Important points bow and accessoires

Important points bow and accessories

In order to find a bow that fits your needs, it is essential to understand the differences and possibilities between types of bows. Therefore we here try to give an overview of these types. If there are any remaining questions you can always ask one of our members or trainers for help.

Which bow type do you want?

Traditional bow:

Most traditional bows are made out of wood and it is not possible to add attachments to them. Most often people therefore call this type of bow ”barebow”, but this is incorrect. Any type of bow without a visor or scope is a barebow.

Of course there are also different types of traditional bows, examples being: English Longbow +-120 euro (often used for long range shooting, due to the high poundage. These bows resemble a round, smooth stick, and have no arrow rest.  .), Flatbows +-100 euro (have a thicker middle piece, with arrow rest, and flatten out towards the end of the limbs.), horse-bow +-150 euro (shorter bow with a very typical curving, developed for shooting from horseback), Japanese longbow +-350 euro (adapted to the typical Japanese archery, with a different anchoring point.).

This is just a short overview of traditional bow types, there are of course many more.

Recurve bow:

A basic recurve bow starts as a barebow without any attachments and depending your desires you can make it as high-tech as desired. Therefore the recurve bow prices vary a lot; basic recurve +-80 euro, advanced recurve +-300 euro (+-200 euro second hand), high end recurve +-1200 euro (+-900 euro second hand). If you would like to attach accessories (e.g. stabilization) to the bow, we advise to buy at least a middle class riser (the separate middle piece of the bow), since a basic riser often does not support all attachments. When purchasing a middle class riser, viser (stabilises the aiming point) and arrow rest are commonly included. Additional attachments are a clicker (stabilises the pulling length of your arrows) or stabilizers (stabilises the hand/bow vibrations after the release of a shot) and a button (corrects the flight of you arrows when released from the string),.

Compound bow:

The compound bow has the same options as a recurve bow, but since a pulley system is used the archer requires less stamina to shoot a higher pulling force. When shooting a compound the release takes place with a special hook, attached to the wrist of the archer. In addition, most compound bows can be equipped with a scope, which can even include a water scale. This is done to increase the precision of the compound bow. Compound bows have a higher pulling weight than recurve bows (on average about 50 pounds), but this is compensated for by the pulley system. This makes the bow feel as heavy, or even lighter, in terms of pulling weight when compared to a recurve. A basic compound bow starts at a price of +-450 euro.


There are some bows that can’t be placed within one of the three subsections. Hunter bows, +- 120 euro, are a combination of a traditional and a recurve bow. They often don’t have attachments and are shorter than traditional bows and are based upon the recurve bow model. Crossbow/compound crossbow are not permitted at the WAC, but use a trigger to load and release arrows.

Which Arrows do you want?

Some considerations have to be made when purchasing arrows and the prices vary depending on the choice of material (usually between €5-30).

There are three common materials used for arrows: wood (often used for traditional bows), Aluminium (used for indoor and short range shooting), Carbon (used for outdoor and long-range shooting). Carbon arrows are less easily bent than aluminium arrows, but they can do splinter. Furthermore, they are in general more expensive. A combination of materials within an arrow is also possible.

Spine is the stiffness of an arrow and determines the flight of the arrow. The amount of spine required for optimal flight depends on the pulling weight, pulling length, and type of arrow used. Therefore it is important to ask advice at the archery shop which arrow fit your bow.

Carefully choose which type of bow suits you. Always also ask advice at the archery shop, take your time (2-3 hours) and follow your instincts! It is also possible to ask other members for advice/help or to try out different kind of bows beforehand at the WAC.

Important points to pay attention to are:

  1. Is the bow left- or righthanded?
  2. The ‘normal’ length for a recurve bow is 68 inch, which is suitable for people with a height of 1,70-1,85 m. Keep in mind that the required length of the bow mainly depends on the draw length. If you are smaller than 1,70 m it is advantageous to buy a 66 inch bow. If you are taller than 1,85 m it is advantageous to by a 70 inch bow. While the bow length should match your draw length, not your height, if you are over 1,85m you probably shouldn’t use a 66inch bow. This differs for traditional longbows and flatbows, they are roughly equal to the length of the archer. Horse bows are all about equal in length.
  3. The ideal pulling/draw weight of a beginners bow is between 20 and 25 pounds. Traditional bows often start at 30 pounds. Don’t choose a bow with a too high draw weight. Doing so could lead to serious injuries The actual bow weight doesn’t vary a lot between different bows in one class and is therefore less important.
  4. The average length of an arrow is 28 inch, and the maximal length of arrows is 32 inch. The most important consideration is that the arrow should not be too short. Too short arrows can lead to the endangerment of the archers and injury. Therefore if you are tall and/or have long arms, it is highly recommended to take arrows with maximal length. Again the archery shop can help here and shorten the arrows to meet your personal requirements.

Maintenance tips?

  1. . The string contains twists to make the release of the string smoother. A bowsquare is often used to check if the twists are still within the accepted range, by measuring the distance between the string and grip or string and limb edges. The distance varies with the number of twists in the string. The distance should be measured regularly and the measurements noted down.
  1. Clean your bow once in a while with a moist rag.
  2. Don’t leave the bow tensioned after shooting!
  3. Write down your visor settings, you never know when you need them, especially outside!
  4. Waxing your string every month might lengthen the life of your string and result in more comfortable shooting. Waxing material is available at the WAC.