Top 3 Kids’ Bow and Arrow Sets to Give as Gifts

Looking for the perfect kids’ archery set to give as a gift to that special young archer in your life? We’ve got you covered, whether you’re looking for a compound or recurve bow for a beginner or someone with a little experience.

Bear Titan Youth Recurve Set

Bear Titan Kids' Bow Kit
For an archery beginner, this is a great first bow set at an affordable price that has nearly everything your archer will need to shoot. Recommended for kids age 12 and up, the kit comes with a 60-inch bow intended for draw lengths of 22-28 inches and draw weights of 20-29 pounds, depending on how far the bow is drawn. The bow can be shot either right- or left-handed. You’ll also get a sight pin, two arrows, a quiver, an armguard and a finger tab.

DIAMOND INFINITE EDGE PRO WITH R.A.K.

Diamond Infinite Edge Kids' Bow Kit
Here’s a compound bow setup that is perfect for beginners or advanced archers. And it’s suitable for slinging arrows in the backyard, on the target range or while bowhunting in the woods. Best of all, the bow is one your archer can grow with. It’s a 31-inch bow, with an adjustable draw length from 13-31 inches and adjustable draw weight from 5-70 pounds. With those specifications, the bow can be adjusted to take an archer from pre-teen through adulthood. And it will perform for a beginner or an advanced archer. Besides the bow, the R.A.K. set also includes a 3-pin sight, peep sight, a full-containment arrow rest, a five-arrow quiver and a wrist sling. All you need to start shooting are arrows a mechanical release and a target.

GALAXY BULLSEYE 54 RECREATIONAL RECURVE BOW PACKAGE

Galaxy Bullseye Kids' Bow Kit
Let’s say you want to establish a program focused on archery for kids. You need equipment that doesn’t cost a fortune, yet can take a beating. This is the perfect kids’ archery set for that scenario. Available in right or left hand, the 54-inch Galaxy Bullseye recurve bow is ideal for kids age 7-12. You can choose between limbs that pull 15 or 20 pounds. In addition to the bow, the set comes with an arrow rest, single-pin bow sight, armguard, rubber finger savers for protection while drawing the string, three arrows, a quiver a bow stringer, two target faces and a bow case. Each of the youth bow packages listed above will be great options for the youth archer in your life. Didn’t find these youth bow kits fitting for the archer in your life? Check out our full selection of kids’ bow kits here.

How to Match Limbs and Risers for Your Takedown Recurve Bow

Takedown recurve bows are favorites among hunters, target archers and backyard archers alike. They break down and pack easily. You can often get different weight limbs for different applications. They’re the Swiss Army knives of recurve bows.

But not all takedown recurve bows are built the same. That is, you need to know what kind you have if you want to get multiple sets of limbs for the different games you play with your bow.

ILF

Arguably the takedown recurve bow with the most options for limbs is an ILF bow. The ILF stands for International Limb Fitting. It’s a uniform attachment system that allows limbs from many manufacturers to be matched with risers from many manufacturers.

ILF riser and limb

As long as you have an ILF-compatible riser, you can use any ILF-style limbs. Hoyt makes a series of ILF-compatible risers and limbs under their Grand Prix name.

On an ILF riser, you will see a limb bolt and a dovetail receiver. ILF limbs will have a U-shaped end that fits under the riser’s limb bolt, and a detent assembly that fits into the dovetail receiver.

FORMULA

Formula limbs and risers look similar to the ILF versions. They are not compatible with each other, however, since the distance is longer between the limb end and the detent on Formula limbs. 

At left is a Formula limb, while at right is an ILF limb.
Notice the difference in distance from the limb bolt to the dovetail between the Formula riser at top, compared to ILF riser below.

BRAND SPECIFIC

There are several manufacturers that make their own risers and limbs, which are only compatible with one another.

The Galaxy Sage, for example, is one of the best-selling takedown recurve bows on the market. It employs a screw-in bolt to connect the limbs to the riser. Only Galaxy Sage limbs will work with Galaxy Sage risers.

Galaxy Sage limb, riser and connection bolt

Cartel is another manufacturer that employs a unique limb-bolt connection system. Only certain Cartel limbs will work with certain Cartel risers.

Manufacturers of takedown bows with unique limb-connection systems will tell you which limbs work with which risers. Stick to their information to be sure you’re getting the right gear.

What’s the difference between Olympic recurve and recreational recurve?

