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Showing posts with label Archery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archery. Show all posts

Fun Archery Activities for Summer Cottaging

Looking for something fun to do this summer at the cottage? Take your archery equipment with you and do some of the following:

  1. Archery Competitions: Organize friendly archery competitions among friends and family. You can set up different challenges such as target shooting at various distances, shooting games like "Balloon Pop" or "Bow Tic-Tac-Toe," or even a traditional archery tournament with scoring rounds.

  2. 3D Archery Course: Set up a 3D archery course around the cottage property or nearby woods. Use 3D animal targets to simulate hunting scenarios and practice shooting from different angles and distances.

  3. Archery Tag: Play a game of archery tag, where participants use bows and foam-tipped arrows to tag opponents. It's a thrilling and active way to enjoy archery with a competitive edge.

  4. Archery Scavenger Hunt: Create an archery-themed scavenger hunt with targets hidden around the cottage area. Participants must locate and shoot each target to uncover clues or win prizes.

  5. Nighttime Glow Archery: Use glow-in-the-dark arrows and targets to play archery games after dark. Set up a safe shooting range illuminated by torches or LED lights for a unique and exciting experience.

  6. Archery Skill Challenges: Design various skill challenges to test archery abilities such as shooting accuracy, speed, and precision. Examples include shooting at moving targets, shooting balloons while blindfolded, or hitting specific targets under time pressure.

  7. Archery Crafting Workshops: Get creative with archery-themed crafting workshops. Make your own custom arrows, design leather quivers or arm guards, or decorate bows with paint or carving techniques.

  8. Bow Making Demonstrations: If you have the skills and resources, demonstrate the art of bow making to interested participants. Show how to carve bows from wood or craft traditional bows using natural materials.

  9. Archery Storytelling: Gather around the campfire and share stories and legends related to archery and hunting. Explore the historical significance of archery in different cultures or recount personal experiences and memorable moments from past archery adventures.


    Looking for archery lessons in Toronto? Contact to book your archery lessons.

Easter Egg Archery Hunt and other Spring Archery Activities

Do you have spring fever? And archery fever? Time to go shoot some things for fun...

  1. Easter Egg Archery Hunt: Organize an Easter-themed archery hunt where participants shoot at colorful Easter eggs hidden throughout the area. Each egg can contain a small prize or candy, adding an extra element of fun to the archery practice.

  2. Flower Target Shooting: Set up flower targets made from paper or cardboard with colorful floral designs. Participants can aim at these targets, and hitting specific flowers can earn them points or rewards.

  3. Seasonal Animal Targets: Create targets shaped like springtime animals such as rabbits, birds, or butterflies. Shooting at these targets adds a seasonal touch to the archery practice and can make it more engaging and visually appealing.

  4. Spring Archery Picnic: Pack a picnic basket with springtime snacks and refreshments and enjoy a picnic at the archery range. Set up targets nearby and take turns shooting while enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.

  5. Nature Photography with Archery: Combine archery practice with nature photography by setting up targets in picturesque outdoor locations. Participants can take turns shooting while capturing photos of the spring landscape and wildlife.

  6. Archery Nature Walk: Take a leisurely nature walk through the springtime scenery, pausing along the way to set up targets and practice archery at various spots. It's a great way to enjoy the outdoors while honing archery skills.

  7. Spring Archery Challenge Course: Design an archery challenge course with different obstacles and shooting stations themed around springtime elements such as blooming flowers, hopping rabbits, or chirping birds. Participants navigate the course and shoot at targets along the way, testing their accuracy and agility.

  8. Springtime Archery Games: Play fun archery games with springtime themes such as "Blossom Blast" where participants aim to hit flower-shaped targets, or "Spring Fling" where players compete to shoot at moving targets representing springtime animals.


Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by contacting Don't wait, prebook your archery lessons today! 

