Archery | Buying an Olympic Bow (on a Budget)
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Archery | Buying an Olympic Bow (on a Budget)

August 16, 2019


Hey guys, we’re back on the topic of buying a bow. I do a series of videos on comparing differently priced components, and I’ve spoken about how much you’d spend, but I know people still get a bit anxious when it comes to shelling out hundreds for a new bow. While you probably won’t be spending more then $2000 on your first bow, I’ll say this again, it’s hard to recommend a bow that is both “good” and “cheap”. It’s kind of like walking into a Swarovski crystal store and asking for something that costs less than 30 bucks. If you’re looking for a bow that costs under 200 bucks, Any wooden recurve will do, but, if you want to take archery up as a sport, you have to be willing to invest a bit more in your first bow. Now I know it’s hard for some of you to get cash, especially if you’re a junior and you’re relying on birthday money as your primary source of funding. The target figure is somewhere around 600-800 bucks. If that’s the case you have to make the choice between quality and cost. Thankfully there are corners you can cut. I’ll be very brief and I’ll tell you which parts you can go cheap on for your first purchase. the two most expensive parts on a bow are the riser and the limbs. and they’re the most important. The riser can cost between 150 to 900 dollars. Now you can go cheap on the riser, especially if you’re just picking up a bow that you want to learn with. However, if you have room in your budget I’d really recommend you go for something a bit higher. A good riser will give you better feedback, it’ll be easy to adjust, give you better performance, and it will last you for years. The riser is essentially your bow. This is what defines your bow. So it’s worth putting in a bit of extra cash if you can afford it. Limbs can cost up to 900 bucks. Cheap ones go for around 150, 200, maybe 300 bucks. Yes! Go cheap on these limbs. Better limbs have better performance, However as a beginner you probably won’t be able to maximise that potential for a long time. Save the money and go with cheaper limbs. Another reason is that you will probably swap limbs out quite frequently as you move up in draw-weight, so don’t go crazy on your first set of limbs. String: Not a noticeable difference for a beginner. Just go with the default option. Sights: Yes, go cheap. Cheap sights are a bit clumsy to work with, but the’re fine for learning. Rest: Go cheap. Plastic ones are just as good as magnetic ones but one tenth of the cost. Plunger: Go cheap. Better to have one than to have none. Stabilisers: Go cheap. It’s more about balance rather than quality. In fact to cut costs, bow packages normally only come with a long rod stabiliser. The full set becomes important if you want optimal performance, but you can get these later. Arrows: Definitely go cheap. For the beginner you’re probably going to break and lose arrows. and Aluminiums are easily replaceable, they can take a bad hit and they’re great for short distance practice. If you want to go a bit higher up you can get cheap carbon arrows. They’re not that much more expensive than aluminium arrows, and you can still use them for competitions, a viable choice. Finger-tab: Cheap is fine. but, this tends to be replaced very quickly so… a decent one doesn’t cost that much more, I suggest getting a good one instead of replacing a cheap one. Quiver: Go with the cheap option. It’s a bit flimsy and clumsy, but you’re cutting cost and you don’t need a great quiver to begin with. In fact some archers don’t even bother with a quiver. To cut costs you can make one out of trouser-legs, or PVC pipes, or postal tubes, or use a witches hat. and that’s if you really want to cut costs. You’re probably noticing a trend. Most cheap things will get the job done for a beginner. If you’re sitting there going: “No, no, you’ve got to have Hoyt grand-prix limbs!”, no, no, no… This is for first-time shooters. If you’re getting stuff for competition, that’s a different story. One of the alternatives to getting a good bow over time is to buy a quality bare-bow first, and get the components as you get money coming in. This way you have a bow which you can learn basic archery form with. Additionally, you can still compete in archery tournaments as a bare-bow shooter. The general idea is that you don’t have to spend ginormous amounts of money right away. Most starter packages you buy can be chopped and changed if you have the budget to swap things around. If you do, I suggest upgrading things in this order. Riser, Sight, Limbs. The reason I prioritise getting a good sight over good limbs… Firstly is because a good sight is cheaper than good limbs. Secondly having a good sight makes life so much easier. Your starting limbs are going to be fine until you begin to get serious about competing. That’s the budget version of buying a bow. Hope you found this helpful, this is NUSensei, and I’ll see you next time.

