For the last decades archery in Cyprus was dominated by target archery shooting on a round target at set distances with 2 classes of bows: the Olympic recurve and the compound bow. In other European countries archery was far more diverse. Besides the two bow classes used in Cyprus more traditional bows were used. And instead of target archery 3–D archery became a booming sport. 3–D archery means you are shooting with a traditional bow on plastic animals in a natural environment. Each shot is different. The size of the target ranges from a rat to a big deer and the range from 1 meter to 50 meters.
The shots are going straight or uphill and downhill. Besides Olympic recurve and compound the traditional bows like longbows, self–made primitive bows or wooden recurves are used.
Since few years this trend spreads to Cyprus too. The first ones to introduce traditional archery was a small group of archers in Paphos lead by Jim Spooner. They have a field in Armou with 2–D and 3–D targets and shooting only traditional bows. Pentakomo became the first place to organize filed archery with straw targets with animal pictures. In 2014 Philoktitis archery in Larnaca started with traditional archery. Dietrich Krieghoff brought new ideas from Germany where he has been for long years the president of a traditional archery club near Aachen. Two bow making seminars organized by Philoktitis and a first small 3–D tournament with 20 plastic animals were well accepted and lead to and increased interest in traditional archery. The tournament with traditional bows includes straight shots, uphill and downhill shots at unknown distances.
In 2015 the trend to more traditional archery picked up speed. In February Golden Arrow Pentakomo organized another field archery tournament and then in February Philoktitis archery club organized the first full 3–D tournament in Cyprus. 30 targets including one flying goose and a parting shot backwards from a (wooden) horse have been an experience for all participants. A bow making seminar in Paphos will be followed by another one in Larnaca and one in Paphos. Traditional archery is open for every archer whatever his age or abilities. It is less regulated than the target archery and – if you asked me – it’s much more fun.
You don’t stand crammed in a stadium where you are not allowed to speak or have fun and shoot 36 or 72 arrows at a fixed range. Your bow is expensive in the range of a 1000 Euros upwards and a set of good arrow costs you 300 Euros. In traditional archery you either make your bow yourself from a piece of wood or create your individual traditional arrow or you buy a nice bow from a factory starting with 140 Euros. You shoot in the nature and every shot is a new challenge. Uphill or downhill, short or long on animals of all sizes. If you are interested in traditional archery please contact Philoktitis archery club. We are happy for every visitor and offer an orientation of how to start traditional archery. Whether you are young or old – there is no better time to start shooting a traditional bow than right now!