There is an abundance of girl role models wielding bows. My daughter isn’t old enough for the Hunger Games and is probably outgrown a bit of Brave. I suspect that she showed interest in archery because of The Chronicles of Narnia. It was nearing her birthday so I kicked around the idea of taking her to an archery range. I hadn’t shot since my teens and I was just a recreational enthusiast. Her mom thought it would be a good dad-daughter activity, so I called around. How old does she need to be? The range consensus was probably eight. Seemed sort of strange, but we headed to No Limits.
The first thing you’ll notice at nearly every range is that archery is first and foremost for sportsmen or hunters. Unless your decorating motif is log cabin, you probably won’t be near this much taxidermy outside of your nature museum. Your kid needs to be able to process death, for sport or food. The second thing you’ll notice is that compound bows dominate. Obviously this is related to hunting. What is a compound bow? It looks like a smaller bow with pulleys on it. The pulleys fulfil their classical physics role and multiply work. For the bow, they certainly shoot much faster. I thought we should start old school and that is with a recurve bow. I don’t know what the recurve means, but they look like the bows of fiction and fairy tales. We also got arm guards, fingerless gloves, and some arrows.
Our instructor went through some key things – namely safety. I appreciate this even though it delays you from shooting. Not everyone shoots the same targets or distances. How is that safe? Well everyone shoots from the same line and the targets are brought closer to the less-experienced archers.
She struggled drawing the string back, but got better and when the arrows flew her smile lit up. We will be doing this again.