Summer is beginning, and archers are heading to their backyards to sling arrows. For many recreational archers, the bow of choice is the recurve. It’s fun and simple to shoot.

The recurve also is the bow archers will be using in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer. But the recreational recurve and an Olympic recurve are worlds apart.

In this video, Lancaster Archery Supply TechXpert Dan Schuller, who competed for a spot on four U.S. Olympic teams, describes the differences between a recreational recurve setup and an Olympic recurve setup.

Since the gear used by Olympic recurve archers is more extensive, the bulk of Schuller’s time is spent going over all the different equipment used in Olympic archery.

You’ll hear him explain the purpose of the stabilizers, how Olympic arrows differ from backyard arrows, what a clicker is used for and other details unique to both types of recurve setups.

Archery gift ideas to fit any budget

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the Christmas gift-buying season has officially launched.

If you’re on this site, you obviously have one or more archers in your life, and so you’re going to be looking for gifts to make them smile.

We combed our online catalog to come up with three gift ideas for every $10 bracket from $1-$100. So whether you’re buying a stocking stuffer for a recreational shooter or a primary gift for a die-hard tournament competitor, we think we’ve got something your archers would love to receive this year.

Just for kicks, we added a few extra ideas at the end that Santa might bring your way if you’ve been extra good.

We’ve got links to all the products on the right side or bottom of your screen, depending on which device you’re using to view this post.

$1-$10 –  Easton deluxe bone arm guard; Wildlife Research Scent Killer Gold laundry detergent; Arrowmat target face.

target mat

$10-$20 –  Primos “The Original Can” deer call; Lancaster Archery Supply Summit 2 tube target quiver; Spigarelli bow square.

LAS quiver

$20-$30 – Easton archery combo pack; Coast HL4 dual color LED headlamp; Easton Elite multi-pliers.

Easton pack

$30-$40 – RaptoRazor big game skinning knife; Cartel Midas NX bow stand; half-dozen aluminum arrows similar to those shot by Katniss Everdeen.

knife set

$40-$50 – Hamskea Easy third-axis level; Hunter Safety System tandem lifeline;Tru-Fire Smoke wrist-strap release.

Tru Fire release

$50-$60 – Muddy Magnum tree stand safety harness; Lancaster Archery Supply Atomic shooter jersey; BIGshot ballistic bag target.

LAS shooter jersey

$60-$70 – Scott Little Goose wrist strap release; American Whitetail PowerPad 32 target backstop; Allen Gear Fit X compound bow case.

Allen bow case

$70-$80 – Zink Avian X breeder hen turkey decoy; half-dozen Gold Tip Series 22 Pro arrow shafts; Easton 12-piece archery tool kit.

Gold Tip 22

$80-$90 Lancaster Archery Academy Experience Archery 6-week Class; Bitzenburger arrow fletching jig; Muddy Quick Stick tree stand climbing sticks.

Bitz

$90-$100 – USA Archery 62-inch recurve bow; Block Vault M foam target; CBE large scope housing.

cartel bow

WAY OVER $100 – Rinehart 3-D moose target; Pilla Panther eyeglasses; Brunton Icon binoculars.

moose target

 

 

How to know if your bow’s draw weight is too heavy

Are you drawing too much weight?

Getting a bow with the right draw weight is an individual endeavor. Everybody’s different. There is no prize awarded to the archer who draws the heaviest weight.

The most obvious impact of having a bow with too much draw weight is that you can’t draw it at all. If you can’t get the string back, you can’t shoot the bow. That’s an easy one.

But even if you can draw the bow, that doesn’t mean the weight isn’t still too heavy. If it is, accuracy is sure to suffer. It really doesn’t matter how fast your arrow is flying, or how much momentum it carries, if you can’t put it where you want it.

Compound bow archers seem to be most apt to try drawing too much weight. They know if they can just get the string over the let-off hump, they’ll hold much less weight at full draw. But that over-exertion at the front end can weaken you at full draw – especially if you’re in a tournament situation, where you might have to draw and shoot 30-60 times, or if you’re hunting and end up having to hold full draw for an extended period while waiting for a good shot opportunity.

drawweight4

Having to point the bow toward the sky is a sign of drawing too much weight.

