Is Archery Bad For You? Hidden Risks and Tips on How To Avoid Them

So you want to know if archery is bad for you or your loved ones? Then you came to the right place. In this article, you will see a complete breakdown of all of the risks you face when starting archery. So, that you are able to make an informed decision if you should start archery or not.

The key takeaway of this entire article is:

As a general rule, archery is incredibly safe. Target archery as a competition or simply a hobby is extremely safe, with statistically very few injuries compared to other sports. If the archer is shooting with the correct technique chances of injury are extremely small.

Be careful though!

While it is extremely safe there are some common injuries and mistakes that can cause a beginner archer some pain in the forearm. Don’t worry, I’ll explain what that means later on.

If you want a complete breakdown of common injuries and negative side effects so you can protect yourself then read on.

The Reasons Why Archery Can Be Bad

You might be thinking:

“The goal of target archery is to propel a pointy thing at high speed at a target far away. So how can that not be dangerous?”

Well, that’s true. It is one of the points I addressed here.

There are pointy things flying at high speeds. And with any activity, there is a possibility of you doing physical damage to your body. There is a thing called »archers elbow« a name given to an elbow injury found commonly among archers.

So, high-speed pointy objects, and injuries to your tendons and muscles.

You will see a list of the most common archers’ injuries down below and how to prevent them. 

What else? Aside from there being some risk of physical injury archery isn’t exactly free. You won’t go bankrupt doing it but there are some initial costs. The first one will be the initial cost of archery lessons.

You can delay buying a bow at first until you see if the hobby suits you. Most archery ranges will provide you with the gear you need to train at first. Some offer a chance to rent it out to you.

So now pay attention.

I’m going to take you through all of the research and analysis I did before starting Archery as a hobby.

You might be researching for yourself or you are doing research for someone you care about and want to make them safe, no matter what you will find all you need here.

In detail.

Let’s break down the negatives of archery starting with …

The Cost of Archery

Let’s begin with the first one. I called my local archery range and where I’m from it costs 140 for archery lessons. It might seem a lot and it is if you are a student but they include a 4-month all-access pass to the shooting range to practice.

After that, they ask for around 90 bucks for the entire 12-month pass to practice.

Which is less than 8 bucks a month.

I gave a call to other ranges in the US and the price is relatively consistent. It’s common to see offers for 10-dollar day passes or annual passes for a hundred dollars.

Prices for an annual pass at a local archery shooting range, therefore, range from 90 to 100 dollars.

Regarding bows, as I said a lot of archery teachers offer rental bows. With most, you won’t spend over 20 dollars a day.

Heads up!

When you graduate to owning your own bow, then it will cost a bit more. Well, not a bit more but a lot more.

You can get the very basic archery sets for 60 to 70 dollars off of Amazon. And it will do the job. There are better ones out there of course, which do range from 500 dollars to 800 dollars.

So, yeah.

A nice chunk of change. But they sure as hell look cool!

The bright spot is once you buy it and if you protect it a nice bow can last you for years. And after the first investment in your bow, arrows, and a forearm guard, there is not much for you to pay anymore.

The Time It Takes To Learn Archery

This can be another drawback for some. And here it can depend on your intent. How well do you want to get?

If you want to learn how to fire a bow consistently with proper form (as you should), you can get there in one to two months. You won’t be perfect or elite level. But that’s okay since that was never your intent.

You do it for your own amusement or to calm down.

If you want to take it up a notch and actually compete then one to two years, with regular practice is the way to go.

So here is the drawback … 

It takes time. And you will feel clumsy at first. Weird even. Your muscles are operating in a weird way you are not used to. You will miss, mistakes will be made. And you will go through periods where it sucks.

It’s okay to suck when you are at a suck level. Embrace the suckiness and you will master this drawback of archery.

When you accept the fact that you suck you move on from mistakes faster and therefore you learn quicker. Comes in handy in other areas of life as well.

If you happen to be in the US simply click here and you can insert your ZIP code and you will find an archery club that is closest to you.

The Alone Factor

This one is quite easy. There can be other people at the range with you. But they are focused on their own thing. So you are alone there with your thoughts and with the task at hand.

