With nearly 24 million participants in the United States alone, archery is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Although it requires focus and precision, it is a sport almost everyone can participate in. No matter what your physical condition, there is a place for you in the world of archery.
However, the world of compound bows can be particularly complicated. Choosing the right compound bow can be particularly confusing for those new to the sport. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you find the best beginner compound bow to fit your individual needs.
Our Beginner Compound Bow Winner
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro
Diamond Archery is a division of archery industry leader Bowtech. Don’t be fooled by the affordable price tag, the Infinite Edge Pro compound bow performs like a much more expensive rig. This compound offers a surprising range of adjustability, making it perfect for just about everyone: young or old, short or tall, male or female. It also comes as a ready-to-shoot package, so you can start sending arrows downrange practically straight out of the box.
How to Choose the Best Compound Bow for Beginners
One of the great things about archery is it can be a fun endeavor for anyone. Whether you are young or old, short or tall, right- or left-handed, and no matter your physical condition, there is a place for you in the sport.
Compound bows are fun to shoot, but they perform like an extension of your body. This means it is important to find a bow that fits your strength and body structure. Before you begin your search for your first compound bow, here are a few important things to consider.
Do You Need a Right- or Left-Handed Bow?
The very first thing you need to determine is whether you need a right- or left-handed bow. This isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. It actually has nothing to do with your dominant hand. Instead, you need a bow that matches your dominant eye. Although you may be skeptical, we promise you will shoot more consistently with a left-handed bow if you are left eye dominant, no matter which hand you use to sign your name.
For most shooters, their dominant eye matches their dominant hand. However, there are plenty of exceptions. Even if you think you know your dominant eye, we suggest performing this simple test just to make sure.
- Extend your arms in front of you with your thumbs and forefingers forming a triangle. (The triangle should form a sort of window for you to look through.)
- With both eyes open, center your triangle over an object in the distance.
- Close first one eye and then the other.
- The object should appear to shift from the center when you close one eye, while staying mostly centered when you close the other.
- The eye you have open when the object remains centered in your triangle is your dominant eye.
This exercise may seem confusing if you’ve never done it before. Here is a video to help you better understand the process.
How to Measure Your Draw Length
As we mentioned before, the best compound bow will work in tandem with your body. For this to happen, you need a bow that fits your body measurements. The draw length of a compound bow is measured from the point the arrow makes contact with the string to the deepest part of the grip. The measurement is taken when the bow is completely drawn back.
You should visit an archery pro shop to get the most accurate measurement of your own draw length. However, you can determine your approximate draw length right in the comfort of your own home. Simply spread your arms out wide (but leave a little flex in your elbows) and measure the distance from the tip of your middle finger on one hand to the tip of your middle finger on the other. Divide it by 2.5 to get your approximate draw length.
After you have determined your own draw length, you want to make sure you choose a compound bow that matches it.
Many compound bows have adjustable draw lengths. These are great options for young shooters, because it allows the bow to grow as they do. This one feature eliminates the need to buy a completely new rig every couple of years.
Understanding Draw Weight
The amount of force required to pull a compound bow back to full draw is referred to as draw weight. The “best” draw weight is largely determined by the individual. A bow with too much draw weight will be difficult to shoot accurately and will tire the shooter pretty quickly.
On the other hand, a compound bow with a heavier draw weight generates faster arrow speeds and flatter trajectories. While this also affects accuracy, it is a particular concern for bowhunters because faster arrows penetrate more deeply and produce quicker, cleaner kills.
The key is to find a bow with the maximum draw weight you can handle comfortably, even if the draw weight doesn’t produce the arrow speeds you desire. Many modern compound bows offer an adjustable draw weight. These bows are perfect for beginners, allowing you to start shooting where you are. Then you can increase the draw weight of the bow as you develop muscle strength through practice.
The Importance of Let-Off
Another factor to consider is the amount of let-off the bow offers. The pulley system used in modern compound bows provides a “let-off” (or reduction) in draw weight that makes it easier to pull the bow back to full draw.
Let-off usually occurs between ½ to ⅔ of the way through the draw cycle. Once you reach the point of let-off, it becomes much easier to draw your bow the rest of the way. Let-off also makes it easier to hold the bow at full draw, allowing you to take your time, concentrating on your aim, without struggling to hold the entire weight of the draw.
