Duncan Busby responds to a query on what equipment to start off with when you are still finding your draw length…
Q. I’ve just completed my beginner’s course and I’ve chosen to take up compound archery. I’ve been advised to get an adjustable bow until my draw length settles in but I’d like to use competition level equipment as soon as possible, what can you suggest?
A. Buying your first bow can seem a daunting and confusing task; with so many different models on offer all boasting different technologies and benefits, what should you be looking out for when investing in a compound?
The primary and most important factor to consider when choosing a bow is how well it fits you; shooting with the correct draw length and poundage will make it easier to develop correct shooting form and will help to prevent injury. However, as many compound bows have a fixed or modular draw length adjustment, which means you will either need to change the cams or cam modules in order to go up or down in draw length, it can get costly if you are unsure about your fitment. As this would be your first compound it’s important you choose one that will grow with you as your form and strength develop – though luckily there are several options available to you depending on your budget.
Several manufacturers now offer competition-level equipment with a good range of draw length adjustment already built in. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to settle for low quality as a lot of companies include this feature on their flagship models; PSE, Hoyt and Mybo are just three companies to look out for, who offer draw length adjustments of up to 5½ inches on a single cam or module choice.
Most compounds will also enable you to reduce the draw weight of the bow by up to 10lbs from its peak weight, so make sure the bow you choose allows you to begin shooting with a sensible poundage, before you even attempt to pull the maximum competition limit of 60lbs.
Your beginner’s course should have given you a good idea of what draw length and weight you need, so I’d advise you invest in a bow that allows you to make adjustments either side of these measurements; that way, you’ll be able to fine tune your shooting as your form and strength develop. And remember to choose the highest quality competition equipment you can afford, so it will not only grow with you but it will serve you well for years.