Beginners at Bowmen of the Tors - Archery in Plymouth

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Welcome to the Bowmen of the Tors Web site - Starting in Archery


The beginners course at Bowmen of the Tors consists of 6 sessions each of two hours. The session is made up of one and half hours of teaching time and thirty minutes for assembly and disassembly of equipment.

All equipment is provided as part of the course fee and there will be no further charges made for its use throughout the duration of the course.

You are advised to wear close fitting clothing during the sessions that is comfortable to wear. This helps to prevent your clothing being caught by the bowstring when shooting the bow.

By the end of the course you will:

  • Know and understand both the rules and etiquette involved in the sport of archery.
  • Be familiar with the basic equipment used in target archery.
  • Be able to hit the target consistently at a distance of 20 yards.
  • Know and understand the scoring systems used in target archery.
  • Know and understand the basic rules used in target archery.
  • Know and understand the principles of the 'rounds' shot in target archery.
  • Have received information on other forms of archery.
  • Have an understanding of the organisations involved in the sport of archery.
  • Have knowledge of and have received information on the selection of personal equipment for the sport of archery.
  • Have received a certificate confirming the course has been completed.
  • Have been given information on the next step towards completing the sport of archery.

Please can we advise that people do not purchase their own equipment until after the beginners course has been completed. Advice will be given upon completion as to the best equipment for you as an individual from the club coaches. If you do already have your own equipment we do ask that you use the clubs equipment for the duration of the course.

Thank you and we hope to see you on the beginners course when it begins.

Andy Parkinson and Scott Way

A good place to start: This is for all people starting or who feel they need a basic point to set off from where we are on firm ground as far as knowledge is concerned.

Archery is like many activities full of is own Jargon and terms... to feel comfortable with these new names is part of being comfortable with your equipment. This is true for you when talking to others on the beginners course, or to a coach, or indeed to an archery shop to get advice or to buy equipment.

Many of us feel silly when we don't know, but other archers and coaches in particular want you to get on so ask them and get them to test you. They will remember when they didn't understand either! They will want you to suffer as little as possible and to get on into the fun part of the sport. So here goes....

Things to do to help yourself:

  • If you can: Go to a club, individual or organisation who can instruct you
    Phone us for details of somewhere near you. This will enable you to be lent the equipment and shown the basics before you buy the wrong thing! Many clubs, indeed most clubs have a good coaching and beginners system and a good selection of equipment to teach you on as well. Even if you only want to shoot on your own at home or in the local farmers field (with his knowledge and permission) this is a good way to start. You can of course go it alone and many do from books or from the ground up. We can offer help if this is your preference.
  • I Like to Get a good Book about the basics
    It is useful to have a reference manual or book to look in so that (even with the web) I can dip in and out of the book to confirm or disprove the ideas going on in my head about names of parts of the bow, or the technique the instructor has just shown me for holding the bow and the string! Then next time you return to the bow you have learnt a little more. Homework in this way is not hard but is of immense value.
  • Learn the names of the parts of the bow and of the arrows
    And ask your instructors) to test you ....and ask them the names and function of the bits and pieces on their equipment.

    The more views you can obtain the better picture of the sport you will get.

Have a good go at shooting with the Club Equipment and get used to the feel of a bow and arrows. Once you have done this for a few sessions, and you feel at home with the equipment....then you will need to work out some important basic information to fit you to a set of your own equipment.

  • What You Need To Know to get your own bow and arrow
  • Firstly how long an arrow you will draw/shoot.. This is determined by how long your arms are...and so long as you use a bow that is nice and easy to pull will give you a good starting point for choosing yourself a bow. A good rule of thumb is to measure the distance from your chin to the base of you thumb and forefinger when your arm is stretched out sideways inline with your shoulders and your head turned towards your hand that is held out....I hope you can follow that description! Anyway that's how far back you will pull a bow.
  • Secondly what type of archery do you want to enjoy? This may seem a funny question...but there are different bows and different forms of shooting. You can talk to others at your club or to us...and get advice.
  • Thirdly how strong a pull bow have you been using, and about how much do you think you can pull. BEWARE: you should always be thinking ...."now where is this arrow going", and not "how am I going to pull the b***** bow" when you go to shoot an arrow! I have had customers go out of our retail shop having bought a bow they cannot pull or string (the action of putting the string onto the bow)...despite our protests...well suggestions!
  • Finally Select Arrows that suit you and your bow. This can be a little tricky: but with a little thought is easily understood and once you have hold of the idea, doesn't change much for you. The problem is that the Arrow bends as it leaves the bow....and the amount of bend has to be about right so that it flies straight and doesn't hit the bow as it leaves. The tricky bit is that the "bendiness" of the arrow changes for long or short arrows. The charts in our catalogue or in Easton's Arrow Tuning and Maintenance Guide will give you information on this....and we can help if you are unsure.