After minor deliberation, we chose KAP T-Rex takedown recurve bows, slightly-better-than-absolute-beginner level. They have a riser (the thing you hold on to) made of cast aluminum, and laminated wood and fiberglass limbs that slip on and off with a satisfying system of set screws and bolts. We are trusting our teacher’s recommendations here totally. I love being a beginner!
Mr. Dean is making our arrows to fit us exactly. Many charts were consulted, measurements taken, and performances observed. Mine will have gray and yellow feathers; Mr Speed chose black and bright pink. The arrow shaft is Easton Jazz Purple, described on their website as “an economy shaft for youth and archers shooting low poundage bows… exciting, durable, hard anodized violet color with highlights.” A girl’s first arrow should be a special thing.
We got a hardshell case big enough to hold both of our disassembled bows and all the weird new stuff that goes with them: bow strings (also handmade by Mr. Dean), a bow stringer, complex bowsights, finger guard thingies, a little bag of tiny hex wrenches, and our beautiful arrows.
The whole process took about three hours, and about $800. Happy birthdays!
In between being measured and assessed, I chatted with a gentleman as he was packing up his gear, who has been shooting arrows for 24 years. His stuff was futuristic space age jetpack amazing, like when you’re 11 years old and you get to hang out with your friend’s teenage sister, and she has beautiful hair and is really nice to you. Something to aspire to.
That’s another thing I’m really enjoying — a peek into this archery community. There is a diverse cast of characters, and they’re thus far all so very encouraging of our decision to learn. For now, though, I’m an outsider, a fledgling: hopeful, determined, wanting their help and their welcome.
Both of my parents were archers. I claim a place here, in the lineage. Last night, invoking my father, I shot my first bull’s eye.
Not only the bull’s eye, but the x.