Youth bow and arrow sets are an excellent way to introduce kids to the world of Archery. They have very simple constructions, come with arrows and targets so they’re ready for shooting out of the box, and provide tons of fun and an excellent recreational activity. I recommend that all beginner youths should start their journey with a traditional bow and arrow set. The reasons why this is preferred over compound youth bows are:
- Traditional bows are far simpler in construction than compounds, so the archer can focus on shooting rather than tuning and fixing problems.
- Traditional youth bows are cheaper.
- They let the shooter: develop muscle strength and joint flexibility, learn to properly draw and release the string, and learn shoot instinctively. Put another way: the transition from a recurve to a compound bow is easy, while the other way around is not.
Best Youth Bow And Arrow Sets
|Bear 1st Shot|
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|Bear Titan Youth
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|Our Review||Our Review||Our Review||Our Review||Our Review|
|Draw Weight||8-12 lbs.||10-18 lbs.||15 lbs.||10-20 lbs.||20-29 lbs.|
|Hand||Left & Right||Left & Right||Left & Right||Left & Right||Left & Right|
|Included in set||Bow, safety arrows, arm-guard, arrow quiver.||Bow, safety arrows, arm-guard, arrow quiver, target, finger tab||Bow, multi-color target, arrows||Bow, safety arrows, arrow quiver, target, finger tab, arm guard||Bow, safety arrows, arrow quiver, arm-guard, target, finger tab|
|Recommended Age||3-7 Years||5-10 years||5-10 years||9-16 years||11-18 years|
Additionally, you might want to check out the following resources:
- Best recurve bows (top 10 chart) – divided by price range.
- Beginner recurve bows list.
- Best Recurve bows for hunting list.
How To Choose a Bow Set
You want to make sure not to get a bow that is too hard to pull for your kid, but at the same time you don’t want to get one that is too “light” or otherwise their strength will not improve and they won’t be able to move up to a more advanced bow easily.
We’ve provided age brackets for each of the youth bow and arrow sets mentioned above, and as long as you stay within those, your kid will have a wonderful experience. Do keep in mind, however, that some kids are stronger than other ones; it’s not unusual for a 15 year old to be strong enough to already handle an adult bow. Better to err on the side of caution though and get a bow that has too light than too heavy a draw weight.
In all of the youth sets listed above, the bows are of very high quality and with very durable, flexible limbs, as well as a comfortable-to-hold riser. Don’t let the low price of these sets fool you; these are not toys but serious pieces of equipment designed for the youngsters to get acquainted with the sport of archery. If your kid is less than 12 years old, make sure to always stay with her or him when she or he is practicing – for safety reasons.
If the bow is treated with respect and is not abused, it will last you for many years and will likely be handled down from “one generation to another,” and I’m not kidding.
Right/Left Hand And Eye Dominance
All the youth bow and arrow sets mentioned above have an ambidextrous design, meaning they can be used by both right- and left- handed archers. This is great news because your kid has likely never shot a bow before, so you can’t really tell which hand he prefers to use to draw the string.
If possible, however, the youth should shoot with the hand which is on the same side as his dominant eye. So if his dominant eye is the right one, then he should ideally shoot (draw the string) with his right hand as well. There’s an easy trick to determine which eye is the dominant one:
- Ask your kid to stand approximately 7-15 feet away from a wall.
- With both their eyes open, have them extend one of their arms and point with a finger to a spot or object on the wall.
- With their finger kept firmly on the spot, ask them to close their left eye.
- Once they have done that, and as the left eye is closed, ask them this: “is your finger still on the exact same spot, or did it shift to the side? If it’s still on the spot, then their right hand (the one that is still open) is the dominant one. If their finger seems like it has shifted to the site, then their left eye is dominant.
Try this test for yourself first to know exactly what it is that you are looking for. It’s quite fun!
What To Expect From A Youth Bow And Arrow Set
In the majority of cases, these sets come with a target and two arrows. These are so-called safety arrows as they are made from fiberglass – the same material used in the making of the limbs of all high quality bows. Such arrows are considered safe because they are durable and bendable, while at the same time immune to splintering. As a bonus, some of the bow and arrow sets described above also include an arm guard and a quiver for the youngster to hold the arrows.
As already mentioned, most youth bow and arrow sets come with two arrows only. While this might be enough for some entry-level fun, you’ll quickly notice that having to go back and forth between the target every time two arrows are shot can become a pain. Which is why I recommend getting some extra additional arrows with the youth set, though this should not be considered necessary at all. As a recommendation, here are some excellent cheap safety arrows to purchase along with your primary set: Barnett Outdoors Junior Archery 28-Inch Arrows.
This is a 3-pack of SafetyGlass arrows, which in addition to the two you’ll already be getting with your youth set should more than plenty to get started with. While the description of these arrows mentions that they are for use with “any Barnett Youth Bow,” they are in fact suitable for use with ANY Youth bow altogether, including each model mentioned earlier on this very page.
What About Draw Weight?
Most parents are concerned that their children won’t be able to pull the string, even on a youth bow. After all, 15 or even 20 pounds of draw weight sounds like an awful lot, doesn’t it?
In reality, you’ll find that the children are more than capable of handling this type of draw weight. The way a bow is held and the way force is applied to the string produces excellent leverage, making those pounds feel like far less than they actually are.
With that said, I recommend you stick to the Recommended Age section in the chart above. If you do that, everything will be fine and you’ll happily enjoy the smile on your kid’s face as he shoots his first arrow. Otherwise, you’ll likely be replacing his bow and arrow set for something “lighter” soon enough.
4 CommentsAdd a Comment
Hello. I’ve sixteen year old twins boy and girl that I’m wanting to get them their first bow. The girl is left eye dominate the boy right eye. We own and operate about 80,000 acres of some of the best mule deer hunting in west Texas. I realize their along ways from being good enough to take a deer but that is the ultimate goal. Anyways we were wondering what bow combination you would recommend for them to get started with. Thank you for your time.
I’m sort of partial to the Bear Titan Youth Bow. With up to 29 or 30 pounds of draw weight, it nearly bridges the gap between youth and adult bows…nearly. You will want to pick up a replacement string. No bells and whistles, but it is an inexpensive way for them to develop, and test their interest in archery. Fun bow for anyone to practice with. Nearly Indestructible, and impervious to the elements.
I have 2 girls, ages 8 and 9. Do you have a recommendation for them. They are tall and skinny.
Are you able to comment on the PSE Razorback Jr. (15 lb. draw weight) as a first bow for a 8 year old ? Can you change the limbs on this bow ?