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Re: [SCA-Archery] Event differences/Seeking advice

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  • Carolus Eulenhorst
    Sure, a higher poundage will get a flatter trajectory. But it will make it harder to learn good form and your 26 should work just fine at these short
    Message 1 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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      Sure, a higher poundage will get a flatter trajectory. But it will make
      it harder to learn good form and your 26 should work just fine at these
      short distances. I had a gal with a 25 # bow dropping nearly on the pin
      of a 90 yard clout! So, what's next? Your release. We really haven't
      gotten into releases here yet so this is kind of new territory. Let's
      see if I can get this across.

      First off, some basics. The power for your draw comes from your back,
      not your arms or shoulders. In fact, the muscles of your arms should be
      slightly relaxed even at full draw. You want this tension in your back
      to continue through your release and into the follow through. This gives
      what is called an active release as opposed to a dead release.

      A dead release is one in which the archer pulls to his anchor point,
      stops and simply opens his fingers. It's good, steady and doesn't
      introduce errors to the arrow. But it robs his shot of power. Once the
      archer stops pulling the bow begins to lose energy and the longer he
      waits the slower his shot (the less cast it has). This means that more
      arc is needed to get downrange. On the other hand, an active release is
      one in which the archer prepares his shot in advance, draws to where his
      site picture is where he expects it to be as he reaches his anchor (yes
      even instinctive archers have site pictures, they just have them so
      ingrained that they are conscious of them), hesitates for an instant to
      be sure everything is right, and pulls through, relaxing his fingers on
      the way getting a fast, efficient release. The archer's hand ends up
      behind his anchor during follow through. For example, my anchor is under
      my chin with the string touching my nose, both lips, and the center of my
      chin. My thumb is resting under and against my jaw. As I release, ma
      hand continues back and ends up under my ear. That is, if I do it right.
      This is the active release.

      Using this release I was able to get flat shots from a 33# bow at 60
      yards. One of the tricks here is to never, never let your back relax
      once your start drawing until you complete your follow through. You will
      also want to powder your string fingers. I like a mix of 50/50 baby
      powder and corn starch. Rub it into your string hand before putting on
      your glove or tab, then powder your glove or tab as well. Keep
      reapplying until the leather is well saturated.

      This will give you an impressive increase in arrow speed and accuracy.
      Carolus


      On Wed, 1 Sep 2004 00:07:17 -0700 (PDT) Sharon Macielinski
      <ariel_elronds_daughter@...> writes:
      > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40
      > business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!
      >
      > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to
      > tell me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no
      > problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing
      > because I wanted a heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure
      > out the "arc" thing in order to hit the target accurately.
      >
      > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is
      > figuring out how far above the target to aim... even with a good
      > anchor point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
      >
      > Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher
      > poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more
      > accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to hit a target? It's
      > like a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
      >
      > Thanks as always for all the great advice!
      > Alestra

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    • John Rossignol
      ... Actually, timed shoots make a lot of sense, if you think historically. Imagine the enemy charging your firing line, and they are going to reach you in a
      Message 2 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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        Sharon Macielinski wrote:

        >Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40 business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!
        >
        >

        Actually, timed shoots make a lot of sense, if you think historically.
        Imagine the enemy charging your firing line, and they are going to
        reach you in a few seconds unless you shoot them all...

        As far as the 20/30/40-yard targets...well, you have to learn to walk
        before you can run. Actually, one of the best things you can do as a
        beginner is to not worry about aiming at a target at all, but just
        practice your draw, anchor, and release.

        >Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in order to hit the target accurately.
        >

        If you are really only drawing 26 pounds, then the politest way I can
        put this is to say that your instructor is not being very realistic.
        Reaching the target is not the same thing as hitting it, and I have
        seen a lot of arrows from weak bows simply bounce off the hay bales at
        30 and 40 yards even when they did hit them. See my comments below your
        bottom paragraph.

        >My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring out how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
        >

        Aiming high above the target is tough, because you seldom have anything
        handy up in the sky to use as an aiming point, and it's easy to lose
        track of where the target is. What many archers do in this situation is
        to use an anchor point on their chest or stomach -- a technique commonly
        used in clout shooting. This allows them to sight over the tip of a
        steeply-angled arrow without having to look way up into the sky.
        Exactly how high to aim is something you will have to work out by trial
        and error, since every bow and person is different.

        If you are truly getting *random* arrow speeds, then I suspect that your
        draw, anchor, and release are not as consistent as you think. A high
        degree of consistency in these actions is the very foundation of good
        archery, and generally takes years of practice to achieve. Even very
        small variations can cause quite an effect on the flight of an arrow.

        The only other random factors affecting arrow speed would be the wind,
        and maybe disintegrating equipment (unlikely). A non-random factor
        could be mismatched arrows, especially with differences in spine and/or
        fletching. I say non-random because, if all other factors are uniform,
        the same arrow should fly approximately the same every time you shoot
        it. Unless the wind is gusting, though, the greatest source of
        randomness is the archer.

        >Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to hit a target?
        >

        You are entirely correct in thinking that higher arrow velocity should
        increase your accuracy, and for two main reasons.

        The first is that a faster arrow can reach a given target with a flatter
        trajectory than can a slower arrow ( I assume that is what you mean by
        "an arrow that flies straight"). The advantage here is that, as you
        have noted, it makes aiming much easier -- no aiming up in the sky to
        reach targets that are only 40 yards away.

        The second is that a faster arrow will be less affected by wind. There
        are three aspects of this. 1) Since the faster arrow will be in the air
        for a shorter time before reaching the target, there is less time for
        the prevailing wind to act upon it. 2) Since it will be in the air for
        a shorter time, there is less chance that it will be affected by a
        *change* in the wind that occurs while it is in flight. We can learn to
        compensate for steady wind, but gusts and lulls are unpredictable. 3)
        An arrow shot in a high arc is often exposed to wind of greater force
        and different direction that the wind closer to the ground.

        Except for the wind factor, I can't think of anything that would make a
        faster arrow inherently more consistent than a slower one.
        Inconsistency is almost always due to the archer.

        When trying to get your arrows to fly faster, it is important to
        remember that a heavier draw weight is only one contributing factor.
        Another is the efficiency of the bow -- how fast it throws the arrow
        per pound of draw weight. Some bow designs are more efficient than
        others, and within any particular design some individual bows are more
        efficient than others because of the materials and craftsmanship
        involved. If you can, try some different types of bow. Some of the
        recurved designs are not only more efficient than a longbow, but are
        actually much easier to draw at the same poundage.

        Another thing you can do is to use an anchor point which gives you a
        longer draw length, i.e. to your cheek or your ear instead of your chin.
        Traditional Japanese archers draw all the way to the shoulder. A
        longer draw generally increases the effective draw weight of a bow.

        Arrow weight also has an effect on arrow velocity, but it can be pro or
        con according to distance and shooting conditions. The most important
        thing, as far as weight, is that your arrows all be the same.

        All this being said, it is still very important to not use a bow that is
        too heavy for you *right now*. You can injure yourself, and you can
        develop very bad form and habits. Most of us wish we could shoot
        heavier bows, but we have to let reality be our guide. Your muscles
        will gain strength fairly rapidly if you draw your bow a lot, but it
        doesn't do to anticipate too much. The best rule of thumb that I have
        heard for choosing a good draw weight is one posted on this list by
        Carolus Eulenhorst, so I will quote him here: "As to poundage, the best
        thing is to go to practice and try pulling different bows. Find a weight
        you can just hold at full draw for ten seconds. if you can hold longer
        the you will outgrow the bow quickly and if you can't hold that long the
        bow is too heavy for you (overbowed)."

        If you are serious about archery, please believe me that in the early
        stages it is actually far more important for you to work on your draw,
        anchor, and release than it is to hit 40-yard targets -- or any targets,
        for that matter. And you should do it with a bow that you can draw
        easily. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it will really pay
        off.

        >It's like a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
        >
        >
        Sorry, I don't understand this comment.

