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Re: Event differences/Seeking advice

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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