Compound bows are becoming increasingly popular with women. The let-off feature requires less upper-body strength. Bows are becoming more adjustable and can be customized to match the archer at various levels of ability. More women are participating in activities such as hunting and competitive archery. In response to the increased number of women interested in compound bows, manufacturers are working to develop products that are specifically suited to meet their needs.
One feature of the compound bow is the let-off, or significant decrease in pressure required to hold the string once the bow is drawn. This is caused when the cams located at each end of the bow’s limbs rock over and lessen the string pressure once the bowstring is pulled. Although full pull strength is still needed to pull the bow string initially, the let-off provides women more time without muscle fatigue to hold the string back and properly sight the target.
Manufacturers have created a new class of compound bows, often called youth bows or women’s bows, that are easy to adjust to keep pace with physical growth or improvement of skills. With specific changes, the pounds of pull pressure or draw length can be matched to the user at various stages of ability. This appeals to many women who prefer to invest in a good quality bow that will accommodate them as they develop better upper-body strength and begin to participate in more advanced activities, such as hunting.
In addition to smaller sized bows that appeal to women, compound bow manufacturers now also make bows in a variety of colors, including bright blue, neon green, fuchsia and even pink camouflage. Bow cases are also available in a wide variety of colors and styles. Most archery events offer competition levels specifically for women.
With increased portrayal of female archers in the media, women have been flocking to archery classes and events. The movie, "The Hunger Games," starred a lead character who was an archer. The U.S. Women’s archery team came up just short of a medal in the recent London Summer Olympics, and many of the team's matches were televised. It is no longer unusual to see women active in archery sports and events.
Although archery can be fun and exciting, it can also be dangerous. Always observe manufacturers’ limits for equipment settings. Obey all range safety rules and never point an arrow at anyone. Never shoot an arrow until the range is totally clear. Never dry fire your bow, which can cause dangerous breaks in the limbs.