If you have to point the bow up at the sky, or pull down toward your waist in order to get the string back on a compound bow, you’re pulling too much weight. If you have to collapse your bow arm shoulder inward to get extra leverage, then the weight is too high. If you find yourself shaking at full draw, it’s too much. If you can’t get through a simple practice session without feeling fatigued, then you’re pulling too much. You should be able to hold a compound bow directly in front of your torso, and draw the string without struggling.

If it’s possible, reduce the weight by turning the limb bolts counter clockwise. Whatever you do to one bolt, do exactly the same thing to the other. If your bow already is set at the lowest draw weight possible, then you might have to get another bow with a lower draw weight range. Or, you might be able to get replacement limbs for your bow that are rated for a lower weight range.

Recurve and longbow archers almost invariably will draw much less weight than they would if they shot a compound bow. Compound bow archers who switch must understand there’s no way they will draw and hold with their fingers the same weight they draw and hold with a release using a compound bow.

When you draw a 70-pound compound bow with 75 percent let-off, you’re only holding about 18 pounds at full draw. When you draw a 50-pound recurve – assuming you have a 28-inch draw length – you’re holding 50 pounds at full draw.

The most obvious sign that a recurve archer is drawing too much weight is he or she will shake at full draw. If you can’t hold the string back for even a few seconds without shaking, you’re pulling too much weight.

drawweight7

This archer is comfortably holding her bow at full draw. The weight is not too much for her.

Check your accuracy with bows of varying draw weights. If you’re pretty consistent at 40 pounds, but then notice erratic arrow groups at 50 pounds, then 50 pounds is probably too much weight.

World renowned traditional Archer G. Fred Asbell recommends a test for determining if an archer is over-bowed.  While bending at the waist and aiming at the ground, an archer draws the bow with the back of the bow hand just below the inside of the knee. If an archer cannot do this easily, he or she is likely not strong enough to shoot that draw weight.

drawweight1

Archers shooting takedown recurve bows can usually get lighter limbs to drop some draw weight. Those who shoot one-piece recurves or longbows are going to have to switch bows.

Just because you might not be strong enough for a certain draw weight right now doesn’t mean you can’t ever shoot that weight. The more you shoot, the stronger you’ll get. Couple your practice sessions at lower draw weights with strength-training workouts aimed at your core and upper body muscles.

As you get stronger, increase your draw weight incrementally. If you notice any of the problems we’ve already discussed, back off. Over time, you should be able to reach your goal weight, and be able to handle that weight with ease.

Now you might say to yourself, “Well, I’ll just keep shooting this heavy draw weight, and eventually, I’ll get used to it.”

That’s a bad move. The whole time you are struggling with that heavy weight, you’re tossing good shooting form out the window. A great deal of solid archery shooting form relies on muscle memory – training your muscles to know how to perform correctly during the act of shooting a bow. If you train your muscles to do the wrong thing, then that muscle memory is worthless.

When it comes to draw weight, don’t go for the gusto. I’d rather be able to drive tacks with slower arrows, then have them fly screaming fast, but rarely hit those tacks.

How to set up a takedown recurve bow

The takedown recurve bow is one of the most popular choices for recreational archers and traditional bowhunters. In this video, Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert P.J. Reilly walks through the steps to set up the Samick Sage recurve bow.

Reilly demonstrates how to attach the limbs to the bow and how to put the string on the bow using a bow stringer. He also discusses how to measure the bow’s brace height – the distance between the string and the throat of the grip – and how to twist or untwist the string to adjust the brace height to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Lastly, Reilly shows how to find the correct nocking point on the bowstring and how to attach nok sets to frame that nocking point.

Archery Slang: Speak the language

Sports and slang go together “like peas and carrots,” as Forrest Gump would say.

There isn’t a game out there that doesn’t have its own unique phrases and words – and you’re not likely to find the sports meanings in any standard dictionary.

When I played Little League baseball, my neighbor’s father hollered, “Can of corn!” every time someone hit a pop fly. In football, when the punting team wants to limit the other team’s return, the kicker is likely to punt the ball short and low, so it bounces around on the ground. That’s a “pooch” kick.

Well, archery is no different than any other sport when it comes to slang. And to understand what’s going on, you need to speak the language.

Here at Lancaster Archery Supply, we surveyed the company and came up with a list of slang terms and phrases we regularly use on the target range and in the woods.

(This is a family operation, mind you, so we’re only including G-rated slang here.)

Slang

Pin wheel – When your arrow hits dead center in a scoring ring.

