[American Flatbow] Just beginning....................

erehwon

New member
So............here we go..............a list of of what I will need:

Bow
Arrows
Target
Arm guard
Finger tab/glove

Anything other essentials?

First thing to tackle, what bow for a total beginner? I am slightly restricted as I cannot head out to test the various bows before buying, I do not wish to lay out wads of cash and not all bows are available here. I want to use a basic set up, a bow, an arrow, shoot of the shelf (no arrow rest), no sights, just draw, aim and shoot.

Initial thoughts after perusing a few sites is a 30lb bow to shoot 30/35lb spine wood arrows.

Possible bows:

Eagle Flatbow
Bearpaw Blackfoot
Oak Ridge Aspen/Ickory
Buck Trail Falcon
Falco Legend


Any comments or thoughts? Am I moving along the right lines?

Thanks for helping,
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Find out how to measure your draw length. It will affect the length of bow you'll need, as well as arrow length/stiffness (spine). Overdrawing too short a bow will result in it breaking, either long or short term. Not all bows ship with a string so make sure you ask for a suitable one. Check out how to tie a nocking point on.
 


fbirder

Supporter
Supporter
It's really difficult choosing a flatbow as there are very few reviews out there. I went through the process back in July. I tried a few owned by some club members and decided on the Buck Trail Vulture.

As well as the stuff you list I would get: a quiver, a bow stand, a bow square (for measuring brace height and nocking point), a bag (the Buck Trail longbow bag is good) and, possibly, a chest guard.
 


erehwon

New member
Thanks @Timid Toad & @fbirder for replies items added to my growing need to purchase list!


It's really difficult choosing a flatbow as there are very few reviews out there.

I have to agree, I have spent today searching the wonderful world of the internet for bow reviews, compound/recurve bows everyone has an opinion on but flatbows........I learnt more watching the snow get deeper outside!! I have emailed a few suppliers and unsurprisingly they are reluctant to recommend one bow over another.


Find out how to measure your draw length.
Done, 28 or 29 inches depending which method I used so if my reading is correct that would relate to a bow length of @ 68 inches and arrows @ 30 inches in length.

 


Gund1934

New member
EDITED: Ignore that, I was fooled by your Post Count of just 2, but I've just stumbled across your introduction post where you provided the information I was suggesting you provide.
 


Gund1934

New member
No problem. Just needed some more time to take into consideration your circumstances. Putting together the information from that thread and this (and speaking as a target recurve shooter and coach), I would offer the advice below.

[I note that you have firearms experience, so presumably you understand about eye dominance, and shooting stance, etc. Not to mention the safety aspects. That all gives you a big step up. But I'll go over that anyway just in case you're not aware of it.]

Taking just one aspect: even after being shown how to shoot, on the first arrow of any given beginners course some new archers will stand tall and straight and some will lean back. It's impossible to tell from a few lines of text what level of natural talent and body awareness you have. You may shoot well from the get go or you might have some form problems which you are unaware of which will become ingrained with untutored practice.

So while it is certainly possible to shoot purely instinctively, or to learn from books and videos, your chances of ending up able to shoot well will be significantly increased by early coaching.

Three hours (and another three hours back) is a sizable chunk of time but if you could fit it into a weekend (and the store you mentioned was able to arrange an hour or two's coaching) then I would strongly recommend you do so. Or perhaps you could arrange your next holiday around a Beginners Course or some qualified private coaching at some club somewhere.

I would also recommend a lighter weight bow to begin with. We start (average sized adult male) beginners on 18 to 22 pound bows. It is easier to refine shooting form with a lighter weight bow than it is with a heavier bow. It is also safer (in terms of preventing injuries to archers using muscles they are unused to exercising). Establish good form and then increase poundage.

Most archery clubs (at least here) provide equipment for beginners and one of the main reasons is that equipment suitable for beginners will no longer be suitable for them after just a few months; but equipment suitable for archer who knows what they are doing is generally not suitable for beginners.

i.e. I would recommend getting some coaching BEFORE you buy any equipment.

But, assuming you're going to go ahead and buy something:

First, work out your eye dominance ( e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udQXBICNj4o ). Note that your dominant eye won't necessarily be the same as your dominant hand. If it is, that's great; but if it isn't, you will probably be better off with a bow suitable for your dominant eye rather than your dominant hand. i.e. if you are right handed but left-eye dominant you will likely achieve better results in the long term if you learn to shoot left handed.

