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

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  • 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 1 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
      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
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
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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 2 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
        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 3 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
          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 4 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
            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 5 of 28 , Sep 8, 2004
              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 6 of 28 , Sep 8, 2004
                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 7 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
                  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 8 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
                    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 9 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
                      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 10 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
                        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 11 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
                          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 12 of 28 , Sep 9, 2004
                            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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