Before you can get started with archery, you will have to buy a lot of equipment, such as a bow, arrows, bow stringer, protection, quiver, etc. Buying this gear separately will always be more expensive than buying it in one big set. Even if you do not use some of the accessories, it’s still cheaper than buying them all separately.
Just type in ‘’archery starting set’’ and you will find hundreds of offerings. With this article, I will help you to make the right choice by recommending the best starter kits. I am into archery for more than 10 years and have helped a lot of archers choose their gear. So, I hope this article will also help you too!
At the end of this article, I will also give you some guidance on how to buy your first bow. Just in case you choose to buy a bow that is not on this list.
1. Best quality starting set
I highly recommend this archery set, because it includes the popular Samick Sage. This bow has a very smooth draw for its price point and has proven itself to be very durable. Just search for Samick Sage and you will find hundreds of positive reviews. The price and quality of the bow are just simply difficult to beat.
Within this set, you will get the bow, a string, arrows, bow stringer, arrow rest, arm guard, finger tab, quiver, and nocking points. So, for an affordable price, you will get everything you need.
If you prefer to buy the accessories separately or if you have some of the accessories already, you can also just buy the bow via this link. But as mentioned earlier buying things separately tend to be more expensive than buying them as a set.
2. Best budget starting set
If you are on a tight budget, the previous package might be a bit too expensive for you. In that case, you can also decide to buy the Keshes Takedown Recurve bow set. Since this bow is not manufactured by Samick (a popular archery brand), the price of the bow is lower.
This package does not include arrows or protection, so you will have to buy that separately. In this article, I have some more information on the arrows I would buy.
3. Best competition recurve set
If you want to participate in recurve competitions and you are practicing at an archery club, this is the bow I would recommend. I generally do not recommend this set to archers that shoot recreationally because these bows are more complicated.
This bow has adjustable limb pockets and a tiller. This allows you to fine-tune how the bow shoots, which is essential for archers that shoot at competitions. For new archers, it’s often more of a detriment as you need to tune the bow before you can use it. Many beginners do not know how to tune the bow, which causes them to shoot less accurately.
So, if you want to buy this bow, I highly recommend learning more about how to tune a bow by reading the articles below:
The bow and the riser are perfect for a serious archer. Since the limbs have an ILF system, you can easily exchange them, if you want to move up in draw weight. Also, the modern adjustable limb pockets allow you to fully finetune this bow.
This package includes the bow, string, bowstring, nocking points, and some protective sleeves for storage. Therefore, you will still need to buy some parts separately. Luckily, I have written a full guide on what gear I would recommend with this bow, which you can read here.
4. Best compound starting set
Generally, don’t recommend new archers to start with a compound bow, since setting this bow up is more complicated, just like a competition recurve bow. You need to configure both the draw weight and draw length before you can start shooting. Also, the sight and arrow rest can be configured. When you are just getting started, getting this set up correctly requires you to learn how this works.
So, if you want to buy a compound bow, I recommend reading the articles below to learn how to configure it.
Still, if you prefer compound bows, I do not want to discourage you from choosing this type of bow. You just must anticipate that you will have to do some additional research before you get started.
The Creative XP Compound set is a great starter option as it includes an affordable but solid compound bow. It also includes all the gear you need to get started. Including arrows, sight, bow-mounted quiver, and release. Although it is not displayed in the pictures, this compound bow also comes with a whisker biscuit arrow rest.
In the future, when you have practiced a lot, you might want to upgrade some of the parts. For example, you might want to buy a different sight or a different arrow rest. But the bow itself will last you a long time. And the beginner parts you get will help you learn your preferences.
5. Traditional archery set
Since a traditional bow is more barebones, it is more difficult to hit the center of your target. That can be a disadvantage, but also a nice challenge. Hitting the gold with a traditional bow is simply more rewarding because it’s all based on your skill.
There are many types of traditional bows available such as longbows, flat bows, horse bows, and kyudo bows, just to name a few. Each type of bow has a different look and feel. Also, different bows can have differing energy returns.
