Archery Questions You Always Wanted to Ask

You asked, we listened and now we’ll respond.

Instagram and Facebook posts generate great archery questions, ranging from Legolas vs. Katniss (tough one, but Katniss wins) to the best archers to watch in national and international competition. Let’s answer your questions.

How long does it take to become a good archer?

Your first year of archery you’ll see the biggest improvements as you learn basic form and get used to shooting your bow. Photo Credit: USA Archery

Excelling at archery requires dedication and help from an instructor. With those two factors, you can quickly go from shooting occasional bull’s-eyes at 10 yards to drilling bull’s-eyes consistently at 50 meters. You’ll enjoy your biggest improvements the first year as you learn basic form and get used to shooting your bow. If you practice regularly and listen to your coach, you’ll become a good archer within a year. To become great, you’ll need years of experience and hard work.

Which world-class archers have the most-recommended form?

They key to archery is finding what works for your body and shooting style. If your style is like that of Stephan Hansen, he is an excellent compound archer to emulate. Photo Credit: World Archery

Every top archer has slightly different form. The key is finding what works for your body and shooting style. If you shoot a compound bow, look at Stephan Hansen. He has great execution and classic form.

Among recurve archers, Park Sung Hyun’s form is regarded as one of the best. You’ll find great value in watching “World Archery” on YouTube and working with your coach to learn techniques from top archers that work for you.

If you want to study an Olympic champion’s form, World Archery offers this awesome slow-motion video of Ki Boe Bae’s shot.

What causes creep?

You can identify this problem by watching their arrow. It will come back and move slightly forward before release. When you get to full draw the work isn’t over and you still need to continue pulling until you release. Photo Credit: USA Archery

Creep occurs when an archer reaches full draw but lets the bowstring ease forward before releasing the arrow. You can verify this problem by watching their arrow while they’re at full draw. The archer’s release hand might also ease forward. Poor skeletal alignment and loss of back tension causes this form flaw.

When you reach full draw, the work isn’t over. You need to keep pulling until you release. Another factor that leads to creeping is muscles compressing under the bow’s draw weight. Work with your coach to develop bone-on-bone support, especially in your bow-arm shoulder. If you maintain your alignment and keep pulling, your creeping days will be over.

What are the major differences in intermediate to high-level recurve limbs?

High end limbs like these have either a foam or wooden core with carbon fiber glass layers. The higher quality materials used, the smoother the draw. Photo Credit: World Archery

Materials are the biggest difference between intermediate and high-level recurve limbs. Inexpensive recurve limbs have a maple core and fiberglass. High-end limbs have a bamboo or carbon-foam core, with carbon and fiberglass layers. High-quality materials generate smoother draws, more stability and faster arrow speeds. High-end recurve limbs also feature design variations that contribute to these factors.

How do you mentally prepare for competition?

Work with your coach to develop a strategy that works for you and practice it every time you shoot. Practicing your mental strategy is just as important as practicing your archery form. Photo Credit: World Archery

Mental game plans are vital in competition. As with form, game plans differ by archer. Some archers visualize a perfect shot before shooting. Others silently repeat a positive mantra during each shot. Work with your coach to develop a strategy that works for you, and practice it each time you shoot. Practicing your mental strategy is as vital as practicing your form.

The bowstring slaps my arm when I shoot. Will a certain grip prevent that?

Before you shoot set your grip so your knuckles are at a 45-dergree angle to the bow and the grip is contacting your hand between your life line and thumb pad. Photo Credit: World Archery

If your inner arm suffers from the dreaded bowstring slap, adjusting your grip and bow arm can help. Before shooting, set your grip so your knuckles are at a 45-dergree angle to the bow, and the grip contacts your hand between its lifeline and thumb pad. Next, grip the bowstring and apply a little tension to secure the grip. Then roll your elbow away from the string. That should create enough clearance for the bowstring and ensure a stronger bow arm. If you still have trouble, it’s OK to bend your elbow slightly for string clearance.

We love hearing your questions, and look forward to answering more of them. If we didn’t answer your questions and you need immediate help, search our articles or contact an archery shop after looking here.

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