        John
      • Dan Scheid
        ... that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and am
        Message 3 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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          > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell me
          that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30
          and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and
          am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in order to hit the
          target accurately.
          > > Alestra
          >
          he is right after watching the Olympics with them shooting 40# Bow at 70
          meters . your 35 should hit. But I use a 60# never could work the arch thing
          Damales
        • Scott Jaqua
          There is no reason that a 26lb bow should not be able to hit and stick into a target at 40 yards. (unless your target is unreasonably dense). I had a 22lb bow
          Message 4 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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            There is no reason that a 26lb bow should not be able to hit and stick
            into a target at 40 yards. (unless your target is unreasonably dense). I
            had a 22lb bow that I used to lend out to left handed students and it
            did the job just fine.

            First off heed your coach and the majority here. Don't go to a heavy bow
            yet. This is a great time to practice consistent form. Wait until you
            are consistent with this bow before you add more weight to the equation.

            Others have spoken of your anchor and release. And these are key to
            getting the maximum consistent level of energy out of your bow.

            However, as distance increases, there is another element of your form
            that gains in importance. And that is follow through. A minor follow
            through error a short distance is greatly magnified as the distance
            increases. In short you need the bow to remain a steady launch platform
            until the arrow clears the rest. If the arrow rest falls away from the
            arrow too quickly, then the arrow will fall of as well.

            The best thing you can do is slightly exaggerate the follow through.
            Hold your form for a few seconds after the release before you relax.
            This is one case of too much is better then not enough.

            And on a final note: lack of a proper follow through is perhaps the
            number one error I see in even the most experienced SCA archers. (that
            and a nasty pluck on release that I have (been working on it for 26
            years, still it comes back after any lay off between practices))

            Njall
          • Nest verch Tangwistel
            ... Why don t the timed ends make sense? ... The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25 pounds. The only problem I have seen is with the really light
            Message 5 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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              > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40
              > business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!

              Why don't the timed ends make sense?

              >
              > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell
              > me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems
              > hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a
              > heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in
              > order to hit the target accurately.

              The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25 pounds. The only problem I
              have seen is with the really light bows. The arrow hits the ceiling in out
              indoor range before you can get enough arc in the trajectory to reach the
              target. But my daughter shot the 100 yard clout with a 20 pound bow at
              Pennsic one year. She got all the arrows wither in the clout or the front
              wall. so it can be done.

              >
              > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring
              > out how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor
              > point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
              >
              I have to agree with others one this one. It sounds like you are loosing
              critical energy in some of your shots by collapsing. A good follow through
              may be the answer to your problems. It was taught to me that you should
              never completely come to a halt when getting to your anchor point. Go back
              to the anchor fairly quickly, then slowly continue pulling until you are
              ready to execute the shot. That way your arrow hand should continue moving
              back towards your shoulder after you have released. If your hand sometimes
              moves back towards the bow as you release you loose a great deal of speed.

              > Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher
              > poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more
              > accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to hit a target? It's like
              > a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....

              The flatter trajectory of a higher pound bow does help with shooting at
              unknown distances. The difference between elevation at fairly similar
              distances is less, so you don't have to be perfect on your distance
              estimation. Even more so with a crossbow. However, I echo the worry about
              going to strong before getting your form down pat.

              >
              > Thanks as always for all the great advice!
              > Alestra

              Good luck and keep on shooting.

              Nest



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            • Nest verch Tangwistel
              ... Why don t the timed ends make sense? ... The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25 pounds. The only problem I have seen is with the really light
              Message 6 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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                > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40
                > business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!

                Why don't the timed ends make sense?

                >
                > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell
                > me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems
                > hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a
                > heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in
                > order to hit the target accurately.

                The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25 pounds. The only problem I
                have seen is with the really light bows. The arrow hits the ceiling in out
                indoor range before you can get enough arc in the trajectory to reach the
                target. But my daughter shot the 100 yard clout with a 20 pound bow at
                Pennsic one year. She got all the arrows wither in the clout or the front
                wall. so it can be done.

                >
                > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring
                > out how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor
                > point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
                >
                I have to agree with others one this one. It sounds like you are loosing
                critical energy in some of your shots by collapsing. A good follow through
                may be the answer to your problems. It was taught to me that you should
                never completely come to a halt when getting to your anchor point. Go back
                to the anchor fairly quickly, then slowly continue pulling until you are
                ready to execute the shot. That way your arrow hand should continue moving
                back towards your shoulder after you have released. If your hand sometimes
                moves back towards the bow as you release you loose a great deal of speed.

                > Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher
                > poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more
                > accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to hit a target? It's like
                > a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....

                The flatter trajectory of a higher pound bow does help with shooting at
                unknown distances. The difference between elevation at fairly similar
                distances is less, so you don't have to be perfect on your distance
                estimation. Even more so with a crossbow. However, I echo the worry about
                going to strong before getting your form down pat.

                >
                > Thanks as always for all the great advice!
                > Alestra

                Good luck and keep on shooting.

                Nest



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              • Sharon Macielinski
                Thanks for the info! Maybe I just hadn t been taught this type of release yet? I will have to ask... I was so happy that I stopped plucking! When I stopped
                Message 7 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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                  Thanks for the info! Maybe I just hadn't been taught
                  this type of release yet? I will have to ask... I was
                  so happy that I stopped plucking! When I stopped
                  plucking I was able to get so much more accurate at
                  10-20 yard ranges. I anchor my middle finger in
                  corner of mouth just behind canine tooth and my thumb
                  stays under my chin to keep my hand still on
                  release... but I have been holding that too long--easy
                  to do if your bow is a light poundage :) I have been
                  told that the release is a relaxing of the fingers, so
                  you don't pluck!

                  I will try a faster release this afternoon, although I
                  can only shoot at a 10-15 yard distance here... I
                  should be able to tell if the arrows are flying faster
                  though by how far they get stuck in the target! :)

                  Thanks again... I like the baby powder cornstarch idea
                  too.

                  Cheers,
                  Alestra


                  --- Nest verch Tangwistel <eastarch@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're
                  > stuck with the 20/30/40
                  > > business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh
                  > well!
                  >
                  > Why don't the timed ends make sense?
                  >
                  > >
                  > > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my
                  > instructor is trying to tell
                  > > me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should
                  > have no problems
                  > > hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been
                  > fussing because I wanted a
                  > > heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out
                  > the "arc" thing in
                  > > order to hit the target accurately.
                  >
                  > The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25
                  > pounds. The only problem I
                  > have seen is with the really light bows. The arrow
                  > hits the ceiling in out
                  > indoor range before you can get enough arc in the
                  > trajectory to reach the
                  > target. But my daughter shot the 100 yard clout with
                  > a 20 pound bow at
                  > Pennsic one year. She got all the arrows wither in
                  > the clout or the front
                  > wall. so it can be done.
                  >
                  > >
                  > > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my
                  > difficulty is figuring
                  > > out how far above the target to aim... even with a
                  > good anchor
                  > > point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY
                  > HINTS?
                  > >
                  > I have to agree with others one this one. It sounds
                  > like you are loosing
                  > critical energy in some of your shots by collapsing.
                  > A good follow through
                  > may be the answer to your problems. It was taught to
                  > me that you should
                  > never completely come to a halt when getting to your
                  > anchor point. Go back
                  > to the anchor fairly quickly, then slowly continue
                  > pulling until you are
                  > ready to execute the shot. That way your arrow hand
                  > should continue moving
                  > back towards your shoulder after you have released.
                  > If your hand sometimes
                  > moves back towards the bow as you release you loose
                  > a great deal of speed.
                  >
                  > > Also, I don't believe that I would have no
                  > advantage with a higher
                  > > poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight
                  > more
                  > > accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to
                  > hit a target? It's like
                  > > a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
                  >
                  > The flatter trajectory of a higher pound bow does
                  > help with shooting at
                  > unknown distances. The difference between elevation
                  > at fairly similar
                  > distances is less, so you don't have to be perfect
                  > on your distance
                  > estimation. Even more so with a crossbow. However, I
                  > echo the worry about
                  > going to strong before getting your form down pat.
                  >
                  > >
                  > > Thanks as always for all the great advice!
                  > > Alestra
                  >
                  > Good luck and keep on shooting.
                  >
                  > Nest
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                • Chad Wilson
                  ... 20/30/40 business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well! ... tell me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30 and 40
                  Message 8 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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                    --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Sharon Macielinski
                    <ariel_elronds_daughter@y...> wrote:
                    > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the
                    20/30/40 business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!
                    >
                    > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to
                    tell me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no
                    problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because
                    I wanted a heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out
                    the "arc" thing in order to hit the target accurately.