Archery Lessons Availability for March-April 2024

Due to other obligations during March and April 2024 I will only be available to teach archery on weekends, up until April 23rd. No weekday time slots are available during that time period.

Starting on Wednesday April 24th I will once again be able to teach on weekdays, at least until September.

If you're planning to book archery lessons this year for yourself or a loved one I recommend doing it sooner rather than later so you can claim the best time slots. I have a hunch this summer will be very busy (hotter summers tends to be busier).

Contact to schedule your archery lessons today.

Archery Equipment Accessories


  1. Bow Sling: A strap that attaches to the bow, allowing the archer to carry the bow comfortably and securely when not in use.
  2. Bow Stand: A device used to prop up the bow while the archer takes a break or waits for their turn to shoot.
  3. Arrow Puller: A tool designed to grip and remove arrows from targets more easily, reducing strain on the hands and fingers.
  4. Bow String Wax: Wax applied to the bowstring to lubricate and protect it from fraying or wearing out prematurely.
  5. String Silencers: Dampeners attached to the bowstring to reduce noise and vibration upon release, making the shooting experience quieter and more comfortable.
  6. Bow Sock/Cover: Fabric sleeve or cover designed to protect the bow from scratches, dust, and moisture during storage or transportation.
  7. Arm Guard: Protective gear worn on the forearm to prevent the bowstring from slapping against the arm during the release, reducing the risk of bruising or injury.
  8. Finger Tab/Glove: Protective gear worn on the fingers to shield them from friction and pressure during the release, enhancing comfort and consistency.
  9. Bow Quiver: A container attached to the bow to hold arrows while shooting or moving between shooting locations, providing convenient access to arrows during practice or competitions.
  10. Bow Case: Protective case or bag designed to store and transport the bow and accessories safely, shielding them from damage or weather elements.
  11. Bowstring Finger Saver: Rubber or silicone attachments placed on the bowstring to protect the fingers from discomfort or pinching during the release.
  12. Arrow Tube/Case: Container for storing and transporting arrows safely, preventing them from bending, breaking, or getting lost.
  13. Bowstringer: Tool used to string or de-string a recurve bow safely and efficiently, reducing the risk of damaging the bow or injuring oneself.
  14. Bow Square: Measuring tool used to check and adjust the brace height, nocking point, and other key parameters of the bow setup for optimal performance.
  15. Peep Sight Tubing: Flexible tubing attached to the bowstring to protect the peep sight from damage and ensure consistent alignment with the archer's eye.
  16. Dampening Accessories: Various dampening devices such as limb dampeners, string leeches, and bowstring dampeners designed to reduce noise and vibration, improving shooting comfort and minimizing fatigue.
  17. Bow Hanger: Hook or bracket attached to the bow for hanging it securely on a tree stand, shooting range, or other suitable surface.
  18. Bowstring Finger Guard: Thin strip of material attached to the bowstring to protect the fingers from abrasion and discomfort during prolonged shooting sessions.
  19. Bowstring Wax Applicator: Tool designed to apply bowstring wax evenly and efficiently, ensuring proper maintenance and longevity of the bowstring.
  20. Bowstring Separator: Tool used to separate strands of the bowstring for serving or maintenance purposes, facilitating repairs and adjustments as needed.


Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by contacting Don't wait, prebook your archery lessons today!      

How many calories can you burn while doing archery?


"How many calories can you burn while doing archery?"


The number of calories burned during archery can vary depending on factors such as the intensity of the activity, the duration of the session, and the individual's weight and metabolism. 

On average, a person weighing around 150 pounds (68 kilograms) can burn approximately 100-150 calories per half-hour of moderate archery practice. However, this is just an estimate, and the actual calorie expenditure may differ from person to person. 

Additionally, factors such as drawing weight of the bow, walking to retrieve arrows, and weather conditions can also influence calorie expenditure.

