Archery - Hints and Tips
The necessary equipment
To try out archery you will first of all need the correct equipment. This includes:
When choosing a bow it is important that you start with one that is not too heavy. It is best to try out a few different bows of different weights.
- Arm and finger guards
Essential for your safety. An arm guard protects you from uncontrolled bowstrings. A finger guard helps with an easy release of the strings and protects your fingertips from abrasion.
- Arrows and a quiver
Having the right arrow is the most important factor in achieving a clean hit. It is important that the arrow is suitable for the bow you have chosen, and that it is the correct length and has the necessary stiffness. A quiver enables you to safely stow your arrows. The most popular type is the quiver you have on your back: this lies diagonally across your back and is attached to your body by means of a simple diagonal or three-point belt across your chest.
The most important consideration is that whatever you are wearing makes you feel comfortable. However, clothing needs to be close-fitting so that it does not get in the way of the strings. Sturdy footwear is also recommended as an archery parcours can often be long and involve some uphill walking.
If you are new to this fascinating sport, you can, of course, hire equipment on a daily basis.
The perfect aim
Now that we have the correct equipment, let’s talk about technique. We have a few tips for you:
Stretching out the bow
The best way to learn how to do this is to watch someone else first. If you don’t do it properly, you could end up with it in your face in the worst case scenario, otherwise part of the bow could break.
- Poise and body posture
To aim for the target you need to stand sideways and with your feet parallel to the target. An upright posture is very important, and you need to make sure that the upper body and shoulders form a T shape. Also, the axes of the eyes and the bow need to remain at right angles to each other.
- Firing a shot
Now that you have the correct posture and positioning, you need to take your first shot. Focus first of all on the smallest possible point on the target. For this you need stillness, precision and concentration.
As you stretch out, your elbow should be elongated so that you can keep the bow steady. Hold the bow with the bow arm. You should not grip the bow so tightly that the bow gets twisted as you fire your shot. Pull the bowstring and the arrow with the draw hand. One finger should be placed over the arrow and two fingers placed underneath.
Pull the string until the elbow is fully stretched out. With your draw hand, locate the anchor point on your face. This is any point where the draw hand touches your face when firing. Usually, this is the corner of the mouth. Finally, relax your fingers. The string is released and the hand remains against your face.
Dos and Don’ts when practising archery
Remember that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others – bows and arrows are weapons, and without proper care and attention you could seriously harm yourself, other people or animals!
Remember the following:
Never release the taut bow without an arrow – the bow could break!
- Only fire arrows in specially designated areas!
- Never fire a shot when someone is standing between you and the target!
- Always be aware of the direction of fire (eg from the firing platform to the target)
- After firing a shot, don’t move until the arrow has reached its target, otherwise you could alter the direction of fire and things could go wrong!
- Wait until the end to remove arrows out from the target!
- When removing arrows, be sure that nobody is standing behind you and also that you don’t cause injury to yourself (due to resistance)
- Never leave the bow in the car in high temperatures – the adhesive could soften and become warped!
Like for most sports, it is worth going into a specialist shop and asking for advice when thinking of taking up archery. In the Holiday Region Dachstein Salzkammergut, we have in Bad Goisern at Lake Hallstatt a specialist archery shop and archery courses are available for beginners as well as those with more experience.
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