What is the best age to start archery?
Archery is much safer than many other sports. Injury rates are low and involve pulled muscles rather than arrows hitting people.
However, a kid taking archery lessons should be able to follow instructions and take safety seriously. Just because injuries are rare (most archery rangers report no arrow hits at all) doesn't mean they cannot happen.
A child who is four or six years old does not necessarily understand safety and the risk of injury, not even to the extent of an eight-year-old child.
A kid who refuses to follow anyone's rules or is too young to understand them may not belong on an archery range. A kid might not understand how dangerous it is to run onto the range when archers are shooting. Before a kid is mature enough for archery lessons, they should be able to understand and follow instructions.
Is eight years old really the best age to start archery?
According to USA archery, eight years old is old enough to start. Kids younger than that may not be strong enough to pull a typical beginner's bow. Every kid is different, but by roughly eight years old, a kid should have enough strength, concentration, and patience to participate.
How old do kids have to be to join archery clubs?
Around eight years old is often the minimum age to join. However, different clubs can have different age limits.
Some clubs may have a loose age limit that they are willing to break for some children. The age limit may be enforced, only a guideline, or somewhere in between.
Every kid is different
Some seven-year-olds are mature enough to practice archery, and some nine-year-olds are not. Getting good at archery requires patience and discipline - not so much that it is not kid-friendly, but it is not for all children. A six-year-old may not understand how to use a bow safely and may get distracted too easily to be able to practice.
Keep lessons shorter for younger children
Younger children may lose their patience if archery lessons go on for too long. Stick to shorter lessons. Children will find shorter lessons exciting; longer lessons might bore them.
Archery can help build a kid's patience and concentration. You may be able to move towards longer lessons as your kid gets more experienced.
How strong does a kid have to be to pull a bow?
Usually, archers do not have to be very strong. An adult can be less strong than average and still pull a typical bow for shooting targets. However, small children may have trouble.
Bows for children have lower draw weights. While a bow for adults might have a draw weight of 40 or 60 pounds, you can find a bow with a draw weight of under 10 pounds for children. Bows for children also weigh less, as they are smaller and may be made of light fiberglass.
Under a certain age, even pulling a 10-pound bow can be too difficult. You may not be able to find a small enough bow for your child.
You will have to buy new equipment for your kid as they grow up
A twelve-year-old should not be using the same bow as an eight-year-old. Not only will a twelve-year-old be able to pull a bow with a heavier draw weight, but they will need a longer bow also.
A bow's draw length has to be proportionate to the height of the shooter. It is not easy to shoot accurately or comfortably if your bow is for someone taller or shorter than you. When your kid goes through a growth spurt, you will need to replace their equipment.
Get a bow that is well suited to your kid
A kid needs a bow that is great for them and not merely any bow. They won't enjoy the sport nearly as much if they are using a bow that is not well suited to them.
The draw length must be appropriate
Measure the child's height and then divide their height in inches by 2.5. That is how long their bow's draw length should be. They will shoot inaccurately if the draw length is wrong.
You can also find the draw length from arm span, which is usually the same as a person's height. To measure someone's arm span, have them spread their arms apart as far as possible, and measure from the tip of one middle finger to the other. Divide that by 2.5 to find the draw length of an ideal bow.