And while you can talk with others they are likely busy focusing on the target …

If you are more team sport-oriented this might not sound like a good time if you need constant interaction with teammates.

That’s not a thing here.

The bright side is there is plenty of socializing that happens before and after the practice.

How You Can Make Archery Unnecessarily 10x More Dangerous

In one sentence. You can make the entire discipline more dangerous for yourself and those around you by being an egotistical jerk and not following directions given to you by people with more experience.

Let’s start off easy.

  1. You can not wait for other archers to finish. Let’s assume, you fire all of your arrows before anyone else does. An idiot would immediately walk over to the target and collect his arrows to start firing again.

That’s a big no-no. It will likely get you kicked out really fast. You wait, until everyone at the range is finished. Then together you walk to the targets to collect your arrows.

That is how you avoid the fast-flying pointy things I mentioned earlier.

2. This one tends to be the most common. And its improper form, which can stem from improper focus. You can ignore your instructor’s instructions regarding form and focus and simply do your own thing.

This will lead to improper form. Which when done over and over again will create imbalances, tendonitis, string slaps and generally will make your archery experience more dangerous and unpleasant.

If you add to that a bow with too high of a draw weight it’s a recipe for a disaster. So nice job (a little sarcasm).

List of Most Common Injuries in Archery and How to Prevent Them

If you want to avoid unnecessary injuries then pay attention. Here you will see the most common injuries and generally bad things associated with archery. You will also see that they are preventable.

Archers Elbow – Tendonitis

I struggle with this one. It’s a pain. This is a condition where the tendons in your elbow get inflamed from repeated movement. If you sense anything close to archers elbow STOP immediately.

Where the Pain is Found in Archers Elbow

Contact your doctor right away for further instructions.

This can be avoided up to a point if you don’t overdo it on your bows draw weight. The higher the draw weight the higher the arrow speed essentially. But no one is being judged on the speed of their arrow.

Also, you can observe proper stance in the beginning, and with repeated practice, you will have the correct stance ingrained in you.

String slap

Let me show it to you.

An Example of “String Slap”

Looks cool, doesn’t it? Of course not. It’s easily avoidable with proper form and of course an armguard.

If the bowstring is slapping your forearm consistently, have someone check your form and stance and obviously get yourself some armguard. It’s a cheap and effective way to avoid looking like you just came out of a fight every time your done practicing.

It’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.

Damage to your hands

If your fingers are holding the bowstring for far too long or incorrectly your fingers can get cut. Avoid this by learning proper technique and if it’s still a problem then you can get archery glows.

It eliminates the problem altogether.

The other type of damage that can happen is cuts to your hands. Even if you’re doing target archery the arrow is sharp and if you are not being careful a cut can happen.

These tend to be the most common occurrences in archery.

All of them are avoidable if you observe proper form and technique. For the first two months or so the target is not important your technique is. Once your muscle memory knows the correct stance and forms your chances of any injury are greatly reduced.

The other couple of injuries are easily solvable with gloves and an armguard.

In Conclusion

Archery has a few drawbacks. I did my best to present them here, so you can make an informed decision.

Archery has a few drawbacks the cost of equipment, training costs, and the possibility of getting hurt. Even with all that it’s statistically one of the safest sports out there for you to practice.

With that said, archery offers immense benefits to any archer dedicating his time to archery. If you wish to see a detailed breakdown of what archers do then click here for a detailed article on that.

It does not put a strain on your body like running, martial arts, etc.

To put this in perspective. In the 1988 Olympics, Denise Parker won a medal. At the age of 15. She competed with people a decade older than her. I’m telling you to put this in perspective. It does not put a huge strain on your body when done correctly.

So to answer the question. Is archery bad? Yes, it can be, it has its drawbacks but the risk associated is minimal and can be reduced even more by observing the correct form.

So if you are considering starting or want to enroll someone you care about I suggest you go for it.

That’s all from my end, thank you for reading, and feel free to check out any other posts we have here.

My recommendation is that you take a look at how popular is Archery by clicking here.

Take care.

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