If you have the space in your backyard, you can try your hand at setting up your own archery range. With your own private practice range, you can easily shoot several times a week and not have any excuses to shoot regularly. You’ll be amazed at the improvement in you archery abilities with consistent practice schedule.
1. Location – Find a spot for your range. You need a place with a shooting position that allows enough space behind or to the side for onlookers to watch safely.
2. Space – Make sure the spot has at least 25 to 30 yards of space between the shooter and the target. More space is always better. With a longer strip you can set your target up at different distances as you improve.
3. Behind the Target – Create a way of catching arrows that miss the target. There might just be an open field behind your range, or it could be a wall behind your target. The key here is to make sure that wherever your arrows land, they will not harm any persons or property.
4. Targets – Place your targets in the proper location always taking safety into consideration. Measure the distance from the shooter to the target for your own aiming reference. These distances can be modified as needed.
5. Shoot – Get a stand for arrows and a pen and paper to keep score. Observe all safety rules and use common sense whenever shooting.
- Set up your range in a way that allows you to leave it set up. You’ll definitely do more shooting that way.
- If you need to build a wall to catch your misses, hay bales are great for stopping arrows without damaging them.
- Examine your arrows at the end of every archery session and repair damaged ones immediately.
- Always make sure the area around and behind the target is clear before you shoot.
- Use common sense in locating your archery range and make sure other people know the safety rules associated with the sport of archery.
Memories of summer camp in Canada came to mind when I stumbled across an archery range next door to my work place. In the Meng-jai area, on Soi Sahakarnpramoon (in the same soi as the Cambodian and Laotian embassies) there is All-Star Sport Complex which caters to upper class golfers. On the same property are restaurants, car wash, tennis court and swimming pool.
Going to get my car washed one day, I walked over to the Archery Thai to see what it was all about. The lady behind the counter was very informative and told me the rates, cost of lessons and showed me some of the equipment. A friend of mine became interested when he learned of the archery range and we have since bought bows with the intention of taking 10 beginner classes. There is a large archery community, called the Thailand Outdoor Archery Club, that comes to the range to practice and compete.
Before getting serious about archery, Archery Thai recommends a 30 minute Discovery Class where you get one-on-one instruction with a coach to learn the basics of shooting a recurve bow. This session costs 250 baht and includes the cost of the instructor and bow rental. For the 10 hour Basic Archery Course I mentioned earlier, it is 5,000 for one-on-one instruction and 3,000 baht for two students to share an instructor. For the 500 baht saved per person per 10 hour course, it seems reasonable to go for the one-on-one instruction. The cost of the 10 hour beginner course does not include the cost of the bow rental. So if you don’t have your own bow, you will have to rent one at 200 baht per hour. After completing the Basic Archery Course there is a Bridge Archery Course which continues to work on the fundamentals of archery and improve the archer’s skills. The cost of the Bridge Archery Course is the same as the Basic Archery Course.
Normally, if you have your own bow and are just coming to shoot some arrows, the cost per hour to use the range facilities is 40 baht/hour during the weekdays and 60 baht/hour on nights and weekends. There is also a membership program which is 600 baht per month but allow unlimited use of the archery facilities and other benefits.
If you are looking to buy a bow and start learning the basics of archery, Archery Thai also has many people able to give you advice and tips on picking a bow, arrows and technique. The people that I have met there have been friendly and many of them can communicate well in English. My instructor was able to teach in both Thai and English. When it came time to buy a bow, there were packages of Hoyt and Samick bows available for starter, mid-range and high range bows. The staff at Archery Thai seems more than competent and answered all of my questions. I have yet to start my Basic Archery Course and still need to pick up the Samick bow I ordered last weekend, but I can’t wait to start shooting arrows on a regular basis.