Hey guys, this is NUSensei. Many people would know, that getting into archery can be quite expensive. We’re talking about buying a bow, buying arrows, buying accessories, lessons, range fees, membership fees, and suddenly this impulse turns into a much bigger commitment, which isn’t a bad thing by the way. But many people will probably want a nice teaser, before they get into archery as a long term commitment. So it’s not unusual for a lot of people to think about getting the cheapest possible bow online. And that’s typically a fiberglass recurve. Most fiberglass recurves are designed for young people, like kids, but you can also find adult sized fiberglass bows. And they’re really cheap. We’re thinking about the Barnett “Sportflight”, which you can buy from Walmart for 50 bucks. You can find the Barnett “Lil Sioux” for like 30 bucks. That’s a whole kit, you can get the bow, a couple of arrows and some other things. So these can be very attractive for young shooters and adults who want to try archery for the lowest possible cost. This video will look at youth bows and help you decide, whether they are the right option for you. The particular bow I’m reviewing is the “Martin Cobra”. This was donated by Archery Supplies in South Australia. Archery Supplies sells the Martin Cobra for 65AUS$ Martin is reputable brand and many well known bow manufacturers such as “Bear” will manufacture similar junior bow kits. The Martin Cobra kit is typical of pretty much every junior bow. It promotes itself with being “the perfect bow for young archers”. Specifically aimed at ages 6 and up. In fact there are different available sizes, this one being the 44inch Cobra model. This 9 piece kit has everything needed to get straight into doing some archery. It has a small fiberglass bow with an attached wrist sling a simple plastic finger tab, an arm guard, a small belt quiver – belt not included – and two fiberglass arrows. You might be wondering “Hold on, that’s seven items!” The other two items are actually the two targets printed on the back. Cheeky. The bow itself is a standard fiberglass bow. If you used one, you’ve used them all. Essentially it functions as a bow, but don’t expect it to perform very consistently or competitively. The string is made from paracord which is another sign that you shouldn’t try to use this as a serious bow. The arrows are generic and feature blunt metal points which is appropiate for young children. The vanes are plastic, which isn’t great for shooting off a bow like this, but again, for children it doesn’t really matter. The string doesn’t have a nocking point, this means that the arrow will slide up and down the string which can make it hard to consistently nock the arrow and shoot straight. You can add one yourself or leave it out as your child probably isn’t going to worry too much. However this is probably going to be the main reason why the arrows will fly randomly. The bow has a very low draw weight: ten to twenty pounds, depending on how long your arms are. as an adult using a short bow, I’m going to reach the high end easily. Now if you want to shoot at these targets, these bows are very low pound they’re about 10 pounds at full draw, at my draw, it’s about 20 pounds. But for most kids you can get away with using something like a cardboard box you stick the target onto a cardboard box if you feel like you need a bit more padding to stop the arrows going through then you put in things like old clothes, just pack a box full of old clothes and that should be sufficient for a backyard target for your six-year-old. Do bear in mind that this is not a toy, you can do damage with it so make sure you’re not hitting people, pets or property. Now using this bow is actually a lot more fun I thought it would be! It’s like…I guess when you spend a lot of time shooting high-end equipment we have your Hoyts and Win&Wins and Fred Bears and all of that you kind of forget what it’s like to start out and shoot your very first youth bow and I didn’t start with one of these, but going back down to one of these is actually quite challenging It’s very light, but shooting light bows in general is very fun and relaxing And again, I think if you are a sort of person who gets a big thrill out of shooting heavy draw weights then the light draw weight can catch you off, but it’s also just fun, there’s no stress, you’re not trying to fight the bow, it’s really just wham! and shoot. So it’s actually not a bad bow. Perfomance-wise, don’t expect to hit tight groupings. even at 3 meters or 5 meters the arrows and the bow don’t match. they’re mainly there just get you shooting in the general direction of the target but don’t expect to group with it. Now I’m not a bad shot- I’m not a great shot- I’m not a bad one neither but you know trying to aim the same point just don’t expect the arrow to go to the same place. Couple of reasons: One, there’s no nocking point on the string. You can put one on, but that’s a big variation because the way that the grip works there’s a bit of an incline so sometimes you go up , sometimes you go downwards that’s something you can remedy, but that’s one factor behind arrows going everywhere. But more importantly the fiberglass arrows aren’t spined correctly, they’re just arrows not really meant to come out very cleanly and not from a bow like this there’s just too much variation for an arrow to fly properly, so you will find a lot of fishtailing, so even though you are trying to hit the middle, you won’t. And that’s actually the main reason why you shouldn’t be getting one of these as a serious bow. Because it won’t allow you to grow. I’ve heard some people mention that maybe they might buy one of these to practice form yeah, you can practice form with these