Getting into sport isn’t as tough or expensive as you think
Among archery’s touted benefits — its status as a lifetime sport, its celebration of individual ability, its measurable results — is the fact it’s not too expensive to get into. An initial investment in a few pieces of equipment and some hay bales, and the beginning archer can get started.
■ A basic recurve bow can be had for close to $100 (PSE Razorback Recurve, $109 at Cabela’s), or less if you risk ordering from the Internet (Martin XR Recurve Bow, $42.99 from amazon.com).
■ Arm guards can cost as little as $7 to $12 (available at Red Rock Archery, 3193 Hall Drive; Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods, 445 W. Gunnison Ave.; Sportsman’s Warehouse, 2464 U.S. Highway 6&50, Suite A; Cabela’s, 2424 U.S. 6&50; and others).
■ Finger tabs can start as low as $6 or $7.
■ A dozen fiberglass target practice arrows are about $50 online (amazon.com), and just a bit higher in stores.
■ Bow strings can cost less than $5, and bow stringers can start at $10.
■ A paper archery target can cost less than $1.
■ Locally, 70-pound bales of hay onto which beginning archers can hang their targets can be had for $7 to $10.
■ Red Rock Archery (241-2697) and Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods, 445 W. Gunnison Ave., 242-8165, both have archery ranges.
There’s something about a bow and arrow that has inspired writers, filmmakers and mythologists throughout history. Some famous fictional archers include:
■ Katniss Everdeen: teenage heroine of Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” trilogy. She lives in a dystopian future America and learned to shoot archery from her father. She sneaks into the woods to bag game to feed her family, then uses her archery skills to survive the bloody Hunger Games.
■ Hawkeye: born Clint Barton and a member of Marvel Comics’ Avengers, along with the Incredible Hulk and Captain America, among others. Though he has no superpowers, he is an exceptional marksman with a bow and quiver full of “trick arrows.”
■ Robin Hood: a hero of English folklore, known for robbing the rich to give to the poor. With his bow and arrow and backed by a band of Merry Men, this outlaw of Sherwood Forest took on some of the most corrupt criminals of his day.
■ Legolas: an elf of the Woodland Realm and one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Ring” series. He is a peerless archer and deemed dangerous by the wizard Gandalf.
■ Susan Pevensie: second-oldest of the Pevensie children in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Father Christmas gives her a bow and arrow, and she proves to be an excellent shot.
■ Cupid: the god of desire, affection and love in Roman mythology, and a proponent of nudism, apparently. The son of Venus and Mars, Cupid carries a bow and quiver full of arrows, and shoots them at people to fill them with love and desire.
■ Artemis: Greek goddess of the hunt, wild animals, childbirth and virginity. She is an expert markswoman with a bow and arrow.
■ Merida: a willful princess in 10th century Scotland and star of Disney/Pixar’s recent film “Brave.” After turning to a witch for help to escape her confining fate, she uses her bow and arrow skills to help save her family from the ensuing trouble.
What’s in a bow?
■Long bow: a tall, D-shaped bow whose height allows for a long draw; it can be made from a single piece of wood. A self bow is the simplest type of long bow and the oldest one discovered by archaeologists.
■Recurve bow: a single-string bow whose tips curve away from the archer when the bow is strung. A portion of the string touches the limb at its top and bottom.
■Compound bow: a bow that uses a system of wheels and cables, making it easier to hold at full draw than long bows or recurves.
■Crossbow: a bow that mechanically holds the bow at full draw and uses a trigger to shoot the bolt.
Source: Archery Trade Association, http://www.oxford-archers.org.