Spider – When there’s an X in the center of the bull’s-eye, and your arrow hits the center of the X.

Chunk – A bad shot. “Man, I chunked that one.”

T-Rex arms – This is when the archer doesn’t extend his or her arms all the way out while shooting.

Jar-licker – A shot where the arrow just barely touches the line for a higher scoring ring.

Tweener – An arrow that’s between two scoring rings; also, a shot on a 3-D course that’s at a distance that doesn’t end in “0.”

Grip it and rip it – Just pull back the bowstring and shoot. Don’t think about the shot.

Kiss out – When an arrow is deflected into a lower scoring ring by another arrow already in the target.

English – Pushing or pulling your bow arm at the shot to account for some defect in your form, in an attempt to “steer” the arrow into the center. “I had to give that arrow a little English to get it in the 10-ring.”

Tae Kwon Bow; Bow-Jitsu – Exaggerating your body movements at the shot to account for the aiming device sliding off the center of the target just as the arrow is released.

Lincoln logs; Poles; Line cutters – All of these are terms applied to large diameter arrows used in target archery to maximize the chances of hitting higher scoring rings.

Kentucky windage – Aiming off the center of the target, or leaning the bow right or left so the bubble in the level is not in the center, to account for windy conditions.

Too much pinky – When your back tension release goes off faster than normal.

Sandbagger – An archer who intentionally shoots lower scores in order to compete in a division that’s below their true shooting skills.

Training wheels – The cams/wheels of a compound bow. (This is usually a term of derision aimed at compound bows by recurve and longbow archers.)

Gunch – When your mind thinks you shot the arrow, but your body didn’t let it go, and you flinch.

Slammer; Hog; Toad – A trophy-sized animal.

Slick head – A doe.

Stewie – A mature doe.

Snot – Arrow lube.

Sticks – Arrows.

Sled; Ax; Rig – An individual archer’s bow setup.

Robin Hood – When an arrow hits another that’s already in the target and ends up perfectly inside the shaft.

Body stabilizer – The front-weighted midriff of usually older, male compound archers.

Drive-by – Releasing an arrow as the aiming device moves across the center of the target.

Punch – Slapping a trigger or thumb-button release instead of squeezing through the shot.

Bucket hatter – A recurve archer.

Trad – Shortened name for traditional archery.

Inside-out – An arrow that is fully inside the scoring ring. It’s not even touching a line.

Struggle stick – A recurve bow. The term originates from the image of a recurve archer shaking while trying to pull the arrow through a clicker.

Molly-whopped – A perfect shot on a deer, as in, “I Molly-whopped that buck at 20 yards.”

Burn a hole in the yellow – Keep your aiming device locked on the 10-ring until you release the arrow.

Mash the gas – Pushing with your bow arm and pulling with your release hand with equal pressure through the shot.

Six Archery ‘Don’ts’ You need to Know

Like other sports, archery is a game of dos and don’ts. There are many of each, but they all don’t necessarily apply to every archer in every situation.

There is, however, a fairly short list of don’ts that apply to every archer, in every level of the sport, in every corner of the globe.

Archery Dontsa

Here are six important archery don’ts:

  1. DON’T ever point a loaded bow anywhere but toward the target you plan to hit. You can seriously injure or kill someone with a bow and arrow. So always make sure your bow is pointed in a safe direction.
  2. DON’T ever dry fire a bow. A dry fire is when a bow is drawn and released with no arrow nocked. The arrow is what absorbs the energy released when the limbs snap back to their resting position. Without one nocked, the energy simply slams into the riser. You can damage a bow beyond repair with a dry fire – not to mention, injure yourself.
  3. DON’T heat a carbon arrow. A lot of points and inserts today are secured in place inside carbon arrow shafts with hot-melt glue. To remove those accessories, you’ll need to heat the point with a torch or other fire source. But don’t let that heat source touch the arrow shaft. It will make your arrow bulge and/or become brittle. Either way, it’s a safety hazard.
  4. DON’T ever shoot a cracked arrow. It’s hard to toss an otherwise perfect-looking arrow into the trash, just because it has a small crack. Do it anyway. Cracks only get bigger, and the arrow eventually could shatter at the shot. That could leave you with an arm or hand full of arrow parts.
  5. DON’T ever draw a bow with your finger on the trigger of a mechanical release. Accidents happen. And if your finger is in the firing position on the trigger, all you’re doing is increasing the odds of an accident occurring.
  6. DON’T ever shoot someone else’s arrow without knowing the length and spine. If you don’t know the length, then you won’t know until you’re at full draw if it’s too short. If it is, it’s going to fall off the back of the rest, and the point could rest against your arm. If you release the string or forcibly let down the bow, that point could cut you. If you shoot an arrow that has a spine too weak for your bow, you run the risk of that arrow shattering at the shot.

