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Archery Equipment


Watch a Hunger Games Video including an archery lesson with Jessica O'Neal (part 1)

Now that you have decided to shoot a bow and arrow it's time to look at the equipment you may want.

There are a few things to consider:

1. The type of bow you want
2. What you intend to do with it

Here you have many options:

a. Target Shooting
b. Hunting
c. Competition
d. Or just fun with the whole family!

The most important factor is finding a bow that fits your specific draw length. To do this, just find an archery shop and talk to their pros. They can measure your draw length and help make what you want to do a quick reality! Bows are broken down into three basic types:

1. Longbows
2. Recurves
3. Compounds

Each one offers a different style of shooting, but all of them are fun and you can do most anything with them.


This traditional bow and arrow has been around for thousands of years and really appeals to those who enjoy "old school" and the simplicity of archery. The longbow is made from a single piece of wood and typically equal to the height of the person shooting it. The string is attached at the ends of the bows. When the string is drawn back, tension increases as the limbs bend, creating stored energy. The strings are made of natural materials such as linen, hemp, sinew and rawhide and match the length of the bow.

Recurve Bow

Would you believe this is the only bow permitted in the Olympics. It acquires its name by its design, the tips of the bow curving away from the archer when the bow is strung, allowing the bow to store and deliver more energy from a more compact bow than the longbow. The limbs are usually made from multiple layers of synthetic and wood materials on a core of carbon foam or wood. The riser (the center section of the bow) is generally separate and is constructed from wood, carbon, or metal alloys.

Compound Bow

The compound bow is the most popular type of bow today. This bow has its string wrapped around pulleys (cams), and one or both of the pulleys have one or more cables attached to the opposite limb. When the string is drawn back, the string causes the pulleys to turn. Once the archer draws the bow back the bow weight increases to a peak and then "lets off" a percentage making the bow easier to draw and hold for a longer period of time. The let-off is commonly between 65% and 80% of the peak weight.


a) This is the one thing that connects you to your target. Arrows come in many different sizes to match the draw weight and style of bow you are shooting as well as the draw length of the shooter. They can be made of wood or aluminum and even carbon. The tip of the arrow has a point that allows it to fly straight and penetrate the target better. The other end of the shaft has fletching with are like wings helping to stabilize the arrow in flight. Fletching are commonly plastic today but could be of real feathers or other materials. At the back of the arrow is the nock which allows the arrow to attach to the bow string.

Watch a Hunger Games Video including an archery lesson with Jessica O'Neal (Part 2)

Watch a Hunger Games Video including an archery lesson with Jessica O'Neal (Part 3)

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