
Old wooden arrows are also dangerous as they become brittle with age and can break when shot, and cause serious injury to the bow hand. Ten years is the maximum lifespan for wooden arrows.