What Matters Most?

aequinox

New member
Hello. I've picked up archery over the summer and have yet to actually get to a teacher to see what I'm doing right or wrong -- just a lot of YouTube videos. One thing that I'm wondering about is how important each of the different pieces of equipment are. For instance, here are a few different pieces of equipment that I've heard can have an effect on how accurate you are (I shoot the Southwest Archery Spyder):
-Arrow Length
-Arrow Spine
-Arrow Material
-Bow String Material
-Bow Rest Quality
-Exact position of nocking points
-I'm sure there's hundreds more

My question is, how much do each of these actually matter if I'm not an expert archer? I'm guessing the answer will vary per piece of equipment, but it would help to know what I need to get right vs. what's bonus.
Thanks!
 

chrisgas

Supporter
Supporter
Hi, for what it is worth "which from me ain´t much" but.... during lock down you may have seen many posts by people who have been restricted to doing their archery at home. A lot of these archers have noted how they have been concentrating on form and have felt a great improvement. This I feel is where you should be trying to concentrate some of your enthusiasm, on technique rather than equipment, perhaps buy a stretchy band and hook up to someone on you tube who teaches technique. I am sure there are many on here who could point you in the right direction of someone who does teaching videos. Like for example Online Archery Academy on you tube.
 

little-else

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
What do you have as far as equipment goes at the moment?
If you own a bow then what is it and what limbs do you have. Do you struggle to draw the bow and what is your draw length? What arrows are you using and what length are they? Arrows that are too short are dangerous and arrows that are too long may well not be best suited to your bow when shortened to the correct length. If your draw inproves you may find that the draw length increases as your strength and technique improve so chopping a set of arrows that match the bow may not be a good idea yet anyway.
Changing something like the bowstring material will make a small difference but if the new one is the wrong length, thickness, material etc then you wont gain anything ever so best to have a start point of getting the best out of what you have
 

aequinox

New member
Thanks for all the replies! In response to little-else, I have a 29lb 62" Southwest Archery Spyder. I don't struggle to draw the bow, and I can hold it at full draw without being uncomfortable, but I'm not as steady as I'd like. Doing the wingspan / 2.5 my draw length is 28 inches. I have 30 inch arrows that I got off Amazon (and my guess is they're the main thing I may need to change -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y4MVLKD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1) with a spine of 500.
Oh and I have a Tru-Fire Smoke wrist release because I have a physical disability that makes holding the string with my fingers hard, so that's a bit unique I guess for an otherwise traditional recurve.
 

jerryRTD

Well-known member
Thanks for all the replies! In response to little-else, I have a 29lb 62" Southwest Archery Spyder. I don't struggle to draw the bow, and I can hold it at full draw without being uncomfortable, but I'm not as steady as I'd like. Doing the wingspan / 2.5 my draw length is 28 inches. I have 30 inch arrows that I got off Amazon (and my guess is they're the main thing I may need to change -- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y4MVLKD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1) with a spine of 500.
Oh and I have a Tru-Fire Smoke wrist release because I have a physical disability that makes holding the string with my fingers hard, so that's a bit unique I guess for an otherwise traditional recurve.
Welcome to the dark side You may not realise it yet but you will find that a standard recurve used with a release will have clearance issues . Added to that the fact that you will not be able to shoot in the recurve class at tournaments using a release aid You would be better off shooting compound.
 

aequinox

New member
What do you mean by "clearance issues"? I'm not super interested in tournaments so that isn't a big deal to me.
 

jerryRTD

Well-known member
What do you mean by "clearance issues"? I'm not super interested in tournaments so that isn't a big deal to me.
When the arrow is loosed during a conventional shot from a recurve bow the string slips around the fingers as the fingers can't get out of the way quick enough. This movement of the string sets up a pattern of flexing of the arrow which allows the arrow to clear the riser of the bow. You can see this happening in a high speed video clip on the Werner Beiter website the video clips are refered to as 'the way to the center.(visit the werner beiter sight and have a look for yourself) If you use a release aid you don't get the movement of the string, the arrow will go straight forwards and it will hit the riser around the about where the arrow rest is which will deflect the arrow. Compound bows have a deeper sight window which allows the arrow to clear the riser.
As for the arrows you gotat 500 spine4 they are not too much of a bad match but they are non detectable arrows and some clubs don't allow them
 
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aequinox

New member
So I guess that goes back to my original question, then. For a beginner archer, is that going to have a big effect on my shooting. Obviously, if I continue with archery I can change to compound or figure out something else as my accuracy improves.
 

