“Wonder Woman” was a top movie this summer and archery’s top movie of the year. It even had “Hunger Games” box-office numbers, an impressive $411 million domestic gross.
Well, you can’t shoot exactly like her. Jumping through the air and shooting multiple arrows at once are special-effects theatrics best left to Hollywood. However, you can use gear and shooting techniques like those used by Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman’s Bow
Wonder Woman and the Amazonians shoot longbows, which are a traditional bow. As the name suggests, longbows are lengthy, with most models measuring 62 to 72 inches. Another defining feature is their limbs — the parts that bend — have a continuous graceful curve. In contrast, the recurve bow has distinctly curved tips.
When you visit an archery shop, choose your longbow based on how it shoots. By patiently shooting each model you’ll learn which bow shoots best for you.
Another option is a recurve bow or horse bow. Although these bows were not used in the movie, it’s thought their use by Scythian archers in battle inspired the Amazonian myth.
Wonder Woman’s Arrows
To maximize your longbow’s authenticity, you’ll need wooden arrows with feather fletching. Wonder Woman’s feathers have a unique shape that’s similar to batwing feathers manufactured by Gateway Feathers. Your archery shop can custom build your arrows to match those from the movie, or you can add your personal touch with your favorite fletching color and shape.
Wooden arrows are beautiful and authentic, but they aren’t champions of durability. To solve that issue, some carbon and aluminum arrows pair beautiful wood-grain finishes with the durability of modern materials.
Wonder Woman’s Quiver
Wonder Woman uses a back quiver to carry her arrows and keep them quickly accessible. Her quiver is made from leather, a common material in back quivers. You’ll find leather back quivers at nearby archery shops.
Wonder Woman’s Shooting Style
Hollywood doesn’t always get archery techniques technically correct, but the archery form in “Wonder Woman” isn’t bad. Most of the Amazonians hold the bowstring with their index, middle and ring finger, which is correct. And in most scenes, they cant the bow, which means holding it a slight vertical angle. That’s a technique many traditional archers use to help align the arrow with their eye to provide a better sight picture.
It’s worth noting those techniques because we’re all just normal humans trying to master archery’s age-old skills. Even though we lack superpowers and a hero’s calling, we can still enjoy archery and shoot much like Amazonian warriors.
Are you ready to take your archery interest from the theater to the range? If so, you can try it in lots of great ways. One of the easiest ways to start is by visiting an archery shop for introductory lessons. Think of the shop’s instructors as your Aunt Antiope: They’ll show you how to shoot with proper form and help bring out your full potential.