Bow guide

Which bow is best for me ?

A short guide through the world of bows



Bows and arrows did not become famous because of Robin Hood, although he certainly contributed greatly to their popularity. Already thousand of years ago, Robin's ancestors used this weapon. Archery is among the most important inventions of mankind during the Prehistory, possibly just after the making of fire.


The oldest evidence of bows and arrows are prehistorical cave paintings in Spain and in the Sahara. They were dated to 50'000 BC. The Egyptians, about 5'000 years ago, used it as well. In the meantime archery has spread to nearly the whole globe. Still today it is an everyday tool used by several natives (e.g., Aborigines, native Americans).





A bow for those who want to achieve a lot with only a little


Everybody knowing about Robin Hood has also heard about the (English) longbow.

What is it ?


The longbow, as the name says, has to be long ! Roughly speaking, a real longbow has to be about as tall as the archer. In those days the length varied between 65 and 71 inches (1.65 m to 1.80 m).


Another important property is the shape of the bow: The limbs (that's where the string is attached) have to be straight and touch the string at only one point. The longbow must be at its thickest at the handle, and any type of arrow rest or other aids are not allowed. Usually the longbow is completely made of wood and is a really light. Nowadays the bows are often coated with fiberglass.


In the Middle Ages the longbow was a dreaded weapon, as it was possible to pierce armor.


Traditional shooting is done with wooden arrows fletched with real feathers. The longbow is shot instinctively, without sight or other aids. This way of shooting requires a good amount of training until you'll be able to hit the target.





Precision, tradition and high performance; a bit of everything; the Olympic compromise


The recurve bow is considered to be the most elegant bow. Its name is derived from the shape of its limbs. Those are bending away from the archer during the shot. This movement contributes to the speed of the arrow. The recurve bow is actually the only type of bow that is shot at Olympic games.


The history of this type of bow goes back more than a thousand years. The best known recurves in history are the short bows of the far east. There were also some native American clans that improved their bows by bending them into the recurve shape.


The short hunting bow had a revival in the sixties but was pushed away by the compound bow and the longer take-down recurves, as used today for target shooting.




For enthusiasts of technique, speed, and precision


The compound bow is the most technological sport bow. In combination with a mechanical release, sight, and stabilizers it achieves very high precision.

The compound bow uses a hoist with eccentric reels at both end of the limbs with two cables. As soon as a specific draw length is reached, the draw weight is reduced. This reduction is usually at least 60 %. Due to the higher draw weight the arrows fly faster. The compound bow is therefore the most precise bow.





Which type of bow you want to shoot depends on your preference. At the BC Baden you can try all types during one to three practice sessions. If you're infected by the archery virus afterwards, we recommend to rent a bow first. This also avoids you precipitately buying a bow, whose draw weight will not be correct anymore in half a year.
Because one thing is for sure: you'll build up muscle power.



All three bow types have one goal in common: the arrow should always hit the center of the target. We don't want to conceal that it requires quite some work and regular practice to achieve this. Beside practice of the shooting technique; mental training, workout, and endurance buildup belong to this wonderful sport. However, once you reach this goal, it's a terrific feeling.


Of course, you may also shoot some arrows onto a big empty target just for relaxation.


However, if you want to achieve something more, we recommend you attend a course by a professional trainer.




Indoor tournaments

At indoor tournaments in the gym hall we shoot at a distance of 18.3 m (20 yards). The target is 40 cm in diameter, or a 5 fold spot.


Field tournament

At field tournaments we shoot at different distances in a KO-System.


3D tournament

At 3d tournaments we shoot on original sized mock animals. These are distributed along a 3 to 5 km course and have to be shot from an (usually) unknown distances.




Archery is well suited for virtually anybody. A bow is however a weapon. For this reason, beginners are not allowed to shoot alone until they build up confidence. An archer needs to acquire the required knowledge and respect, so he can take responsibility for his actions.
Safety first !



The favorite supplier of
the BC Baden

The BC Baden
is a member of FAAS