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Archery Advice for Parents of Little Kids



I was wondering if you would be interested in teaching a child as young as 5? He is very interested in learning the sport. Also, any advice you have with respect to buying archery equipment, where to practice, etc would be very helpful."

- Larry S.


Hello Larry!

Its a tricky matter.

I don't have any bows suitable for his size because he wouldn't be strong enough to pull even my smallest / lightest poundage bow. So no, I wouldn't have the equipment to teach someone so young.

My first piece of advice would be to get a children's practice bow from either Canadian Tire (you may need to shop around since not all Canadian Tire stores sell archery equipment) or a slightly more powerful children's bow from an archery equipment store. Approx. price will be between $30 to $100, depending on the brand and type. Remember to buy extra arrows as they break or get lost easily.

My second piece of advice is that you will need to supervise him at all times when they have a bow. Because boys will be boys and you don't want to be paying for your neighbour's new windows. When not in use you will want to store in a secure location.

My third piece of advice is that you find a good place to practice. The shortest range targets at the Toronto Public Archery Range is 20 yards. Having seen small children shoot there before their arrows typically can't even reach the 20 yard targets because they simply don't have the necessary strength, and this leads to disappointment which can feel very discouraging. Other archers also get nervous when kids are around because they tend to forget safety rules. What you really need is something closer to 10 yards and a private range. So if you have a backyard with tall fences or even a large basement this might work for you, otherwise you may want to visit relatives that live on a farm regularly / take camping trips etc to find large open spaces which he could safely practice.

My last piece of advice is to prepare for a little disappointment. It isn't really going to be as accurate as he hopes it will be. Accuracy with a bow mostly comes down to strength and your ability to hold the bow steady without your arm shaking, which simultaneously challenging your muscles so you get the most torque out of each shot in an effort to increase accuracy... and to learn how to manage all this requires a lot of practice and patience - and little kids aren't exactly known for their strength or patience. That doesn't mean he won't have fun doing it, I can pretty much guarantee he will have fun, but he will likely be disappointed by his inability to shoot a bull's eye during his first session unless he is extremely lucky. You will want to be very encouraging and supportive of the things he manages to accomplish and remember the following adage "Practice makes perfect, and patience makes for lots of practice."

When they get older, closer to 10 or 11, you might consider getting them an 18 lb recurve bow + 10 arrows plus all the necessary equipment. Total cost will be about $350. (Archery isn't cheap!) But if they are serious about the sport then that will be the start of a life-long love of the sport.

Best of luck!

Where to Shop for Children's Archery Equipment in Toronto?

Central Surplus on Yonge Street, north of Wellesley.

579 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z2, Canada
+1 416-964-8226

Not the greatest supply of archery equipment, but I know they carry children's bows. Warning, the old Greek guy who runs the place is very talkative.

Tent City in North York, near the corner of Steeles and Dufferin.

1600 Steeles W  Concord, ON L4K 4M2, Canada
+1 905-660-6885

Much more variety of archery equipment, but I am not sure if they carry children's bows. I recommend phoning to make sure and ask prices before going there.

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