Winter Archery Gear Essentials

As winter sets in and temperatures drop, dedicated archers brave the cold to continue their practice and hone their skills. However, shooting in cold weather requires specialized gear to ensure comfort, safety, and optimal performance.

Let's delve into the essentials of winter archery gear, exploring the key elements to consider when selecting equipment for cold-weather shooting.

  1. Insulated Clothing:

    • Base Layers: Start with moisture-wicking base layers to draw sweat away from the skin and regulate body temperature. Look for materials such as merino wool or synthetic fabrics that offer warmth without bulk.
    • Insulating Layers: Layer up with insulating garments such as fleece jackets or vests to trap heat close to the body. Opt for lightweight and breathable materials that provide warmth without restricting movement.
    • Outer Shell: Invest in a waterproof and windproof outer shell to protect against snow, rain, and cold winds. Look for jackets and pants with adjustable cuffs and hoods for added protection from the elements.
  2. Warm Accessories:

    • Gloves or Mittens: Choose archery-specific gloves or mittens designed to provide warmth while maintaining dexterity. Look for options with grip-enhancing features to ensure a secure hold on the bow.
    • Headwear: Wear a warm hat or beanie that covers the ears to prevent heat loss and protect against frostbite. Consider a neck gaiter or balaclava to shield the face and neck from cold winds.
    • Thermal Socks: Keep feet warm and dry with thermal socks made from moisture-wicking materials. Look for options with cushioning and arch support for added comfort during long shooting sessions.
  3. Footwear:

    • Insulated Boots: Invest in insulated boots with waterproof and breathable membranes to keep feet warm and dry in snowy or wet conditions. Choose boots with good traction to prevent slips and falls on icy surfaces.
    • Gaiters: Consider wearing gaiters to keep snow and debris out of your boots and pants. Look for lightweight and durable options that provide additional protection in deep snow or rugged terrain.
  4. Bow Accessories:

    • Bow Sock or Cover: Protect your bow from moisture, dirt, and cold temperatures with a bow sock or cover. Look for options with padded interiors to cushion the bow and minimize impact during transport.
    • Bow Hand Warmer: Use a bow hand warmer or muff to keep your shooting hand warm and comfortable during cold-weather shooting sessions. Look for options with fleece lining and convenient hand openings for easy access to the bow.
  5. Hand Warmers and Heat Packs:

    • Disposable Hand Warmers: Pack disposable hand warmers in your pockets or gloves to provide instant heat during cold-weather shooting sessions. Activate hand warmers before shooting to keep hands comfortably warm and nimble.
    • Body Warmers: Consider using adhesive body warmers or heat packs on areas prone to cold exposure, such as the lower back or torso. Apply body warmers under clothing layers for long-lasting heat and comfort.

Choosing the right gear for winter archery is essential for staying warm, comfortable, and focused during cold-weather shooting sessions. By selecting insulated clothing, warm accessories, appropriate footwear, bow accessories, optics and accessories, and hand warmers, archers can brave the elements and continue to practice and improve their skills throughout the winter season. Invest in high-quality gear designed for cold-weather conditions to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable archery experience, regardless of the temperature outside.

Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by contacting Don't wait, prebook your archery lessons today!    

Cross-training for Archery during the Off Season

The off-season presents a valuable opportunity for archers to enhance their performance and maintain their physical and mental conditioning. While archery is a highly specialized sport, incorporating cross-training activities during the off-season can provide a range of benefits that directly translate to improved skills and overall proficiency on the range.

Below we'll delve into the specific advantages of cross-training for archers during the off-season and explore various activities that complement and enhance archery performance.

