Compound Bow Guide for Beginners


Do you want to buy a compound bow?

Then you’ve come to the right spot! On this page, you will find all the relevant information you need to make a purchase and even recommendations for your new compound bow.

Archery with a compound bow

The most modern type of bow is the composite bow. A bow is a compound bow when the bowstring (usually Fast-Flight or Fast-Flite tendons, since they are less elastic than traditional bowstrings) is stretched over the compound bow in a pulley system. Typically, this system consists of a lighter metal housing and removable limbs. Often it is possible to vary the tensile weight of a compound bow by slight changes on the bow or the arms with minimal effort.

However, it is quite difficult to replace a tendon of a compound bow. Thus, it is best to keep the string in excellent condition and to maintain it with tendon wax.

In contrast to other bows, the compound bow does not need to be spanned if it is not in use for a long time. Just like the usual traditional bow types, the compound bow can often be seen at competitions partly because with the aid of an arrow rest and a bow sight it is possible to shoot very precisely. Also, compound bows behave differently to standard bows. Due to the pulley block, it is effortless to pull out the compound bow with a higher tensile weight. Only on the last few centimeters, you will see a gradual increase in the pull weight. That makes it possible to shoot very precisely.

An arrow shot with a compound bow is also often much faster than an arrow shot through a conventional wooden bow.

Does a compound bow make sense for beginners?

Yes, because once the shooting sequence has been learned, you can quickly move to a higher weight level. Also, it is easier to hit the target with a compound bow, since you need less power and can aim longer and can help yourself with a bow sight.

Buying a Compound Bow: What are the most important differences to other bows?

With a compound bow an archer usually does not shoot intuitively, i. e. he shoots by sight. It is much easier to shoot by sight as the pull-out weight is meager due to the pulley technology so the bow can be kept very steady.

Also, the pull-out weight of many compound bows can be adjusted mechanically depending on the strength of the archer. This not only has the effect that you can share this bow with a weaker or stronger person, but also the impact that you can slowly and safely increase your ability and physical strength without having to buy a new bow. A lot of technical gimmicks can be added to a compound bow, which makes aiming even easier. For example, there are red dot visors for the extreme compound shooters, with which you can hardly miss them.

Also, as already mentioned, the high weight pull-out is more comfortable to hold with a compound bow, so beginners or less powerful archers can still put a lot of power in the arrow.

A compound bow is typically equipped with the following equipment

  • Visor, mostly with magnifying glass
  • A perforated visor integrated into the tendon, which is used like rear sight and front sight
  • Stabilizers, i. e. rods that give additional weight to keep the bow calmer
  • And, of course, a proper arrow rest.
  • The tendon is often pulled with a mechanical trigger instead of fingers. These so-called “releases” are hooked onto the string, or a cord attached to the string and are triggered, for example, by a trigger lever. If you buy a compound bow and buy a set, it should include at least one pad and a visor.


WWII veteran

4 years U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater.

Family man

Husband to Eileen and father to Jacqueline


Hunting for over 50 years. Into archery for 72 years (counting making bows as a 10 year old boy).


Emery and his wife Eileen own “Eryleen Archery Pro Shop” located in Burlington, Massachusetts, 30 years. Feature in-shop sales of Mathews bows, Oneida bows, others.

Arrows and accessories.

Free installation and adjusting of accessories, tuning arrow flight, and shooting instruction with each new bow.

Several memorabilia items on Ebay (no items at this time).





BOW & ARROW HUNTING Magazine, 37 years “Tackle Tips” column, Bow Reports, Features.

ARROW TRADE Magazine, in-depth Bow Reports.

EASTERN BOWHUNTING, authored column

GOAL The MESSAGE, authored column

Archery Instructor

NFAA Certified Archery Instructor

TWAC (The World Archery Center), Lecturer and Staff member until closing in 1992.

Archery Innovator

Designed and produced “Eryleen Pincer Release” when only one organization, NFAA, allowed release aids, and it had to be a one-piece device.

Designed and built “Emery‚Äôs Monster Bow” shown on cover of BOW & ARROW Magazine (August 1975), and DOCTOR YOUR OWN COMPOUND BOW 1976. Several ideas were picked up from this bow by bow manufacturers over the years.

Designed and built “Compound Crossbow” that probably planted the seed (see how-to article in BOW & ARROW Magazine April 1979). First commercial models were produced by 8 manufacturers three years later.