Archery: What Is The Best Age To Start?

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Archery is a favorite activity amongst adults and is becoming a trend among youngsters as well. Today the youth also wants to pick up the bow and arrow to master the skills as their parents do.

A fact is that both movies and video games have heroes using a bow. So what is the best age to start archery to improve on this ancient practice?

Maybe your child is interested, and you think he or she is too young. The short answer is the younger you are, the better you become at any sports. Here we have all the answers to your questions from the age to archery bows and equipment needed for them to start.

How old do you have to be to shoot a bow and arrow?

The answer is it all depends on the child, and you can find bow and arrow sets made for children three years and older. You can find many readily available kits that will suit your kid’s entry-level archery skills. However, to determine if your kid is prepared to take it up as a hobby there are some factors you can consider whether your kid is old enough for it.

First and Most Important Safety – archery age limit

Your child needs the discipline and patience to partake in archery. As with any hobby, there is a learning curve and understanding is required to know what is safe, and what is not. That is why your three to a six-year-old child may find it more a play activity than a repetitive and intensely focused hobby.

Do not get us wrong; most experts are always willing to teach anyone who is ready to pay attention and wants to put in the effort to learn. While the youngsters are still growing their concentration and patience, it may be a fantastic activity to practice at home to hone their skills.

However, if your kid is aged ten to twelve, he or she is old enough to take in what the instructor is teaching them. The difference between archery and other sports is that they need to be ambitious and understand what they are doing. They need to be in tune with their hand and eye coordination, need to learn quickly and is a huge plus.

best age for archery

Secondly, It Means Considerable Growing Costs

Kids grow up quickly and the younger they start they need constant upgrades in archery gear and accessories. Children outgrow their bow, and certain types of bows are designed with this in mind. Another growth spurt that can happen is in the pre-teens to teen years. While adults starting at 20 years in the activity does not go through these changes.

As you can see, there is no age limit to take up archery as you can be as young as three and as old as 60 to start the hobby.

How Do You Choose an Archery Bow for their Age?

Therefore, how do you choose the right bow as it can be a tough process? Here are some necessary steps you can follow in selecting a beginner bow to fit your young archer.

First, determine their eye dominance:

Before you do anything else, you need to know their eye dominance and plays a role for all ages when selecting a bow. You can do this by letting your child stand facing the wall with an image on it. Ask them to point at the object, and while doing this, you cover their right eye.

Tell them to keep pointing at the middle of the item. If you find the finger remains in the same position, it shows your child is left eye dominant. If you see their finger moves to the right when reminding them to point to the middle, it indicates they are right eye dominant.

By doing this, it determines if the youngster needs to use a left or right-handed bow.

Now establish the draw length:

Here the vital thing is to match the bow with your child’s size by determining the draw length. You need to measure the entire arm span of your child. Have your kid spread their arms out with the palms facing towards you. Now take a tape measure, hold it at the tip of the middle finger, and run it to the other one. Once you have the size, you need to divide it by 2.5 leaving you with the ideal draw length when buying a bow.

Get the right length by testing different bows:

Now you need to figure out the correct length of bow for the child to use. With the draw length above, it determines how far you can draw the bow. Nevertheless, the bow length is how high the bow is. Here the best solutions to take your kid to a club or store to try different bow lengths. The majority of youth bows range from 30 to 40-inches in diameter.

Next, you need to estimate the draw weight and is the amount of pressure in pounds required to draw the bow fully. Each bow comes with draw weight, and you need to get the correct one for beginners and is not determined by age. For example, your kid can weigh around 50 to 80 pounds and should be comfortable with a bow weighing 10 to 15 pounds.

However, if a child weighs closer to 100 pounds, the draw weight should be between 15 to 25 pounds and more suitable for them to shoot. On the other hand, if the youngster weighs more than a hundred pounds, he or she should be able to shoot with a bow with a draw weight between 30 to 40 pounds.

The kid needs to be comfortable, as they need to find their balance and not strain themselves when shooting. Another important thing is the first bow needs to be a sensible buy. You can find models available with extendable limbs to improve the bow length if you see your child will go further in the sport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Archery can be confusing when you start, as parents do not know what to do from what bow and arrows to buy. Here are some answers to questions asked by parents in our community.

Can you start archery at 16?

Yes, it is in fact the ideal age for someone to begin learning archery as a hobby, since the minimum age is right at 16. At this point you can start with lessons for beginners and later on with enough archery practice(see here), you can move onto bow hunting.

Is 18 too late to start archery?

No, it is actually the perfect time to begin as the recommended time is between 16-18 and there is not exactly a cap on the age you can start shooting a bow and arrow at.

Am I too young to start archery?

You are almost never too young to begin learning, but it would be good to avoid starting before the youngest age 8 years old or older, since by then a child will have gained the necessary strength to hold a bow.

Which bow and arrow should I get for my child starting with archery?

While we have provided steps in determining which bow to buy there are bow & arrow sets available for youth archery. With these affordable sets, your child can have fun and find out if they do want to take the hobby further as their skills grow.

As mentioned previously, you need to determine their eye dominance, as bows are available in the right- and left-handed designs.

The fantastic thing is with the sets you can find one for aged three and up and works with both right and left-handed shooters. For younger kids, they will start with suction-cup arrows for safety. While the kits are, toys once must still respect them, and you should always supervise your child.

What type of bow should I buy my seven-year-old?

Here you can look at bows made of fiberglass suitable to use with both the left and right hand. These bows have a draw of 14 to 16-inches. The kit includes safety glasses, the holder of arrows, and a shooting tab with target tips and can cause damage. The bows made durable to last years, and you can hand it down to the next child if interested in the sport.

Can a 10 year old use the same bow as a 7 year old?

For kids older than ten years you will need to start paying attention to the weight of the bow. The bow needs to be substantial enough to make more skilled when pulling. You can find a 3River Youth Archery Bow Kit designed for youth aged eight up to eighteen years old. You can buy it in both right and left-handed models and targets youth who has never shot a bow before.

Once aquatinted with the bow you can look at adult bows for them to use at a later stage. The set comes with everything the kid needs from the bow to arrows. You get a Recurve bow made with a hardwood riser and fiberglass limbs. There are bowstring, three durable 27 ½ -inch fiberglass arrows, shooting tab, belt quiver, armguard, arrow rest, bow case, and a target included.

We hope that the information provided informs you of what you need to know about archery. As you can see, there is no age limit if you or your child wants to take up archery as a hobby. So why not get the family involved! Once you are ready, get everyone together and have a round of combat archery in the comfort of the backyard—it is fun and will improve everyone’s skills.


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

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