What is Brace Height?
Brace height is the distance between the string and the deepest part of the grip. This measurement is taken when the bow is at rest rather than when it is drawn. Most beginner compound bows will have a longer brace height (between 6-7 inches). These longer brace heights are more forgiving of inconsistencies in form, making them perfect for inexperienced archers.
Picking the Proper Length
Another important measurement is the overall length of the bow. Generally referred to as axle-to-axle length, this measurement indicates the distance between the wheels at the top and bottom of the bow (also known as “cams”).
The longer the axle-to-axle length, the more forgiving the bow will be. Choosing a longer bow will make starting out much less frustrating for beginners. However, the definition of “long” will be different for young shooters than it is for taller adults.
Top 5 Best Compound Bows for Beginners
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro
This affordable compound bow is manufactured by Diamond Archery, a division of industry superstar Bowtech. One of the most versatile compound bows on the market, the Infinite Edge Pro has a highly adjustable draw length (13 to 31 inches) and a draw weight that adjusts from 5 to 70 pounds. This is truly a bow made for everyone.
The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro comes as a complete, ready-to-shoot package that includes a three-pin sight, arrow rest, wrist sling, peep sight, stabilizer, and D-loop. A great option for bowhunting or target shooting, this high-performance compound comes in Pink Blaze, Black Ops, or Mossy Oak Country.
One of the best features of this beginner compound is the integrated stabilizer that creates the perfect balance for steadier aiming and increased accuracy.
This lightweight rig weighs in at just over 3 pounds. It has a substantial 80 percent let-off and produces arrow speeds up to 320 feet per second. Designed to be forgiving of minor inconsistencies in shooting form, the Infinite Edge Pro measures 30 ½ inches from axle to axle and has a brace height of 7 inches.
- Affordable price tag.
- Highly adjustable draw weight and length.
- Forgiving axle-to-axle length and brace height.
- Produces arrow speeds up to 320 feet per second.
- Integrated stabilizer for better balance.
- Serious shooters will want to upgrade accessories.
Bear Archery Cruzer Lite
Founded by the iconic American bowhunter, Fred Bear, Bear Archery is one of the most recognized and respected names in the industry. Known for designing cutting-edge, high-performance hunting rigs, Bear brings the same quality to their beginner and youth bows.
You’re never too young to start slinging arrows, and the Bear Archery Cruzer Lite is perfect for even the youngest shooters. This compound bow offers a wide range of adjustability so you can easily change draw length and weight as the child grows.
The Cruzer Lite comes with everything you need to start shooting, including Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, quiver, stabilizer, sight, peep sight, and D-loop. The bow also comes in your choice of yellow, green, purple, shadow black, or hunting camo.
The 27-inch axle-to-axle length and 6-inch brace height make this bow the perfect size for young archers. Bear also incorporated a special no-torque hand grip to help inexperienced archers put more arrows on target.
The draw weight can be set to a super mild 5 pounds, yet adjusts easily up to 45 pounds. The draw length also adjusts from 12 inches to 27 inches, giving you plenty of room to grow. Adjustments are easy to make right at home with a simple Allen wrench. This lightweight rig weighs in at just over 3 pounds and is capable of generating arrow speeds up to 290 feet per second.
- Comes as a complete ready-to-shoot package.
- Special no-torque grip is perfect for new shooters.
- Comes in several different colors.
- Designed to be forgiving of minor inconsistencies in shooting form.
- Grows with young shooters.
- Not well-suited for bowhunting.
Not everyone has the advantage of starting archery at a young age. Adults just getting into the sport sometimes have it a little harder. Many beginner level compounds are built for youth shooters, so finding an adult-size rig that is affordable, forgiving, and beginner friendly can be tricky.
The Quest Forge takes the guesswork out of shopping for a beginner rig. It offers easy adjustability, that falls right in the best range for adult shooters. It also comes as a ready-to-shoot package (You get a six-arrow quiver, Halo rest, G5 stabilizer, wrist sling, sight, and peep sight) and is perfect for every shooting application from recreational target shooting to serious big game bowhunting.
