If you have a kid, or know a kid, interested in archery, these 3 traditional youth bows are worth a look.
Movies are stories and we all have our own favorite stories. Since I was a kid my favorite movies have always been set in historical places. Movies like Braveheart, Lonesome Dove, Apocalypto, and Dances With Wolves top my list of all-time favorite movies. As a kid though, I used to watch different movies of course. One of my favorite movies as a youngster was Robin Hood. I remember being mesmerized by both the cartoon version and the Kevin Costner version as well. Although I never got serious in archery until much later in life, I still believe these movies primed my interest in the sport as they introduced me to the magic world of archery. Movies like Robin Hood, Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and The Hunger Games, all have a huge influence in how our youth see archery and how much they want to participate.
On the topics of movies, just the other day my young daughter watched the movie Brave for the first time. I’d never seen the movie before, and didn’t know much about it. After watching it, I think it’s safe to say it is certainly the newest in a lineup of movies that promotes archery. The young fiery redhead Merida spends most of the movie shooting her bow and arrow, climbing mountain cliffs, and riding a giant black horse through the forest. What about this would I not want my girls to see?
Back to the point of this post though, one of the best things about this movie, from my parenting point of view, is how much she has been shooting her bow since she saw the movie. Now she plays Merida and shoots her bow and rides her horse. Heck, she even shoots her bow while riding her horse. The point is, when our kids see the great archery movies they get fired up about the sport. It may not become a burning desire, but they are primed with the interest needed to get a start.
If your kid has been bitten by the archery bug for whatever reason, here are a few traditional youth bows that should get them started down the right road.
Bear Archery 1st Shot
If you happen to have an itty bitty shooter the Bear 1st Shot traditional youth bow might be a safe bet. The biggest factor to consider when choosing a youth bow is the draw weight and size of the bow. For obvious reasons you want to make your kid’s first taste in the sport a pleasant one. If you get a bow that is too big it may spoil them in the future. The 1st Shot has a very low draw weight of 8 pounds. As a reference, a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds as well. If you’re little archer is still struggling to help lift water or milk out of the grocery sack, they’re probably still to little for this bow. If they can handle one easily, then it would probably be a good starter bow for a kid in early elementary.
Barnett Lil Sioux Jr.
If your young shooter is too big for the 1st Shot another traditional youth bow you might take a look at is the Barnett Lil Sioux Jr. This traditional bow has a draw weight of 15 pounds. Children in middle elementary would likely find this traditional bow comfortable to shoot and handle. Like most traditional youth bow packages these days, the Lil Sioux Jr. comes with a few arrows to get shooting right out of the box. It also has comfortable finger rolls on the string which means you don’t have to buy extra gear like a shooting glove or tab. Everything you need is in the kit.
Camo Youth Recurve
The final bow that would be a good fit for an upper elementary/junior high shooter is the Camo Youth Recurve. This bow has a draw weight of 20 pounds, so it certainly is not for especially young children. It is also 46 inches tall, which you should keep in mind as well. A rule of thumb for older longbow shooters is to have a bow that is as tall as you are. If your child is around four feet tall and can handle the 20 pound draw weight, this might a good option. The camo finish will really catch their eye as well!
Getting kids involved in archery is a great thing we can do as parents. Archery teaches so many skills that benefit people young and old. After we finished watching Brave for the umpteenth time the other day, my daughter and I of course had to go shoot her bow. As she was drawing the string and letting them rip it was sure fun to watch her. Maybe she’ll shoot as she grows older, maybe she won’t? One big part of helping her succeed though, is making sure she has the right equipment in her hand when she gets started. After that, the allure of the arrow can do the rest.