Today’s bows are usually either recurve or compound design. The most used manufacturing process is the composite which consists of a layer of fiberglass or carbon on each side of wooden or composite strips. The longbow is still used today by the traditionalists of the sport, but mainly in a simulated hunting environment.
Various refinements and aids are added as desired. These refinements include sights, stabilizers, release aids, etc. However none of these accessories are required to learn the basics of archery. Most recurve bows of today are of the ‘take down’ type, which aids in convenience of traveling and limb replacement. Most modern compounds also ‘take down’ quite easily. Many different makes are available at your local archery shop as is much needed advice on any questions a person may have.
Arrow Selection - Arrows are sold according to bow weight and arrow length; the heavier the bow, the stiffer the arrow. For the same size arrow, the shorter arrow is stiffer while the longer arrow is more limber.
Exact sizes are determined by charts provided by the manufacturer. It is best to seek professional advice in arrow purchase. Just to be sure, take your club coach with you when you purchase arrows. Spine is the measurement of the amount of bend caused by a two pound weight suspended from the arrow’s centre, calibrated in thousandths of an inch. Generally, there are five types of arrow material: wood, fiberglass, aluminum, carbon graphite and aluminum/carbon combined.
Wooden arrows are not as popular today because it is difficult to find a matching set and they are not as durable as the new manufactured materials. They are still widely used by the traditional or longbow archer.
Fiberglass or carbon arrows are good for a beginner class because of its durability.
Aluminum makes an excellent arrow that is both consistent and durable. These arrows are also easy to straighten when bent. They are sized by a 4 digit code such as 1816. The first two digits denote the shaft diameter in 64th of an inch. The second two digits denote the shaft width in thousandths of an inch. Therefore, an 1816 is 18/64th of an inch in diameter and 16/1000th of an inch in wall thickness.
A popular choice amongst the top tournament archer is the carbon graphite arrows. These arrows allow for greater speed due to their stiffness, small diameter, consistency and light mass weight.