                    You need a way of gaining more arrow speed.

                    One way is to decrease the overall weight of your arrows while still
                    designing to fly in a balanced way. All of my bolts and arrows are
                    untreated. I stopped putting finishing seal on them and it produced
                    some much lighter arrows. You could go as far as buying 100 shafts
                    and then weight them all after cutting them down to use only the
                    lightest of the bunch, without sacrificing spine weight.

                    Another way is to increase the power stroke. The power stroke is the
                    part of the shooting process where the bow's string is pushing on the
                    arrow. With your shorter draw, you are sacrificing much of your
                    power stroke.

                    I wonder if you switched to a lighter longbow so you can pull a
                    longer arrow would help. As strange as it sounds, you could in
                    theory shoot a 25# longbow using longer arrows and have it shoot
                    faster than your 35# longbow with a shorter draw.

                    When I shoot a handbow, my arrows are 29". And I use all 29" of the
                    arrow.

                    -Caedmon
                  • Russ Sheldon
                    Greetings, A couple of things to remember. 1) Without some kind of trigger release ( ie using just your hand ) everyone will pluck the string sometime. Even
                    Message 9 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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                      Greetings,
                      A couple of things to remember.
                      1) Without some kind of trigger release ( ie using just your hand ) everyone
                      will pluck the string sometime. Even the best archer. Period.
                      2) There are more than one release method , static, active and what I call
                      open release. All have there pro's and con's and none of them are the be all
                      and end all of shooting. Use the one your most comfortable with.
                      Static is where you anchor your hand and just release your fingers.
                      I find that errors in your release using a static release can be magnified
                      by a lighter poundage bow. Also hard to get a nice fast release with the
                      string without a lot of practice. If you master this release though you will
                      get very good scores for all ranges of archery.
                      Active release requires you to anchor your hand and then pull and
                      release the string. I find that you get faster release with the string but
                      it is hard to get a consistent speed with the release for longer yardage
                      shots. Also easier to pluck using this method.
                      Open release ( may have other names ) has your hand follow the
                      release of the string for a few inches. Very hard to do right unless your
                      using really high poundage bows. Your hand just gets in the way and slows
                      down the release.
                      3) Be it a glove, finger tab, or just your fingers all must be inspected to
                      help better your release. A beat up grubby glove or finger tab can cause
                      your string to hang or not roll right on your release. These need to be
                      replaced when they begin to get worn. Trouble is they always seem to die
                      just as they get broken in just right. Sigh! As for your fingers, calluses
                      that will form may help protect your fingers from blisters but they may also
                      cause areas on your fingers to catch the string. You may have to smooth or
                      scrape these down periodically.
                      4) Do not expect to be shooting consistently for at least 4 to 6 months with
                      regular practice, some people are faster. Your muscles need to develop a
                      memory and I usually find that it takes some people that long for everything
                      to click. On a 60cm target I usually tell my students to be quite happy to
                      get all there arrows on the paper first. Also its better to get a nice tight
                      grouping even off the page consistently than have your arrows looking like
                      they were shot all over the place with a few in well scoring locations on
                      the target. The person with the tight group can eventually be taught to
                      change his aiming point and move the group onto the target thus netting
                      him/her a very nice score.

                      Lastly remember in all of this to Have fun.

                      Hope this helps.

                      Russ Sheldon / Dafydd ap Sion

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Sharon Macielinski" <ariel_elronds_daughter@...>
                      To: <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 1:50 PM
                      Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Event differences/Seeking advice


                      >
                      > Thanks for the info! Maybe I just hadn't been taught
                      > this type of release yet? I will have to ask... I was
                      > so happy that I stopped plucking! When I stopped
                      > plucking I was able to get so much more accurate at
                      > 10-20 yard ranges. I anchor my middle finger in
                      > corner of mouth just behind canine tooth and my thumb
                      > stays under my chin to keep my hand still on
                      > release... but I have been holding that too long--easy
                      > to do if your bow is a light poundage :) I have been
                      > told that the release is a relaxing of the fingers, so
                      > you don't pluck!
                      >
                      > I will try a faster release this afternoon, although I
                      > can only shoot at a 10-15 yard distance here... I
                      > should be able to tell if the arrows are flying faster
                      > though by how far they get stuck in the target! :)
                      >
                      > Thanks again... I like the baby powder cornstarch idea
                      > too.
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > Alestra
                      >
                      >
                      > --- Nest verch Tangwistel <eastarch@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > > > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're
                      > > stuck with the 20/30/40
                      > > > business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh
                      > > well!
                      > >
                      > > Why don't the timed ends make sense?
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my
                      > > instructor is trying to tell
                      > > > me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should
                      > > have no problems
                      > > > hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been
                      > > fussing because I wanted a
                      > > > heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out
                      > > the "arc" thing in
                      > > > order to hit the target accurately.
                      > >
                      > > The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25
                      > > pounds. The only problem I
                      > > have seen is with the really light bows. The arrow
                      > > hits the ceiling in out
                      > > indoor range before you can get enough arc in the
                      > > trajectory to reach the
                      > > target. But my daughter shot the 100 yard clout with
                      > > a 20 pound bow at
                      > > Pennsic one year. She got all the arrows wither in
                      > > the clout or the front
                      > > wall. so it can be done.
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my
                      > > difficulty is figuring
                      > > > out how far above the target to aim... even with a
                      > > good anchor
                      > > > point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY
                      > > HINTS?
                      > > >
                      > > I have to agree with others one this one. It sounds
                      > > like you are loosing
                      > > critical energy in some of your shots by collapsing.
                      > > A good follow through
                      > > may be the answer to your problems. It was taught to
                      > > me that you should
                      > > never completely come to a halt when getting to your
                      > > anchor point. Go back
                      > > to the anchor fairly quickly, then slowly continue
                      > > pulling until you are
                      > > ready to execute the shot. That way your arrow hand
                      > > should continue moving
                      > > back towards your shoulder after you have released.
                      > > If your hand sometimes
                      > > moves back towards the bow as you release you loose
                      > > a great deal of speed.
                      > >
                      > > > Also, I don't believe that I would have no
                      > > advantage with a higher
                      > > > poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight
                      > > more
                      > > > accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to
                      > > hit a target? It's like
                      > > > a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
                      > >
                      > > The flatter trajectory of a higher pound bow does
                      > > help with shooting at
                      > > unknown distances. The difference between elevation
                      > > at fairly similar
                      > > distances is less, so you don't have to be perfect
                      > > on your distance
                      > > estimation. Even more so with a crossbow. However, I
                      > > echo the worry about
                      > > going to strong before getting your form down pat.
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Thanks as always for all the great advice!
                      > > > Alestra
                      > >
                      > > Good luck and keep on shooting.
                      > >
                      > > Nest
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > _______________________________
                      > > Do you Yahoo!?
                      > > Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter
                      > > now.
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                    • James W. Pratt, Jr.
                      ... that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and am
                      Message 10 of 28 , Sep 1, 2004
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                        > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell me
                        that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30
                        and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and
                        am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in order to hit the
                        target accurately.

                        First befor I give any advice I need to know more about your current skill
                        level. Like how long have you been shooting, how many arrows a week you
                        shoot for practice, have you switched from other forms of archery? How did
                        you findout you had random arrow speed? Is your longbow a fiberglass
                        American longbow or a selfwood bow?

                        I to do not undersand the comment that a crossbow has the same advantage as
                        a higher poundage bow. It only takes a 60-70lb crossbow to equal the "arc"
                        of a 25-30 lb longbow. The crossbow has the same dis-advantage of having to
                        figure out the "arc". The advantage is that a crossbow has the exact same
                        release every time. Yes a higher poundage crossbow(just like a high
                        poundage longbow) will have less of an "arc" to a set distance than a lower
                        poundage bow, but it still has an "arc".

