Last Updated on
Indoor Archery – An Introduction
Depending where you live, you might find the nights are getting longer and it’s getting colder. The result is that you will not be able to see your arrows and also find it too cold to shoot. Luckily there are many places where you can shoot your arrows indoors, allowing you to enjoy archery throughout the year.
The main difference with shooting indoors is the distance in which you can shoot at, more often than not you don’t have the space that you would have outside. Usually you will be shooting at distances of between 15 and 20 metres. Depending on the range/club you might also find your targets are made of a different material.
Indoor Archery Competitions
One of the great things about Indoor archery is the competitions, taking part in them can really help improve your skill. If you are looking to compete then the National Field Archery Association run a number of indoor events throughout the year.
You will typically shoot at 20 yards at one of two targets, one is a three spot target and the other is a five spot target. Depending on the competition you will usually shoot 3 or 4 arrows per round, with a total of 30-60 arrows shot.
3 Benefits Of Indoor Archery
Some archers only shoot during the dryer/warmer months, which means they are potentially missing out on an extra few months worth of shooting. There are some great benefits to finding an indoor range, below are the top 3;
Improve Your Archery All Year Round
Concentrate On Improving Your Form
If you have ever taken a break from shooting, you will no doubt have experienced some inconsistency when you start shooting again. This happens even if you have been shooting in tight groups before taking a break. If you are able to continue shooting all year you will be able to not only keep on top of your form but also continue to improve your strength and shoot even better.
Depending on where you shoot, there can be a lot of distractions outside. The distance is a lot more which can be scary to many new archers. If you are shooting at a outdoor range then you might also have to shoot against the wind, in the rain or even with the sun shining in your eyes.
Some ranges are also shared with public walkers, so you have to be even more wary of people walking in the way of your target.
When I teach people archery, I always encourage them to have at least 4-5 sessions indoors first. I do this as it allows me to help teach them the right form straight away, as they don’t need to content with outside issues such as the weather. Since the distance is shorter, you are focusing more on your overall form and in the long run this will improve both your scores inside and outside.
Gearing Up For Indoor Archery
Moving from outdoors to indoor Archery, can be a great time to go and get yourself some new gear. Below are 4 pieces of equipment that can really help you indoor shots;
There is some debate on whether or not you need different arrows indoors compared to those outdoors, you can shoot with the same arrows but it might be worthwhile getting a new set. If you are shooting outside you will probably shooting with a combination of aluminum and carbon or arrows just made from Carbon.
By replacing these with arrows that are made from just aluminum, you will find that they are more stable and offers more forgiveness when shooting. Due to the distance being less inside you might also find yourself more subjectable to hitting your own arrows, aluminium ones are a bit cheaper so less annoying if you break them.
If you have been shooting outside already then no doubt you already have a quiver, if you are knew then this is a piece of kit that I would say is essential. When you are shooting, you need somewhere to place your maining arrows and they need to be somewhere safe. You don’t them just laying on the floor, where you or someone else could trip and fall on them.
There are two popular types of quivers, one that goes on the back and another that goes on the side of the hip. I would recommend going for a hip quiver as it’s much easier to get access to your arrows.
Obviously you need something to shoot at, you therefore need to get yourself a target. If you are shooting at an indoor range, the target will often be a large boss with a target face placed on it. However if you wanted to shoot indoors in a garage, you might want to get yourself a block or bag target. These take less space but also offer great durability.
If you are new then you might be renting a club bow, if you have your own then who needs an excuse to get another one? The winter months are often the best time to get a new bow because manufacturers often use this time of the year to bring out their new models, resulting in older models going on sale and saving you money.
Indoor Archery can be a lot of fun, but I still see many archers that seem to hate it and end up taking a break for 3+ months. I love shooting outside and this article is not here to say you should do one or the other, or even say that indoor is better as both have their pros and cons.
The aim of this article is to inspire you to at least try shooting at an indoor range if you have not done it before. It really can dramatically help you shots and form by getting that additional practice, as well as opening up more competitive opportunities (if that is something you are interested in.)
I hope that you have found this article on indoor archery interesting and helpful. I would love to hear your comments on shooting inside, if you do have a comment please post it below.
Adam has been enjoying the sport of archery since 2010, intially getting the bug for it whilst on holiday and trying it out in an activity center. Since his very first eperiance of holding a bow and arrow, he fell in love with it and can now be found at the range or in the great outdoors as often as possible.
His main go to bow type is a recurve but he loves shooting from compounds as well. Adam created The Archery Guide as a way to help others get into this great activity and to share his knowledge/experiences.