You don’t necessarily need to know the difference between a compound bow and a recurve bow to buy an archery-themed gift for your movie fanatic that saw bows in action in The Hunger Games, Brave or The Avengers. It helps to know it, but there are plenty of archery-related products out there that can stuff a stocking with pride.
Archery lessons. Archery lessons are a great buy for archery fans . Even if your fan doesn’t pick up another bow after the lesson, the experience of shooting like Katniss, Hawkeye or Merida should be fun. One of the best part about getting archery lessons is they can be year-round, indoors or outdoors. Check with your local hunting supply store, Boy Scout troop or Archery Shooters Association chapter to find qualified instructors.
Archery protective equipment. Protective archery equipment is also another viable option for your archer. Finger tabs, thumb tabs and arm guards help protect them from an errant, misfired string. Eye patches can help increase focus or protect an eye from getting poked during the arrow’s draw back. A carrying case for the bow also helps protect it.
Bows. Has your archer worn out his or her “beginner” bow or toy bow? Look to upgrade it. This can be tricky because you need to know your Hunger Games fan’s “draw weight” or how much strength it takes to draw back the arrow. Most tweens can handle between 20 and 35 pounds of draw weight, while older kids can deal with between 35 and 50.
After that, it’s a decision among compound, traditional or competition recurve bows. Compound bows are the ones with the pulleys and cables like the one Hawkeye had in the movie. They are usually smaller and take less strength to operate. The traditional bows are the “stick” bows, closer to Merida’s bow. Some have recurve limbs like Katniss’ bow in the arena, which are the fancy curves at the end of the bow. The competition recurves are the ones used by Olympic shooters. They are more modern looking with additional sights and stabilizers that emphasize accuracy. Maybe one day your archer will shoot the apple out of a pig’s mouth just like Katniss.
Archery books. Archery instructional books are another gift you can get for the archery fan. While there are books on improving archery skills, there are also books on how to make your own bows or arrows. If your archery fan is into crafts or making things, those should be considered.