                        James Cunningham

                        > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring out
                        how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor point/release I
                        get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
                        >
                        > Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher
                        poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more accurate/consistent
                        than one that has to arc to hit a target? It's like a crossbow would have
                        no advantage! Hmmmmm....
                      • Mike Hornbaker
                        I might suggest there is a 4th method of release. I learned this when learning the longbow, read in a book, and also found corroboration in the Toxophilius.
                        Message 11 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I might suggest there is a 4th method of release. I learned this when
                          learning the longbow, read in a book, and also found corroboration in
                          the Toxophilius. Once at your anchor point, yourelax the fingers just
                          ENOUGH so that the pressure on the string bumps the fingers out of its
                          way at the same time the hand goes back a little farther along the same
                          line. That extra motion is about 1/2 inch of necessary motion for the
                          fingers and string to clear each other. No creeping forward, no exploding
                          fingers away from the string, just a clean sharp release. The way I know
                          I have done this correctly is that my fingers never completely lose
                          contact with my cheek, just lose a bit of pressure as i go back from the
                          anchor point. I call this "stroking the cheek."

                          The words, in general , From the Toxophilius are that a person watching
                          the release sees very little and the archer feels next to nothing. This
                          fits well with the fingers going backward at the same time the string
                          goes forward in a combined distance of 1/2 inch.

                          If your ability to aim is done well, adding the above to it will jump
                          your scores and efficiency.

                          Michael vanBergen






                          On Wed, 1 Sep 2004 14:47:05 -0400 "Russ Sheldon" <sheldon@...>
                          writes:
                          > Greetings,
                          > A couple of things to remember.
                          > 1) Without some kind of trigger release ( ie using just your hand )
                          > everyone
                          > will pluck the string sometime. Even the best archer. Period.
                          > 2) There are more than one release method , static, active and what
                          > I call
                          > open release. All have there pro's and con's and none of them are
                          > the be all
                          > and end all of shooting. Use the one your most comfortable with.
                          > Static is where you anchor your hand and just release your
                          > fingers.
                          > I find that errors in your release using a static release can be
                          > magnified
                          > by a lighter poundage bow. Also hard to get a nice fast release with
                          > the
                          > string without a lot of practice. If you master this release though
                          > you will
                          > get very good scores for all ranges of archery.
                          > Active release requires you to anchor your hand and then
                          > pull and
                          > release the string. I find that you get faster release with the
                          > string but
                          > it is hard to get a consistent speed with the release for longer
                          > yardage
                          > shots. Also easier to pluck using this method.
                          > Open release ( may have other names ) has your hand follow
                          > the
                          > release of the string for a few inches. Very hard to do right unless
                          > your
                          > using really high poundage bows. Your hand just gets in the way and
                          > slows
                          > down the release.
                          > 3) Be it a glove, finger tab, or just your fingers all must be
                          > inspected to
                          > help better your release. A beat up grubby glove or finger tab can
                          > cause
                          > your string to hang or not roll right on your release. These need to
                          > be
                          > replaced when they begin to get worn. Trouble is they always seem to
                          > die
                          > just as they get broken in just right. Sigh! As for your fingers,
                          > calluses
                          > that will form may help protect your fingers from blisters but they
                          > may also
                          > cause areas on your fingers to catch the string. You may have to
                          > smooth or
                          > scrape these down periodically.
                          > 4) Do not expect to be shooting consistently for at least 4 to 6
                          > months with
                          > regular practice, some people are faster. Your muscles need to
                          > develop a
                          > memory and I usually find that it takes some people that long for
                          > everything
                          > to click. On a 60cm target I usually tell my students to be quite
                          > happy to
                          > get all there arrows on the paper first. Also its better to get a
                          > nice tight
                          > grouping even off the page consistently than have your arrows
                          > looking like
                          > they were shot all over the place with a few in well scoring
                          > locations on
                          > the target. The person with the tight group can eventually be taught
                          > to
                          > change his aiming point and move the group onto the target thus
                          > netting
                          > him/her a very nice score.
                          >
                          > Lastly remember in all of this to Have fun.
                          >
                          > Hope this helps.
                          >
                          > Russ Sheldon / Dafydd ap Sion
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: "Sharon Macielinski" <ariel_elronds_daughter@...>
                          > To: <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 1:50 PM
                          > Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Event differences/Seeking advice
                          >
                          >
                          > >
                          > > Thanks for the info! Maybe I just hadn't been taught
                          > > this type of release yet? I will have to ask... I was
                          > > so happy that I stopped plucking! When I stopped
                          > > plucking I was able to get so much more accurate at
                          > > 10-20 yard ranges. I anchor my middle finger in
                          > > corner of mouth just behind canine tooth and my thumb
                          > > stays under my chin to keep my hand still on
                          > > release... but I have been holding that too long--easy
                          > > to do if your bow is a light poundage :) I have been
                          > > told that the release is a relaxing of the fingers, so
                          > > you don't pluck!
                          > >
                          > > I will try a faster release this afternoon, although I
                          > > can only shoot at a 10-15 yard distance here... I
                          > > should be able to tell if the arrows are flying faster
                          > > though by how far they get stuck in the target! :)
                          > >
                          > > Thanks again... I like the baby powder cornstarch idea
                          > > too.
                          > >
                          > > Cheers,
                          > > Alestra
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- Nest verch Tangwistel <eastarch@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > > Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're
                          > > > stuck with the 20/30/40
                          > > > > business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh
                          > > > well!
                          > > >
                          > > > Why don't the timed ends make sense?
                          > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my
                          > > > instructor is trying to tell
                          > > > > me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should
                          > > > have no problems
                          > > > > hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been
                          > > > fussing because I wanted a
                          > > > > heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out
                          > > > the "arc" thing in
                          > > > > order to hit the target accurately.
                          > > >
                          > > > The loaner equipment I use is between 17 and 25
                          > > > pounds. The only problem I
                          > > > have seen is with the really light bows. The arrow
                          > > > hits the ceiling in out
                          > > > indoor range before you can get enough arc in the
                          > > > trajectory to reach the
                          > > > target. But my daughter shot the 100 yard clout with
                          > > > a 20 pound bow at
                          > > > Pennsic one year. She got all the arrows wither in
                          > > > the clout or the front
                          > > > wall. so it can be done.
                          > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > My form and anchor points are just fine, so my
                          > > > difficulty is figuring
                          > > > > out how far above the target to aim... even with a
                          > > > good anchor
                          > > > > point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY
                          > > > HINTS?
                          > > > >
                          > > > I have to agree with others one this one. It sounds
                          > > > like you are loosing
                          > > > critical energy in some of your shots by collapsing.
                          > > > A good follow through
                          > > > may be the answer to your problems. It was taught to
                          > > > me that you should
                          > > > never completely come to a halt when getting to your
                          > > > anchor point. Go back
                          > > > to the anchor fairly quickly, then slowly continue
                          > > > pulling until you are
                          > > > ready to execute the shot. That way your arrow hand
                          > > > should continue moving
                          > > > back towards your shoulder after you have released.
                          > > > If your hand sometimes
                          > > > moves back towards the bow as you release you loose
                          > > > a great deal of speed.
                          > > >
                          > > > > Also, I don't believe that I would have no
                          > > > advantage with a higher
                          > > > > poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight
                          > > > more
                          > > > > accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to
                          > > > hit a target? It's like
                          > > > > a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
                          > > >
                          > > > The flatter trajectory of a higher pound bow does
                          > > > help with shooting at
                          > > > unknown distances. The difference between elevation
                          > > > at fairly similar
                          > > > distances is less, so you don't have to be perfect
                          > > > on your distance
                          > > > estimation. Even more so with a crossbow. However, I
                          > > > echo the worry about
                          > > > going to strong before getting your form down pat.
                          > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Thanks as always for all the great advice!
                          > > > > Alestra
                          > > >
                          > > > Good luck and keep on shooting.
                          > > >
                          > > > Nest
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > _______________________________
                          > > > Do you Yahoo!?
                          > > > Win 1 of 4,000 free domain names from Yahoo! Enter
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                        • Brad Boda d'Aylward
                          Random arrow speeds??? Something few people consider. Are you using snap nocks or speed nocks?? Snap nocks need pressure to push the back of the arrow onto
                          Message 12 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Random arrow speeds???

                            Something few people consider. Are you using 'snap' nocks or 'speed' nocks??

