cleve archers supporting archery in south gloucestershire and bristol


The range of equipment available is vast and can often confuse new archers. We will try to breakdown the set of equipment needed to start out as a recurve archer.
Essential equipment
Riser £60 - £575  
The central core of the bow to which everything else attaches. The riser will last you a very long time, so it's worth investing here if you can. Some of the cheapest risers do not have clicker plate attachments, so try to avoid these. Risers come in different lengths, usually 23" or 25". The riser and limb length combination produce different bow lengths. The bow length is usually decided based on your height and reach.  
Limbs £60 - £555  

The flexing 'arms' of the bow which store the energy as the bow is drawn. The limbs control the draw weight of the bow, so you will likely be changing limbs as you progress. Limbs are constructed as a laminate of different materials - including wood, glass-fibre, carbon-fibre and foam. Often, the more expensive limbs will be 'faster'. They will put more energy into the arrow for the same draw weight as slower limbs.

Limbs are normally sold in short, medium and long lengths:
Short limbs + 23" riser = 64" bow
Short limbs + 25" riser = 66" bow
Medium limbs + 23" riser = 66" bow
Medium limbs + 25" riser = 68" bow
Long limbs + 23" riser = 68" bow
Long limbs + 25" riser = 70" bow

String £4 - £15  

Often overlooked, the string is the main point of contact between the bow and the arrow. We would not recommend trying to save money here! Avoid dacron strings and choose a 'fast' string material instead.

The ends and central part of the string are covered in 'serving' material. This protects the string where it contacts the bow and where you hold it.

String Wax £3 - £7  

Applying wax to your string every couple of weeks will prolong its life, keep it water-resistant and prevent fraying.

Using your fingers, rub the wax into the un-served portions of the string until your fingers become warm from the friction. Remove any excess wax with a piece of cotton wrapped around the string. This helps to prevent a build up of dirt.

Arrows £5 - £46 each  

An arrow's stiffness is called its 'spine'. The arrow spine needs to be matched you your draw weight, draw length, limbs & string material. The spine charts are only a guideline, so it's best to seek advice when buying arrows.

Almost everyone starts with aluminium arrows. Carbon composite arrows (ACC, ACG, ACE, X10) are much lighter and more resilient, but also more expensive.

Sight £11 - £365  
Unless you plan to shoot barebow, you will need a recurve sight. This mounts to the riser and allows you to place an aiming spot over the center of the target. The sight adjusts up and down, and left and right to allow for different distances and wind conditions.
Arrow rest £2 - £30  
These stick, or bolt, onto the riser to support the arrow as you draw the bow. A pressure button (see optional equipment below) is required for all but the Hoyt Super Rest (£2). This rest has a plastic flange which acts in place of a pressure button.
Finger tab £3 - £54  
You won't want to draw the string back too many times without wearing one of these. More expensive tabs often have better, thicker, grain-oriented leather.
Arm guard £4 - £19  
Prevents nasty bruises on your forearm.
Quiver £15 - £70  
Attached via a belt. Holds your arrows, finger tab, pen and scorepad.
Arrow puller £4 - £10  
Arrows can be very difficult to pull from targets, especially when it's been raining. An arrow puller helps a lot!
Bow stand £16 - £30  
Somewhere to keep your bow when you're collecting arrows. Keeps everything out of the grass and mud.
Bow stringer £4 - £20  
Allows you to string and unstring the bow without breaking yourself or your equipment. A basic webbing stringer should be all you'll ever need.
Bow sling £3 - £10  
Correct shooting technique requires that your bow hand stays relaxed throughout the shot. A bow sling will catch your bow when you make a shot and should encourage you not to grab the bow on release. The choice of finger or wrist sling is a personal one.
Bracing height guage £5 - £7  
Some might say this isn't essential; I would disagree. The bracing height guage measures the distance between the pivot point on the grip and the string. This distance should be the same every time you shoot for consistancy. Adding or removing twists from the string will change the bracing height, so checking it every time you set up is good practice. You will also need one to measure the nocking point height.
Case / Bag £15 - £160  
You'll need something to hold all this gear and carry it around. =

Optional equipment
Pressure button £10 - £90  
Used to set the arrow position relative to the riser (centre-shot) and to fine-tune the arrow spine for correct flight.
Stabilisers - long rod £23 - £150  
By adding weight as far from the riser as possible, the bow becomes easier to hold steady and keep the aiming sight over the gold. A long rod helps to stabilise the bow in the up-down and left-right planes. You will also need weights for the end of the long rod.
Stabilisers - side rods £55 - £300 all in  
Side-rods (or twins) help stabilise the bow in the rotational plane. You will need a v-bar and an extender in order to attach side-rods. Don't forget weights too.
Dampers £6 - £12 each  
Dampers are mounted between the stabiliser rods and the weights. They absorb the vibration of the shot and prevent it from returning to the riser.
Clicker £6 - £34  

A clicker enables a consistent draw length every shot by indicating when a preset draw length is reached.

The silver metal Beiter clicker can be bent slightly to provide a more positive 'click' and prevent bounce back. The black metal Beiter clickers and carbon clickers cannot be bent, so avoid these if you're not sure what you will need.

Limb guages ~£2.50 each  
Used when you start tuning your bow to ensure that the limbs are correctly aligned with the riser.
Chest guard £7 - £22  
Prevents the string from catching loose clothing, or body parts on release.
Scope & tripod £70 - £400  
Once past 30 yards, it's almost impossible to see where your arrows are landing. A spotting scope and tripod solve that problem.
Fletching equipment £25 - £50  
You will lose vanes from your arrows. You will eventually need spares, fletching glue and a fletching jig to hold the vanes while the glue sets.
Score pad / app £3 - £16  
You'll want somewhere to write your scores down. There are also apps available for iOS and Android that will save you some time and do all the adding up for you.
Where to buy

See the retailers section on the links page for a list of online and bricks-and-mortar stores.

We highly recommend that you go to a bricks-and-mortar archery store to buy correctly matched arrows for you and your equipment. The Easton arrow charts are only a guide, and are often not well matched to beginner's equipment. Wales Archery Specialists in Crick are always very helpful, and are the closest store to Cleve Archers.