beachpeaz

Kids Bow Thoughts

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I happen to be at Cabela's a few weeks ago and found myself with some extra time.  My son (who is turning 8 in June) has begged me for a bow for the past year.  While killing that extra time, I perused the kids bows they offer.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I think Cabela's has the best choices, or that I would buy my bow there, it just got me thinking about the best choice.

 

They essentially offer 3 levels:

 

1) A starter bow ($30) that would appear to be good for maybe a summer, then toss it in the garbage

2) A mid-range "combo" that was around $150 that seemed a bit better (but still in that old school "long bow" style

3) An actual kids sized compound bow ($400)

 

I am leaning towards purchasing the actual compound bow (again, not necessarily from Cabela's.  I will be researching different brands first).  I am just not sold that that is the best starting point to learn from.

 

What have any of you experienced? 

 

Any thoughts on teaching a child and things you would or would not do?

 

(If it helps with answering my questions, I am an avid bowhunter and am competent in teaching, so that is a non-factor in my decision.  Also, money is a non-factor in my decision).

 

Thanks for your opinions.

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you want a bow that is adjustable and easy to repeat form.  not concerned about speed/performance or being too light of a draw weight.  bows with an adjustable rotating module for draw length are great.  otherwise you're buying modules often and then a new bow when the cam is at its max draw length.  also a really nice hard back wall is great.  helps them with muscle memory to repeat anchor points and keep good form.  another thing release aids are often too long.  spend extra to get one with a buckle for consistency and nylon web strap to the release head that can be shortened way up and let out as they grow.  big targets and focus on hitting it to build their confidence.  as they get older and have shot a little they might be inclined to develop bad habits.  once this happens start giving them less arrows even down to one.  they can shoot that one as many times as they want but it will put emphasis on making each shot count as they won't want to walk back and forth to the target for nothing.  all this work well for us adults too.

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I got my son (12yr old) the Bear Apprentice a few years ago, fully adjustable from 19-27 inch draw and 15-60 pound. I have to adjust the draw length two or three times a year because he grows so fast. I was shocked when I had the shop test the draw weight to see he was pulling 45+ last fall.

 

He is ready for a new one soon only because it looks so small when he shoots it.

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Diamond Infinite Edge. 13"-30" draw length and something like 8- 70 lbs. draw weight. He won't out grow it anytime soon. Right around $400.

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I was reading about a Cabela's branded bow the other day. I can't think of the name of it but most of their Bows I believe are made my Diamond (Bowtech). It was crazy adjustable. I believe the draw length was 18-30" and 15-70lbs. I was reading it thinking how perfect it would be for a "grow into" bow. I think any childrens bow is basically a throw away bow.

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Matthew Missions, he wont out grow the bow.

 

 

X-2. This is a great bow with draw length adjustment and poundage adjustable from 35 to 60 pounds. It will grow with him and can be used to hunt deer when he's ready.

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X-2. This is a great bow with draw length adjustment and poundage adjustable from 35 to 60 pounds. It will grow with him and can be used to hunt deer when he's ready.

 

 

It's doubtful many 8yr olds can manage 35lb draw weight. 15 was a struggle for mine, I had to help him draw the first couple years.

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The common theme of the answers I have received seem to be to definitely follow the path I originally noted and get an actual compound bow.

 

That was the main answer I was seeking an opinion on.

 

I wasn't sure if it was worth starting with the less expensive "long bow" style beginner series or just hop right into a modern bow.  Advantage / disadvantage of either direction.

My gut was leaning towards what you all confirmed.

 

Thank you!

 

Now for some more research.....

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I got my son (12yr old) the Bear Apprentice a few years ago, fully adjustable from 19-27 inch draw and 15-60 pound. I have to adjust the draw length two or three times a year because he grows so fast. I was shocked when I had the shop test the draw weight to see he was pulling 45+ last fall.

 

He is ready for a new one soon only because it looks so small when he shoots it.

 

I shoot a Bear Anarchy and I love it.  I was looking at Bear bow's for him (briefly).  I agree that the low draw weight is a good advantage for a beginner.  Having him struggle drawing won't help him at all.