bows even the paracord string is actually not that bad. It’s not Dacron and it’s not Fastflight but for this bow it behaves the way a bowstring should, so there’s actually the right kind of stretch and flex, but it’s not as consistent. But that isn’t the point. As I said before, if you look at practicing form then this…I just shouldn’t recommend this, the reason is while yes, you can practice form with this kind of bow it’s not going to reward you for good form. The bow itself is a bottleneck. The arrows and the bow itself and the string won’t allow you to achieve tight groupings no matter how hard you try, no matter how good your form is, you simply won’t get a consistency with this bow. So I would only really recommend this for young kids. I’m talking about this 6-year-old, 8-year-old, 10-year-old maybe the ones, who… I think as a parent or as someone buying a bow as a gift for kids you have to judge how serious they are likely to take the sport. the comparison is whether you want to go for a one-off 20$ archery lesson or buy a 20$ kit, that’s really the decisive factor. I’m not going to gender-stereotype here, it’s mostly what you think is most appropiate for the child. If you can sense that certain children are going to be obsessed with archery then you might want to actually skip the youth bow stage, take them to the range and get them interested in their own kit. I’m thinking about this all right so you’re having the choice between spending 30 bucks for or 100 bucks on this. Again, that’s a pretty big difference, this is THE difference, okay I know this is more expensive, I know this one’s gonna cost more in accessories and arrows, but this will last for years! This may be the only bow you buy if you’re not thinking about doing competetive shooting, but this bow will enable you to achieve far more. This can be your youth bow, I mean this is big, I know, but you can buy the 54inch model, you can buy much smaller versions, much lighter versions. But a bow like this, a typical take down recurve will cost you around 100US$, 130US$. just for the bow itself and this is fun to use. Kids will go “Wow this is real bow, this is toy!” And that’s a huge determining factor. If your child is likely to really get a kick out of using this then I think it’s worth going for this. This is something you can take to the range, you can learn with, you can grow with. And as you become better in archery, you replace the limbs, you might replace the bow, but it’s something which feels like you’re doing real archery. This is definitely a toy feel. It’s not a toy, but it feels like one. it has that plastic look and feel, it’s bright and colourful. Now if your child is someone who wants to do a bit of shooting for fun something to take to the backyard for 15 maybe 20 minutes just to pop a target, yeah, then this is the right thing to do, because If you know your child is unlikely to take archery seriously and you don’t want to spend hundreds on bow they won’t use, then this is the design for you. But if you are going for the serious archer, someone who is likely to go outdoors with you someone who is likely to spend a long time taking archery seriously and has a way to grow, then I’ll just skip this step There are a couple of frustating factors with these bows. Like I said before the arrows don’t come out very cleanly, so don’t expect these bows to perform precisely, And for people who get rewarded by hitting bulls-eyes and shooting really accurately then this bow won’t really achieve this. It’s more like “I can shoot” rather than “I can shoot accurately” Couple of other things as well, firstly because it is shot off the shelf you may find that the arrows – especially if you don’t nock it correctly – will come very close to your hand. the plastic vanes may graze against your hand which may cause discomfort especially for a young archer. The fact that you only have two arrows is also a slight frustration. At least for me, I’m used to shooting six arrows, or ten arrows. Kids have infinite energy, so two arrows is okay. They shoot, they go and get them and then shoot again, so that’s okay. But if you want them to shoot for a long bit of time, then that may be something which can be frustating The tab by the way is absolute garbage, this is like the worst tab I’ve used. It’s just like…it’s not leather, it’s not fur, it’s all plastic. It feels wrong you can’t get it around the string. I reckon this will crack and break within a few weeks or months. So overall I think the youth fiberglass bows do okay for what they’re meant to be for. I would still rather, if I had the option, go to an introduction session at an archery club or range. Because that would give the full rundown of what archery is. You’ll use real equipment, real arrows you get trained by instructors who are qualified. So it’s safe and it’s very immersive, it’s very challenging. And that might be the same cost as one of these bows. This kind of bow is good, if you don’t have access to a range, if you have a young child who might not be interested in archery in the long term, It’s something you keep around, in the back room, in the back yard, to have the occasional fun. But I think the older you get, I’m thinking once you reach ten years old you don’t really want to use these bows because it frustrates you. You know you can do better, so you don’t want to use this bow, because it doesn’t feel satisfying, because you’re not hitting gold. If you’re not doing it for that reason then it’s okay, it’s like plunk target and miss half the time but if there’s any inkling that you want to take archery seriously then don’t buy this bow. Anyway, this is NUSensei, hope you found this interesting, thank you for watching and I’ll see you next time.