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Bow International - - CONTENTS -


QMy son shoots com­pet­i­tive com­pound target archery. He cur­rently shoots a 30" front bar of a larger di­am­e­ter and my thought is to up­grade to a much smaller di­am­e­ter bar to de­crease the wind ef­fect.

I am won­der­ing about the vi­bra­tion damp­en­ing ma­te­ri­als be­ing added to sta­bi­liz­ers by most of the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers, such as Bee Stinger (Coun­ter­vail), Ax­cel (Car­boflax), Con­quest (Smacwrap fiber), etc.

My ques­tion is, with very small di­am­e­ter bars do the added damp­en­ing ma­te­ri­als de­tract from the stiff­ness of the high mod­u­lus car­bon bar to an ex­tent that it isn't worth the vi­bra­tion damp­en­ing? In other words on the ba­sis of me­chan­ics am I bet­ter off con­cen­trat­ing on the stiffest small di­am­e­ter qual­ity rod and not be­ing con­cerned about damp­en­ing? My son does not cur­rently shoot with a large amount of weight on his front bar (ap­prox. 5 oz); how­ever, that might in­crease with time.

AThe mass dis­tri­bu­tion and stiff­ness of a sta­biliser de­ter­mine its flex­ing fre­quency and the damp­ing the rate at which vi­bra­tions die out. It is the same as a car sus­pen­sion where the un­sprung mass and spring stiff­ness de­ter­mine the fre­quency and the shock ab­sorbers the na­ture of the vi­bra­tions. The damp­ing does not change the stated stiff­ness, just the na­ture of the vi­bra­tions.

An im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion for sta­bilis­ers is that the res­o­nant fre­quency must not be close to the archer’s mus­cle tre­mor fre­quency or the rate at which the archer makes aim­ing cor­rec­tions. Oth­er­wise the bow will be very ter­ri­ble to use – it will not ‘aim well’. The eas­i­est ap­proach is to make the sta­biliser res­o­nant fre­quency much higher than that, and that is done (for a given mass) by mak­ing the rod stiffer. If the mass is less the fre­quency will also be higher. A shorter rod will also have a higher res­o­nant fre­quency. The length and mass also de­ter­mine the sta­biliser’s ro­ta­tional in­er­tia – longer and more mass give a higher in­er­tia and make it more dif­fi­cult to twist the bow, so it is a com­pro­mise.

Damp­ing is achieved by hav­ing some lossy mech­a­nism that ab­sorbs the en­ergy of the vi­bra­tion. It is a good thing and helps hold the bow stead­ier and makes it feel nicer af­ter the shot. Some of that loss can be built into the rod it­self or it can be added us­ing a rub­ber cou­pler just prior to the mass on the end (not next to the bow).

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is that the sta­biliser sys­tem, and par­tic­u­larly the long rod is pushed around by wind. In that re­spect a small di­am­e­ter rod is a very good thing, es­pe­cially for the long rod.

How­ever, some of these things can be a bit chal­leng­ing to guess prior to us­ing the sys­tem. Hence, it is al­ways best to try one be­fore­hand if you can – what might work very nicely for one archer might not for an­other. My pref­er­ence is cer­tainly a small di­am­e­ter rod to re­duce move­ment in wind – I have tried many and se­lected the one that let me aim most steadily.


Can you rec­om­mend a per­sonal train­ing pro­gramme for vet­eran archers?

Our sport is not nec­es­sar­ily about strength, nor do we usu­ally wit­ness heav­ily mus­cled archers achiev­ing in­ter­na­tional sta­tus. In­deed, large amounts of upper-body mus­cle mass is usu­ally con­sid­ered a hin­drance to the fine con­trol re­quired for good archery. Nev­er­the­less, I have al­ways ad­vo­cated a weight train­ing pro­gram to aug­ment any shoot­ing train­ing, and archery aside, main­tain­ing a healthy body­weight and a solid de­gree of fit­ness is of course a pos­i­tive for your gen­eral well-be­ing.

I'm very much in my lat­ter years, but I still train reg­u­larly as I’ve al­ways done since I was a teenager. Now my pro­gram has been adapted to main­tain con­tin­u­ous in­juryfree progress. The prin­ci­pal dif­fer­ence is a com­pro­mise be­tween keep­ing up my sets of ex­er­cise for the var­i­ous body­parts, but util­is­ing less poundage and higher rep­e­ti­tion. Ath­letes want­ing to build strength and mus­cle push as heavy a weight as they can for a low num­ber of rep­e­ti­tions.

Be­cause of my ad­vanc­ing years and be­cause archery does not fo­cus on build­ing huge mus­cle – and be­cause I don’t want to risk in­jury - I work on a much higher rep range, around 20 to 30. Train­ing should be an on­go­ing pos­i­tive, and push­ing big weights for low reps is sim­ply a recipe for pos­si­ble in­jury. Higher rep ranges keep the mus­cles in tune as well as adding an aer­o­bic fac­tor.

