I took the opportunity to get Patrick out shooting yesterday. The guiding has been a little slow so I'm enjoying the break. As with everything it seems in archery, the technology for youth bows has sky-rocketed and it's easier and easier to get young kids into the sport quickly and seeing success sooner, which is always good for the little ones.
I made a trade with a buddy of mine to get Patrick into a starter bow. It's a Diamond Atomic with an adjustable draw length from 12-24 inches and a draw weight that goes from 6-29 lbs. There are other "grow bows" with more adjustability but the price was right and without really knowing if he would like it, it's difficult to justify dropping the cash on something more.
The draw weight right now is set at around 12 pounds, which is just tough enough for P to build a little muscle but easy enough for him to hold and aim. When I was kid, we had long bows and recurves and let me tell you, it was tough getting them back to full draw length and then hold for any time on a target. These bows make it pretty easy and quite honestly, more enjoyable for the kid and easier for the adult to teach.
I added sights to the bow as well. I think for me, I always just shot instinctively until I was in my twenties but when I made the switch, it was a little tough to adjust. My anchor point changed and I really had to tell myself to focus on the pin through the peep sight because in the heat of the moment, if I wasn't telling myself that, I would resort back to old habits and it was never good. Shooting sights is just more reliable now (and responsible,) at the distances we are shooting and starting off building those habits and that form is important. I also got a release for him, which he does use but right now, the fingers just work better. Once he builds up some strength, I'm sure the release will come out.
Like I said, there are other beginner bows out there that have a lot more adjustability and I would love to try them out if those companies would like to sponsor it. Like I said, the price was right for this particular bow because my buddy's kid was stepping up his game. The concept is great but I'd love to see what more is out there and potentially, try them out and give my opinions. Until them, enjoy the Diamond Patrick.
Keep 'em where they live...