What’s Next for New Archers After the Basic Course ? (Part 1)

After completing the basic archery course, new archers would typically ask  : “What’s next?  Should I buy my own equipment?  What distance to shoot?”

I will try to provide some answers.

There are three types of bows that are commonly seen in Singapore’s Clubs : Olympic Recurve bows, Compound bows and Barebows.

Types of Bows

Olympic Recurve Bows


The majority of archers in Singapore are Olympic Recurve archers. It is the only type of archery that is represented in the Olympics.  Their setups can be quite elaborate.  The bows consist of three separate pieces, a metal riser and two limbs.  In addition, they are also fitted with a sight for aiming and a few carbon or metal tubes called stabilizers to make shooting more accurate.

Compound Bows


Compound bows use pulleys called cams to gain mechanical advantage.  The effort to draw back the arrow is not uniform.  After reaching a peak weight somewhere in the middle of the draw cycle, there is a let-off of draw effort of 70% – 80%.  e.g. A compound bow may have a peak weight of 50# but drops to 10# or less during the “hold and aim”.  The compound setups are also usually fitted with sights and stabilizers.



Barebows are the most basic setups of modern archery. No sights and stabilizers are put on the bows.  The archers rely on visual references (the arrow tip, arrow rest, side plate …) or their instinct in order to aim.  The bows used in basic training are usually barebows.

There are quite a few sub-categories of barebows.  Hunter bows both made from metal,  wood and other natural material, English longbows, American flatbows, Korean bows, Mongolian bows all can be  put into this category. Olympic recurve and compound bows mentioned above can also be shot as barebows without the sights and stabilizers installed.

Types of Archery Commonly Practised in Singapore

Target Archery


Olympic recurve and compound bows with sights are the more popular choices for target archery.  The objective of target archery is to score the highest accumulated  points shooting a predefined number of arrows at predefined target sizes and distances according to World Archery Federation (formerly known as FITA) rules.  Target archery competitions can be held indoor or outdoor.  The popular competitions in Singapore are the NUS Open, Singapore Polytechnics Open and Singapore Open (organized by Signapore AAS) .

In Singapore, compound target archers usually shoot the distances of 18m and 50m while Olympic recurve archers shoot the distances of 18m, 30m, 50m, 70m.

Field Archery

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Field archery is preferred by barebow archers.  The objective of field archery is to gain mastery to shoot a range of marked (known) and unmarked (unknown) distances.  Field archery get its inspiration from hunting and plinking in the field.   In addition to paper target faces used in target archery, paper target faces of animal and 3D animal targets are used as field archery targets.

Field archery competitions also involve accumulating points shoot over a numbers of targets. Target faces used for field archery competitions are easily distinguished from target archery target faces by their all black color rings.

Internationally, the two most popular competition formats for field archery are the 24 targets World Archery (WA) round and 28 targets International Archery Associaton (IFAA) round.

The range of distances shot by the field archers usually range from 5 m to 50m in 5m increments for the barebow archers and up to 60m for the compound archers under WA rules.  Shooting distances under IFAA Field are measured in imperial units.  The maximum distance shot under IFAA field round is 80 yards.

It will take typically new barebow archers about 9 months to one year of regular practices to shoot up to 50m comfortably.   However, to gain the mastery to shoot the range of distances required for the 24 targets marked and unmarked distances in a WA field competition may take considerably longer.

 – Article Contributed by Red Dragon


2 thoughts on “What’s Next for New Archers After the Basic Course ? (Part 1)

  1. Hello. I’m would like to start learning archery. Would you be so kind as to tell me how I can do that? I live in the East Coast.


  2. Hi,
    You can look through the AAS website ( http://archerysingapore.com/affiliated-members/ ) and contact the affiliated member associations nearest to you. The Potong Pasir CC Archery Club and Joo Chiat CSC Archery Interest Group are a couple you can contact for a start. Alternatively, you can drop a note to tbac.secretary@gmail.com and ask when our club is running the next beginners’ course. We wish you an enjoyable archery experience.


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