Archery has been around for nearly 30,000 years. It’s sort of incredible that a simple bow and string could cause such monumental changes to society, issuing in a new, more efficient era of both hunting and warfare. These days, we get all of our food and amenities from supermarkets or online suppliers, which leaves little to no rival tribes and/or wild animals for us to kill. Thanks to all of this convenience, archery has been relegated to an Olympic sport and hobby, which isn’t so much a fall from grace as it is a complete change in how we view this practice. It is still possible to make your own bow and arrows, but most people buy the mass-produced variety, so let’s find out how much archery costs, what your options are, and what has changed since we relied on bows and arrows for our survival.
What Are the Recurring Costs of Archery?
How much does archery cost? Like most hobbies and sports out there, starting out requires some things that are non-negotiable. When it comes to archery things aren’t that different as there isn’t much to be done without a bow, so you’ll definitely need at least one of each of these to get started. However, this is a one-off cost as you typically won’t need to replace your bow on a regular basis.
What most people want to know about when they ask “how much does archery cost”, is what the recurring costs are. Recurring costs are, in the interest of being as comprehensive as possible, things that will need to be purchased over and over again as you practice or compete. These are usually perishable items or things that you would use to maintain other things.
So, what are these things? Well, one of the most common recurring costs of archery are the arrows themselves. Considering that they undertake the most force and recurring usage out of any object used in archery. Arrows, both the shaft and their tips, need to be replaced fairly regularly especially if you’re using them all the time.
Another thing that you might need to pay for more consistently is string wax. String wax is used to ensure that the string attached to your bow does not fray despite the constant friction and tension it is subjected to. It also ensures that the string does not unravel by acting as a pseudo adhesive between the fibers.
Bowstring also tends to absorb a ton of moisture over time. This is why it’s important to use string wax to ensure that moisture doesn’t seep into the string fibers and cause degradation over time. If you live in a particularly humid environment or like to practice in the rain, then string wax might be a great idea to ensure that your string doesn’t snap or fray over time. If you’re using a recurve or compound bow this is extremely important due to how much tension the string is under.
How Much Do Different Types of Archery Bows Cost?
How much is a bow and arrow set? While archery refers to the practice, there are different bows available for different applications and skill levels. So, how much is a bow and arrow? This depends on the type of bow that you choose, and what type of archery you’re trying to get into. That’s why we’ve prepared a short list detailing how much each bow type costs and why.
How Much Does a Recurve Archery Bow Cost?
The cost of a recurve bow is usually low. Recurve bows are pretty much the cheapest means of getting into archery for anyone out there. Recurve bows are so affordable because they don’t have loads of moving parts, and because they are so easy/cheap to manufacture they are often more affordable compared to other bow types. Recurve bows can be picked up for as little as $70.00.
The expense of a good recurve bow does not mean that you should buy the cheaper ones, though. Most professionals recommend getting yourself a recurve bow that costs around $100.00 or so. This ensures that the bow has been constructed from quality materials and won’t snap after a month or so (which can be dangerous considering the tension).
For the cost of a recurve bow, they’re pretty versatile too. Most recurve bows are completely collapsible which means that you can take them apart and place them in a backpack or designated carry bag designed for bows. The replacement parts for recurve bows are pretty cheap too, so you don’t have to worry about excessive maintenance costs for these bows either.
How Much Does a Compound Archery Bow Cost?
In terms of bow pricing, compound bow pricing is among the most expensive. While you might be able to pick up a recurve bow for just over $100.00, compound bows can go for roughly $450.00. While this might seem a bit excessive, compound bows are some of the most versatile and incrementally adjustable bow types around.
Compound bows are the type of bows that are used in competitions and hunting applications. They are made of high-quality materials and are therefore extremely hard-wearing. Compound bow pricing is also based on their performance, as they are designed to shoot arrows at extremely high speeds with extreme accuracy too.
Compound bows are also great if you’re looking to improve your archery skills quickly. They have a wide array of sights and other additions that can be used to improve accuracy and power, so they’re the kind of bow that you hold on to for a long time. Unfortunately, compound bows are not allowed in Olympic competitions, but there are loads of private competitions for compound bows too!