Steve1968

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
Clearance issues will have an effect on your shooting, usually results in poor arrow grouping, possibly poor sight marks, possible damage to arrow rest, which could lead to confidence issues and losing interest. For now it might be best to just keep practicing until you can join a club, then you can ask for advice from the club coach or the more experienced club archers on your technique and equipment. Also have a look on Archery GB website, there's some information on there for beginners.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
The archer! A good archer will shoot well with a beginners set... a poor archer, will shoot badly with the best kit in the world (There are youtube videos showing this).
It's about having everything working together... which in turn is about feel and understanding, observation and experiment, rather than the size of your wallet or magic gizmos.
Not forgetting patience, and consistency!
Del
 
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jerryRTD

Well-known member
So I guess that goes back to my original question, then. For a beginner archer, is that going to have a big effect on my shooting. Obviously, if I continue with archery I can change to compound or figure out something else as my accuracy improves.
The biggest effect on your shooting and accuracy will be when you change to compound. the way you use a release aid with your recurve means you will always have arrows not coming off the bow cleanly. As for 'figuring something out' good luck with that
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
...My question is, how much do each of these actually matter if I'm not an expert archer? I'm guessing the answer will vary per piece of equipment, but it would help to know what I need to get right vs. what's bonus.
Thanks!
The answer, as you have probably realised by now is not straight forward. The issue here is probably your question not the answers. There are many archers that, although not expert, the things you list will be important. But the are also many archers that are happy to shoot every week but where your list doesn't get a second thought. It will come down to what you want from archery :)
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
The real answer depends on what you want to achieve.
Do you want to repeatedly hit a round target at a relatively long known range repeatedly?
Do you want to shoot at relatively short unknown ranges, with variety and fun in good company where your score will be compared with people shooting similar style bows?
If it's the latter, you can compete effectively with a wooden bow and arrows shooting NFAS (field archery) "primitive" or "Longbow" class.
It is interesting to note that at very short ranges (<10yards) a simple wooden bow can outshoot a sighted compound or recurve.
With most bow styles the vital thing is to shoot the same every time... even if it is "wrong" you can become consistent.
I've shot with bloke who drew short to in front of his chin (despite insisting he had a long draw!) but he had an uncanny ability to judge trajectory and distance, and he was consistent.
The BIG problem with "coaches" is that they can try and change everything you do, ruining any chance of consistency.
Del
 

English Bowman

Well-known member
In my opinion the bow is way too short. You don't say what the issue is with your fingers holding the string, but a shorter bow would exaggerate any problems in this area. In my opinion to get an idea of bow length for a recurve bow you're looking at draw length plus 40"
So if you've got a draw length of 28" then you should have a 68" bow.
The shorter the bow, the more acute the string angle at full draw and the harder it is on your fingers, but it will give a faster arrow speed. A longer bow will be smoother to draw and less harsh on the fingers, but will be slightly slower. D/L + 40" gives a good compromise.
There are reasons to go away from this formula and many field archers or hunters choose shorter bows so that they don't catch on trees or bushes, but they don't shoot as many arrows as a target archer so can deal with the problems of a short bow for the few arrows they do shoot as fatigue doesn't have a chance to set in.

I'd agree with most of what Del says above, but add that NFAS isn't the only field archery society, there is EFAA and AGB field clubs, the important thing is to find something you enjoy doing. (I'm an AGB archer as I prefer the more competitive nature)

Finally after lockdown I recommend joining a club 100%, you'll learn more, and learn it faster, and you get the social side, not to mention the fact that it works out much cheaper than replacing your home target, as well as the safety aspect. If you don't like the first club you find, try another as there are lots about and every club has it's own atmosphere.
 
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