                            Snap nocks need pressure to push the back of the arrow onto the string with
                            a slight click. Unless these particular type of nocks have been filed to
                            grasp the string with the exact same pressure, one arrow will fly freely
                            while the next will experience a 'braking' effect as the snap nock hangs on
                            to the string a second longer than the others.

                            I always suggest speed nocks (there's another name for them) as they will be
                            more consistant in the point which they allow the arrow to leave the string.

                            Everything else being consistant, this should eliminate some of the arrows
                            dropping sooner than others.

                            Brad

                            Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Event differences/Seeking advice


                            >Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40
                            business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!
                            >
                            >
                            >My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring out
                            how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor point/release I
                            get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
                            >
                            >
                            >Thanks as always for all the great advice!
                            >Alestra
                            >
                          • Nest verch Tangwistel
                            What about poorly matched arrows? Did we ask about that? Maybe it is not so much a problem with the archer at all but with the equipment. I have had supposedly
                            Message 13 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
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                              What about poorly matched arrows? Did we ask about that? Maybe it is not
                              so much a problem with the archer at all but with the equipment. I have
                              had supposedly professionally made arrows which differed in weight as much
                              as 150 grains between them, and 20 pounds spine weight. That can add a lot
                              of randomness to shots. Especially at longer distances.

                              Nest
                              --- Brad Boda d'Aylward <bradb@...> wrote:

                              > Random arrow speeds???
                              >




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                            • Guy Taylor
                              This is where getting your arrows from a reputable maker who states that his or her arrows are weight matched and hand spined shows up. Keep in mind that not
                              Message 14 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
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                                This is where getting your arrows from a reputable maker who states
                                that his or her arrows are weight matched and hand spined shows up.

                                Keep in mind that not everyone matches the arrows they sell. If
                                they do not say that they are matched, you got exactly what you
                                payed for. If you purchased them from F/S Archery in California,
                                you got exactly what you payed for, but not what they advertise.

                                Guy

                                --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Nest verch Tangwistel
                                <eastarch@y...> wrote:
                                > What about poorly matched arrows? Did we ask about that? Maybe it
                                >is not so much a problem with the archer at all but with the
                                >equipment. I have had supposedly professionally made arrows which
                                >differed in weight as much as 150 grains between them, and 20
                                >pounds spine weight. That can add a lot of randomness to shots.
                                >Especially at longer distances.
                                >
                                > Nest
                              • Carl West
                                ... I anchor similarly, forefinger behind upper canine, at the gum. String in the finger joints. Thumb and little finger touching. To release, I press the the
                                Message 15 of 28 , Sep 8, 2004
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                                  Sharon Macielinski wrote:

                                  > ... I anchor my middle finger in
                                  > corner of mouth just behind canine tooth and my thumb
                                  > stays under my chin to keep my hand still on
                                  > release... but I have been holding that too long--easy
                                  > to do if your bow is a light poundage :) I have been
                                  > told that the release is a relaxing of the fingers, so
                                  > you don't pluck!

                                  I anchor similarly, forefinger behind upper canine, at the gum. String
                                  in the finger joints. Thumb and little finger touching. To release, I
                                  press the the hand against the face. This straightens the finger tips,
                                  away goes the arrow. No chance to pluck. Gotta keep the mustache trimmed
                                  though. Works better with stronger bows.



                                  -- Fritz

                                  Carl West
                                  mailto:carl.west@...
                                  http://carl.west.home.comcast.net
                                • Sharon Macielinski
                                  Hi. Thanks for the comments. Crossbow comment had to do with speed of arrow again. Faster arrows hit better, YES! Been working with my random bow (a self-bow
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Sep 8, 2004
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                                    Hi. Thanks for the comments.

                                    Crossbow comment had to do with speed of arrow again. Faster arrows hit better, YES!

                                    Been working with my random bow (a self-bow with attached horn shelf) for another week now... the brace height has been adjusted a couple times by the bowyer... he's having trouble shooting it... it BITES (slaps above the brace) too often... (even at a 7" brace height) the cherry/hickory is very sensitive to all the humidity (I've also noticed a twist in the limb) is part of the problem. I get terrible hand shock from it too. Because it bites, I've had to use a slightly bent elbow, just turning my arm causes my shoulder to roll forward (bad form, causes aches). Bending the elbow reduces the draw length! AND, depending on how tired or if I've just been bitten or whatever... I am not drawing to a consistent bend. Thus the varied speeds!

                                    And, yes I can draw that bow for much longer than 10 seconds.

                                    I am competing with this I THINK in 10 days... it is either going to be for joke/fun or I'm toying with switching to my daughter's 20# recurve bow!

                                    Wish me luck!
                                    Alestra
                                    PS> the biting is not my plucking; my instructor w/20 yrs exp. also had same prob.

                                    John Rossignol <giguette@...> wrote:
                                    Sharon Macielinski wrote:

                                    >Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40 business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!
                                    >
                                    >

                                    Actually, timed shoots make a lot of sense, if you think historically.
                                    Imagine the enemy charging your firing line, and they are going to
                                    reach you in a few seconds unless you shoot them all...

                                    As far as the 20/30/40-yard targets...well, you have to learn to walk
                                    before you can run. Actually, one of the best things you can do as a
                                    beginner is to not worry about aiming at a target at all, but just
                                    practice your draw, anchor, and release.

                                    >Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting 30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow and am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in order to hit the target accurately.
                                    >

                                    If you are really only drawing 26 pounds, then the politest way I can
                                    put this is to say that your instructor is not being very realistic.
                                    Reaching the target is not the same thing as hitting it, and I have
                                    seen a lot of arrows from weak bows simply bounce off the hay bales at
                                    30 and 40 yards even when they did hit them. See my comments below your
                                    bottom paragraph.

                                    >My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring out how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor point/release I get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
                                    >

                                    Aiming high above the target is tough, because you seldom have anything
                                    handy up in the sky to use as an aiming point, and it's easy to lose
                                    track of where the target is. What many archers do in this situation is
                                    to use an anchor point on their chest or stomach -- a technique commonly
                                    used in clout shooting. This allows them to sight over the tip of a
                                    steeply-angled arrow without having to look way up into the sky.
                                    Exactly how high to aim is something you will have to work out by trial
                                    and error, since every bow and person is different.

                                    If you are truly getting *random* arrow speeds, then I suspect that your
                                    draw, anchor, and release are not as consistent as you think. A high
                                    degree of consistency in these actions is the very foundation of good
                                    archery, and generally takes years of practice to achieve. Even very
                                    small variations can cause quite an effect on the flight of an arrow.

                                    The only other random factors affecting arrow speed would be the wind,
                                    and maybe disintegrating equipment (unlikely). A non-random factor
                                    could be mismatched arrows, especially with differences in spine and/or
                                    fletching. I say non-random because, if all other factors are uniform,
                                    the same arrow should fly approximately the same every time you shoot
                                    it. Unless the wind is gusting, though, the greatest source of
                                    randomness is the archer.

                                    >Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more accurate/consistent than one that has to arc to hit a target?
                                    >

                                    You are entirely correct in thinking that higher arrow velocity should
                                    increase your accuracy, and for two main reasons.

                                    The first is that a faster arrow can reach a given target with a flatter
                                    trajectory than can a slower arrow ( I assume that is what you mean by
                                    "an arrow that flies straight"). The advantage here is that, as you
                                    have noted, it makes aiming much easier -- no aiming up in the sky to
                                    reach targets that are only 40 yards away.

                                    The second is that a faster arrow will be less affected by wind. There
                                    are three aspects of this. 1) Since the faster arrow will be in the air
                                    for a shorter time before reaching the target, there is less time for
                                    the prevailing wind to act upon it. 2) Since it will be in the air for
                                    a shorter time, there is less chance that it will be affected by a
                                    *change* in the wind that occurs while it is in flight. We can learn to
                                    compensate for steady wind, but gusts and lulls are unpredictable. 3)
                                    An arrow shot in a high arc is often exposed to wind of greater force
                                    and different direction that the wind closer to the ground.

                                    Except for the wind factor, I can't think of anything that would make a
                                    faster arrow inherently more consistent than a slower one.
                                    Inconsistency is almost always due to the archer.