How Much Does a Longbow Archery Bow Cost?
Longbows look awesome. If you’re interested in a simple and effective bow capable of producing loads of power and that is pretty accurate too, this might be the bow type for you. Longbows, as the name suggests, are one of the biggest bow types around, and they’re usually used for their strength, durability, and ability to fire arrows over vast distances.
Longbows actually aren’t that expensive even though they are a lot bigger than both compound and recurve bow sets. You can usually pick one of these up for the same price as a recurve bow, which leaves the retail price at over about $100.00, which is far steeper than compound bow pricing. These can be tricky to master compared to other bow types considering their size and the time it takes one to acclimate to the small adjustments needed in stance and strength when using one.
There are many reasons that people opt for longbows over compound or recurve bows. One of the most common reasons is that longbows are noticeably quieter compared to the aforementioned, which makes them ideal for range use, or if you happen to be practicing at home. This also makes longbows the ideal tool for hunting, but they can be tricky to store and maintain compared to other bow types.
Are There Different Types of Archery?
Yes, just as there are different types of bows, there are also different types of archery events you can enter to test your skills. Different competitions exist to test different aspects of your archery skills, as contrary to popular belief it’s not all about hitting a bullseye with your arrow. This being said, let’s have a look at the different types of archery events that you could encounter on your archery journey, and how they work.
Target archery is the most common type of archery event there is. Essentially, a group of archers competes with one another in games of accuracy, which translates to points and eventually a first, second, and third-place finish. These competitions can take place both indoors and outdoors depending on the country and what weather conditions permit.
There are variables to consider when shooting outdoors though. You will have to compensate for things like elevation, as well as wind speed and direction which can affect the accuracy and power of your shot. Target archery competitions are usually divided into two age groups consisting of above and below the age of 18.
There are loads of special commands and behaviors in archery competitions like these to ensure the safety of both the participants and spectators. No archers are allowed to collect their arrows while another is shooting, and there are instances where only certain types of arrows or bows may be used in a competition environment.
There are many archery clubs and associations around the world, each with tons of dedicated participants who aim to improve their skills and share their love for the sport. Keep in mind that you don’t have to compete if you decide to pick up archery as a hobby. In fact, many people simply do it as a fun pastime since it’s a lot cheaper than other popular group sports like golf, tennis, or football.
Field archery is sometimes lobbed in with target archery, but in reality, it’s a very different, much more challenging sport. As the name suggests, field archery takes place outdoors, usually in a field of some sort. Field archery is used to improve the skills associated with bow hunting, and generally to rank participants against one another.
There is an international body associated with field archery that sets the rules for multi-national competitions, and which rules often govern most field archery events. This being said, field archery is a very competitive sport in both the junior and senior classes (above and below 18) which leaves many people constantly improving their skills and their bows.
Field archery is challenging because of the environmental factors you need to take into account, such as uneven terrain, wind speed and direction, and the different events you can take part in. Field rounds consist of shooting four targets at a single range, hunter rounds consist of shooting four targets at varying ranges, and animal rounds consist of shooting animal printouts and varying ranges too.
Field archery actually refers to one of many field sports which are designed to mimic real-life scenarios such as hunting. It also refers to pretty much any archery event that takes place outdoors due to all of the things you need to take into account before releasing an arrow. This is why it is one of the most renowned field sports worldwide.
3D archery is by far the most fun archery type out there. While range and field archery focus on competition and accuracy, 3D archery is more of an archery safari than a straight-up competition, featuring an aspect that allows participants to explore their environments freely and set up their shots, trajectory, and judge their distance at their own pace.
The concept of 3D archery is quite simple. Archers are free to explore an area and randomly encounter different targets. These targets are typically 3D Styrofoam models of animals which they will try and hit from a certain distance. These animal models will often be marked to indicate areas on their bodies that archers will try to hit.
3D archery is essentially a hunting simulation, which is used to improve both accuracy, reaction time, and your ability to use your bow in rough terrain. This not only tests your skill as an archer, but it really puts your endurance and overall physical fitness to the test due to the fact that you need to find your targets before lining up and taking your shot.