  1. Physical Fitness:

    • Strength Training: Engaging in strength training exercises during the off-season helps archers build muscle strength and endurance, particularly in the muscles used for drawing and holding a bow. Exercises such as resistance training, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises target key muscle groups including the back, shoulders, arms, and core.
    • Cardiovascular Conditioning: Cross-training activities like running, cycling, or swimming improve cardiovascular fitness, leading to better stamina and endurance on the archery range. Increased cardiovascular fitness also aids in maintaining focus and concentration during prolonged shooting sessions.
  2. Flexibility and Mobility:

    • Yoga and Stretching: Practicing yoga or incorporating regular stretching routines improves flexibility and mobility, essential components for achieving proper shooting form and executing smooth, fluid movements. Stretching exercises targeting the shoulders, back, and hips help archers achieve a full range of motion and reduce the risk of injuries such as strains or muscle imbalances.
    • Pilates: Pilates exercises focus on core strength, stability, and balance, all of which are crucial for maintaining a steady shooting stance and minimizing body sway during shooting. Pilates workouts enhance body awareness and control, leading to more consistent and accurate shooting performance.
  3. Mental Focus and Concentration:

    • Meditation and Mindfulness: Mental training techniques such as meditation and mindfulness practices cultivate a calm and focused mindset, helping archers manage stress, anxiety, and distractions on the range. By learning to quiet the mind and maintain present-moment awareness, archers can enhance their concentration and execute shots with greater precision and consistency.
    • Visualization and Mental Rehearsal: Cross-training activities that involve visualization and mental rehearsal, such as sports psychology exercises or imagery techniques, strengthen the neural pathways associated with motor skills and shooting proficiency. Visualizing successful shots and mentally rehearsing competition scenarios during the off-season primes the mind for peak performance when it matters most.
  4. Injury Prevention and Recovery:

    • Cross-training activities that emphasize injury prevention and recovery, such as foam rolling, mobility drills, and corrective exercises, help archers address imbalances, weaknesses, and movement dysfunctions that may contribute to overuse injuries or chronic pain. Incorporating active recovery strategies like yoga, swimming, or low-impact exercises promotes circulation, reduces muscle soreness, and accelerates the healing process during periods of intense training or competition.
    • Rest and Regeneration: The off-season provides an opportunity for archers to prioritize rest and regeneration, allowing the body to recover from the physical and mental demands of training and competition. Adequate rest, sleep, and relaxation are essential for tissue repair, hormone balance, and overall well-being, ensuring archers return to the range rejuvenated and ready to perform at their best.

Cross-training during the off-season offers a multitude of benefits for archers, ranging from physical fitness and flexibility to mental focus and injury prevention. By incorporating diverse training modalities that target different aspects of athleticism and shooting proficiency, archers can optimize their performance, minimize the risk of injuries, and maintain a competitive edge throughout the year. 

Whether it's strength training, flexibility exercises, mental conditioning, or injury prevention strategies, the off-season provides an ideal opportunity for archers to invest in their long-term success and maximize their potential on the archery range.


Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by contacting Don't wait, prebook your archery lessons today!   

How to Adapt Your Archery Practice in Cold Weather

As the temperature drops and snowflakes start to fall, archery enthusiasts may find themselves faced with the challenge of practicing their beloved sport in cold and wintry conditions. While winter brings its own set of obstacles, with the right approach and preparation, archers can continue to sharpen their skills and enjoy the sport even during the coldest months.

Below we'll explore some essential winter archery tips to help you adapt your practice in cold weather and make the most of your time on the range.

  1. Dress Appropriately:

    • Layering: When dressing for winter archery practice, layering is key. Start with moisture-wicking base layers to keep sweat away from the skin, add insulating layers for warmth, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect against the elements.
    • Gloves and Hand Warmers: Invest in archery-specific gloves or mittens that provide warmth without compromising dexterity. Consider using hand warmers to keep your hands comfortably warm during shooting sessions.
    • Hat and Neck Gaiter: A warm hat that covers the ears and a neck gaiter to protect the neck and face from cold winds can help maintain body heat while shooting.
  2. Adjust Your Bow:

