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Olympic Recurve: Not dead, but not healthy

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  • Olympic Recurve: Not dead, but not healthy

    Has anyone else noticed that recurve archery seems to be not doing well?
    At our club it's really died off with only a small group still shooting it regularly
    Compound is as big as ever, but Longbow and Barebow have grown a heap.
    Talking to people in the industry and this is a world wide trend.
    Australia getting the teams bronze had zero impact at our club for example.
    Is this being seen elsewhere?
    Urban Archery
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  • #2
    I have in our area. Of our 58 members, 5 are Recurvers, maybe 10 Longbow/Barebow and the rest are Compounders.

    Talking with them, none suggested it was the Olympics specifically that piqued their interest in trying archery but more so something a friend has suggested. When every movie director wanted archery in their film I did notice a change in the demographic of people wanting to try archery.
    Our club is still only new (3 years) and we are still being discovered in the area so our biggest reason for our increasing demand for tryouts in people are finding us and learning that archery is now available to them, certainly not because of someone they saw on TV do it.
    The most common response when mentioned Aussie won Bronze is " Oh, did they? That's cool"

    After abandoning social media almost entirely I've come to realise I've had some pretty big blinkers on and outside of people that are diehard archers, nobody gives a rats about it or knows who anybody is. We certainly have a large percentage of members who shoot every week, that outside of the club don't do anything archery related, be it watch archery, read about etc.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Marcus View Post
      At our club it's really died off with only a small group still shooting it regularly
      Compound is as big as ever, but Longbow and Barebow have grown a heap.
      same. and of the barebows it is generally trad style, not modern rigs shot with string walking.
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      • #4
        We are one of the largest clubs in our state, with about 100 financial members. At our Saturday afternoon shoots (generally around 30-40 people), the largest population is trad longbow/barebow recurve, followed by Olympic recurve, then compound (2-3 of us). There are also a couple of people who shoot modern barebow recurve or barebow compound on a semi-regular basis.

        I suspect that our healthy recurve population is due to improving retention rates from our beginner courses, and our growing number of junior archers. We do get a fair number of young guys turning up to our come and try sessions with cheap Ebay "ready to hunt" compound bow packages, but they often don't stick around (or they see the range of equipment sported by our regular compound shooters and start saving their pennies).

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        • #5
          Dutch 18m indoor competition just ended, the numbers of archers who finished:
          1406 Recurve
          331 Compound
          107 Barebow
          89 Longbow
          37 Instinctive bow

          If I had to put my club in numbers, it would probably boil down to 42% recurve, 38% traditional, 12% compound and 8% barebow guesstimates. And if I look at other clubs, recurvers easily outnumber compounders 2:1.

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          • #6
            Mostly compound with us in the regulars. There are a few die hard recurvers though. I bought a long bow about a year ago and only shoot it for fun now. I did try it for the Vic state indoor. What a disaster! lol
            Nothing's forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten - Robin of Sherwood.

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            • #7
              My general perception is the same, but it seems to be very region/club specific. At the recent nationals in Perth, there were more recurve archers than compound. In some categories, significantly more.

              Going back to the Indoor Nationals (which might have less of a regional bias than the outdoor nationals) the numbers were very comparable and the only category where there were significantly more compound archers were Open Male and Veteran+ Male.

              I also have the perception that male junior beginners tend to gravitate towards compound whereas junior females are more likely to take up recurve, but I don't have any data to support that.
              Last edited by iandall; 14th December 2017, 09:28 AM.

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              • #8
                Mount Petrie Bowmen are the opposite - much more recurve and traditional than compound.

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                • #9
                  I have a sneaking suspicion that juniors tend to get steered towards recurve by parents who aren't archers because of percieved cost.
                  Once people are paying for their own, I believe that peer group plays a large part in selecting bow type.
                  Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
                  Performance cannot be purchased.

                  "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
                    Talking to people in the industry and this is a world wide trend.
                    If you knew sales numbers from a certain manufacturer which makes a specific, universally used recurve item, you certainly wouldn't have this impression.
                    Last edited by gt; 23rd December 2017, 01:23 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Recurve is alive & well at Adelaide Archery Club.
                      We have some really talented & keen young recurvers, who are well coached & progressing nicely.
                      With David Barnes just returning to our club after some years & shooting incredibly well, I predict even further enthusiasm.
                      He's been out with Simon Fairweather. Say no more.
                      Style before fashion

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                      • #12
                        Do you still teach beginners with recurve equipment? Or Genesis style bows?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dbjac View Post
                          Do you still teach beginners with recurve equipment? Or Genesis style bows?
                          I don't involve myself in the beginners unless there are specific interests in compound, so all the coaches being recurvers & longbowers start them on what they know, which means the recurve balance s a bit out of whack. We do have some Genesis bows, which I use for any beginners requesting to try compound after the initial try.
                          Our Juniors & beginners courses have about a 5 month wait at the mo. It's gone nuts here in Adelaide.
                          Of course there's always the old school who claim that beginners must start with recurve to learn ideal technique . Don't get me started on that argument !
                          Style before fashion

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                          • #14
                            I personally think that everyone should start with some kind of stickbow.
                            It swiftly destroys all kinds of pre-existing concepts about archery and how easy it is.
                            This weeds out the dreamers pretty quickly. I mean, we have to have people who say "I tried archery once." and then tell some sort of story to perpetuate the legend.
                            Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
                            Performance cannot be purchased.

                            "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dbjac View Post
                              Do you still teach beginners with recurve equipment? Or Genesis style bows?
                              DVA uses
                              Recurve bows, mixture of alloy and wood
                              Longbows
                              Decent Compound bows with sights, releases and stabilisers.

                              Urban Archery
                              Carbon Express
                              Beiter
                              Truball/Axcel
                              Redback Strings

                              Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water
                              After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water

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