in which we are fitted for bows and arrows

limbs (bolt end), bow stringer

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!

magnetic arrow rest, grip

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.

upper limb tip, bow string

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!

where the limb fits into the riser

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.

limb (bolt end), handmade bow string with brass nock point

6 thoughts on “in which we are fitted for bows and arrows

  1. Marco Alpert says:

    Oh great, another cool-seeming and moderately (but no doubt eventually very) expensive activity.

    Of course, I couldn’t resist clicking through to the Easton site to see what “Jazz Purple” looked like and encountered the following intriguing description of the A/C/C arrow:

    “The A/C/C arrow remains a top choice for target and 3D archers seeking high-performance and lightweight speed.”

    3D archers? Now I’m really anxious to see some 2D archers. Are there any where you go?

    And finally, where are pics of that ” futuristic space age jetpack amazing” stuff?

    • nancyenge says:

      Well. Practicing archery is probably cheaper than, say, drugs. And yes, this ‘3D archer’ term is intriguing. I’m just a neophyte, of course, but I think it’s a euphemism for “shoots arrows at animals.” Which actually makes me a 2D (target) archer, so there you go. As for the jetpack amazing gear, I really was in awe. It’s not a *snapshot* kind of thing. I’d want to bring it to Thom Burke’s studio, lock the doors, and spend some time with it… As I said, something to aspire to.

      • Marco Alpert says:

        Darn. I was really hoping that there were archers that disappeared when you looked at them from the side.

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