[Something that sometimes causes confusion is when we say shoot left handed it means you hold the bow in your right hand and draw the string with your left hand. Don't trip yourself up thinking "I will hold the bow in my left hand so I should buy a 'left hand' bow" (or vice versa) or you will end up with the wrong thing. When you buy on the internet or in a shop a "right handed" bow is a bow you hold in your left hand.]

As for bow length, 68 or 70 inches will be fine. Even 66 or 72 inches, if you happen to come across a great bargain, would be OK. Note that if the forest you are planning to shoot in is particularly thick then a shorter bow is easier to carry.

30 pounds isn't outrageous if you are reasonably strong but, personally, I would never start a complete novice on a bow that heavy. [But I'm a target recurve shooter. Longbow/flatbow is a somewhat different discipline where you generally don't hold for as long, or shoot for so long, so the higher weight may not be so inappropriate. A longbow shooter may correct me on reasonable draw weights for a total novice but I don't see that you could go wrong erring on the side of lightness.]

For arrow length, I'd suggest getting arrows a bit longer if you can. For two reasons: firstly, safety, because if you overdraw, and beginners draw lengths vary significantly from shot-to-shot, then a too short arrow can drop off the back of the rest/shoulder and result in you shooting yourself through your wrist; and secondly economy, because long arrows can always be shortened but short arrows can never be lengthened.
 


fbirder

Supporter
Supporter
30 pounds isn't outrageous if you are reasonably strong but, personally, I would never start a complete novice on a bow that heavy. [But I'm a target recurve shooter. Longbow/flatbow is a somewhat different discipline where you generally don't hold for as long, or shoot for so long, so the higher weight may not be so inappropriate. A longbow shooter may correct me on reasonable draw weights for a total novice but I don't see that you could go wrong erring on the side of lightness.
30 pounds tends to be the lower limit for flatbows. Also, going up in poundage isn't as simple as with recurve aqs it means replacing the whole bow, not winding the limbs in then replacing them.
 


erehwon

New member
First, work out your eye dominance
Right eye dominance but I did recheck via the method shown in your link.

When you buy on the internet or in a shop a "right handed" bow is a bow you hold in your left hand.

This did confuse me initially but I will hold the bow in my left hand and draw the string with my right hand so it would be a right handed bow for me.
Incidentally this is how I fire and hunt with my slingshots.

As for bow length, 68 or 70 inches will be fine. Even 66 or 72 inches, if you happen to come across a great bargain, would be OK. Note that if the forest you are planning to shoot in is particularly thick then a shorter bow is easier to carry.
If I do not move quick there will be no forests left with the rate they are logging them here!

30 pounds isn't outrageous if you are reasonably strong but, personally, I would never start a complete novice on a bow that heavy. [But I'm a target recurve shooter. Longbow/flatbow is a somewhat different discipline where you generally don't hold for as long, or shoot for so long, so the higher weight may not be so inappropriate. A longbow shooter may correct me on reasonable draw weights for a total novice but I don't see that you could go wrong erring on the side of lightness.]

30 pounds tends to be the lower limit for flatbows. Also, going up in poundage isn't as simple as with recurve aqs it means replacing the whole bow, not winding the limbs in then replacing them.
I would not go above 30 lbs to start with as I would rather put in the practice with a lighter bow before stepping up to anything too heavy, I do not believe in running before I can walk. One flatbow recommended to me is an Eagle Flatbow and their draw weight goes from 20 lbs upwards so there is an option there for a lighter draw weight but as pointed out by @fbirder that means buying another new bow later....................


For arrow length, I'd suggest getting arrows a bit longer if you can. For two reasons: firstly, safety, because if you overdraw, and beginners draw lengths vary significantly from shot-to-shot, then a too short arrow can drop off the back of the rest/shoulder and result in you shooting yourself through your wrist; and secondly economy, because long arrows can always be shortened but short arrows can never be lengthened.
Valid points and I have not missed the emphasis on the safety aspect.




Many thanks for both your replies all the information has been useful and helpful, thanks for taking the time to reply.
 


bowser

New member
for what its worth I started with a flat bow, well still have it, there are hundreds of reviews certainly on you tube etc, you just have to look and find them.

