Where to Go from a First Experience with a Genesis™ Bow?

QandA logoDear Coach Ruis,
I have new students that have been trained off the Genesis bow. Therefore, I have questions regarding the Genesis bow:

  1. Are they considered compound or recurve bows? I remember you telling me that they were taught like recurve bows, but I’m not sure if they are classified as such.
  2. Are Genesis bows allowed in competitions? I’ve never seen them being used in competition. If so, what class do they participate in?
  3. If a student were to buy an actual bow after being trained on a Genesis bow, which style of bow would mimic the Genesis the best?


These are all good questions. Basically this is the “where do we go from here” question and I refer to this phase in the development of an archer the “Step Up” phase. This is the phase in which a beginning archer gets their first set of archery equipment that can be fit to them and, as such, this is critical to their continuance in the sport. (Even if we pull this off, they may not continue, but if we don’t get them into decent gear fitted to their form and execution, the odds on their “sticking” with archery go way down.Gensis BowI refer to the Genesis bow as the “Bowling Alley” bow, a bow designed to fit a large range of people (and hence fits none of them particularly well). It is a “zero letoff” bow (not the first, but certainly most popular) and since letoff is the most important property of a compound bow, it is not a great choice for archers interested in “shooting compound.” But since it is a compound bow, it cannot be used in competition against recurve bows and longbows.

Where the Genesis shines is that, unlike all other kinds of compound bows, it has no set draw length and therefore does not need to be fitted to the user. Consequently it is the ideal compound bow for beginning instruction tin compound archery. (I own a couple myself.)

There are so many school kids and others who have cut their archery teeth on the Genesis bow that organizations are making places for archers using them in their categories (as going up against compound bows with letoff would be a really handicap for anyone shooting a Genesis—although it has been done—I saw a guy shoot “Vegas” with one). USCA established the “basic bow” category for them (and other simple entry-level bows), for example.

The Genesis bow has aspects of “feel” in between compound and recurve bows. They are heavy like compound bows but have no letoff, unlike compound bows, etc. So, an archer can go any direction after learning on a Genesis. Before I recommend a bow to a student, I provide them light-drawing compound bows (with let off) and recurve bows to shoot to see which they find more attractive. Once they choose a direction, I then proceed with a bow fitting because they usually have no idea of what they need to buy.

Because newish archers often change their minds, it is not advisable to recommend for them to buy the best equipment available. They may be wasting their money on expensive equipment if they end up changing their minds later. My recommendation is: beginner-level equipment for beginners, intermediate-level equipment for intermediate archers, advanced-level equipment for advanced archers and elite-level (aka “top of the line”) equipment for elite archers. This forms a “price ladder” as well. If an archer commits to the sport and gets coached and practiced up, they will proceed to better and more expensive equipment in stages. (The old stuff can be traded or sold as there is an active “secondary market” for archery equipment.)

I hope this helps!



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