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Rekindling Archery Experience Need Help With Bow Size Weight

by David
(New Jersey)

Hi, I used to dabble in archery when I was younger and I am looking to rekindle this (I am 24 now).

I have gone through and read all the articles on your site (very nice by the way), and have determined my measurements and what not. I stand 5'10" but only weigh around 118 lbs. I am looking to use a traditional (not Olympic style) recurve bow. I guess you could say my experience with a bow in somewhere in between beginner and intermediate. I am right hand dominant, but left eye dominant.

My measurements for a bow according to your articles are:
Draw length: 29" (28.8" actual)
Bow size: 68"-70"
Bow weight: 26-38 pounds

I am a bit lost on a few things. Firstly, should I get a left-handed bow because my left eye is stronger? Being skinny, my left arm is not nearly as strong as my right, which poses some issues. Secondly, the pound range is pretty wide, and I was wondering if there was a way to narrow it down somehow.

Finally, I am having a lot of trouble finding anywhere that sells 68"-70" recurve bows at all. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on where I should look to find this and maybe suggest a brand?

I am still relatively new to all this and am trying to make sure I go in at least somewhat educated.

Thanks in advance,

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Consider your first bow to be your training bow and keep the draw weight light
by: Coach Zeober

Hi David,

First let me say that there are a great number of highly successful archers who are cross dominant like you. The choice to shoot cross dominant is strictly yours - the bottom line is that you should be focused on having fun.

Training your less dominant arm/hand is very doable providing you have the patience and the time to do so.

If you choose to go this route then start with a very light draw weight so you can focus first on developing motor skills. While you shoot a light weight bow with your non-dominate hand you will begin to develop strength and you can increase the draw weight over time in 2 to 4 pound increments to avoid injury.

The key is to focus on motor skill and if you are over bowed (heavy draw weight) its unlikely that you will ever be real successful. Start with a light draw weight and build up over time just like a weight lifter would train with subsequently heavier weight.

Eye dominance is another topic of its own. The key here is retraining the less dominant eye and there are specific exercises I use to help an archer progress.

What you should know is that if you choose to continue to shoot cross dominant it is very likely that your non-dominant eye will slowly learn to be the receptor as it relates to target acquisition and aiming over a period of time. Practice and training of the eye happens almost instinctively.

As for selecting a draw weight for your first bow I can only suggest that you seek out a dealer, pro-shop or a local club instructor or coach who can help you properly determine a suitable draw weight.

FYI – All of my new and or/novice archers practice or train on very lightweight bows (under 20 pounds) so we can focus on proper shooting form and technique.

By doing so we can shoot many repetitions without becoming fatigued or injured.

By way of a recommendation – consider your first bow to be your training bow and keep the draw weight light. Heavy draw weights are not the way to learn.

Best wishes,
Coach Zeober

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