If you want to get started with traditional archery, I recommend the TOParchery Horse Bow. The benefit of this type of bow is that it’s easier and smoother to shoot than some other historical bows. If you take a longbow, for example, they tend to be quite unforgiving and jarring to shoot. That is part of the charm of that type of bow, but not ideal when you are just getting started.
Within this set, you will get everything you need to get started, such as arrows, a quiver, protection, a bow stringer, and string dampeners. The parts you get are also surprisingly high quality, so it is a very good deal!
What you should consider while buying a starter set
Buying your first bow is very challenging. Archery is quite a technical sport which can make it difficult to choose the right bow. Therefore, I will discuss 4 important principles that you need to understand when you are getting started.
Note: in this article, I will only discuss the basics, which will help you to take a decision fast. If you would like to have more info, you can read this article: Getting started with archery. Just beware, archery can be a bit of a rabbit hole, the more you read the more things you would like to learn. Sometimes it’s just better to get started and accept that you might make some mistakes along the way.
1. The type of bow
Technically there are 3 basic types of archery forms, but I like to distinguish between 4 different types of bows:
- Beginners bow: this type of bow is generally the most inexpensive and easy to start with. With this bow, you will be able to learn the correct technique and develop the right form. Most archers, who practice regularly, switch to a different bow in 1 or 2 years once they are more skilled.
- Recurve bow: this is the type of bow that you see at the Olympic Games. This bow can be tuned and has a lot of accessories that make it easier to shoot, such as a stabilizer, sight, plunger, and dampeners. This makes the bow more complicated to configure and maintain, but it also helps you to be a bit more accurate.
- Compound bow: these bows feature a pully system that makes the hold weight a lot lower. This makes it easier to aim which improves the overall accuracy. Therefore, these types of bows tend to be even more accurate than recurve bows. But these bows are also more difficult to maintain and configure.
- Traditional bow: where the previous bows all have some features which make the bow more practical, the traditional bow focuses on historical archery. Therefore, these bows are less forgiving, making them less accurate. These bows are a great option for people that like a challenge!
Unsurprisingly, I recommend a beginner’s bow when you are just getting started. You can of course learn archery with all 4 types of bows, but it will be more challenging. They are simply less forgiving if you do not know what you are doing. If you buy a recurve, compound, or traditional bow, make sure to do your research on what you need. On this website, I have a ton of articles about recurve and compound archery.
2. Draw weight
The single biggest mistake that most new archers make is buying a bow with a too heavy draw weight. Many people overestimate their strength which results in them buying a heavier bow than they can handle. I highly recommend using the tables below to choose the draw weight, to make sure that you are not overbowed.
As you can see the draw weight recommendations are in intervals. Generally, it’s better to choose a lower draw weight if you are tall. Since we use the limb draw weight here, the actual draw weight will be a lot higher for tall people. If you want to know more about the difference between limb draw weight and actual draw weight, make sure to read the article below:
Beginner and recurve bows
|Archers profile||Draw weight|
|Small children (till 8 years old)||16 LBS or less|
|Larger children (8 till 13 years old)||16-18 LBS|
|Teenage female (13 till 18 years old)||18-22 LBS|
|Teenage male (13 till 18 years old)||20-24 LBS|
|Female (18 years and older)||20-26 LBS|
|Male (18 years and older)||22-30 LBS|
|Archers profile||Recommended draw weight|
|Small children (till 8 years old)||10-20 LBS|
|Larger children (8 till 13 years old)||20-25 LBS|
|Teenage female (13 till 18 years old)||25-35 LBS|
|Teenage male (13 till 18 years old)||30-40 LBS|
|Female (18 years and older)||35-45 LBS|
|Male (18 years and older)||40-55 LBS|
|Archers profile||Recommended draw weight|
|Small children (till 8 years old)||10-15 LBS|
|Larger children (8 till 13 years old)||15-20 LBS|
|Teenage female (13 till 18 years old)||20-30 LBS|
|Teenage male (13 till 18 years old)||25-35 LBS|
|Female (18 years and older)||25-35 LBS|
|Male (18 years and older)||30-45 LBS|
3. Bow and draw length
Another important aspect to consider is the bow length and draw length; which are closely connected.