                                    When trying to get your arrows to fly faster, it is important to
                                    remember that a heavier draw weight is only one contributing factor.
                                    Another is the efficiency of the bow -- how fast it throws the arrow
                                    per pound of draw weight. Some bow designs are more efficient than
                                    others, and within any particular design some individual bows are more
                                    efficient than others because of the materials and craftsmanship
                                    involved. If you can, try some different types of bow. Some of the
                                    recurved designs are not only more efficient than a longbow, but are
                                    actually much easier to draw at the same poundage.

                                    Another thing you can do is to use an anchor point which gives you a
                                    longer draw length, i.e. to your cheek or your ear instead of your chin.
                                    Traditional Japanese archers draw all the way to the shoulder. A
                                    longer draw generally increases the effective draw weight of a bow.

                                    Arrow weight also has an effect on arrow velocity, but it can be pro or
                                    con according to distance and shooting conditions. The most important
                                    thing, as far as weight, is that your arrows all be the same.

                                    All this being said, it is still very important to not use a bow that is
                                    too heavy for you *right now*. You can injure yourself, and you can
                                    develop very bad form and habits. Most of us wish we could shoot
                                    heavier bows, but we have to let reality be our guide. Your muscles
                                    will gain strength fairly rapidly if you draw your bow a lot, but it
                                    doesn't do to anticipate too much. The best rule of thumb that I have
                                    heard for choosing a good draw weight is one posted on this list by
                                    Carolus Eulenhorst, so I will quote him here: "As to poundage, the best
                                    thing is to go to practice and try pulling different bows. Find a weight
                                    you can just hold at full draw for ten seconds. if you can hold longer
                                    the you will outgrow the bow quickly and if you can't hold that long the
                                    bow is too heavy for you (overbowed)."

                                    If you are serious about archery, please believe me that in the early
                                    stages it is actually far more important for you to work on your draw,
                                    anchor, and release than it is to hit 40-yard targets -- or any targets,
                                    for that matter. And you should do it with a bow that you can draw
                                    easily. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it will really pay
                                    off.

                                    >It's like a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
                                    >
                                    >
                                    Sorry, I don't understand this comment.

                                    John




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                                  • Carolus Eulenhorst
                                    Try this and see if it doesn t help the bite. Take your normal stance at the line, extend your bow arm toward the target, turn the arm so that the elbow
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
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                                      Try this and see if it doesn't help the bite. Take your normal stance at
                                      the line, extend your bow arm toward the target, turn the arm so that the
                                      elbow points horizontal (when the elbow is flexed the arm should move in
                                      a plane parallel with the ground), and then rotate the wrist to put the
                                      hand at a slight angle down on the outside of the arm. It will probably
                                      feel really awkward at first and may even hurt a little but you will get
                                      used to it. Then grasp the bow lightly and draw it with your arm
                                      returning to this position at full draw. This will move the bulk of your
                                      forearm muscle out of the way of the string, solidify the shoulder, and
                                      give a better draw.
                                      Carolus

                                      On Wed, 8 Sep 2004 23:59:16 -0700 (PDT) Sharon Macielinski
                                      <ariel_elronds_daughter@...> writes:
                                      > Hi. Thanks for the comments.
                                      >
                                      > Crossbow comment had to do with speed of arrow again. Faster arrows
                                      > hit better, YES!
                                      >
                                      > Been working with my random bow (a self-bow with attached horn
                                      > shelf) for another week now... the brace height has been adjusted a
                                      > couple times by the bowyer... he's having trouble shooting it... it
                                      > BITES (slaps above the brace) too often... (even at a 7" brace
                                      > height) the cherry/hickory is very sensitive to all the humidity
                                      > (I've also noticed a twist in the limb) is part of the problem. I
                                      > get terrible hand shock from it too. Because it bites, I've had to
                                      > use a slightly bent elbow, just turning my arm causes my shoulder to
                                      > roll forward (bad form, causes aches). Bending the elbow reduces
                                      > the draw length! AND, depending on how tired or if I've just been
                                      > bitten or whatever... I am not drawing to a consistent bend. Thus
                                      > the varied speeds!
                                      >
                                      > And, yes I can draw that bow for much longer than 10 seconds.
                                      >
                                      > I am competing with this I THINK in 10 days... it is either going to
                                      > be for joke/fun or I'm toying with switching to my daughter's 20#
                                      > recurve bow!
                                      >
                                      > Wish me luck!
                                      > Alestra
                                      > PS> the biting is not my plucking; my instructor w/20 yrs exp. also
                                      > had same prob.

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                                    • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
                                      Greetings, The common complaint about having the string slap on release has been covered many times here, and many have gone into great detail describing the
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
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                                        Greetings,
                                        The common complaint about having the string slap on release has
                                        been covered many times here, and many have gone into great detail
                                        describing the rotation of a woman's arm as oppoesed to a man's,
                                        yadayada......
                                        One way that will cure this problem for good is to learn how to
                                        hold the longbow the right way; it's the way I was taught back in the
                                        days that rocks were still soft. As you grip the longbow, the second
                                        knuckle down on the index finger should line up directly with the second
                                        knuckle of the thumb, parallel to the path of the arrow shaft . You use
                                        this as a way of pointing at the target...get used to this feeling. To
                                        do this, you will not be completely straightening and locking your bow
                                        arm and will always have a soft elbow joint (excellent for follow
                                        through, kind of like having a completely natural built-in stabilizer
                                        using only that which the good Lord gave you when you
                                        were born ;-) ) Voila! No more bowstring slaps.
                                        BTW I always wear a bracer anyway because nocks can break and
                                        things can always happen. Better safe than sorry. I shoot a very heavy
                                        draw weight bow, and it can hurt a whole lot with a light draw weight
                                        bow.
                                        My two pense,
                                        -Geoffrei
                                      • John Rossignol
                                        I hope Carolus advice helps you out, Alestra. I m sure his idea is good, I m just having a little trouble visualizing what he means about the wrist. By the
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
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                                          I hope Carolus' advice helps you out, Alestra. I'm sure his idea is
                                          good, I'm just having a little trouble visualizing what he means about
                                          the wrist.

                                          By the way, you can buy a bracer that should cover the whole "danger
                                          zone" of your bow arm. I bought one like that to lend people when I am
                                          introducing them to archery. It is 13" long, black leather with what
                                          feels like tough plastic rods sewn inside. It fastens with elastic and
                                          velcro, and it bends at the elbow. It's not "period", of course, but it
                                          is not obtrusive, and when your arm is getting massacred, who cares,
                                          anyhow? I didn't get it at a "traditional archery" store -- there
                                          aren't any right around where I live, and I needed this bracer in a
                                          hurry. It was actually just a lucky find in amongst the ultra-modern
                                          and camouflage stuff, but it has worked out pretty well. Unfortunately
                                          I don't remember the brand name. And you know, there is no law against
                                          padding the inside of your bracer, either (isn't that why sleeves were
                                          invented?)

                                          Of course, super-bracers and extra padding should only be stop-gap
                                          measures, to use until you can solve the problem with good technique and
                                          compatible equipment. But in the meantime -- hey, they can help you
                                          have fun and shoot the bow without killing yourself.

                                          That twisted limb on your bow is almost certainly causing some of your
                                          problems. By the way, 7" is not all that high a brace height, and that
                                          does make it easier to slap your arm with the string. My first bow has
                                          a brace height just over 7" with the strings I used, and I got some
                                          really terrific bruises before I got a decent bracer and, more
                                          importantly, learned to hold my arm correctly. Of course, if you used a
                                          shorter string to get a higher (and "safer") brace height, that would
                                          shorten your power stroke, and you certainly don't want do that with
                                          such a light bow.

                                          And yes, Good Luck in your competition, but remember -- however it goes,
                                          the object is always to Have Fun. I know we can lose sight of that
                                          sometimes, but it should always be our goal. So if your equipment
                                          really spoils this one for you, at least use it as an opportunity to lay
                                          the foundation for Having Fun in the future: by getting some experience
                                          with other bows. After a competition is over, the Range Marshal will
                                          usually open the range for practice. If there are archers there with
                                          bows in your general strength range, ask if you can try shooting them.
                                          Most archers I have met are very generous about this. See if other
                                          bows give you the same problems as your bow. Compare the feel of
                                          different bows as you draw and release, and try to find what might be a
                                          better draw weight for you. You might also find a particular design or
                                          brand that you especially like.

