Equipment & Bow Styles

Buying Equipment

We strongly recommend that new members do not buy major items too soon, such as a bow, especially for kids. If you work on your technique you will improve your bow fitness and your draw length will probably increase too.  That is the time to buy your first set-up.  But please talk to us first as we are happy to guide you through what can be a tricky process, and possibly save you a lot of money in the process. 

We do recommend that you invest in the less expensive items – arrows, quiver, finger tab, finger sling.  The Club has good quality entry level carbon and wood arrows that new members can buy.

Looking After Your Equipment

You will need to do a bit of work on your equipment from time to time, for example, the bow string needs to be waxed on a regular basis. Fletches fall off arrows and nocks break. Learning how to do this simple maintenance will save you money. And having a few spares of critical bits and pieces at the ready can have you up and running again quickly. See Tool Kits & Maintaining Your Equipment.


We encourage you to buy yourself a set of sensibly priced arrows soon after joining the Club to use as you work towards buying your first bow.   Once you have purchased your bow you will then want to get new arrows that you can ‘tune’ to the bow.  Choosing the best arrows for your new bow can be complicated and we can help you with that.  In the interim, see the MPB Guide to Arrows.

Bow Styles at MPB


A recurve bow is identifiable by a riser (the bit in the middle you hold on to) with, typically, detachable limbs with curved tips at either end that increase power of the bow, the smoothness of the release and the speed of the arrow.  The recurve bow can be shot in all events and is the only equipment currently eligible for Olympic competition.


The compound bow is the most recent evolution of archery.  It is faster and more powerful and therefore more accurate than a recurve bow.   It has multiple strings and a system of pulleys at either end of the bow.  It is shot in all events at the Club but is not eligible for the Olympics.


Modern longbows go back to the origins of archery.  They became a feared ‘weapon of mass destruction’ in the hands of English armies in medieval times.  Longbows are not as complicated looking as modern recurve or compound bows, and are less accurate.  They are simple and don’t feature most of the additional equipment featured on recurve and compound bows.

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