    • String Waxing: Cold temperatures can cause bowstrings to become stiff and brittle. Regularly wax your bowstring to prevent it from drying out and becoming prone to snapping.
    • Sight and Rest Adjustments: Cold weather can affect the flexibility and performance of your bow limbs. Make any necessary adjustments to your sight and rest to account for changes in arrow trajectory and accuracy.
  3. Practice Indoors:

    • Utilize Indoor Ranges: When outdoor conditions become too harsh, consider practicing at indoor archery ranges. Indoor facilities provide a controlled environment with consistent lighting and temperature, allowing for uninterrupted practice sessions.
    • Simulation Training: Use indoor ranges to simulate outdoor shooting conditions by adjusting lighting and target distances. Practice shooting from various positions and angles to improve your versatility as an archer.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Energized:

    • Drink Plenty of Water: Despite the cold weather, it's important to stay hydrated during archery practice. Cold temperatures can lead to increased perspiration, so be sure to drink water regularly to replenish lost fluids.
    • Pack High-Energy Snacks: Fuel your body with high-energy snacks such as trail mix, energy bars, or fruit to maintain stamina and focus during long shooting sessions.
  5. Mind Your Form and Technique:

    • Focus on Form: Pay close attention to your shooting form and technique, especially in cold weather conditions. Cold muscles may be less flexible, making it crucial to maintain proper posture and alignment to prevent injury and ensure accurate shooting.
    • Warm-Up Exercises: Before starting your practice session, incorporate dynamic warm-up exercises to loosen up muscles and increase blood flow. Focus on stretching the shoulders, arms, and back to prepare for archery-specific movements.
  6. Take Breaks and Listen to Your Body:

    • Know Your Limits: Be mindful of signs of cold-related injuries such as frostbite or hypothermia. If you start to feel numbness, tingling, or extreme cold, take a break from shooting and warm up indoors.
    • Pace Yourself: Balance the intensity and duration of your practice sessions to avoid overexertion. Take regular breaks to rest, warm up, and rehydrate before returning to shooting.

With these winter archery tips, you can adapt your practice to cold weather conditions and continue to improve your skills throughout the winter months. By dressing appropriately, making adjustments to your equipment, practicing indoors when necessary, staying hydrated and energized, focusing on form and technique, and listening to your body, you can enjoy productive and fulfilling archery sessions regardless of the temperature outside.

Why not embrace the challenges of winter archery and make the most of your time on the range?!


Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by contacting Don't wait, prebook your archery lessons today!  

Winter Archery Activities while visiting the Family Cabin

Looking for fun activities to do at the family cabin this winter? Why not try the following:

  1. Winter Archery Biathlon: Combine archery with cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to create a winter archery biathlon. Participants ski or snowshoe to various shooting stations where they must accurately shoot targets before continuing on the course.

  2. Snow Archery: Create an archery range in the snow using snowbanks or compacted snow targets. Use brightly colored arrows to contrast against the white snow for better visibility, and have fun shooting at targets while surrounded by the winter landscape.

  3. Ice Target Shooting: Set up targets on frozen lakes or ponds and practice shooting arrows at the ice. The sound of arrows hitting the ice adds an extra element of excitement to the archery experience.

  4. Indoor Archery Challenges: If your cabin has a large indoor space, set up an indoor archery range using foam targets or archery nets. Create various shooting challenges such as target games, timed rounds, or obstacle courses to keep things interesting.

  5. Archery Snow Sculptures: Combine creativity with archery by sculpting snow targets or archery-themed sculptures in the snow. Use shovels, buckets, and other tools to create unique shapes and designs, then practice shooting at your snowy creations.

  6. Winter Archery Hunt: Create a mock hunting scenario by setting up 3D animal targets in the snowy woods around the cabin. Practice your archery skills by navigating through the winter landscape and taking aim at the targets as if on a real hunt.

  7. Snowflake Shooting Challenge: Cut out paper snowflakes and attach them to foam targets or cardboard. Challenge yourself and others to see who can hit the center of the snowflakes with their arrows, adding a festive touch to your archery practice.