 

Know Your Archery Styles

Once you get into archery, you’re going to hear people throwing out terms such as “Olympic,” “traditional,” “3-D archery,” etc.

They’re talking about the different styles of archery. And if you’re going to get into the game, you’ve got to know your style.

Here at Lancaster Archery Supply, Inc., we promote all types of archery, and we have broken the game down into six basic styles. Our online store, LancasterArchery.com, allows you, the archer, to shop by the style of archery you practice, so you know you’re looking at products compatible with your game. In basic terms, here are the six styles of archery:

OLYMPIC RECURVE

As you might have guessed, this style of archery is so named because it’s what you see at the Olympic Games. We’re talking about target recurve bows that have rests, plungers, stabilizers and sights attached.

Olympic recurve

(There’s talk that compound bows might someday be allowed in the Olympics, but currently, they are not.)

Competitors typically shoot from 18-90 meters, which is about the length of a football field. All Olympic recurve bows are going to be takedown bows. That means the limbs can be removed from the riser.

COMPOUND TARGET

This is a precision-shooting style practiced primarily by compound bow shooters who participate in tournament competitions. They primarily shoot at paper target faces that range in sizes of 20cm to 122cm. The tournaments might be indoors, or they might be outdoors.

compound target

Target compounds tend to be long – 36-40 inches from axle to axle is common – and they usually have brace heights anywhere from 7-9 inches. Both qualities make these bows very forgiving and friendly in an archer’s hands.

Arrows are built solely with stability and accuracy in mind. Indoor arrows tend to have a large diameter and they’re heavy, while outdoor arrows have a smaller diameter and are aerodynamic, for cutting through the wind at long range.

Compound target archers use stabilizers of all lengths, and their sights often feature scopes with magnifying lenses. Tournament classifications dictate what equipment is allowed for some archers.

3-D ARCHERY

In 3-D archery, archers shoot at 3-dimensional, foam animal targets. The targets are placed at various distances from the shooting stake, which means archers must shoot at ever-changing yardages over the course of a shoot. Sometimes the distances are marked, but often times, the archers have to judge the yardages for themselves.

3D archery

Archers shoot every kind of bow in 3-D archery, so you’re just as likely to see someone shooting a target compound as you are a traditional longbow on the 3-D range. Arrow speed is an important consideration for 3-D archers, since faster arrows can make up for errors in judging distances.

RECREATIONAL

This is an all-encompassing category that refers to anyone and everyone who participates in archery for the sheer enjoyment of shooting a bow and arrow. Recreational archers shoot all kinds of bows, in all kinds of settings, at all kinds of targets. If you shoot a bow and arrow just because you love it, then you’re a recreational archer.

recreational

BOWHUNTING

Bowhunters use compounds, recurves, longbows and crossbows, all with the goal of taking game. Their gear is going to be camouflaged or of neutral color, as compared to the shiny, bright-colored equipment used by target archers.

bowhunting

Bowhunting equipment also tends to be beefier than target gear. Bowhunters have to be concerned about their arrows punching through thick hide and bone, so their bows tend to have heavier draw weights and their arrows generally weigh more than those used in target archery.

In bowhunting, you’ll see bow-mounted arrow quivers, along with various pieces of gear attached to the string and/or limbs aimed at making the bow quieter. Stabilizers and sights tend to be short, compact and sturdy for carrying long distances, often through thick cover.

TRADITIONAL

Traditional archers lean toward the equipment that imitates what was used long before the modern era. They shoot recurve and longbows at all types of targets, including stumps. Many of the recurves are going to be one-piece bows, but takedowns also are acceptable.

Traditional Archer

What separates traditional archery from Olympic recurve is the bows are stripped down. Sights generally aren’t used at all, and stabilizers, if used, are short and simple. Rests and plungers are used by some traditional archers, although many shoot their arrows right off the shelf of the bow.

Traditional archers usually are the only archers who shoot wooden arrows, although they also shoot carbon and aluminum shafts as well.