In short, tall people have a long draw length and therefore need a long bow.
That’s why the bows for children are generally bigger than the bows for adults. By the way, there is no real negative of having a ‘’too big bow’’ it will only be more difficult to wield. So even a child can shoot with an adult-sized bow.
There are multiple ways to measure your draw length with varying levels of accuracy. I have listed down all those methods in this article: how to measure your draw length. An easy way to estimate your draw length is by using your height, which you can do in the table below:
|Height (feet and inches)||Height (inches)||Height (metric)||Draw length|
|4’7’’||55 inches||140 cm||22 inches|
|4’9 1/2’’||57 inches||144 cm||23 inches|
|5’0’’||60 inches||152 cm||24 inches|
|5’2 1/2’’||62 inches||157 cm||25 inches|
|5’5’’||65 inches||165 cm||26 inches|
|5’7 1/2’’||67 inches||170 cm||27 inches|
|5’10’’||70 inches||177 cm||28 inches|
|6’ 1/2’’||72 inches||182 cm||29 inches|
|6’3’’||75 inches||191 cm||30 inches|
|6’5 1/2’’||77 inches||196 cm||31 inches|
|6’8’’||80 inches||203 cm||32 inches|
Some bows are rated for a certain draw length, if that is the case, make sure that you do not have a draw length further than that. Especially if you are 6 feet or taller, you must be careful. Especially bows without bent tips can have a limited draw length.
4. Spine weight of the arrow
If you buy the arrows separately from the bow, you need to check if they fit the bow. You especially must check if they are spined properly. You can assemble your own arrows by buying nocks, shafts, points, and vanes separately. But that requires a lot of knowledge about arrows. If you choose to go down this rabbit hole, this article will guide you:
If you want to keep things simple you can check the spine weight (which is between 300 and 1000) and compare this to the table below. You first must know the arrow length to use the table, this is generally 30 inches (default) or 32 inches (longer arrows).
If you are looking for some high-quality arrows, I recommend these arrows from Amazon. These affordable arrows are made from carbon and will therefore last a long time!
Tips for buying your first bow
I already have given you a lot of tips and tricks on how to choose your first bow. Still, I would like to give some additional tips before you buy your bow
- Don’t buy an expensive bow: when you are new to archery it is very difficult to choose a bow that fits you well. You might not know exactly what kind of bow you like and what features you find important. It’s important to experiment a bit. If you buy a very expensive bow, you might find out later that you want something else. That’s why it’s often better to start with something more affordable if you are unsure.
- Buy a simple bow that does not need to be tuned: tuning a bow is very complicated, and even many experienced archers do not know all the details. On this website, I have written more than 15 articles purely on how to tune a recurve bow. So again, start simple and build your knowledge over time!
- Buy a real bow and not a toy: although you should start simple you should not start with a bow that is basically a toy. The budget option (number 2) is about as cheap as it’s going to get. Of course, there are cheaper bows available. But these bows are for an afternoon of fun and not for serious target practice.
Next steps: learn how to shoot a bow
Once you have your bow, it’s time to shoot. Before you do so, I recommend learning some basic techniques. I have written a full article on how to shoot a bow with plenty of pictures and videos. It is certainly worth a read:
In the article, you will find links to other more in-depth articles. While you are practicing you might want to refer back to the article every once in a while, to learn some more in-depth techniques.
Buying your bow is exciting, isn’t it? But it can also be a bit daunting now you realize that archery involves a lot of technique. So, if you still have any doubts or questions, please feel free to ask them in the comment section.
Your question can help fellow archers and helps me understand how to improve this website!