I went with a bearpaw/bodnik bow and started with 35lbs, on the basis that it was cheap on ebay and I thought what the hell they have a 30 guarantee and that has to mean they are made to last. I tried lower poundage bows but anything below 30lbs was just so light it didn't work for me at all (ok I am 6'4" with arms to match). I did actually look at all of the range but decided for a first one I would go with second hand and ended up with the starbow, I couldnt be happier it has been and is fantastic to shoot and is often passed around the club for others to try. I would recommend any of the bodnik bows as I have had the chance to try one or two others now as well


Read the book watched the film, decided that if Americans could make their own arrows then it couldn't be difficult, and I was right its easy again bought the kit from bearpaw as its cheap easy to use and easy to get hold of, so a no brainer I am sure there are other company's out there whos kit is just as good but I like the bearpaw stuff and it works for me. So now shoot my own arrows as well.







Right eye dominance but I did recheck via the method shown in your link.


This did confuse me initially but I will hold the bow in my left hand and draw the string with my right hand so it would be a right handed bow for me.
Incidentally this is how I fire and hunt with my slingshots.


If I do not move quick there will be no forests left with the rate they are logging them here!




I would not go above 30 lbs to start with as I would rather put in the practice with a lighter bow before stepping up to anything too heavy, I do not believe in running before I can walk. One flatbow recommended to me is an Eagle Flatbow and their draw weight goes from 20 lbs upwards so there is an option there for a lighter draw weight but as pointed out by @fbirder that means buying another new bow later....................




Valid points and I have not missed the emphasis on the safety aspect.




Many thanks for both your replies all the information has been useful and helpful, thanks for taking the time to reply.
 


erehwon

New member
for what its worth I started with a flat bow, well still have it, there are hundreds of reviews certainly on you tube etc, you just have to look and find them.

I went with a bearpaw/bodnik bow and started with 35lbs, on the basis that it was cheap on ebay and I thought what the hell they have a 30 guarantee and that has to mean they are made to last. I tried lower poundage bows but anything below 30lbs was just so light it didn't work for me at all (ok I am 6'4" with arms to match). I did actually look at all of the range but decided for a first one I would go with second hand and ended up with the starbow, I couldnt be happier it has been and is fantastic to shoot and is often passed around the club for others to try. I would recommend any of the bodnik bows as I have had the chance to try one or two others now as well


Thanks for your comments. I have my eye on a second hand Eagle Flatbow (Bamboo, 68 inch 30 lbs) at present, the owner says it is as new and has hardly been used as he lost interest in it very quickly (too much like hard work!) and went back to his firearms. He has mislaid his arrows somewhere and is looking for them but more importantly he will be (subject to weather) in my area visiting family in the new year and will call in to let me have a look at it. So we shall see as that would seem like a good starting point for me.

I have read many good reviews of Bodnik bows, I must admit to being slightly envious of people who can just pop down to an archery shop or club and try out different bows etc. but then again I like living away from the mainstream life and you cannot have it all.
 


fbirder

Supporter
Supporter
for what its worth I started with a flat bow, well still have it, there are hundreds of reviews certainly on you tube etc, you just have to look and find them.
This is the list of bows suggested by Erewhon and the number of YouTuber reviews for each of them.

Eagle Flatbow 1 Review - in Russian.
Bearpaw Blackfoot - Several reviews
Oak Ridge Aspen/Ickory - Zero
Buck Trail Falcon - Zero
Falco Legend - Several reviews.

If you want to buy a popular AFB then the reviews are out there. But if you're looking for anything else you'll be lucky to find anything. I was interested in a Buck Trail, because I'd tried a Blackhawk. There are hundreds of reviews of that bow. But trying to find anything at all on the Falcon or Vulture was impossible. Indeed, nobody could tell me what the difference was between the two.
 


Newalpost

New member
I went through this a few months ago having been shooting Olympic Recurve for a couple of years. I chose the Buck Trail Black Hawk - mostly because it had numerous good reviews and was within my budget. I got the same length and pull as my recurve plus some Timbercreek Carbon, Feather Fletched Arrows made to the same length as those I use on the recurve.

Whether or not I did all this correctly I don't know but I just love shooting this bow and my recurve is gathering dust these days.

Just one other point which I forgot at first and that's a bag to put all the bits in. I'm using a small 15l rucksack.

These bow types are very addictive in my opinion so have fun.

Colin
 


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