Are you wondering what bow do women need for archery?

Me too!

Well…not for me, for my wife. So I’ve researched the topic, and this article will give you the information you need to get started.

Archery is a sport participated in by men and women of all ages. It is an incredibly accessible sport because you can shoot competitively or shoot for fun in your backyard. In addition to that, many archers also enjoy bowhunting.

If you are a woman interested in archery, know that with the right information you can be a proficient archer much sooner than you think. womens bow and arrow

Through my research, I’ve noticed that many women want to know how archery is different for men and women. They have asked about everything from the what kind of bow they will need, to types of competitions they can compete in.

First, let’s look at a few of those issues to clear things up.

Is Archery Different For Men and Women?

The answer is yes and no. This question is a little tough. If you’ve ever watched the Olympic archery, you may have reasonably assumed that the archery was different for the men and women. After all, they don’t compete against each other. There is men’s archery and women’s archery.

The thing is…

They shoot the same distances and have the same rules. In that sense, archery is not different for men and women. So why are they split up? The main reason they are split up is that men tend to shoot bows with heavier draw weights. Don’t think that this means you have to be a bodybuilder to shoot a bow. That’s not the case at all. Kids can shoot bows, and shoot very accurately.

But the issue of a bow’s draw weight affects the flight of the arrow. A heavy draw weight shoots the arrow faster. This means that the arrow flies on a flatter trajectory, which can help with accuracy.

So, women archers are less accurate because they shoot lighter draw weights?

Not at all. Many women archers shoot circles around men. But lower draw weights (which shoot slower arrows) can make accuracy more challenging, especially at longer distances. The slower the arrow, the faster it drops. This means the archer must compensate for this by aiming.

All that to say, the divisions in men and women’s Olympic archery have to do with the grouping similar draw weights and most likely tradition. Most Olympic events are divided up that way.

Can Women Compete In All Types Of Archery?

womens bow and arrow

Absolutely. I’ve already mentioned Olympic archery, but you will find that archery competitions at every level are for both men and women. Additionally, many women also enjoy bowhunting.


You don’t have to know every type of archery you want to try when you are getting started.

One of the awesome things about archery is that you can shoot your bow in your backyard. You never have to compete or bow hunt.

For many archers, its just a recreational activity and you don’t have to compete for it to be challenging. If you are the kind of person that likes a challenge, archery will be a great sport for you.

Not only is shooting enjoyable, but it also makes you want to shoot better and practice more.

Now, to answer the main question

Is There A Special Bow For Women?

womens bow and arrow

The answer to this question is no. But if you search for a womens compound bow for sale, you will find quite a few.

Are you confused?

Sorry. Let me try to explain this better.
Yes, they make womens compound bows. (Like the pink one on the right) But it is not a special bow; it’s just a specific bow size. The issue isn’t your gender, it’s just sizing.

Every archer MUST shoot a bow specific for your size and shooting needs.

A compound bow will have a range for the draw weight and draw length. (This is how far back you draw the bowstring and how hard it is to pull the bowstring)

Although most major bow manufacturers make women’s compound bows, honestly, sometimes this has more to do with color choices and marketing. Women can shoot any compound bow as long as it has the correct draw weight and draw length range.

How much does a good bow cost?For example, the compound bow to the left (Diamond Archery Infinite Edge) has a draw length range of 13″ to 31″ and an adjustable draw weight range of 5-70 lbs.

This compound bow is marketed for anyone, and it could work for most men, women, and kids. Some compound bows have a much smaller draw weight and length range, but many have extensive ranges like this bow.

What Women Need To Get Started In Archery

So what do you need to get started in archery? Women need the same thing as every archer does.

Types of Archery

First, you need to decide what types of archery you want to participate in and what type of bow you want.

I mention the types of archery primarily for bowhunting. If you are going to bow hunt, I recommend starting with a compound bow.

If you don’t plan to bow hunt, another good option is starting with a recurve bow. Recurve bows are for both men and women and they each bow will have a specific draw weight. The draw length is variable on a recurve bow, which means you can draw back as far as you need to.

Which reminds me...
On the technical side of things, to get started you need to figure out what your approximate draw length and draw weight are.

Draw Weight And Draw Length

This is something your local archery store can help with, but it is straightforward if you want to do it yourself. You can read this article on setting up a compound bow, and it will show you how. That article also has a chart on recommended draw weights based on your size.

While draw length is a fixed number determined by your arm length, your draw weight is a little trickier. This is a number that can change, and if you shoot a compound bow, it will have an adjustable draw weight range.

Many new archers make the mistake of shooting too heavy a draw weight and this unnecessary and can lead to injuries. You should start with a light draw weight that you can comfortably handle.

When you are just starting out, this will help you develop good form. You can always increase your draw weight if you need to but it’s best to start out with a lower weight and work your way up in small increments.

Here is an article that will help you learn how to shoot a compound bow.

What Other Equipment Do You Need?


In addition to the bow, you might be wondering what other equipment you will need. You will also need arrows. Men and women shoot the same arrows, but you will find that there are many different choices when it comes to arrows.

They are made of different materials, like aluminum, carbon, and fiberglass. They are rated by “spine” number which is their flexibility. You can read this article on arrows if you want to know more about them.

The important thing when you are starting out is to buy a set of practice arrows. They don’t have to be expensive, (because you may lose a few) but they do need to be identical. The reason for this is that different arrows, meaning different brands, materials, flexibility, have different flight characteristics.

When you are working on shooting form and sighting in your bow, you need to use identical arrows. All adjustments you make to your form or equipment, it’s will be done after shooting groups of arrows.

If you shoot six arrows, and they are all very close to each other, but an inch left of center where you were aiming, it could be a consistent form problem, but more commonly you will adjust your sight if you are using one.

If you shoot six different types of arrows and they end up all over the target, you won’t know what you need to adjust.


With enough archery practice, you will quickly see the need for a good target. Starting out you should only be shooting with field points so you will need a good field point target. You can read my recommendation for the best field point target I’ve come across.


Whether you are starting out with a compound or recurve bow, I would recommend getting an arm guard. This helps protect your forearm from “string slap” which is when the bowstring grazes your forearm when you shoot. String slap isn’t life-threatening, but it’s not enjoyable either.


If you want to get started in archery and you are trying to find the right womens bow and arrow, hopefully you’ve learned a few things from this article. Most importantly, you don’t have to use a special “womens” bow, but you will need a bow specific to your size. Get started by deciding whether you want to shoot a compound or recurve and figure out your draw length and approimate draw weight. After that, it’s time to practice!

Author: Kasey Jones –

Published: August  13, 2018

Category: Womens archery