Is Archery An Expensive Hobby?

by | Mar 6, 2024

Have you ever watched an archer pull back a bow, aim, and let an arrow fly? It looks cool, right? You might be wondering, “Is archery an expensive hobby?”

Well, you’re not alone. Many people think about picking up archery but hesitate because they’re worried about the cost. Let’s dive into what it really costs to start shooting and keep up with the hobby and sport of archery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Archery can be as affordable or as expensive as you make it.
  • The cost of archery depends on the type of bow, arrows, and accessories you choose.
  • Getting into archery doesn’t have to break the bank if you know where to look.

Is Archery An Expensive Hobby?

Is Archery An Expensive Hobby?

Understanding the Cost of Archery Equipment

When you decide to get into archery, the first thing you’re going to need is archery equipment. This includes a bow and arrow set at the very least.

Now, bows come in many shapes and sizes. For a beginner, a recurve bow is often recommended. It’s the same style used in the Olympics and is great for learning the basics.

A decent recurve bow can cost around $100 to $200. But remember, archery isn’t just about the bow. You’ll need arrows, a shooting glove, and an arrow rest, among other things.

Together, this equipment can cost an additional $100 to $150.

Bows and Their Costs

Let’s talk about different types of bows. Besides the recurve bow, there’s the compound bow, known for its use in hunting and competitive archery.

Compound bows tend to be more expensive, starting at $200 and going up to $600 for entry-level models.

Then there’s the more traditional bow, often used in traditional archery.

These can vary a lot in price, depending on the craftsmanship. Bows are made from different materials, which also impacts the cost.

fiberglass recurve bow for a beginner might be on the lower end, while a carbon fiber compound bow will be on the bit more expensive side.

The Price of Arrows and Other Accessories

When you buy a bow, that’s just the beginning. Arrows and accessories are where the costs of archery can vary significantly.

A single arrow can range from $5 for basic options to $40 for high-tech ones used in competitive archery. You’ll want to start with at least a dozen arrows, which means you could be looking at anywhere from $60 to $480 just for arrows.

Then there’s the necessary equipment like a shooting glove to protect your fingers, which might cost around $20, and an arrow rest, which can be as little as $10 or as much as $50.

An archery target is essential for practice archery, and a good one could set you back between $50 and $200, depending on its quality and durability.

Archery equipment doesn’t stop there. There’s also the quiver to hold your arrows, maintenance tools for your bow, and protective gear like arm guards.

Altogether, these pieces of equipment could add another $100 to $200 to your initial equipment cost. So, when you tally up everything you need to start shooting, the cost of archery equipment can quickly add up, especially if you opt for more expensive gear.

The table below lists some of the costs of getting started in archery:

ItemCost Range
Recurve Bow$100 – $250
Compound Bow$300 – $600+
Arrows (per dozen)$60 – $120
Shooting Glove$10 – $30
Arrow Rest$10 – $50
Archery Target$50 – $200
Protective Gear$20 – $100
Total Initial Cost$550 – $1350+

*Note: Prices are approximate and can vary based on quality, brand, and location.

Archery Lessons and Practice Fees

If you’re new to archery, taking archery lessons is a great way to learn the basics of archery. Lessons can help you improve your archery skills significantly faster than going it alone.

The cost of archery lessons varies widely depending on where you live and the caliber of the instructor. On average, you might spend between $20 and $50 per hour for group lessons.

If you prefer private coaching, the price can jump to $50 to $100 per hour.

Beyond lessons, if you want to practice archery regularly, you’ll likely need access to an archery range. Some ranges offer free access, while others charge a fee.

Access to an archery club can vary in price. You might pay a daily entry fee of $5 to $10. Monthly memberships can be $30 to $50. Yearly, it could go from $100 to $500 for top-tier clubs.

Archery tournaments have their own costs too. Entry fees usually range from $30 to $100. The exact amount depends on the competition’s level.

As you dive deeper into archery, special styles might catch your eye. 3D archery and field archery are two examples. Each has unique equipment needs and costs.

Take 3D archery, for instance. It’s about shooting life-sized animal models. You’ll need a hunting bow or compound bow for this. Such bows can be on the pricier side.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Archery as a Hobby

The cost of archery as a hobby isn’t just about the initial equipment cost. Several factors can impact the overall cost of archery, making it more or less expensive.

Here’s a list of key factors to consider:

  1. Type of archery: Whether you’re into traditional archery, target archery, or competitive archery, each form of archery has different equipment needs and associated costs.
  2. Quality of equipment: Higher-quality bows and arrows tend to be more expensive. However, they might not be expensive in the long run due to better durability.
  3. New vs. used equipment: You can save money by buying used archery equipment, but you might not get the latest technology or the best condition gear.
  4. Club memberships and range fees: Joining an archery club or regularly using an archery range can add to the cost, though it also offers valuable resources and community.

Remember, while archery can be an expensive hobby, it also offers a range of options to suit different budgets. It’s about finding the right balance for you.

Compound Archery vs Recurve Archery Cost

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to get a bow, the next decision you’ll need to make is choosing between recurve archery and compound archery. Both styles have unique charms and challenges, but they also come with different price tags.

