If you have not yet bought your equipment, do ask a senior club member for help and one or two may even be able to offer to go with you when you go shopping for your kit. Please don't buy anything until you have at least taken the beginners course. You want to make sure archery is for you - and you will have a better idea of exactly what you will need to buy.
Also pop through to the Merlin and Quicks online sites for a start and if local to Sussex, pop over to Aim Archery near Battle (although since they have moved from Bexhill they are harder to find!)
You don't have to buy the most expensive (or cheapest) of anything and you can mix and match riser and limbs as long as both are 'international fitting'.
Here's a shortlist for an archer who will be shooting at a club's site:
Recurve bow - I don't recommend a training bow (ie like the club bow you trained on) as you can't develop your archery much further. It will suffice if that's all you can afford and aren't too bothered about shooting long distances (60 yards plus) just yet, but I do think it's a false economy. You can always sell it on of course.
Any of the club coaches will advise on the size of bow you will need, then it's just a matter of finding one you like at a price you want to pay.
- Riser - check the weight in a shop - you don't want it to be too heavy, and make sure it feels comfy in your hand
- Limbs - not over powerful for you to begin with. The riser itself can be adjusted to minimise/maximise the power of the limbs in line with your draw strength as your skills and style develop. Limbs are something you can upgrade on their own (as a pair of course)
- String - it doesn't have to be white. (Mine is black/green, and I tie a small piece of coloured cotton thread on the 'top' end so I don't put it on upside down!)
- Nock points - one the string where the non-pointy end of the arrow clicks in. Brass ones are good and you fit them with the help of a bracer (see below)
- Sights - cheap is OK to start
- Button - ditto
- Arrow rest - get a magnetic one as they are better than plastic which can all too easily break
Buy 8 so that you have 2 spares. Have a think about nock & fletch colours too - don't compromise, have the colours you would really like - just because the shop only has certain colours doesn't mean you cannot go elsewhere to get the ones you want, and you can always ask a club member to show you how to fletch them yourself. You may need to wait a week or so for your arrows to be sent to you if you buy very specific ones. Do your research - and it's worth learning how the Easton arrow charts work.
Buy longer than you need. Ally arrows can be cut down to size, but you certainly don't want to start too short as your draw length will improve over just a few weeks of practice. Too long is better than too short but they must be the correct arrows for your bow and your strength.
If you want them wrapped don't forget to ask before they are fletched.
Accessories (these are all must-haves so don't skimp or imagine you can do without!)
- Finger tab - one with a platform would be a good choice to help develop your consistency
- Arm guard, aka arm brace - can be short or long
- Chest guard - (not a Yeoman Warder!). Ladies may find one of these more comfortable, but most blokes wear them too.
- Quiver and belt - with a pouch or two for all the bits and bobs you need to keep to hand when you shoot
- Puller (you MUST use a puller with carbon arrows). Several different styles. I like the Gorilla grip.
- Bow-sling (wrist strap) so that your bow doesn't fall to the ground should you accidentally let go of it
- Score pad & pen
- Foot markers (or you can borrow target pins or make your own)
- Arrow case- protect them while travelling
- Bag or case to carry everything
- Arrow wraps. You need to initial and number each of your arrows, especially if you want to take part in more formal competitions. There are people on eBay who do custom wraps and all the archery stores do them as well - but they may not be personalised.
- Arrow cleaner aka tassle - something to clean your arrows should they get muddy or grassy
- Windproof & waterproof jacket, trousers and hat
- Bracing gauge - to check nock position and bracing height
- Fold-up chair
- Pop-up tent