Is This The Hardest Thing For An Archer To Admit?

Finch

Member
When I purchased my bow back in July I was really happy. WNS Forged Elite Alpha, Soul Black Flash (for some reason I keep trying to write Blash!) limbs, A/C/C arrows and a DeCut sight amongst other bits and pieces. New bag etc.

I have shot this rig for a couple of months and my scores per session have been slowly improving (ignoring the Bray I and II I shot which were simply awful. More on those in a moment) so I thought I was happy with the setup.

Portsmouth round scores were hovering around 485 with a PB at 488 equalled on Wednesday last week.

bray2.png

However, I couldn't help but bring myself back to the Bray rounds that we shot at the end of September. Yes, the target face is physically smaller, but, I really felt that my rounds should have been higher than the 177 and 188 that I ended with.

Analysing and re-analysing the shoot in my head, along with why I am not scoring better on the Portsmouth, has lead me to a couple of conclusions:

1. Form is okay. It's not great. On some shots my head is not level, putting the arrow high or low. I try to use a mark on the wall to set my height but it doesn't always work. It will come with practice.
2. My release is not good. I still tend to pluck the string occasionally, sending the arrow left. On other occasions it feels like my fingers are hooked too far in (on the first joint) and I cannot release.
3. Towards the end of the round my forearm on my draw arm is aching. Just in front of the elbow, in the muscles that control finger movement. This should not be the case, I should not be feeling pain in my forearm (or any!) muscles at any point. This points to a massive issue.

Can you see where this is going yet?

I discussed this with the coaches (two level 1 coaches and a former level 2) and they all agree with my own assessment. This was all sparked from a thread on this very forum.

Yep, the hardest thing for an archer to admit. I am over bowed.

My lovely new Soul Black Flash limbs are 38lb at 28". I have the limb bolts wound out but I am overdrawing to approximately 29.5".

As you can possibly imagine, this hurts. Not my pride (too much) but definitely the bank balance.

It's not the archery shop's fault. They sold me what I asked for - I was shooting 36lb limbs previously so figured that 38s wouldn't be too much different. What went wrong was that I was shooting the 36lb limbs some 20 years ago and they gave me frozen shoulders.

Doing this before I injure myself again is a good thing.

So, I need new limbs. Probably new arrows too.

I having been looking over the weekend for KAP Winstorm II Carbon Foam and the only place I can find in the UK that specifically lists them is The Archery Shop in Poole and they only list 20lb weight on their website.

Any suggestions gratefully received, I suspect that I will need some new X7 arrows too. I think this is the bit I am most gutted about as my current ones were a gift from my parents for my birthday.
 


LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
For decent limbs that won't break the bank, have a butchers' at Samick Ideal (carbon foam) from Merlin. Only £77, I have 2 sets now (36# & 44#) & couldn't be more happy with them.

- maybe there should be a common term for the peeps that spend far more on kit than their progress justifies? 'Overshopped', perhaps?

Yep, the hardest thing for an archer to admit
I'd say it's equally valid to ask how many archers would have even bigger issues admitting that they are UNDER bowed!

- Although that has fewer 'stress' issues than being OTT.

What worries me is the people who shoot lighter draws but 'attack' anyone who draws 'appropriately' - accusing them of 'macho bullsh*t' (& similar) without ANY understanding of circumstances.
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
No such thing as being underbowed.
Another one no one will admit: that the hundreds of pounds they just spent on their kit and it still isn't the best stuff out there.
 


Stretch

Member
I’m crueller, you just spent £3k on archery gear that won’t score any better than if you’d spent £500/1000/1500 etc. It is important that while it is OK to love shiny new toys, you can’t buy points... well maybe 1 or 2.

(Although some archers can buy expensive short term confidence :eek:)

And agree, there is no such thing as under-bowed.

Stretch
 


Whitehart

Active member
For club archers I think you can be underbowed.
What I mean is if the bow is too easy to shoot, you lose focus and become lazy with your form and your groups widen.

For archers that only shoot once a week, having some resistance (making the archer actually do some work) will help with a cleaner release.

It's a fine balance between under and overbowed to progress.
 


Stretch

Member
So the root cause is the low concentration/practice methodology. Not the draw weight. Yes higher draw weight can be used to cover form deficiencies - especially finger tension. But if you shoot 38# with a death grip when you’re ready to shoot more it will be ugly the weight will magnify the flaw.

If a higher draw weight is all you have to focus your shooting your in the wrong sport.

2p

Stretch
 


Whitehart

Active member
So the root cause is the low concentration/practice methodology. Not the draw weight. Yes higher draw weight can be used to cover form deficiencies - especially finger tension. But if you shoot 38# with a death grip when you’re ready to shoot more it will be ugly the weight will magnify the flaw.

If a higher draw weight is all you have to focus your shooting your in the wrong sport.

2p

Stretch
No I did not say high poundage as per your extreme example turning archery into weight training down the gym, but making the archer actually do some work when shooting the bow.

Don't forget I started the thread about being overbowed this is not what I was suggesting, but inline with the comments on forgiveness in bows and bow set ups - you can get a lazy once a week club archer happy shooting a knicker elastic bow, by creating some resistance they will get better groups, higher scores and enjoy their archery more.

I have also seen MB archers jump to GMB just by adding a 1lb or 2 to their draw weight - not over bowing themselves, but creating a bit more tension to clean up the shot - longer term a case of diminishing returns but......
 


