Archery Tips & Techniques
Here are some specific archery techniques to help when writing a character who practices archery or even to get you started on your own path to learning the sport. This is mainly tips and tricks for a recurve bow, however some of these could be used when dealing with a compound bow as well. Most of this will just be the basics but if you’d like more advanced information, feel free to contact me.
- Recurve bow is a standard ‘classic’ bow. This means you draw back the weight of the bow on your own instead of using wheels ( compound ) to help with the draw.
- Recurve bow’s perform better when the draw weight is at least 40 lbs or more.
- The larger the riser ( the middle section of the bow where the limbs are attached ) the less shock you will receive when shooting.
- The recurve has many parts, so let’s break them down:
- Arrow Rest - This is exactly what it sounds like. This is where you rest the arrow you are loading onto the bow.
- Back - The side of the bow that is facing away from you. The side of the bow seen by others.
- Belly - The side of the bow facing you.
- Grip - The part of the bow you hold with your ‘bow’ hand.
- Limbs - The curved upper and lower parts of the bow.
- Nocking Point - The place on the string where you rest the arrow fletching.
- Riser - The middle section of the bow.
- Arrowhead ( Broadhead ) - The point of the arrow. There are several types of these from metallic broadheads to plastic bullets.
- Fletching - The end ( vanes ) of the arrow, can be plastic, feathers, or metal. More often than not, it is plastic these days.
- Nock - The slotted tip attached to the fletching. This helps the arrow string onto the bow.
- Shaft - The main body of the arrow. They can be made out of a multitude of materials.
STANCE AND FORM
- Feet - Stance should always be solid and comfortable. Keep your feet shoulder length apart, aiming your body is subjective to the target.
- Grip - Do not strangle the bow. Let the bow rest in your hand. The best and most comfortable place is right at the base of your thumb, where bone meets palm.
- Bow Arm - A locked shoulder but relaxed, slightly bent elbow is how you should hold the bow. If you press down on your shoulder with your other arm, your bow arm should not move.
- Release Hand - When drawing the bow, keep your elbow sideways, it should not move up or down. Keep it straight and squared and let your release hand brush somewhere along your jawline. String to tip of nose. Also called ‘kissing the string’.
- Follow Through - Keep your bow arm up until the arrow hits the target. Your release hand should continue it’s motion of when you were aiming, brush against the side of your face and fall down once it reaches parallel to the back of your head.
DOMINANCE AND AIMING
- Dominant Eye - Determining if you are a left handed or right handed shooter is not based off of if you are left or right handed. Instead, it is based off which eye is your dominant eye. Most of the time your dominant eye will correspond with your dominant hand but it does not always have to be the case. To determined your dominate eyes, hold your hands away from your face about ½ inch away. Make a triangle with your thumbs and forefingers and center something on the wall inside of the triangle. then close your left eye. If the image stays centered or in view, you have a right dominate eye and vice versa if you close your right eye. While you use both eyes when shooting an arrow, your dominant eye should float to the target before your non dominant eye.
- Trajectory - If you are eyeballing your target, it is always good to understand that arrows curve and that your aim and shot should reflect that. If you are using a sight, trust the sight. Do not aim a little above or below the sight.
- Breath - old your breath for 5-7 seconds and then release it as you take your shot, this will help keep your accuracy in check and also help you not over-think your shot. This also helps your back tension.
- Back Tension - Only your draw shoulder should be the one to hold the tension and pivot as you shoot. If you use both shoulder muscles you will feel a more pushing sensation than a pulling one.