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Traditional, Target, Field, and 3D Equipment Setups

This is an excerpt from Archery Fundamentals-2nd Edition by Teresa Johnson.

Equipment Setups

In archery each setup is unique and suited to a particular type of competition. Four commonly used setups are traditional, target, field, and 3D.

Traditional archers use the bare minimum of equipment (figure 3.6). The traditional archer prefers to shoot barebow because it lacks any sights or accessories. This type of archer shoots the arrow right off the shelf of the bow with the fingers. Some traditional archers shoot with a regular finger tab like other archers; others wear a special glove that protects the three drawing fingers but leaves the inside of the hand open. This glove is often used by traditional archers who shoot using all-wood bows and all-wood arrows. An arm guard is also a necessity for the traditional archer. The bow may be a simple straight longbow or a wooden recurve. The quiver is slung over the back or hung at the side, and the handmade arrows might sport real feathers in a variety of colors. Traditional archers may use wood, aluminum, or carbon arrows, which are sometimes crested to give a more authentic look and feel to the arrow shaft.
Traditional (barebow) archery setup using a longbow.

Do you have Olympic or Paralympic dreams? Archers focused on Olympic-style target archery use all the latest accessories on highly engineered recurve bows (figure 3.7). Their recurve bows are manufactured with a variety of composites and are finely tuned for accuracy. They spend many hours adjusting and tuning their bows and arrows for perfect fit and function. The bows are steadied by stabilizers and side rod setups, and high-performance arrow rests and precision sights are go-to accessories. The side quiver contains a finger tab, a finger sling, an arm guard (when it isn't being worn), a towel, an arrow puller (a split rubber tube used for getting a better grip on an arrow being pulled from the target), arrow lubricant, and other accessories introduced by fellow archers and by attending tournaments. Compound archers - who shoot target archery - sport many similar equipment options, but these are adapted to the compound bow. These archers wear form-fitting clothing on their upper bodies as well as chest protectors (for recurve archers), and their hair is up and out of their eyes. They may sport sunglasses or hats or visors to cut down on glare. They might also have a spotting scope on a stand so they can see their arrows on distant targets better and adjust their sights accordingly. A pen and pencil, along with a small notepad, are a must for every competitive archer.
Olympic-style archery setup using a recurve bow.

Compound archers who enjoy 3D, field, or target archery set up a fast compound bow with an arrow rest, sight, stabilizer, and often a side rod (figure 3.8). This type of bow setup might also include specially designed shock absorbers either built into the bow or fastened to the limbs. The side quiver also contains a wrench set to make any last-minute repairs or adjustments. Because this archer moves from shooting station to shooting station, a spotting scope is generally not necessary - but binoculars are a must. The bow has an adjustable arrow rest and a precision sight, and that sight has a magnified lens, or scope, along with a level for making sure the bow is straight when shooting. In addition to the side quiver, this archer wears a pouch on the belt to hold a release aid; in the quiver are a towel, arrow puller, arrow lubricant, and of course a small notepad, as well as a pen and pencil.
Field or 3D archery setup using a compound bow.

Learn more about Archery Fundamentals, Second Edition.

More Excerpts From Archery Fundamentals 2nd Edition