                                          Good luck. I hope some of that helps.

                                          John


                                          Carolus Eulenhorst wrote:

                                          >Try this and see if it doesn't help the bite. Take your normal stance at
                                          >the line, extend your bow arm toward the target, turn the arm so that the
                                          >elbow points horizontal (when the elbow is flexed the arm should move in
                                          >a plane parallel with the ground), and then rotate the wrist to put the
                                          >hand at a slight angle down on the outside of the arm. It will probably
                                          >feel really awkward at first and may even hurt a little but you will get
                                          >used to it. Then grasp the bow lightly and draw it with your arm
                                          >returning to this position at full draw. This will move the bulk of your
                                          >forearm muscle out of the way of the string, solidify the shoulder, and
                                          >give a better draw.
                                          >Carolus
                                          >
                                          >On Wed, 8 Sep 2004 23:59:16 -0700 (PDT) Sharon Macielinski
                                          ><ariel_elronds_daughter@...> writes:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >>Hi. Thanks for the comments.
                                          >>
                                          >>Crossbow comment had to do with speed of arrow again. Faster arrows
                                          >>hit better, YES!
                                          >>
                                          >>Been working with my random bow (a self-bow with attached horn
                                          >>shelf) for another week now... the brace height has been adjusted a
                                          >>couple times by the bowyer... he's having trouble shooting it... it
                                          >>BITES (slaps above the brace) too often... (even at a 7" brace
                                          >>height) the cherry/hickory is very sensitive to all the humidity
                                          >>(I've also noticed a twist in the limb) is part of the problem. I
                                          >>get terrible hand shock from it too. Because it bites, I've had to
                                          >>use a slightly bent elbow, just turning my arm causes my shoulder to
                                          >>roll forward (bad form, causes aches). Bending the elbow reduces
                                          >>the draw length! AND, depending on how tired or if I've just been
                                          >>bitten or whatever... I am not drawing to a consistent bend. Thus
                                          >>the varied speeds!
                                          >>
                                          >>And, yes I can draw that bow for much longer than 10 seconds.
                                          >>
                                          >>I am competing with this I THINK in 10 days... it is either going to
                                          >>be for joke/fun or I'm toying with switching to my daughter's 20#
                                          >>recurve bow!
                                          >>
                                          >>Wish me luck!
                                          >>Alestra
                                          >>PS> the biting is not my plucking; my instructor w/20 yrs exp. also
                                          >>had same prob.
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Carolus Eulenhorst
                                          It is what is referred to as a high wrist position. A low wrist position has the hand vertical with the bow resting heavily on the fleshy part of the hand
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
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                                            It is what is referred to as a high wrist position. A low wrist position
                                            has the hand vertical with the bow resting heavily on the fleshy part of
                                            the hand below the thumb. Many people use this position, especially with
                                            long bow. The high wrist moves the bow to the web of the thumb removing
                                            much of the pressure from the hand. It makes the bow "float" in the
                                            grip, eliminates much tendency to torque it, and lets the arm shift
                                            slightly out of the path of the string. If you hold your arm out and
                                            pronate the elbow (the first step I mentioned) you will find your hand
                                            naturally tends to take a position where the palm is parallel with the
                                            ground. This is too high. Rotate the little finger back down to a
                                            comfortable position (45 to 60 degrees down) without changing the elbow
                                            position and everything should drop into place.

                                            I have a virtually identical bracer. It was made by Saunders. There are
                                            others out there, too.
                                            Carolus

                                            On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 02:34:11 -0700 John Rossignol <giguette@...>
                                            writes:
                                            > I hope Carolus' advice helps you out, Alestra. I'm sure his idea is
                                            >
                                            > good, I'm just having a little trouble visualizing what he means
                                            > about
                                            > the wrist.
                                            >
                                            > By the way, you can buy a bracer that should cover the whole "danger
                                            >
                                            > zone" of your bow arm. I bought one like that to lend people when I
                                            > am
                                            > introducing them to archery. It is 13" long, black leather with
                                            > what
                                            > feels like tough plastic rods sewn inside. It fastens with elastic
                                            > and
                                            > velcro, and it bends at the elbow. It's not "period", of course,
                                            > but it
                                            > is not obtrusive, and when your arm is getting massacred, who cares,
                                            >
                                            > anyhow? I didn't get it at a "traditional archery" store -- there
                                            > aren't any right around where I live, and I needed this bracer in a
                                            >
                                            > hurry. It was actually just a lucky find in amongst the
                                            > ultra-modern
                                            > and camouflage stuff, but it has worked out pretty well.
                                            > Unfortunately
                                            > I don't remember the brand name. And you know, there is no law
                                            > against
                                            > padding the inside of your bracer, either (isn't that why sleeves
                                            > were
                                            > invented?)
                                            >
                                            > Of course, super-bracers and extra padding should only be stop-gap
                                            > measures, to use until you can solve the problem with good technique
                                            > and
                                            > compatible equipment. But in the meantime -- hey, they can help you
                                            >
                                            > have fun and shoot the bow without killing yourself.
                                            >
                                            > That twisted limb on your bow is almost certainly causing some of
                                            > your
                                            > problems. By the way, 7" is not all that high a brace height, and
                                            > that
                                            > does make it easier to slap your arm with the string. My first bow
                                            > has
                                            > a brace height just over 7" with the strings I used, and I got some
                                            >
                                            > really terrific bruises before I got a decent bracer and, more
                                            > importantly, learned to hold my arm correctly. Of course, if you
                                            > used a
                                            > shorter string to get a higher (and "safer") brace height, that
                                            > would
                                            > orten your power stroke, and you certainly don't want do that with
                                            > such a light bow.
                                            >
                                            > And yes, Good Luck in your competition, but remember -- however it
                                            > goes,
                                            > the object is always to Have Fun. I know we can lose sight of that
                                            >
                                            > sometimes, but it should always be our goal. So if your equipment
                                            > really spoils this one for you, at least use it as an opportunity to
                                            > lay
                                            > the foundation for Having Fun in the future: by getting some
                                            > experience
                                            > with other bows. After a competition is over, the Range Marshal
                                            > will
                                            > usually open the range for practice. If there are archers there
                                            > with
                                            > bows in your general strength range, ask if you can try shooting
                                            > them.
                                            > Most archers I have met are very generous about this. See if other
                                            >
                                            > bows give you the same problems as your bow. Compare the feel of
                                            > different bows as you draw and release, and try to find what might
                                            > be a
                                            > better draw weight for you. You might also find a particular design
                                            > or
                                            > brand that you especially like.
                                            >
                                            > Good luck. I hope some of that helps.
                                            >
                                            > John

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                                          • John Rossignol
                                            Oh, yes, thanks. I think I see what you mean. John
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
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                                              Oh, yes, thanks. I think I see what you mean.

                                              John

                                              Carolus Eulenhorst wrote:

                                              >It is what is referred to as a high wrist position. A low wrist position
                                              >has the hand vertical with the bow resting heavily on the fleshy part of
                                              >the hand below the thumb. Many people use this position, especially with
                                              >long bow. The high wrist moves the bow to the web of the thumb removing
                                              >much of the pressure from the hand. It makes the bow "float" in the
                                              >grip, eliminates much tendency to torque it, and lets the arm shift
                                              >slightly out of the path of the string. If you hold your arm out and
                                              >pronate the elbow (the first step I mentioned) you will find your hand
                                              >naturally tends to take a position where the palm is parallel with the
                                              >ground. This is too high. Rotate the little finger back down to a
                                              >comfortable position (45 to 60 degrees down) without changing the elbow
                                              >position and everything should drop into place.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                            • James W. Pratt, Jr.
                                              A low poundage(under 50LB) wood longbow is the hardest bow to shoot well. It bits, kicks, and turns weak if held too long. It will be extremly fustrating to
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
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                                                A low poundage(under 50LB) wood longbow is the hardest bow to shoot well. It
                                                bits, kicks, and turns weak if held too long. It will be extremly fustrating
                                                to get it to shoot well but if you can master it all other bows will be easy
                                                to shoot by comparison. Being that it is a selfwood/laminated wood bow and
                                                that you are "not drawing to a consistent bend" that is the two main causes
                                                for varying arrows speeds. Have fun shooting. The people who know bows will
                                                know how hard you are working to get your bow to shoot.