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  1. thank you so much for doing these videos, I've just took up a bow as a hobby in the states I don't plan to compete but your videos have shown me a lot so far and given me a good direction to go with what I am doing with my new hobby. please keep up the good work sir.

  2. hello, first nice video you have a new follower. Second im starting in this sport, what about the samick privilege? i dont want to buy a bow that will be useless in a few months

  3. I've been wanting to get into archery since forever, but as you said, I am in college and money is not really flowing in.
    I was considering buying this kit to start with and see how I like the sport and if I have enough time and enthusiasm to pursue it:
    http://www.merlinarchery.co.uk/first-shot-archery-kit-adult-gent-right-handed.html

    What are your opinions? It's really cheap so I'm skeptical.

  4. Great videos! I must say I love the way you explain things. Your videos answered several of the exact questions I had regarding beginning archery. Keep it up!

  5. if a bow is under 200 and metal is it better to go for the metal as it won't vibrate as much or will it be so bad quality metal you might as well go for wood.

  6. In my opinion if you can't afford a good quality sight don't get one. Cheap ones are more trouble than there worth

  7. I've just started on archery and I'm planning to use standard club bows for awhile at least until I can shoot properly, but I'm planning to buy my first bow for future use.  Problem is there are no nearby archery stores in my area. The nearest one is in the next city with limited stock and overpriced items (really overpriced, it's cheaper to buy online and ship it from Australia or US than buying in that store).

    Thing is my relatives from Australia are going to visit me in about 2 months so I've been thinking to ask them to buy the bow for me. I've made plans for it but I am not sure at what poundage should I buy my first limbs set. I'm currently using a 20 lbs bow at the club, but I'm not sure how much stronger I'll be (or even any stronger at all) in 2 months. What are your opinions ? What poundage was your first limbs set ?

  8. Hello 🙂 I'm a 21 year old male and haven't done any archery… but im looking into it… the one bow i found is within my budget… what do you think of the "Easton Beginner Recurve Bow Kit – 52'' Black" I just want to shoot targets with my girlfriend nothing for competition or hunting.

  9. I'm thinking about buying a compound bow with components, I have about 330 dollars to spend. Do you have any brands or bows to recommend? Thx.

  10. Honorable NUSensei, thanks for your passion and knowledge about archery. I constantly replay your videos. My question today about $$$ and a bow have mostly been answered. However, I plan to do recreational/backyard/hobby archery. So because of my height and draw length ( 6'3" & 31.5") a 62" Samick Polaris was just too hard to pull at 24 pounds…at least for shooting 1/2 or more of arrows.

    Question: 1) Would an ILF rig be too much over the top money wise for my archery? (Samick Avante or SF Axiom riser for $99 and SF Axiom limbs for $90 giving me a 70" bow) or would a Ragim Bow (non ILF) @ 70" do the job? 2) You state that dacron bow string should be ok. But is it a problem if my eventual bow choice's limbs can't handle fast flight strings?

    Thanks and please, keep sharing with us about archery.

  11. For practice limbs for a beginner, what poundage range would you recommend and why? (I'm 6'3" , 31.5" draw length, & I weight 325 lbs. with average upper body strength). I'm thinking 18-24# using a 25" riser and medium or long limbs. Thanks.

  12. I was wondering. If I buy an entry bow like a SF Optimo+ can i later upgrade to ILF limbs? Or it wont fit and should I buy an entirely new bow instead when i got better

  13. I'm not sure how common this is other places of the world, but here in germany you can actually rent a bow. You get an ok bow including a cheap sight, arrow rest, stabilizer and button. Of course you have to buy some stuff, like quiver, tab and the arrows. So, to get started you spend about 250€ of which are about 90 € rent for half a year. Also you can exchange the limbs for a small fee.

    This is imho the best option for beginners, if available.

  14. I am planning to buy the PSE compound bow stinger x RTS as beginning bow both for hunting and at the club good choice or not?

