Archery…

more than men in tights…

Moving forward (literally)

This evening was my first time shooting with my new TREX 34# (wound down to approx 30# – weighed with spring scales) and a set of 4 1814 X7s.

The reason I have wound down from 39 and a bit to 30# is in an attempt to cure my horrible (and utterly bizzare) forward loosing.

I tend to draw back fully, collapse a little, realise I’ve done it, extend again, aim a little over and let go. Considering I have been doing this now for..well a very long time it’s probably amazing that I’ve scored as highly as I have.

My original feeling was that this was due in the most part to the weight I was holding on my fingers.

Having spent this evening shooting with a set up 25% lighter, I have concluded that the weight may have been an issue, possibly the major component at the outset, but it’s not now. I was still doing it. The arrow creeps forward by 1-2″ after reaching full draw.

By the middle of the session (shooting 4 arrows per end – and often, 2 or 3 times drawing up, pulling through the clicker and letting down, specifically to get used to the sensation of setting and then pulling/expanding through the clicker) I had produced a band approximately 2-2.5″ wide in a vertical line up the face. As I tired, and parts of me started to ache, I put more arrows outside this band, but it was still noticeable. On one occasion I hit the outside white…but this I think was completely down to lack of control and loosing when I should have come down.

Another thing that became apparent as the evening wore on was that upon release my bow arm would jump upwards. Not every shot and not always by the same amount. Whether this was due to tiredness or the rough and ready setup of the bow I do not at this point know. However, I will have a better idea by the end of the next session of shooting.

On the basis that I can only setup the bow as well as I can shoot I haven’t done much beyond ensuring that the tiller is about right, the limbs sit correctly, the string passes centrally through each limb. Fiddling with button spring pressure, fine adjustment of the tiller and bow weight I will be leaving until I have started pulling things back together.

On the advice of one of the other members, I started using the clicker again (you may remember my long rants regarding this back in the days of journals). I have a love/hate relationship with clickers. I hate them, they seem to hate me and they seem to love sitting there glowering at me from the leading edge of the cut out on my riser.

With a little experimentation (i.e. moving the blade back and forth by small amounts) I found a position that was more or less right for me to be able to draw through it and then make the decision to loose or not, without slipping forward too much – as opposed to draw through it, slide forward a little, draw back a bit to compensate then release anyway.

Sadly this is not something I can practice at home without resorting to removing my feet. The ceilings are just too damned low.

I am loathe to drive 30+ miles to a shop and then spend £3+ an hour to stand there drawing through a clicker and then letting down. But if needs must…we’ll see what happens.

So, all in all, an instructive evening. I have learned something about me and my shooting. Being so ingrained it might take a fair amount of work to resolve, but I’ve nothing better to do with my evenings at the moment. If at the end of the process I am a better archer, then I will have succeeded.

So, roll on Monday.

More sucky shooting

Shot indoors again tonight.

Third full Portsmouth.

First time scored in 12 months.

478!

I ache. My lower back, my left shoulder. both upper arms – and a headache to boot!

I was finding it increasing difficult to get a consistent draw or if I did, remain at full draw length.

Towards the end of the evening I was aiming over, predicting/estimating/guessing the amount I would forward loose.

I am tired of this.

It happened before I stopped shooting.

It’s happening now.

It’s not a strength thing. You’d never know it to look at me, but in the last 12 months I have been down the gym on a fairly regular basis, with emphasis – after consultation with one of the gym staff, on upper back muscle groups.

I can happily draw the 39# (weighed at an archery shop using and Easton scale). I just don’t hold it when I get the string back to my face.

I’m going to get some cheaper limbs (unless some kind person has some good quality ones I can borrow…no i thought not..) and use them to work on drawing and holding. Oh yes…and some *more* arrows…

So…I just need to find some cheap – preferably 2nd hand 28-32# medium limbs.

*sigh* it’s not easy being imperfect.

I’m not going to let this beat me again, I will persevere. Wish me luck!