Stretch

Member
OK fair enough I understand what you’re saying but I am not wholly convinced. The increased work associated with a 1# increase is tiny. I’d just question whether the improvement due to weight increase was for the stated reason.

I have also seen a 1300+ archer drop into mid 1200 attempting, if I recall correctly, a 1# increase.

Other possible reasons for a positive outcome include confidence, better tune and maybe even better masking of a minor flaw. And another possible benefit is a lower float aim.

So maybe I’ll restate as I guess an archer with good form shooting 20# is probably underbowed. In my opinion :)-)) for club level archers there is very rarely such thing as under bowed.

Better?

Stretch
 


Finch

Member
Well! Didn't I stir the pot! :)

For the record I don't think that "underbowed" is as serious a problem as being over-bowed. Sure, it might not be helping the archer if they're pulling less weight than they could. They could become complacent which could or would eventually affect their form too. That said, what about the people that don't necessarily want to increase their draw weight?

At the moment it's all I can do to get my wife to score, she is quite happy just throwing the arrows at the target. I do see a little pride when she gets a nice group though. She is one of those that is only shooting once a week so she's not progressing as quickly as maybe she could, but, she is happy.

Now, Looking at various websites the KAP Winstorm II limbs that have been recommended at my club seem to be all but impossible to get hold of. Merlin list the Winstorm, but not the Winstorm II.

The Samick Ideal that Lion recommended above (thank you) are out of stock in the weight I want (32#) at Merlin.

I have seen the Samick Discovery R-1 and R-3 limbs but they only seem to be 62".

I really can't afford to blow a fortune on limbs but would like Carbon Foam or Carbon/Wood (as I shoot that now). I could get some more Soul Black Flash CW limbs but they're £144 a pair and I would prefer to spend a little less if possible.

Any suggestions?
 


Emmadragon

Supporter
Supporter
Going back to the OP, I shot 30# 20 years ago quite happily, until a car accident stopped all shooting (tore the tendons in my wrist, not good), and I only got back into it about 2 years ago. I thought my old bow would be fine for the beginners' class, so took it along, strung it, and then realised that no, 20 years has not been kind to my draw strength.
Had to take myself off to the archery shop immediately and got a nice 20# set-up. That did me fine until about 6 months ago, and I gradually wound the limbs up until I was drawing 25# otf. Got some new 26# limbs and wound them down to 25# to match what I was drawing, and I've coincidentally had nothing but problems ever since. Not connected with the increase in draw weight, I hasten to add, created by other health issues (I have many...), so I'm now back to my old 20# limbs, gradually winding them back up again. I'm not under-bowed, I am struggling with injury, so yes, you can have 20# and good form, and not be under-bowed. 20# is fine indoors, it's only over about 50 yards that it starts to become a sighting problem.
I don't think people in my club are either under- or over-bowed, but then we're really lucky to have a large complement of coaches, who run a completely open coaching evening in the summer every week, where you can just bring along any problem you have and ask advice. They're also quite forward if they think there's something wrong.
KG Archery are having a stock clearance on ebay right now, all their all-carbon limbs are half price, so it might be worth looking at them. Maybe a bit above budget, but everything I see tells me they're really good...I came across them the other day while mindlessly browsing.
 


Finch

Member
Great info, thanks Emma. My coaches are great too, always happy to help and discuss. It was a coach that loaned me his 70" 30# limbs to try. :0

<snip>

KG Archery are having a stock clearance on ebay right now, all their all-carbon limbs are half price, so it might be worth looking at them. Maybe a bit above budget, but everything I see tells me they're really good...I came across them the other day while mindlessly browsing.
I will have a look and see what they've got. It'll have to be their website for the moment, I have no access to eBay right now.
 


Stretch

Member
I bought a set of wood/glass Krossen Xenia limbs for my kids (£90 ish from Merlin) and to be honest they are as much as most people need. With 18# limbs that are 2” too short for me I can easily shoot 540+ Portsmouth scores outside with arrows that are about 4 spines too stiff.

The quality of the limbs is solid and they feel nice enough if a bit boingy. There’s no carbon but I’ve shot 1200+ 1440 scores with wood/glass limbs. I think to get Carbon limb at less that £140 your browsing old models so unlikely to be stocked in the size you need unless you are lucky.

Bottom line is I think if you pick your price and go for WNS, Krossen, Mybo, Samick, SF or any other similarly priced limb they’ll be fine.

2p

Stretch
 


Finch

Member
I bought a set of wood/glass Krossen Xenia limbs for my kids (£90 ish from Merlin) and to be honest they are as much as most people need. With 18# limbs that are 2” too short for me I can easily shoot 540+ Portsmouth scores outside with arrows that are about 4 spines too stiff.

The quality of the limbs is solid and they feel nice enough if a bit boingy. There’s no carbon but I’ve shot 1200+ 1440 scores with wood/glass limbs. I think to get Carbon limb at less that £140 your browsing old models so unlikely to be stocked in the size you need unless you are lucky.

Bottom line is I think if you pick your price and go for WNS, Krossen, Mybo, Samick, SF or any other similarly priced limb they’ll be fine.

2p

Stretch
Cheers Stretch. I had wondered about picking up a pair of wood/glass limbs just wasn't sure.

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