  15. Oh FFS, please move your jaws when you speak. don't just move your lips and not even part your teeth. it will improve ur enunciation.

  16. I'm more interested in traditional field archery with an English longbow, the best I've found are Bickerstaffe who have a very good reputation, their most expensive range is £650, their beginners bows being no more than £300. Is this good enough and would it be a bad idea for me to later make my own bows when I'm at a slightly more advanced level of experience?

  17. Would buying a used bow be a good idea. It wont be my first bow but it will be my first 600-900cad(I live in Canada dollars not good).

  18. I happened to go the used route. Idk about buying used from a store, but a reputable friend happened to be selling his old bow. I got a Samick Athlete riser, limbs, sight, plunger, chest guard, bow sling, finger tab, bow stringer, stand, and case for $300. I'm no expert, but if you have a trusted source to buy from, I would recommend it. My experience, at least, has been pretty good.

  19. I think ur right for sure.. I cant tell u how many times I chooses to get aa cheap whatever right at the moment and then later on just buying the more $$$ one that I should of just held off ,saving to get…….
    .

  20. hey nu sensei i have about $400 for a bow and am looking to get into Olympic archery so would you recommend I get an ILF bow with a $300 riser and $100 limbs or go $200 and $200

  21. If I wanna start with metal riser rather than wooden, it it ok for me or not… and is it called a riser or some thing else

  22. Okay as funny as it sound if I bought a metal riser and limbs would it be best for outdoor hunting or should I just get the vista / simick sage? hahaha

  23. what would be a good 200- 300 riser? because I searched on 3 rivers archery on risers but it was no help at all

  24. Thank you for the informative videos! Word is spreading they were recommended to me by someone starting in archery. I am starting very soon by shooting with club gear but I will be fortunate to have a budget of around $800 to start off with.

    With this budget I am still confused by what brands would be good to invest in and what i should avoid due to conflicting information on google. Can you recommend anything? I noted you mentioned the Win & win brand?

    I have spoken to the local archery shop and quiet frankly was not overly satisfied and found your videos more informative and not overwhelming.

  25. I have a cheap bow with a very light draw weight. Its a recurve bow. So do you think getting new wings (not sure the exact term) and a string would do? I want something with a little punch.

  26. For most people, I would highly recommend the Sebastian Flute Axiom+ limbs. They are about 90 USD, and will serve most new shooters for 2-4 years, unless you bump your draw weight up first, which is fine and easy to do. They are also ILF (international limb fit) compatible, so they will fit the vast majority of risers you might buy. They are good enough to compete with at some levels, but if you are a serious competitor, it might be time for an upgrade.

  27. lol sights, I never got using sights I usually just aim on impulse and if I know where the target is I can easily hit it by closing my eyes and then taking my aim (be it bow gun throwing knife or rock), i guess it's because when me and my friend's as kids played war most of the time I didn't have time to focus on aiming so I just learned to hit whatever I was looking at

  28. I just bought my first bow a week ago 🙂 I tested it and I love it! It's a Metal Recurve bow and I bought it for roughly 350$
    I'm very happy with it and it will do good for me for atleast 2 years 🙂

  29. hi Nu sensei, i'm new in archery and i like to have my own equipment. and i want to ask for your opinion. is the WW Rapido 68" set is a good bow for beginer like me? or just jump to WW CXT 68" like your bow? and is there any way to change your draw weight in a same bow like from 20lb to 30lb to 40lb and so on? and how to do that? thank you

  30. So, I am tall with long arms and the rental bows at the club are mostly 66" and only one 68". I just ordered a 70" so that I could be assured a bow my size every time I went for lessons, open shoot, and club competitions. 25" riser on clearance, long 24# limbs (plenty for 18m indoor target) about $110 USD delivered to Canadar.

    Inexpensive does not ALWAYS mean cheap, it should cover my needs for a year or two

    Go take lessons kids

  31. I use a camel-pak back as my quiver for hunting, my friend pulled all the materials and bladder out of it and had sewn on some dark camouflage that fits my area where I hunt and I have the chest clip around my waste the straps around my legs onto an angle where it looks much like a target quiver that you would see someone wearing. It does everything fine for me, I have the zipper tied at a certain point so it doesn't slide down from the arrows bouncing while I'm walking which also keeps them quite I shoot a long bow hence why I don't have one on the side of my bow.

