archery and target

Archery is where you use a bow to shoot an arrow at a target.

Skills – Strength: 4, Balance: 3, Flexibility: 3, Agility: 1, Coordination: 6
Time needed: 1 hour, Cost to try: £10

What is Archery?

Archery is the practice of using a bow to shoot an arrow at a target. Before the firearm was invented, the bow and arrow was a powerful hunting weapon and used in battles to kill members of the opposing army. Thankfully, you are more likely to associate archery these days with a sport, pass time or hobby. The popularity of archery is helped by its long history. Whether you look at ancient Neolithic cave paintings or the Bayeux Tapestry, you will see people carrying bows. There is an archer in all of us and while it is no longer compulsory to undertake archery practice, the sport is more accessible than ever and is well worth a try.

Competition Archery


The main type of archery you are likely to see is target archery, where archers aim at a circular target that is marked with brightly coloured concentric circles, not unlike a giant game of darts, with more points being awarded for arrows that land close to the gold, centre of the target. This is the type of archery you will see at the Olympic Games. During outdoor competitions the targets can be at distances ranging from 30 to 90 meters, while indoors the target is usually 25 or 18 meters, though the actual target is smaller. Other types of archery include field archery were archers move between arrows, and aim at different targets from each point. Clout archery is where archers have to land their arrows in a horizontal target, rather than a vertical target, and flight archery is all about who can shoot their arrow the furthest. No matter which type of archery you enjoy, it is all about skill and practice.

Types of Equipment

If you visit an archery competition you are likely to see archers using different types of bows and arrows. To start with there is the very traditional longbow, often made of different types of wood as they would have been for thousands of years. The arrows are also made of wood, with a metal tip and feather flights (known as fletchings). Increasingly popular are recurve and compound bows which can be made of aluminium or carbon-fiber, the compound bows include pulleys to help increase the power of the bow. The arrows are also made of metal rather than wood. Buy Archery Gear


Try Archery

Archery is great fun and is best enjoyed as part of a group. Whether you have a go at archery at a dedicated centre or at a multi activity centre, you will receive expert tuition and guidance on how to make the activity both safe and enjoyable. Archery sessions begin with a safety talk and an explanation of the various kit involved in archery, before moving on to guidance in how to get the most from your archery experience. Then depending on which centre you visit, there are a number of different archery ranges for you to practice on. Instructors can provide one on one tuition, and while you may not get to Olympic Standard during the activity session, you will learn some new skills and have some fun trying to get a better score than your friends or family.

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