Recurve Archery Cost

You can purchase a good quality recurve bow for archery starting around $100 to $250. When you add the cost of arrows, a basic archery target, and essential accessories like a shooting glove and arrow rest, the total start-up cost for recurve archery can be between $200 and $400.

Recurve archery is often seen as a more traditional form of archery, and it’s the style used in the Olympics.

Recurve bows are generally less expensive than compound bows, making this form of archery more accessible to beginners.

The simplicity of the recurve bow also means fewer maintenance costs and potentially lower expenses for replacement parts.

Compound Archery Cost

Compound archery is more expensive than recurve archery in general. Known for its technological advancements and higher precision, tends to be a bit more expensive.

compound bow‘s starting price is typically around $300 to $600, with some expensive models costing well over $1,000.

Compound archery requires additional equipment such as specialized arrow rests, sights, and stabilizers, which can further increase the initial investment.

Consequently, the start-up cost for compound archery can range from $500 to $1,000 or more.

 Additionally, compound bows often require more maintenance and might necessitate professional servicing, adding to the long-term cost.

Making the Choice

The choice between recurve and compound archery should not be based solely on cost. Consider which type of archery aligns with your interests, goals, and the archery experience you’re seeking.

Recurve archery offers simplicity and tradition, often appealing to those interested in the historical aspects of archery or who enjoy its Olympic presence.

Compound archery, with its precision and technological enhancements, may attract those looking for a hobby that involves more technical gear and the potential for higher accuracy, especially in hunting or competitive shooting.

Ultimately, both recurve and compound archery provide distinct experiences and benefits. By understanding the initial and ongoing costs associated with each, archers can make an informed decision that best suits their budget and archery aspirations.

Whether you choose the elegance of recurve archery or the advanced mechanics of compound archery, the key is to enjoy archery for the fulfillment and challenge it brings.

How to Practice Archery on a Budget

For those looking to enjoy archery without breaking the bank, there are plenty of ways to practice archery on a budget. Here are some tips:

  • Buy used equipment: Check out local archery shops or online marketplaces for second-hand bows and arrows.
  • DIY targets: Instead of buying expensive archery targets, make your own with cardboard, foam, or hay bales.
  • Join an archery club: Some clubs offer equipment rental as part of their membership, which can be a great way to access high-quality gear without the upfront cost.
  • Look for community programs: Some community centers or local archery ranges offer free or low-cost archery lessons and equipment for beginners.

By being resourceful and taking advantage of these tips, you can significantly reduce the cost of archery and still enjoy archery as a rewarding hobby.

Finding Affordable Archery Equipment

Navigating the cost of archery doesn’t have to be daunting. There are several strategies to find affordable archery equipment that won’t compromise on quality. Here’s how:

  • Local archery shop: Start by visiting a local archery shop. Staff there can often offer advice on the best deals or upcoming sales on archery gear.
  • Online forums and communities: Many archers are willing to sell or trade their used equipment. Joining online archery forums and communities can lead you to some great deals.
  • End-of-season sales: Archery stores and online retailers often have sales at the end of the hunting season or after major archery tournaments. This is a great time to purchase expensive gear at a discount.
  • Rent before you buy: If you’re not sure which type of bow or archery style suits you best, consider renting equipment from an archery range or club. This can save you from making a costly mistake.

By being patient and doing a bit of research, you can find archery equipment that fits your budget and meets your needs, allowing you to enjoy archery without straining your finances.

Read More: Getting Started In Archery (A Beginner’s Guide)

FAQs About the Cost of Taking Up Archery

Finally, let’s address some frequently asked questions about archery and its costs to help clarify any remaining uncertainties.

  • What is the average cost to get started with archery? The cost can vary widely depending on the type of archery, quality of equipment, and whether you buy new or used. Generally, a beginner can expect to spend between $200 and $500 for basic equipment.
  • How much should I budget for ongoing archery expenses? Aside from the initial equipment cost, budgeting for replacement arrows, maintenance, and range fees is wise. An additional $100 to $200 annually should cover these costs for a casual archer.
  • Can I save money by making my own archery equipment? While crafting your own arrows or targets can save money, making a bow requires skill and knowledge. It’s usually best to purchase your first bow to ensure safety and quality.
  • Are there significant cost differences between the different types of archery? Yes, traditional archery often has lower startup costs compared to compound archery, which can be more expensive due to the technological advancements in compound bows.

By understanding these aspects, newcomers can make informed decisions, keeping their archery pursuits enjoyable and financially manageable.


Archery can get very expensive. Costs can vary significantly based on various factors, including the type of bow, quality of equipment, archery lessons, and how often one practices or competes. 

The initial investment might seem daunting, but remember, archery doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby if you approach it wisely.

By opting for used equipment, making some gear on your own, or joining archery ranges and clubs, you can significantly lower the costs associated with archery


  1. Jamie Hayes

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every little bit of
    it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new things you

    • Geoff

      Thanks! It’s great to have you here!

  2. William Carraman

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words
    in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something
    to do with web browser compatibility but I thought
    I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though!
    Hope you get the problem solved soon. Cheers

    • Geoff

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely look into that. Much appreciated!