Competitive archery features a wide variety of equipment styles, ranging from longbows with wooden arrows to tricked-out compounds with space-age arrow shafts.
The bow you choose depends on your goals and personality. To help you decide, let’s look at some of archery’s competitive divisions.
The Olympic recurve is the type of bow used by Olympians. It’s also the bow of choice for thousands of recreational archers seeking a fantastic, challenging discipline. Therefore, Olympic archery provides an ideal hobby that combines physical exercise and mental discipline.
Olympic recurves have three main pieces: the riser and two limbs. The bow can be quickly disassembled for travel, or to switch to heavier or lighter draw-weight limbs. The riser includes the bow’s grip. It’s also where you mount your sights and arrow rest. The limbs generate the bow’s power when bending in unison as you draw the bowstring. When you release the bowstring, the limbs snap forward while releasing the limbs’ stored energy to propel the arrow to the target.
If you look at an advanced Olympic archer’s bow, you’ll also see long rods jutting out from the riser. These are stabilizers, and help archers steady their bow for precise aiming.
Traditional and barebow archery provide a challenge and are extremely fun disciplines. Traditional bows are a stripped-down archery form that’s simple, elegant and romantic. Traditional recurve and longbows are usually made from wood and fiberglass laminations. A barebow is like the Olympic recurve, but without sights and stabilizers.
If you love precision marksmanship, consider shooting in the compound open division. These bows are capable of incredible accuracy and are built to provide excellent shooting experiences. They can be tricked out and accessorized to deliver maximum accuracy. Target-shooting accessories include long stabilizers and magnified sights with finely adjusted settings.
If you shoot a compound bow but don’t want lots of accessories on your bow, consider trying the bowhunter division. This is a competitive division that restricts competitors to a short stabilizer, usually less than 12 inches, and forbids competitors from adjusting their sights during competition.
To learn more about equipment for competitive shooting, visit an archery store to check your options in person. To find a store near you, click here.
Credit: Archery 360
How To Aim With A Traditional Bow
Close your eyes and imagine a simple bow. No sights, no gadgets, just a sleek design. The bow you’re picturing is likely a traditional bow – timeless, authentic and tons of fun to shoot. And it’s time for you to give it a try!
You’ve probably seen traditional bows in movies like “The Hunger Games” and the “Avengers” series. Hollywood loves traditional equipment because it is easily recognizable and has an undeniable aesthetic quality.
Traditional bows are beautiful and shooting them is an organic experience because there are no gadgets to interrupt the flow of your shooting. While it is easier to be accurate with a compound bow, traditional bows offer a lot of fun in exchange for immediate accuracy.
How do traditional archers hit their target without sights?
In this video, John Wert of TradTech Archery discusses the three common ways traditional archers aim their bows.
Credit: Archery 360
How To Adjust Your Sight
What’s the difference between accuracy and precision? Accuracy is hitting where you aim. Precision is hitting the same spot every time. Archery requires both.
To achieve precision, you need good form and equipment. Accuracy is easier. You simply move your sight until the arrows hit where you aim.
To get started, you’ll need Allen wrenches. Most sights require an Allen wrench to loosen the screws and make adjustments. Pick up a set the next time you visit the archery store, and ask the experts for tips on how to use and adjust your sight.
Watch this video for instructions on how to make the best sight adjustments for your bow. You can also check out the detailed instructions below. to help you get started.
Credit: Archery 360
SIGHT ADJUSTMENT 101
To start adjusting your sight, stand close to the target so you can easily shoot three arrows into a “group.” A group is a cluster of arrows that strike close to each other in the target. Why three arrows? By adjusting your sight for the three-arrow average, you reduce human error. If you can shoot three arrows into a tight group, you’ve mastered the hardest part of precision.
Next, adjust your sight to achieve accuracy. First, adjust your horizontal plane. If your arrows group to the left, move your sight to the left. If your arrows hit to the right, move your sight to the right.
To help remember which way to move your sight, imagine adjusting it until it covers your group. Make small adjustments until you get a feel for how far to move the sight. Here’s a tip: Close distances require greater adjustments to see results. Farther distances need smaller adjustments.
Next, make your vertical adjustments. If you use a sight with multiple pins, set the top pin as the closest distance, and the bottom pin as the farthest. If you use a single-pin sight, keep track of your settings by marking the sight tape.
As with your horizontal adjustments, chase the arrows with your sight. If your arrows hit high, move your sight up. If your arrows hit low, move your sight down. It’s that easy! To shoot farther distances, keep moving away from the target until you run out of pins or your groups become inconsistent.
Sighting-in takes some “guess and check.” Don’t get discouraged if you make the wrong adjustment, or struggle to perfectly align the sight. Just keep making small adjustments and focus on making good shots.