I train shoul­ders on Mon­day, back on Tues­day, arms on Thurs­day, chest on Fri­day, legs on Satur­day and take a rest on Sun­day. I work on an up­tempo method per­form­ing three sets of each of four ex­er­cises, with just a minute of rest be­tween sets. This only takes me around 30 min­utes with stretch­ing be­tween sets. I ride the ex­er­cise bike each evening for 30 min­utes, 5 days a week, and do some ab­dom­i­nal work on my rest days.

This pro­gram has al­lowed me as an eighty year old to wicket keep at cricket at state level, as well as to con­tinue to main­tain very pos­i­tive scor­ing in archery, which has de­te­ri­o­rated very lit­tle in the past decade. My vet­eran cricket in­volve­ment, my archery and my train­ing pro­gram, ob­vi­ously keeps me in both good phys­i­cal and men­tal shape. My diet is sen­si­ble but not rigid, and hope­fully the rock­ing chair will not be a nec­es­sary op­tion in the near fu­ture. All this may seem some­what over the top at my age, but it is largely a habit which has sim­ply rolled on with ra­tio­nal ad­just­ments. I just get up each day and do what I did yes­ter­day. So far, so good!


I had been train­ing re­ally hard for this sea­son in an at­tempt to fi­nally get my GMB clas­si­fi­ca­tion and win a com­pe­ti­tion or two, and now it's look­ing like I might not get the op­por­tu­nity. I know it wasn't wasted time but the point of archery is to com­pete and I feel like hang­ing it up for good, be­cause I'm not sure I'll have the same im­pe­tus next year.

QWher­ever you look there is an­other story on how the re­cent global pan­demic is af­fect­ing the way we live; from work, to sports and even the way we shop, our lives have been turned up­side-down. A year ago no one would have be­lieved you if you’d told them just how much free­dom we’d lose but now we find our­selves hav­ing to ad­just to ‘the new nor­mal’.

Like most other sports archery has been badly af­fected by the pan­demic and the mea­sures brought in to con­trol it. In March when the UK went into lock­down the out­door sea­son was just be­gin­ning and archers across the coun­try were get­ting ready for the up­com­ing months of com­pe­ti­tions. The news of tour­na­ment can­ce­la­tions and the im­me­di­ate clo­sure of all clubs for the fore­see­able fu­ture was a dis­ap­point­ing blow to the en­tire archery com­mu­nity. But this has not just been felt in the UK; archers from across the globe have all had to come to terms with the changes that have been im­ple­mented, changes that af­fect ev­ery level of our sport. 2020 was due to be an Olympic and Par­a­lympic year and teams around the world were fi­nal­is­ing their prepa­ra­tions to com­pete at these huge events, the news of their post­pone­ment till 2021 will have been an emo­tional and dif­fi­cult set back to their lives. In­deed for the many pro­fes­sion­als across the archery in­dus­try who rely on the sport for their in­come, the dis­rup­tion to the tour­na­ment cir­cuit has been a dif­fi­cult fact to come to terms with.

At the time of writ­ing the ma­jor­ity of in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic tour­na­ments around the world have been can­celled or post­poned. But as the phased re­turn to nor­mal­ity be­gins some coun­tries and or­gan­i­sa­tions are start­ing to talk of pos­si­ble dates to be­gin open­ing up for en­tries, al­though as its early days and any changes are con­di­tional on the de­vel­op­ment of the pan­demic it’s dif­fi­cult to say whether we will get to com­pete out­doors at all this year. Here in the UK there is some pos­i­tive news; sev­eral gov­ern­ing bod­ies have re­cently an­nounced a staged re­turn to shoot­ing start­ing with a con­di­tional open­ing of archery clubs, so for some of us the wel­come prospect of a re­turn to train­ing is now pos­si­ble. This may only be a

As­mall first step but with a bit of luck it will be the start of things re­turn­ing to nor­mal.

In the mean­time and fol­low­ing our in­creas­ing re­liance on digital tech­nol­ogy, sev­eral archery groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions have turned to so­cial me­dia in or­der to keep peo­ple con­nected with the sport. In­struc­tional videos, team ques­tion and an­swer ses­sions and even on­line archery com­pe­ti­tions have been set up to give us all some­thing to fo­cus and work on while we await the next step to­wards com­pet­ing again.

World Archery’s weekly target face com­pe­ti­tion has be­come ex­tremely pop­u­lar; played as part of the ‘Beat The Out­break On­line Archery League’ on Facebook, archers get to down­load and shoot at a fun new target face each week while com­pet­ing with other archers from around the world. Cur­rently in its 8th week it’s now turned into archery bat­tle­ships, shoot­ing has never been more fun! Will these changes be the way we com­pete in the fu­ture? Will on­line archery com­pe­ti­tions be the key to sup­port­ing our en­vi­ron­ment and cut­ting down on travel? These are ques­tions no doubt ev­ery gov­ern­ing body are ask­ing them­selves as they work out how to get the sport mov­ing again, but with­out a crys­tal ball there is no way of say­ing how things will change as we progress through this cri­sis and for now we must sit tight and wait, how­ever frus­trat­ing that may be.

