So you have a little one in the house that sees mommy or daddy shoot a bow every now and again, and the passion for the sport has been ignited… What are your options?
This is where I got stuck, with a five year old that wanted to do what I do. Well, I started with a plastic toy bow, with suckers on the tips and this worked for a short while, but anything past a few yards were not possible, and we were back to step one.
The next option was to get a more robust “longbow” style bow and arrow set, but I decided that maybe I should invest in something just a bit more technical, so I headed off to Archer’s Edge and got a Diamond Atomic, full compound bow for little archers!
Now, this is a full compound bow, with adjustable draw length from 12″ to 24″ – my little one ended up around 17”. The poundage goes from 6lbs to 29lbs so there is more than enough there to get decent distance and penetration as he develops his skill. We started him up around 11lbs which was just enough of a challenge to work him out, but not enough poundage to make a hole in the dog, or have a bow collapse on him without some control, if he starts getting tired.
The bow comes with a basic full containment arrow rest and three pin sight (I removed two of the pins in the beginning to give him less things to focus on.) The peep sight is on a rubber tube to make sure it always rotates the right way and stays positioned. And the Diamond Atomic comes with three arrows, so it’s pretty much ready to shoot out of the box.
Adjusting the draw length is easy with an Allen key or bow tool, and doesn’t need a bow press unless you have to make a large adjustment (the module has two major settings for short draw and long draw – once those are set, you make small rotation adjustments to match actual draw length) I think it can be done without a bow press, but if you have one, or access to one, life is just simpler.
Make no mistake… This is not a toy! This is a small compound bow. It has an IBO rating of 191fps and a possible 21 foot pounds of KE.
Actual day to day use:
It’s an accurate bow, it works and gives the exact same results shot after shot, so the little archer in your life can work on form and technique. The most difficult part of shooting this bow is for parents to butt out and not try and correct form and technique the whole time. Well it was for me!
The interesting thing is that after a few months of shooting, something just clicked in my little one’s head, and he actually started using the peep and sight to line up and aim. Now, his form really needs work, but he is pretty consistent, and posts some nice groupings on the target.
Appart from that, he has learnt that this is a weapon, and pretty decently observes range safety. No friend is allowed to touch the bow without me there to help, and he is doing pretty complicated scoring already (he is six and shoots up to 150 points per session… Sometimes it takes 20 arrows, sometimes it takes 40! Sometime it takes 10 arrows… I suspect math failure…)
So just as we are building his muscles and technique, we are building his patience and ability to focus and concentrate for extended periods of time. Which, in the long term might be more worthwhile than any other skills this bow brings to the table.
Images and text, copyright Sean Nel
If you need more information on this bow,
please visit or call Redge at Archer’s Edge.