Beginner / New Member FAQ

This page gives answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from people interested in taking up archery or in joining the club.

Q. I’ve always fancied doing archery and I’ve seen this really cool bow in A.Shop (or in an online auction) – should I buy it ?
A. Bows (and arrows) are not one size fits all.  Therefore, we’d strongly recommend that you do not buy any equipment until you’ve completed a beginners’ course and taken advice on what might be the most appropriate equipment for you (based on your physique, ambitions and budget).

Q.   I’ve already got some archery experience – can I join Redruth Archers ?
A.  This will depend upon your level of experience.

The normal route for entry into the club is through one of our beginner courses (for more details see here).   However, if you’ve completed a course at another club, or can demonstrate an equivalent level of competence from experience gained elsewhere, then you can normally join without completing one of our courses.

If you have been away from the sport for a long time (years), or if you haven’t completed a formal beginner’s course and have other experience, we would normally invite you to one of our club nights where one of our coaches can assess your overall competence and provide advice as to whether you are ready to join the club or whether we’d recommend that you completed a beginner’s (or refresher’s) course before joining.

Q.  My son/ daughter is X years old – are they old enough / too young to take up Archery ?
A. As a parent, you’ve probably noticed quite a wide range in development in children of the same age.  Therefore, there is no set age limit at which we’d recommend starting archery – but “around 8-10” is probably as young as we’d recommend.  However, any children taking up archery will need to demonstrate a degree of maturity, discipline, physical coordination and stamina .

Q.  How much will archery cost ?
A. Our beginner’s courses are currently £50 per person (see here for the current set of courses).  Following your completion of a beginner’s course you will be invited to join the club.  Details on annual membership costs (and a breakdown of where the money goes) is available here.  “Target fees” are included in the annual membership fee. We can normally provide equipment on loan for a small fee (currently £2.50 per day of shooting) whilst you decide what equipment to buy for yourself.

A complete set of equipment to get you started can be bought for a couple of hundred £’s if you are willing to shop around (but the sky is the limit, if your budget is unlimited) – but we’d recommend not buying anything without taking advice from the club coaches first.

If you  are interested in competitive archery, tournaments are run in the local area over most weekends throughout the year (see here for a current calendar of events within the Devon and Cornwall area, and here for details of tournaments hosted by Redruth Archers).  Tournament entry fees generally range from ~£5 to £30 depending upon the duration, location and prestige of the event.  Junior members can “shoot for free” at some tournaments in the DCAS area.

Q. I’ve always fancied shooting longbow / compound / recurve – what bow styles do you teach ?
A. Our beginner’s courses are very much based on recurve archery.  However, many of the aspects of recurve archery are transferable to longbow / compound bow, and the safety rules / implications and general etiquette are the same regardless of bow style.  Following completion of our beginner’s course we have a number of coaches and experienced archers who can help you transition into shooting the bow style of your choice.

Q.  Once I’m a member (or associate member), can I really shoot at the field whenever I like ?
A.  We are very fortunate in that we have our own field and so members (and associate members) can, generally, shoot whenever** they like.  However, in order to be allowed unrestricted access to the field, we do need to be sure that you can shoot to a reasonable standard and that you know how to behave safely on an archery range.

For this reason, we run an “Improvers” scheme for new archers (details here).  Following completion of one of our beginner’s courses and/or on joining the club, we offer coaching on Wednesday evenings over the summer months to enable you to improve your shooting to the point where you can consistently hit the target at a distance of 60yds (or shorter distances for juniors, depending on age).   Once you have completed our Improvers’ scheme you will be given the combination to the various locks etc. at the field so you can come and go as you please.  Until you can demonstrate this level of competence, you are still welcome to shoot at the field whenever you like, but you must be accompanied, at all times, by someone who has completed the improver’s scheme.  We have an “unofficial” Facebook group that (amongst other things) enables members to arrange mutually convenient times to meet up.

Shooting is not allowed (for obvious reasons) during work-parties at the field.

Q.  When are your club nights / How often do you shoot ?
A. Because we own our own field, our members are free to come and shoot at the field whenever they like all year round (subject to the restrictions outlined above for those who have not completed our “improvers” scheme).

This works very well for those archers who like to shoot as and when it pleases them, and over summer months in particular, someone will be at the field at some point almost every day either individually or in small groups.

For those who like to shoot as part of a larger group, over summer we have club nights on Wednesday evenings (these tend, at the moment, to be dominated by people working through the “improvers” scheme).  We also run monthly shoots (1st Monday in the month for 2016; details here) where we get together and shoot a “round” together as a club.  Over winter we run indoor sessions twice a week.  We also put on other club shoots on a more sporadic basis (e.g. bonfire night).   Further details of our venues and shooting times are available here.

Q. What bow styles do you allow (are crossbows allowed) ?
A. We do not divide the club into “sections” of different bow styles.  However, our members shoot a wide range of bow styles including recurve (“Olympic” / freestyle / barebow),  traditional (longbow, flatbow, horsebow, primitive) and compound bows.

Whilst we permit crossbows, as things currently stand, we don’t have any members sufficiently experienced to offer advice / coaching to people wanting to take up this archery discipline, nor suitable targets / bosses to stop crossbow bolts without significant wear.  For these reasons, crossbow shooting is not, currently, encouraged / supported.