  32. plz help me I want to get into Archery and I have seen a boy called sas robinhood LongBow if I am not mistaken it's hybrid boy and I have never used a boy I am 16 years old Draw Length: 22-29"
    Draw Weight: 30-35 lbs
    Bow Length: 59-1/4"
    Max Speed: 150 FPS
    the details of the bow plz tell me should I buy this?

  33. Nice video, honest opinion. But what are you really getting when paying 500$ more on a riser ? A 300$ riser nowadays has all the fittings and adjustments one needs so apart from a funky paintscheme, where does a 800$ riser make the difference ? Apart from in your budget… 😉

  34. i use a wood mongolian recurver bow that cost me 50 bucks on eBay it has 50ib draw weight good for practice if you can shoot with that you can shoot with anything

  35. Thank you very much for all your info. I have just purchased my first bow and did as you said with expensive riser, cheap limbs and will continue adding on as I go.

  36. The highest form of archery is traditional archery anyway since you have little to no help from gadgets or (for super-purists) "modern" materials that make archery SO much easier. All you have to rely on is pure skill (and the skill of the bowyer who made your bow, of course).

    Thus, NS' advice is solid. Get a good bow, gain proper form, then you can get decked out.

  37. I bought a PSE Razor back for my first bow. I love it . its recently been replaced. but I still use it and love it . it was only 99$

  38. I took up archery just a month ago & immediately got hooked. Finding these videos incredibly helpful. Keep up the good work.

  39. Hi! I've watched many videos here to see if archery might be a good hobby or sport to pick up. this is probably the most usefull video for beginning and the first purchases. thank you very much for this one! 🙂

  40. ummm, I will never consider buying a recurve that even comes close to 1000, regardless of if I had the money.

  41. it's still applicable over time… tq for sharing, and how about skills according to the quality of equipments? does low skill + high quality equipment = high skill + cheap equipments ?

  42. Im just a student who depend on allowance which 60 dollar a month and got myself a good new barnett vortex hunter

  43. I've bought a few bows now, and only been shooting for about 3-4 months. The one I am in love with now, is a Galaxy Crescent 25" riser that was $80 off of Lancaster, and its just around 2 lbs which is light. Hoyt 840 grand prix limbs that were $280, a $20 plunger, $20 arrow rest, a $30 balance rod with weight. The draw weight is 38 lbs which works for me. Started out with a cheapo bow from Wish, and cheap arrows, and that was fun, but only for a week or two. Got some better "real" arrows and that made a ton of difference. Then moved on to a nice Fleetwood wooden take down recurve which again was a huge step up. Shot my Cartel riser with Kaya limbs, which was OK, again going to the Hoyt limbs was a very different feel. The Kaya limbs are snappy and work well, just felt the Hoyt was smoother in a way. Anyhow, my 2 cents. Thanks NuSensei for great videos!

  44. I actually went to Swarovski Crystal Worlds museum/store and purchased an item under 30 euro. Challenge complete sensei. Also enjoyed a slice of pie and cappuccino in the cafe. I highly recommend it.

  45. Truth be known many bowyers build there risers on a CNC and at the end of the day it’s just a bent stick the arrow is probably more important than the bow. . A two hundred dollar bow does the same thing as a thousand dollar bow. But this guy is talking about Olympic style archery which most ordinary people won’t ever do

  46. Was checkin out takedown bow prices(good brands), kinda shocked at how expensive they were. Once currency exchange is taken to account, a roughly US$200 would cost well over 1000 for me.

  47. I recently bought Ragim Matrix Evo which cost me around 84€ which is around a bit over 100usd, and it works like a charm

  48. Thanks man. Im enlightened
    I bought
    Grans prix epik with wns limbs.
    Looking for wiawis sight and titan pin.
    Then will change later on.
    You gave me new hobby thx sensei

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