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My daughter started with a longbow at 6yrs old and still shoots it at 7, but I did also get a kids compound.  She shoots both now.  You can get away with poor technique and shoot a compound pretty darn good.  Much tougher to do with a trad bow.  Thus, I am hoping she will become proficient with the longbow and then she can use whatever she wants.  At age 7, she knows what the term "expansion" means in terms of releasing a trad bow.  I suspect many compound only guys would not be familiar with the term even though back tension is still a proper component of compound shooting.  I can tell you that I have learned more about shooting a bow well in my trad pursuits than I did when I only shot compound.

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Good point Moog, I forget that I grew up shooting like that so I kind of take it for granted. My son shoots damn good for a rookie.

 

My 7yr old shoots a kids bow, she'll be ready for a compound soon unfortunately for me she can't use my boy's hand me downs because he is left eye dominate (but right handed) and she is not.

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Bowtech Diamond razor edge. Could use that bow for life if you wanted.

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                    ... " An eye for a eye ,, A tooth for a tooth "...

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I don't fear the average person having a firearm and not needing it... I have fear for the average person, that doesn't have a firearm when they need it the most.
 

 

 

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i would advise to go to a pro shop and get him fitted with a bow that he'll grow with and have the arrows fitted for him you can buy the acc  online although im sure they have ready to shoot packages  . some great suggestions on the post as far as models and brands .

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Diamond Infinite Edge. 13"-30" draw length and something like 8- 70 lbs. draw weight. He won't out grow it anytime soon. Right around $400.

Good choice. It's actually 5 to 70 lbs draw weight adjustable and is around $380.

If he remains excited to shoot he can grow with it. But, If in the future he doesn't follow Dad's love, It's still a good bow for resale.

 

That being said, it's a tough choice. $80 throw away or $380 good bow to grow with.

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RoadKill is Grinning

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One thing to remember is draw weight and length are related. If your child has a long draw even at the lowest poundage you will never see 5 lbs of draw, it may be 15-20 lbs which will be too much for a 7 or 8 year old. My 11 year old daughter has a mission menace turned all the way down and set to 20" draw and has some difficulty drawing.

My recommendation would be a round cammed bow, long bow style. My daughter started with a bear panda and shot very well with it. Check out the bear scout for 35$ he will have a blast with it!

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my 7 year old started and still shoots recurve, doesnt seem to be interested in compounds to much

 

my 4 year old started on a compound ( Diamond atomic) and he uses fingers. the atomic should last him quite a while

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Aside from taking him in and having a bow fitted, I have to agree go with the Infinite Edge. You get a lot more bow then what the price suggests.

The only things people say bad about them is the back wall is a bit soft, and you may want to get a better rest then what comes with the package.

Wal-Mart has the Pro Package version starting at around $300 if you are willing to order it.

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Thanks again everyone.

 

It has further confirmed my decision to stick with a compound bow. 

 

I am going start researching a few of the ones suggested on here.

 

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The common theme of the answers I have received seem to be to definitely follow the path I originally noted and get an actual compound bow.

 

That was the main answer I was seeking an opinion on.

 

I wasn't sure if it was worth starting with the less expensive "long bow" style beginner series or just hop right into a modern bow.  Advantage / disadvantage of either direction.

My gut was leaning towards what you all confirmed.

 

Thank you!

 

Now for some more research.....

Beachpeaz, 

 

If you wish to start him with a longbow, perhaps go to "Black Rhino" bows.  Their website is very informative and they specialize exclusively in low draw weight longbows and equipment for children.  

 

Their longbows are specifically designed in overall length and draw lengths for children.  I think they may have recently introduced a recurve as well.

 

I purchased one of their 29# bows to practice my form.  It is excellent quality.  

 

You can start him off with wood children's arrows, but quickly progress to thin carbons.  Cheap wood arrows warp quickly and frustrate a child (and even adults) when the arrows fly inconsistently.

 

Regardless of what you, or better he, chooses, be it compound, longbow or recurve, please give him a chance to get started off right with good quality, properly fitted equipment that will not cause frustration.  It will pay off in the long run and allow both of you to enjoy yourselves.

 

P.s., Just because a bow is a longbow, or recurve for that matter, it does not mean it is less expensive.  Quality counts, a "less expensive longbow" is just as worthless and a frustration as a cheaply made less expensive compound.

