I’m into archery now.

Yes. Another new hobby. In addition to Linux, making a home media center PC and who knows what else, I’ve taken an interest in archery lately.

I was given a voucher to take part in a beginner’s course at a nearby archery club, and over the past few weeks I’ve taken in what I can to learn about the sport and the competitions and stuff. I’ve found it quite interesting – it’s very similar to shooting guns in that you have to steady yourself physically and mentally, but it’s also extremely similar to golf because you have to think about your stance, pose, control, etc. It’s most similar to golf in the way you can get sucked into the trap of thinking that more expensive equipment will ‘make you better’.

Anyway,  as you can see from the long list of hobbies I’ve tried (at the top right of the web page), I’m always on the lookout for new things to try and experience. There’s still quite a lot of things I want to try out, but I have to limit myself and decide whether I want to TRY something (like skydiving or bungee jumping, meaning renting or borrowing the equipment), or whether I want to really DO something (like RC cars, meaning buy all the stuff needed to do it).

At the moment I don’t know whether I want to continue TRYing archery or go out and DO it. I’m definitely leaning towards DOing it properly though.

I want to join the archery club, because that means I can use the club equipment for a couple of months after the beginner’s course is over. That would allow me to build up my shooting skill and try out different strengths of bows before going out and buying a bow of my own.

The trick of buying a bow is that you shouldn’t get something that is the wrong fit and strength for you (which is kind of like getting a set of golf clubs that are way too long for you and also really heavy). Then in addition to that you have to get arrows that are the right length for you, plus the rest of the kit: quiver, finger tab, arm bracer, etc. Brand new you could spend hundreds of dollars/pounds, but getting stuff used saves about half the price. From what I understand, though, the ‘correct’ length of arrows doesn’t change if you’re an adult, so even if you move up to a better bow with stronger limbs you won’t need a new set of arrows unless you’re trying a set that are a vast improvement on what you have.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting better and hopefully doing a couple of tournaments during the summer. Target archery is what the club does mostly, that’s Olympic-style where you stand on a firing line and shoot at still targets. I also want to try out field archery, which takes its cue from hunting and has targets arrayed off a path you have to walk, and the targets aren’t marked for range, which makes it as close to hunting as you can get in an organized competition.

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