Wondering how to shoot a recurve bow? The short answer on how you shoot a bow is, practice, consistent practice. It is of course more complicated than that, and yet, it is not.
Items needed to shoot the recurve bow:
- Recurve bow
- Properly spined arrows
- Shooting glove or tab
- Buy correct archery tackle. This first step is essential. You must buy a bow which is right for you. Draw weight, length, length of draw are all important. Once you have a bow bought you need to buy correct arrows. They must be correctly spined for your draw weight to shoot properly. They also must be cut to your proper draw length and fletched. Before buying arrows decide if you plan on shooting off the shelf or an elevated rest, plastic vanes will not fly properly off the shelf and need feathers. Buy a shooting glove or tab. An armguard can prevent some painful bruises and prevent loose sleeves from deflecting the string of the bow.
- Set up bow properly. This step is hard for the new archer and will probably be trial and error as you learn the entire process. But you will want to set up the brace height, the distance of the string from the riser, by twisting and untwisting the string. You will at the same time want to set up the nock point on the string. Brace height and nock placement will determine how the arrow flies out of the bow as much as shooting technique. Therefore the new archer will have to "play" with this all as well as technique to dial the bow in.
- Learn proper stance. Each archer will eventually develop their own personal stance, but starting out in a set correct form to use for every shot will start you out properly. The archer stands quartered away from the target with feet comfortable. You will stand straight with your head turned and shooting arm extended towards the target.
- Learn proper draw. Holding the bow straight up and down towards the target you will then reach out, grip the string with the first three fingers of the shooting hand and draw the bow back using the back and shoulder muscles. You will want to draw to the exact same place each time. Some people use a kisser button which when drawn properly touches a certain spot on the mouth. Wherever you draw to you want to do it exactly the same each and every time. Consistency is the key to good shooting.
- Aim the bow. Some people place the tip of the arrow on the target, this is a good way to start. And soon you will know where to place it at different distances.
- Learn smooth release. The arrow must be released cleanly and exactly the same way every time. You want to remove all fingers from the string at the same exact instant and get them out of the way so as not to touch the string as it flies.
- Practice practice practice. Learning to shoot the bow is all about practicing correct technique. Shoot, shoot and shoot some more, until every aspect of the shot is second nature.
That is how you learn to shoot the bow. Once you have learned to be consistent you can fit your own style into the shot. We shoot the bow differently than we did at first. We now crouch slightly, leaning slightly forwards, and shoot the bow from a cant, meaning the bow is held at a cant rather than straight up and down. We snap shoot, and do not hold the arrow back to aim, the aim is made instinctively with no aim point, similar to throwing a baseball. This is what works best for us, you will be different. Practice is the key to everything in archery, enjoy the practice.