                                                James Cunningham

                                                P.S. Get a bracer big enough to protect your arm.
                                                The twist in the limb is not a big thing in a longbow... in a recurve...
                                                could be.

                                                > Hi. Thanks for the comments.
                                                >
                                                > Crossbow comment had to do with speed of arrow again. Faster arrows hit
                                                better, YES!
                                                >
                                                > Been working with my random bow (a self-bow with attached horn shelf) for
                                                another week now... the brace height has been adjusted a couple times by the
                                                bowyer... he's having trouble shooting it... it BITES (slaps above the
                                                brace) too often... (even at a 7" brace height) the cherry/hickory is very
                                                sensitive to all the humidity (I've also noticed a twist in the limb) is
                                                part of the problem. I get terrible hand shock from it too. Because it
                                                bites, I've had to use a slightly bent elbow, just turning my arm causes my
                                                shoulder to roll forward (bad form, causes aches). Bending the elbow
                                                reduces the draw length! AND, depending on how tired or if I've just been
                                                bitten or whatever... I am not drawing to a consistent bend. Thus the
                                                varied speeds!
                                                >
                                                > And, yes I can draw that bow for much longer than 10 seconds.
                                                >
                                                > I am competing with this I THINK in 10 days... it is either going to be
                                                for joke/fun or I'm toying with switching to my daughter's 20# recurve bow!
                                                >
                                                > Wish me luck!
                                                > Alestra
                                                > PS> the biting is not my plucking; my instructor w/20 yrs exp. also had
                                                same prob.
                                                >
                                                > John Rossignol <giguette@...> wrote:
                                                > Sharon Macielinski wrote:
                                                >
                                                > >Sounds exciting! Unfortunately I think we're stuck with the 20/30/40
                                                business, and timed shoots make no sense. Oh well!
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > Actually, timed shoots make a lot of sense, if you think historically.
                                                > Imagine the enemy charging your firing line, and they are going to
                                                > reach you in a few seconds unless you shoot them all...
                                                >
                                                > As far as the 20/30/40-yard targets...well, you have to learn to walk
                                                > before you can run. Actually, one of the best things you can do as a
                                                > beginner is to not worry about aiming at a target at all, but just
                                                > practice your draw, anchor, and release.
                                                >
                                                > >Alrighty guys... I need advice again... my instructor is trying to tell
                                                me that my 26 lb pull on my 30-35lb longbow should have no problems hitting
                                                30 and 40 yard targets. I have been fussing because I wanted a heavier bow
                                                and am frustrated trying to figure out the "arc" thing in order to hit the
                                                target accurately.
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > If you are really only drawing 26 pounds, then the politest way I can
                                                > put this is to say that your instructor is not being very realistic.
                                                > Reaching the target is not the same thing as hitting it, and I have
                                                > seen a lot of arrows from weak bows simply bounce off the hay bales at
                                                > 30 and 40 yards even when they did hit them. See my comments below your
                                                > bottom paragraph.
                                                >
                                                > >My form and anchor points are just fine, so my difficulty is figuring out
                                                how far above the target to aim... even with a good anchor point/release I
                                                get random arrow speeds!! ANY HINTS?
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > Aiming high above the target is tough, because you seldom have anything
                                                > handy up in the sky to use as an aiming point, and it's easy to lose
                                                > track of where the target is. What many archers do in this situation is
                                                > to use an anchor point on their chest or stomach -- a technique commonly
                                                > used in clout shooting. This allows them to sight over the tip of a
                                                > steeply-angled arrow without having to look way up into the sky.
                                                > Exactly how high to aim is something you will have to work out by trial
                                                > and error, since every bow and person is different.
                                                >
                                                > If you are truly getting *random* arrow speeds, then I suspect that your
                                                > draw, anchor, and release are not as consistent as you think. A high
                                                > degree of consistency in these actions is the very foundation of good
                                                > archery, and generally takes years of practice to achieve. Even very
                                                > small variations can cause quite an effect on the flight of an arrow.
                                                >
                                                > The only other random factors affecting arrow speed would be the wind,
                                                > and maybe disintegrating equipment (unlikely). A non-random factor
                                                > could be mismatched arrows, especially with differences in spine and/or
                                                > fletching. I say non-random because, if all other factors are uniform,
                                                > the same arrow should fly approximately the same every time you shoot
                                                > it. Unless the wind is gusting, though, the greatest source of
                                                > randomness is the archer.
                                                >
                                                > >Also, I don't believe that I would have no advantage with a higher
                                                poundage bow. Isn't an arrow that flies straight more accurate/consistent
                                                than one that has to arc to hit a target?
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > You are entirely correct in thinking that higher arrow velocity should
                                                > increase your accuracy, and for two main reasons.
                                                >
                                                > The first is that a faster arrow can reach a given target with a flatter
                                                > trajectory than can a slower arrow ( I assume that is what you mean by
                                                > "an arrow that flies straight"). The advantage here is that, as you
                                                > have noted, it makes aiming much easier -- no aiming up in the sky to
                                                > reach targets that are only 40 yards away.
                                                >
                                                > The second is that a faster arrow will be less affected by wind. There
                                                > are three aspects of this. 1) Since the faster arrow will be in the air
                                                > for a shorter time before reaching the target, there is less time for
                                                > the prevailing wind to act upon it. 2) Since it will be in the air for
                                                > a shorter time, there is less chance that it will be affected by a
                                                > *change* in the wind that occurs while it is in flight. We can learn to
                                                > compensate for steady wind, but gusts and lulls are unpredictable. 3)
                                                > An arrow shot in a high arc is often exposed to wind of greater force
                                                > and different direction that the wind closer to the ground.
                                                >
                                                > Except for the wind factor, I can't think of anything that would make a
                                                > faster arrow inherently more consistent than a slower one.
                                                > Inconsistency is almost always due to the archer.
                                                >
                                                > When trying to get your arrows to fly faster, it is important to
                                                > remember that a heavier draw weight is only one contributing factor.
                                                > Another is the efficiency of the bow -- how fast it throws the arrow
                                                > per pound of draw weight. Some bow designs are more efficient than
                                                > others, and within any particular design some individual bows are more
                                                > efficient than others because of the materials and craftsmanship
                                                > involved. If you can, try some different types of bow. Some of the
                                                > recurved designs are not only more efficient than a longbow, but are
                                                > actually much easier to draw at the same poundage.
                                                >
                                                > Another thing you can do is to use an anchor point which gives you a
                                                > longer draw length, i.e. to your cheek or your ear instead of your chin.
                                                > Traditional Japanese archers draw all the way to the shoulder. A
                                                > longer draw generally increases the effective draw weight of a bow.
                                                >
                                                > Arrow weight also has an effect on arrow velocity, but it can be pro or
                                                > con according to distance and shooting conditions. The most important
                                                > thing, as far as weight, is that your arrows all be the same.
                                                >
                                                > All this being said, it is still very important to not use a bow that is
                                                > too heavy for you *right now*. You can injure yourself, and you can
                                                > develop very bad form and habits. Most of us wish we could shoot
                                                > heavier bows, but we have to let reality be our guide. Your muscles
                                                > will gain strength fairly rapidly if you draw your bow a lot, but it
                                                > doesn't do to anticipate too much. The best rule of thumb that I have
                                                > heard for choosing a good draw weight is one posted on this list by
                                                > Carolus Eulenhorst, so I will quote him here: "As to poundage, the best
                                                > thing is to go to practice and try pulling different bows. Find a weight
                                                > you can just hold at full draw for ten seconds. if you can hold longer
                                                > the you will outgrow the bow quickly and if you can't hold that long the
                                                > bow is too heavy for you (overbowed)."
                                                >
                                                > If you are serious about archery, please believe me that in the early
                                                > stages it is actually far more important for you to work on your draw,
                                                > anchor, and release than it is to hit 40-yard targets -- or any targets,
                                                > for that matter. And you should do it with a bow that you can draw
                                                > easily. I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but it will really pay
                                                > off.
                                                >
                                                > >It's like a crossbow would have no advantage! Hmmmmm....
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > Sorry, I don't understand this comment.
                                                >
                                                > John
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
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