  8. Archery Ice Fishing: Combine ice fishing with archery by setting up targets on the ice near your fishing hole. Take turns casting your lines and shooting at the targets while waiting for bites, creating a unique and fun winter activity.

  9. Winter Archery Relay Races: Divide into teams and compete in relay races where participants ski or snowshoe to designated shooting stations, shoot arrows at targets, and then tag the next team member to continue the race. The team with the fastest time wins!

  10. Nighttime Glow Archery: Use glow sticks or LED lights to illuminate targets for a nighttime archery session. Set up targets in the snow or hang them from trees, then shoot arrows using glow-in-the-dark fletching or lighted nocks for a magical and exciting experience.


    Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto by contacting Don't wait, prebook your archery lessons today!

Why is September and October arguably the best time of year to do outdoor sports?

Q. Why is September and October arguably the best time of year to do certain sports?

A. There are many reasons why September and October are often considered favorable months for certain outdoor sports.

In the examples listed below we will look at many of the reasons why September and October are great months of the year to do archery, but many of these reasons will also apply to a variety of other outdoor sports.

  1. Weather Conditions: In many regions, September and October offer mild and comfortable weather. The heat of summer has usually subsided, and the cold of winter has not yet set in. This moderate temperature range can make practicing outdoor sports more enjoyable, as athletes don't have to deal with extreme heat or cold.

  2. Stable Atmosphere: During these months, the atmosphere tends to be more stable. This means there is less turbulence in the air, which can affect the trajectory of projectiles like arrows in archery. A stable atmosphere can result in more predictable and consistent shot placements, making it easier to focus on improving skills.

  3. Reduced Wind: Wind is a significant factor in many outdoor sports, especially archery. Windy conditions can greatly affect the flight of an arrow, making it difficult to maintain accuracy. During September and October, wind speeds are often lower compared to other times of the year, providing archers with more favorable shooting conditions. Also, wind direction during September and October (at least in the northern hemisphere) is more likely to be consistently from the north, which means the wind is also more predictable.

  4. Less Daylight Variability: As the days get shorter heading into fall, there is generally less variation in daylight hours compared to summer. This can provide more consistent lighting conditions, making it easier to judge distances and aim accurately in archery.

  5. Preparation for Hunting Season: For many archers, September and October mark the beginning of hunting seasons in various regions. As a result, these months are an excellent time to practice and refine archery skills to prepare for hunting activities. This gives archers the chance to practice their shots, accuracy, and stealth in conditions similar to those they will encounter during hunting season.

  6. Training and Tournaments: Many sports, including archery, schedule training sessions, workshops, and tournaments during the fall months. The favorable weather conditions and the absence of extreme temperature variations make it conducive to hosting outdoor events and competitions.

  7. Scenic Environment: The changing colors of foliage during the fall months create a visually appealing backdrop for outdoor sports. This can enhance the overall experience of practicing and participating in sports like archery.

  8. Cultural and Historical Significance: In some cultures, the fall season holds special significance for activities like archery. For example, traditional festivals or historical events related to archery might be celebrated during these months, motivating enthusiasts to participate and engage in the sport.

While September and October are indeed favorable for archery and other outdoor sports, it's important to note that the specific advantages can vary depending on the location, climate, and the sport itself.


New Archery Rates as of January 2024

Due to inflation I will be raising my archery rates on January 1st 2024. I haven't changed my rates since Summer 2020, so by January 2024 that will be roughly 3.5 years without any changes to my rates.

Below are my current archery lesson rates:

Morning / Afternoon Rates (No Evenings)

1 Student, Weekdays or Weekends
$70 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $200; 5 Lessons - $320; 10 Lessons - $620.

2 Students, Weekdays or Weekends
$100 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $290; 5 Lessons - $470; 10 Lessons - $920.

