What does archery cost?

  • Archery like any sport can cost as much as you want, but compared to many sports it need not be too expensive.
  • Your initial costs.  The costs for a beginner’s course with NAC can be found here. Once you have successfully completed your course, and you have decided to join our club you will need to pay joining fees to Archery GB, the East Midlands Archery Association and the Northamptonshire Archery Association in addition to the club fees. You can find details of these fees here. The largest proportion of these costs go to ArcheryGB to cover insurance and other benefits, you can read more about this here.
  • Shooting Fees. When you shoot at NAC you will also need to pay a shooting fee which varies depending on where the club is shooting and the cost of the venue we hire. You can either choose to pay as you go (Adults £3. Juniors £2. Family group £10) or pre pay these fees (which can work out cheaper in the longer term). Details of the pre pay costs are shown here.
  • Bow Hire for Newbies. During you first few weeks of shooting you may hire a bow and arrows from the club for £1 a session.
  • DO’s and DON’TS. Once you have decided that you would like to buy your own equipment, there are a few do’s and do nots. Firstly DO NOT rush out and buy equipment, secondly DO ask for help from an experienced archer about what to buy and DO set yourself a budget. DO NOT  grab so-called bargains on auction sites. DO DISCUSS your needs and budget with an experienced archer or coach.
  • Your first own bow. Most new archers take up with a recurve bow to start off with, and may change later to a compound bow (can be very expensive), or go to a more traditional longbow or similar. The recurve bow generally is a middle of the road bow between simplicity and VERY hi-tech engineering. This is the style of bow shot in the Olympic Games.
  • Recurve bows are made up of limbs, a handle (or riser at it is sometimes called), a string and a sight. This makes up the basic bow, but other accessories are usually added later as the archer becomes more experienced. Basic take down bows start at around £60, whilst better bows are sold as individual components. Basic Recurve handles cost from around £90 (some cheaper – some more).  One that would see an archer shooting up to a good competition standard would cost around £120 – £180 whilst a super duper one would cost in excess of £500. (The links shown to bows etc.  are for illustration only. NAC does not recommend any specific shops.)
  • Limbs to fit on the handle set the poundage of the string you are pulling, and new adult archers usually start with a low poundage of 20 – 26 pounds. They will however fairly quickly build up this poundage as they become more experienced and build up the right muscles, and 30 – 40 pounds will be the norm for most men. Most top Korean archers draw around 40-44 pounds whilst larger built top European men will draw anything up to 50 lbs. This means that your first sets of limbs need not be the most expensive as you will probably be replacing them later. A reasonable set of basic limbs starts at around £50, a good set will cost around £90 – £200, whilst a top quality set will cost in excess of £500. Some archery shops run a limb exchange programme where you can trade your limbs in as you increase your poundage at no extra cost. A good basic string will cost around £8, whilst an arrow rest will cost as little as £1.
  • Other add-ons. A reasonable sight would cost about £50 plus. Buying a good sight for around £100 (such as the Shibuya Dual Click) would mean no further investment in this item later. The sights take a lot of vibration and really cheap sights can have problems. As you gain experience you may wish to add such things as “V” bars, long rods and clickers. A long rod is likely to be the first “add-on” and these are available from about £17, but you can pay up to £200. The sky is the limit, but probably not for your wallet!
  • Arrows. A good basic set of arrows will cost around £50 to £60.
  • Accessories. Small, but essential accessories are – arm guard, finger tab, quiver and bow stand. £40 to £60
  • Archery shop details can be found on our links page.
  • Buying second hand. If you buy second hand, you can get some good deals, but make sure you have the right advice and know who you are buying from. Many archers in a club will have good kit that they may no longer use. Ask around the club.
  • Summary –
Item Cost
Joining fees variable according to category – see above
Weekly shooting fees £3 per session adults, £2 per session for juniors unless you pre-pay – see above.
Bow hire £1 per session
Purchase of good bow handle £80 – £180
Purchase of basic limbs £50 – £120
Reasonable set of arrows £60
Sights £50 – £120
String £5 – £10
Long Rod £16 – £50
Finger Tab, arm guard and quiver and bow stand (all small essential accessories) From around £45 – £80
Bow case/ arrow tube to transport and protect your kit £20 – £50
Total Initial Basic Equipment Cost (not including fees etc) From around £320 to £650