After years of wanting to get involved in archery and having to save up for more important things than hobbies, I finally just closed my eyes and bought myself a bow.  Buying a bow is not something you do without doing a little bit of research. Find out where to purchase the one that will suit not only your wallet but also yourself.

Getting started:

What you need to know before purchasing your bow.

1.       Which eye is dominant?

In a lot of cases, a right handed person might not have a dominant right eye. To check which eye is dominant you can do the following. Take note that you will buy your bow according to which eye is dominant, not which hand is dominant. 

·         Extend both hands in front of your face. Place your hands together to make a triangle like in this picture.

·         Keep both eyes open and look through the triangle at any small object.  The object must be in the centre of the triangle. 

·         Close your left eye. If the object stays in view you are right eye dominant. If the object does not stay in view you are left eye dominant. You can repeat the test, by looking through the triangle again with both eyes open and closing the right eye. If the object stays in view you are left eye dominant. If the object does not stay in view you are right eye dominant.

2.       What is your draw length?

Take a measurement of your “wingspan”, this is fingertip to fingertip. (If you know your height this should be exactly the same as your “wingspan”.  Here is how to calculate your draw length.

If you are 1.7 meters the formula would like as follows.

170cm / 2.5 = 68cm

68cm / 2.54 = 26.77inch (this part converts it to inches)

The above is my draw length, but my bow is still set at 25inches because I use a trigger/release.

3.       Price range. Bows range from about R2500 – R12000 for a naked bow. (Bow with no extra’s added on) Then there are some extras to make your bow more accurate and reduce the noise.  This is what I added on to my bow. 

·         Sight

·         Arrow Rest

Arrow rest helps guide the arrow when releasing it. The one I chose is actually called a whisker biscuit. Due to it being a little circle of whiskers that support your arrow.

Other arrow rests look like the picture below where it is a forked piece of metal that lifts up when you draw the string back.

·         Stabilizer

This obviously helps stabilize the bow when aiming.

·         Peep

The peep is used with the site to aim.  The peep can be set higher or lower on the draw string when setting up the bow for the archer.

·         Sling

When drawing the bow, to ensure a natural shot, the archer must not grip the bow but let it rest again his/her hand. This will ensure that when releasing the arrow the “grip’ on it will not influance the shot. The sling is there to stop the bow from falling to the ground when the arrow is released.

·         Release

When setting up the bow a little loop it put onto the bow string for the release to clip on.  This is then basically a trigger that you release to shoot the arrow instead of using your fingers to hold the string when drawing it back.

·         Carry case

·         Couple of arrows 

·         Butt

The butt is just a backing to stick targets on, so your arrows won’t pierce the target or shoot through.


·         Targets


The final product looks like the below picture when all the extras have been added.

My “Mission Craze” cost + – R2500. The extras I bought were all beginner level; (sight, whisker biscuit, stabilizer, peep, sling, release, carry bag and 6 arrows) which came to an additional R1900.  A butt will cost you an extra R600 and targets are about R10 per paper target.

All the information I have added above is for the bow I bought. This is a compound bow not a recurve bow or crossbow.