I was talking with my daughter about her trying out a release soon, but I wasn’t sure what was available for youth releases. It was hard to find much info online, but I did some research and decided to share.
There are a limited number of quality youth sized releases on the market. Most of them are caliper releases with a wrist strap but a few companies such as Tru-Fire have smaller sized handheld releases available.
Not sure what to get for a youth archer? Let me give you some insight and make a few suggestions, just keep reading. You can also check out my recommended releases section.
What’s the Best Release for Youth Archery?
There are a number of advantages to using a release aid when shooting a compound bow. So it makes sense to get your junior archer started with one at an early age so they can develop the skills and improve their accuracy.
Unfortunately what I’ve found is that there’s a lack of information online about what a good youth release is and who makes them. That’s part of why I wanted to write this article.
Obviously the biggest difference in a youth release is going to be size. Most teenagers can probably get away with an adult sized release, but kids 12 and under will likely need a youth specific model.
Handheld or Wrist?
When it comes to choosing a release, you first need to decide what type or style. This may take a little trial and error so if the archer is unsure, it might be best to try a few before committing.
There are two basic categories that releases fall into: Handheld or Wrist. These are exactly like they sound. A handheld release attaches to the string, and the archer simply holds it in their hand while drawing the bow.
Alternatively, a wrist strap release actually attaches to the archer’s wrist and the pull force is applied from there whilst drawing the bow. This type is much easier to find in youth sizes, and often is a good starting point.
Releases for Youth Beginners
For a youth archer that’s never used a release before it can be a learning process. There are a couple schools of thought on this depending on who you ask.
The most commonly recommended type of release for a novice is the wrist release, typically a caliper style with trigger. These are simple to use and relatively intuitive. In addition, you can find a number of them in youth sizes in a wide range of prices.
However, punching the trigger and even developing target panic may be more likely for the younger crowd with this type of release. They just tend not to have that slow squeeze control that’s preferred.
The alternative would be to start them out on a back tension or hinge release, but the price point is going to be much higher.
I personally started with a wrist release at age 13 and did great.
I did actually develop target panic after time, but it was caused by something else and I still fight it to this day.
Another perfectly fine way to go is with a handheld thumb release. I’m just getting into these myself and they’re great. It’s a little less intuitive than the wrist release in my opinion but most kids will do just fine with it.
Releases for Intermediate and Advanced Youth
For somebody that’s been shooting a while and wants to go to a release from fingers, or they’d like to upgrade from a standard wrist release there’s a few options but of course the cost increases.
Some might argue you should start a junior archer off with a hinge release from the get go, but I’m not sure I agree and think it’s best to start with a simple caliper release. But a hinge is a great next step for an aspiring youth.
You can really take your archery to the next level with a hinge release (also known as a back tension release). I will say, finding a youth sized hinge release is a bit harder and much more expensive, so be aware.
A hinge or back tension release is great for combating target panic as well. There’s no trigger to “punch”.
Another option is simply to move up to a nicer wrist or handheld caliper release. The more expensive and better made models have more adjustments and better feel which can improve accuracy and comfort.
Age and Hand Size Matter
When it comes to sizing, a little bit of common sense is in order. The whole reason you’re on this web page is because you know a youth archer needs a smaller size than most adult archers.
Here’s some comparisons in hand sizes between adults and children.
|Hand Length||Hand Breadth|
|Adult Male||7.6 inches||3.5 inches|
|Adult Female||6.8 inches||3.1 inches|
|6 year old child||4.4 – 5.7 inches||2.0 – 2.7 inches|
|11 year old child||5.5 – 7.0 inches||2.0 – 3.1 inches|
Best Suggestions for Youth Archery Release
So now that you have a good idea of the choices available and why you might choose one style or type over another, let’s take a look at some great youth releases for you to consider.
Scott Hero X Wrist Release
This is a quality release made for smaller hands and is a newcomer to Scott’s youth lineup. I think Scott makes a great product overall and this youth sized release is no different.
The NCS connector strap system allows for infinite length adjustment for a wide range of hand sizes. The knurled trigger offers positive grip. I really like this one honestly, I think it’s at a great price point and is well made. You can check it out at Amazon for a great price.
Tru-ball Shooter Youth
Here’s another great quality release designed just for youth sized hands. This one comes in as a competitor for the Scott Hero but I thought it was important to include both here.
Like the Hero, this one has an adjustable strap for a large range of hand sizes. The rope attachment makes this release virtually torque free.
Another great thing about this release, it comes a different colors and is available on Amazon! Perfect to fit kids hands and personalities.
Tru-fire Patriot JR
I’ve included this release as my favorite choice in an affordable entry level release. If you’re not sure what type of release your child will prefer, this is an inexpensive way to try out this style.
The comfortable padded wrist strap is adjustable and the release rotates to easily work for left or right handed shooters.
Even though this wrist release is priced low, it’s still a quality product made by Tru-fire and available through Amazon. Crafted to fit small hands this is perfect for beginning youth archers.
Tru-Fire Sear Mini Release, One Size
I wanted to include a back tension (hinge) release in my list, and to be honest it’s difficult to find one that’s sized for smaller hands. Fortunately I came across this quality release. Also check out my article about back tension releases.
The Tru-fire sear mini is 20% smaller than their standard sized sear release, which makes it perfect for youth and people with smaller hands.
Like most hinge type releases this is going to be more expensive than the wrist strap caliper release listed above. However, the Tru-Fire sear mini is a good deal and is well made. It’s perfect for the junior archer that’s ready to take their archery to the next level. To take a look at pricing and availability head over to Amazon.