Edited by Jaeger

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Good choice. It's actually 5 to 70 lbs draw weight adjustable and is around $380.

If he remains excited to shoot he can grow with it. But, If in the future he doesn't follow Dad's love, It's still a good bow for resale.

That being said, it's a tough choice. $80 throw away or $380 good bow to grow with.

I bought my 13 year old daughter a used pink Diamond Infinite Edge a couple years ago for around $225 shipped. She really likes it. The sight and rest that come on it are cheap. The rest is ok to start off but I replaced it with a whisker biscuit. I don't think many will argue that the whisker biscuit is the best rest you can put on a kids bow. I have used a biscuit on my hunting bow for the last 15 years. I would recommend a single pin sight for a kids bow. It will be a while before your son has to worry about shooting longer distances where more than one pin is needed.

I picked up a used Mission Mennace bow for my 11 year old son a couple years ago for about $160 shipped. Mission still makes this bow I believe but they changed the name of it. It is a nice bow but the draw weight doesn't adjust down as low as the Infinite Edge. My son had a hard time pulling it back for a while. I put a whisker biscuit and a single pin sight on this bow as well. Once he was big enough to pull it back he has had a ton of fun shooting it. Overall I have been happy with both of these bows but I think I would say I like the Infinite Edge a little better.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting your son started:

1. Figure out if he is left or right eye dominant. I'm right handed but left eye dominant. I shot right handed when I was younger but switched to shooting left handed about 20 years ago. I shoot so much better left handed. My kids both shoot left handed. My son is left eye dominant. I kind of pushed my daughter into shooting left handed just because I had an extra left handed sight and rest to put on her bow. Lol.

2. Be prepared that your son might get frustrated if he doesn't shoot well at first. Both of my kids have gotten frustrated and wanted to quit shooting. You aren't going to be shooting bullets out of a kids bow that has a low draw weight between 5-25 pounds. I gave my kids some old arrows I had that are pretty heavy and 2-3 inches too long. I realize these arrows aren't ideal for their set ups but they only shoot 10-15 yards. My kids draw lengths have changed every year sometimes more than once a year. When they quit growing I'll make them up some arrows that will better fit their draw lengths. My kids just shoot for fun, they have a long way to go before they are ready to bow hunt. Start your son out at 5 yards or so and keep it fun for him. My kids have a 2x2 foam target. They get bored shooting it after about 30 shots. Change it up, my kids have the most fun trying to shoot at a water bottle, soda can, and balloons.

3. Explain to your son how important good consistent form is to shooting a bow accurately. My kids struggle with this mostly because they are at that age where "they know everything" lol. Another thing to think about is if he will shoot fingers or with a release. My kids both shoot fingers. I know shooting fingers isn't a bad thing but I know my kids would shoot better if they tried a release.

4. Make sure your son knows that you should never draw a bow back unless there is an arrow on the string. The day I took my daughter to my local shop to get a new rest she dry fired her bow in the shop. Lol. We were lucky the draw weight was set pretty low that it didn't hurt the bow. I guess we were lucky she did it at the shop. The owner checked it over and had it fixed in less than 5 minutes.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you aren't a member on Archery Talk yet, check it out. Archery Talk is my favorite forum and has an unbelievable classified section. I have been a member there for about 10 years. I bought both of my kids bows there and I have bought 4-5 bows for myself there. I shoot left handed so it is impossible to find a good selection of left handed bows to try at local shops. The only new bow I ever bought was a new left over bow. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used bow on Archery Talk. Check out the sellers feedback and you shouldn't have any problem. You should be able to find a used Infinite Edge there for between $225-$300 shipped and you will probably find one with an upgraded sight and rest.

Good luck

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Each of my twin 12yr old twin boys have there own Mission Craze, it has a wide adjustment range and they can hunt with it when they are ready.


09/11 Never Forget

Bowtech Comander 75lb, Elite 65lb

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I teach archery, very often kids. Mission or diamond are two companies that Id recommend.

Other companies also make self adjustable/grow with you bows but those two are a place to start.

Remember to get eye dominance tested so you get the proper bow

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