The single cam design provides a smooth draw, while the roller guard and wide limbs give some extra stability the beginner will appreciate. It is made from 6061 machined aluminum, so it is built to handle rough use.
This compound bow is pretty lightweight, tipping the scales at just under four pounds. It has a forgiving 31-inch axle-to-axle length and a generous 7 ½-inch brace height. The draw weight on this bow adjusts from 40 to 70 pounds, so you can dial it up as you build your muscles. The draw length is also adjustable from 26 inches to 30 ½, and arrow speeds can reach 320 feet per second.
- Package includes everything you need to start shooting.
- Can be used for targets or big game.
- Smooth draw cycle.
- Built to handle rough use.
- Rounded grip is prone to hand torque.
A great option for the beginner bowhunter, the Bow Madness Unleashed from Precision Shooting Equipment (PSE) is produced in conjunction with Drury Outdoors. It has a nice smooth pull, 85 percent let-off, a solid back wall, and still sends arrows zipping down range at speeds up to 340 feet per second. This is a solid whitetail weapon, and the Drury partnership is one new hunters should be excited about. Terry and Mark Drury have been harvesting monster whitetails for over 30 years, and the PSE Bow Madness Unleashed has everything new bowhunters need to bring down big bucks.
This rig comes as a ready-to-shoot package, so new shooters won’t need to hunt down extra accessories. The package includes top-quality gear, including an AMP Micro sight, Phantom Drop-Away Arrow Rest, 8-inchSpire stabilizer, Raven arrow quiver, red aluminum peep sight, D-loop, and a neoprene wrist sling.
With an extra-long axle-to-axle length of almost 32 ½ inches and a brace height of 6 inches, the Bow Madness Unleashed is perfect for inexperienced shooters. The draw weight adjustment range is 50 to 70 pounds, a solid range for hunting whitetail deer as well as larger big game animals. The draw length can also be adjusted from 25 inches to 35 ½ inches, so even the tallest shooters will be comfortable with this rig. The bow also offers an 85 percent let-off which will help bowhunters when an animal holds up while they’re at full draw.
- Built specifically for bowhunting.
- Comes as a ready-to-hunt package.
- Significant 85 percent let-off.
- Dimensions are built to help deliver more consistent accuracy.
- Not available for left-handed shooters.
Owned by Mathews (one of the most respected names in compound bows), Mission Archery aims to build products that outperform their price tag. All their products are made in the USA and are backed by a lifetime warranty.
The Mission Craze is all about adjustability, making it a great option for new shooters, who need to build skill and strength. This bow has up to 40 pounds of weight adjustment and a draw length that quickly goes from 19 to 30 inches with nothing more than a screwdriver.
This exciting and affordable rig shoots well, has tons of adjustability, and looks like a high-end compound bow. It’s also pretty forgiving with a 7.5-inch brace height and 28-inch axle-to-axle length. It weighs only 3.6 pounds, has an 80 percent let-off, and produces generous arrow speeds up to 306 feet per second.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Easy to adjust draw length and weight
- Affordable price tag
- Looks and performs like a much more expensive bow
- Does not come with accessories
- Generates a bit of vibration and noise on the arrow release
This is why Diamond Infinite Edge Pro is our choice for the beginner
The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro is our top pick for the best beginner compound bow. With a draw length that adjusts from 13 to 31 inches and a draw weight that adjusts from 5 to 70 pounds, this bow will work for just about any archer. This is truly a rig for shooters age 6 to 60.
The Infinite Edge Pro is also one of the most versatile compound bows out there. With potential arrow speeds up to 320 feet per second, you can easily use this rig next deer season. However, this thing is well-balanced and built to forgive minor shooting mistakes, making it well-suited for target competition as well.
While there are tons of great options for the beginning archer, the Infinite Edge Pro is one that will work for everybody. Unlike the Bear Archery Cruzer, you won’t have to upgrade this one because you won’t age out of it. And while we love the Mission Craze, it doesn’t come with accessories, which will require a significant investment before you can even shoot the bow.
The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro is well-balanced and has a forgiving axle-to-axle length and brace height. It also comes in several attractive finishes, so you’re bound to find the perfect shade to match your personality. We can’t imagine a better compound bow for beginning shooters.