In 3D archery competitions, you’re given points for hitting a target’s vital organs, and how many you hit consistently. You should know that since this is essentially an archery-themed hike, you should dress and prepare yourself appropriately. Ensure that you wear adequate sun lotion, hydrate adequately, and that you are wearing shoes that prevent your feet and legs from tiring too easily.
Traditional archery is basically a subset of archery involving using a longbow or recurve bow. What the term traditional archery refers to is shooting the bow without any additions to the boy such as sights or stabilizers. If you’d like to get the look and feel of what it was like to shoot a bow back in the day, then you should give traditional archery a try.
There are loads of modern bows that are made in the traditional style, but you can also use a bow carved from a single piece of wood if you’d like a more authentic experience. Understanding and compensating for the weight of the wood, as well as feeling the tension and bending as it’s loaded is all part of the experience of using a traditional bow.
Traditional archery is actually a pretty good place to start if you’re looking to cut your teeth in the archery game. Starting out your learning experience with a bow that has no sights, added weight, or compensation mechanisms teaches you true control. This will also make using more modern bows a piece of cake once you have the opportunity to upgrade.
Why Can Archery Get Pricey?
This is a good question. Like most sports, the majority of the equipment you’ll get from the outset will be used for a long time, and therefore are the most expensive. When you start out in archery your two major purchases will be your bow and your arrows of choice, which can vary in price depending on the brand and quality you’ve chosen to go with.
While your bow and arrows might cost a pretty penny, they typically pay for themselves in the long run. It’s really things like arrow shafts, tips, wax, bowstrings, and other recurring costs that rack up over time. The cool thing about these is that they’re imperative, which means you won’t be buying things you don’t need. On the other hand, purchasing cheap strings and arrows could mean replacing them more often.
It goes without saying that the more you use your bow and arrows, the more wear and tear they’re going to take on over time. Other things like finger guards, armguards, and quivers are pretty much all one-off purchases, and they don’t have all that much of an impact on your technique and/or accuracy when starting out.
What Can You Expect to Pay for Essential Bow Accessories?
There aren’t really any essential bow accessories. All that you need to get started is a bow and some arrows, especially if you’re starting from scratch. This being said, there are a few accessories that can make your life a bit easier when you’re starting out. We mentioned previously that you don’t need a quiver (at least not a fancy one) when you’re starting out.
To prevent things like repetitive strain injury or burns from your bow, you can invest in a decent finger strap or archery glove. These will protect you against getting hurt, should the bow come in contact with your forearm by dissipating the force on your finger when drawing your bow.
Everything else like sights and compensating equipment can take away from the experience when you’re starting out and should only really be used when you’ve developed a certain level of skill. This being said, you should start out with as little artificial input as possible when learning to get a feel for your bow and arrows and developing your ability to judge distances.
Now that you know what archery is, what type of archery you can get into, what types of bows are available to you, how much they cost, what some of the recurring costs are, what they are used for, and some of the competitions available to you, it’s time for you to get out there and put your newfound knowledge to the test. Remember that you don’t need fancy hardware to start archery, and you don’t need a range membership or an interest in competition to get started either!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Archery Lessons Cost?
How much do archery lessons cost? Well, the cost can vary depending on the type of lessons and the institution (if any) that you attend. Generally speaking, archery lessons can cost anywhere between $150.00 to $500.00 depending on the frequency of the lessons and the caliber of the institution you attend. Whether you’re learning in a group or individually also contributes towards the cost of lessons.
How Much Does an Olympic Archery Bow Cost?
How much does an Olympic archery bow cost? This is a good question that these are some of the top-of-the-line equipment. Olympic archery bows can cost between $1200.00 and $1500.00 apiece. This excludes things like arrows, guards, strings, wax, and stabilizers, which are all sold separately and can cost upward of $500.00 each.
Is Archery a Sport?
Is archery a sport? Yes, archery is most definitely a sport and one that has been around for thousands of years at that. However, archery is also often referred to as an art, hobby, and skill, as the practice is transferable to survival applications such as hunting and even self-defense under dire circumstances.