As some­one who works ex­clu­sively in the archery in­dus­try I feel your frus­tra­tion at the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, the count­less hours of prepa­ra­tion put in for a sea­son that may not hap­pen is de­mor­al­is­ing to say the least. But as you said, I know this time hasn’t been wasted, the sit­u­a­tion is chang­ing daily and it’s im­por­tant we use this break in the tour­na­ment cal­en­dar to our ad­van­tage. Al­though we can’t com­pete as we used to there are still things we can be work­ing on; shoot­ing form, equip­ment tune, strength and fit­ness and even our men­tal game are all things to per­fect dur­ing prac­tice, so now is the ideal time to start mak­ing any changes you may have put off while con­cen­trat­ing on com­pe­ti­tions. Set some new goals and keep chal­leng­ing your­self, this drive to im­prove will keep you mo­ti­vated and will en­sure you are shoot­ing your best when the time comes to com­pete to­gether again.

We are liv­ing in com­pli­cated times and al­though things look bleak now, there are signs that life is slowly re­turn­ing to nor­mal. No one knows for cer­tain when this will be, but one thing we can be sure of is that the archery com­mu­nity will find a way to come through to­gether. Un­til then keep safe and stay pos­i­tive.


Why do I see so many top Olympic re­curve archers us­ing Beiter in/out nocks?

In or­der to an­swer this ques­tion, the first step is to un­der­stand Beiter nock ter­mi­nol­ogy. An In/ Out nock has a plas­tic insert that fits in­side the ar­row shaft, and has an outer di­am­e­ter large enough to fit around the out­side of the ar­row to cover the back few mm of car­bon at the end of the shaft. This is dif­fer­ent to the Beiter Out nock, prob­a­bly the most com­monly seen nock on the in­ter­na­tional cir­cuit among re­curve archers, which fits en­tirely over the back of the ar­row shaft, cov­er­ing around 10mm of the back of the shaft. Beiter pin nocks re­quire a me­tal pin that is to be in­serted into the ar­row, with the nock fit­ting over the pin.

Choos­ing the right nock means find­ing the nock that gives the best group­ing for your set up, us­ing a nock sys­tem that is easy to main­tain, and, to a cer­tain ex­tent, some­thing that will pro­tect your ar­rows if struck by an­other ar­row in the target.

The best nock for pro­tect­ing an ar­row is un­doubt­edly the pin nock: the pin will take the dam­age and may be de­stroyed, but will pre­serve the ar­row shaft from cracks (in most sce­nar­ios, no ar­row can be com­pletely pro­tected). How­ever, a lot of top archers I have spo­ken to in my re­search re­gard the pin as “just an ex­tra piece of kit to worry about”. A pin may carry flaws af­ter an im­pact that may not nec­es­sar­ily be seen by eye, and could dam­age the in­side of the nock,


Mlead­ing to an ar­row that may not per­form as well.

It is for this rea­son a lot of archers choose to shoot a nock that con­tacts di­rectly to the back of the ar­row, such as an Out nock or an In/out nock. The Out nock has a rep­u­ta­tion among in­ter­me­di­ate level archers who do not con­sider ar­rows as mere con­sum­ables, whichcmy is un­der­stand­able given how ex­pen­sive they are to re­place. I shot out nocks for a few weeks one sea­son and broke two ar­rows, and, de­spite find­ing that I loved how they per­formed, I couldn’t af­ford to buy a new set of ar­rows ev­ery few months, so went back to pin nocks.

The In/out nock has a plas­tic insert that acts much like a pin does, to pro­vide some pro­tec­tion to the back of the shaft, and archers seem to find them a com­pro­mise be­tween out nocks and pin nocks. The ab­sence of a pin means there is less weight at the back of the shaft, re­sult­ing in both an in­creased ar­row speed, and a change in dy­namic spine of the ar­row, al­low­ing them to act weaker, po­ten­tially cre­at­ing a more for­giv­ing shot. How­ever, when im­pacted by an­other ar­row in the target, they can pro­tect the ar­row just as a pin would. The plas­tic insert may break off in­side the shaft, but I am as­sured that they are easy to re­move with a tool avail­able from Beiter.

Es­sen­tially, nock choice is a bal­anc­ing act be­tween find­ing the set up that per­forms best, while be­ing con­fi­dent in your abil­ity to main­tain the set up. For a lot of archers, the In/ Out nocks fit the bill.


Ax­cel are one of sev­eral ma­jor sta­biliser man­u­fac­tur­ers us­ing pro­pri­etary damp­en­ing ma­te­ri­als in their rods

Weight train­ing can bring ben­e­fits at all ages

Pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to your men­tal health in the cur­rent cri­sis

Beiter In/out nocks spot­ted at the An­talya World Cup

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