Below are my new archery lesson rates starting January 1st 2024:

Morning / Afternoon Rates (No Evenings)

1 Student, Weekdays or Weekends
$80 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $230; 5 Lessons - $370; 10 Lessons - $720.

2 Students, Weekdays or Weekends
$110 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $320; 5 Lessons - $520; 10 Lessons - $1020.

This $10 increase per lesson represents an approximately 14% increase in my rates for single lessons for one person. The inflation rate in Canada was only 0.72% during 2020, but was 3.4% in 2021 and 6.8% in 2022. So far in 2023 the inflation rate has been 2.8%, and could reach 4% by January 2024.

Keeping in mind that such inflation is compounded annually.

Thus a $100 worth of goods in 2020 would now cost $100 x 1.0072 x 1.034 x 1.068 x 1.028 (or 1.04) =

$114.34 (or $115.68 by January 2024)

Thus the compound interest during the past 3 years has been 14.34% and will reach approximately 15.68% by January 2024 when my rates go up.

So raising my archery lessons rates by approximately 14% is in line with the compounded interest rate from the past 3 years.

Note - Prebooking for lessons in 2024 means that people can lock in a cheaper rate before my prices go up in January. So if you are planning to get lessons in 2024 it is best to book now before my prices increase.

Plus hitting your own arrow (and breaking it) on a moving target gets more expensive as the price of arrows has also been going up.

Fletching 101

Fletching refers to the feathers or other materials attached to the shaft of an arrow to stabilize its flight. Different types of fletching can have varying effects on an arrow's performance, such as affecting the arrow's speed and accuracy.

Here's a list of different kinds of fletching used on arrows:

  1. Natural Feathers: Traditional fletching material made from the feathers of birds like turkey, goose, or eagle. These feathers are often cut and shaped to create the desired stabilization effect.

  2. Plastic Vanes: Modern fletching made from various types of plastic materials. They are usually more durable and consistent in shape compared to natural feathers.

  3. Spin-Wings (Helical Vanes): These are plastic vanes with a slight twist or helical shape. The spin imparted by these vanes helps stabilize the arrow's flight and counteract any spinning induced by the bow's release.

  4. Straight Vanes: These are plastic vanes that are attached to the arrow shaft in a straight configuration. They provide stability through drag and airflow manipulation.

  5. Shield Cut Vanes: Vanes that are shaped like a shield or teardrop. They offer a balance between stabilization and reduced drag, making them suitable for various shooting styles.

  6. Parabolic Cut Vanes: Vanes with a parabolic or curved shape. They provide good stabilization and are often used in traditional archery and hunting arrows.

  7. Offset Vanes: In this configuration, one or more vanes are slightly offset from the rest. This can induce a spin in the arrow's flight for greater stability.

  8. 4-Fletch and 3-Fletch Configurations: Refers to the number of vanes used on an arrow. Four-fletch has four vanes equally spaced around the shaft, while three-fletch has three. The choice can affect arrow flight characteristics.

  9. Feather Length and Height: Both natural feathers and plastic vanes come in various lengths and heights. The choice of size can impact arrow stability and flight characteristics.

  10. Feather Colors: Fletching can be customized with different colors for aesthetic appeal, visibility, and identification purposes.

  11. Hybrid Fletching: Combining different types of vanes or feathers on a single arrow shaft. For example, using a combination of natural feathers and plastic vanes to balance tradition and modern technology.

  12. Cut-Out Vanes: Vanes with cut-out sections or perforations. These designs can reduce the overall weight of the fletching and influence arrow flight.

  13. Quick-Spin Vanes: These vanes are designed to quickly stabilize the arrow's flight, especially when shot from faster bows or crossbows.

  14. Low-Profile Vanes: Vanes with a reduced height profile, designed to minimize wind resistance and drag during flight.

Remember that the choice of fletching depends on various factors, including the type of archery you're engaged in (target shooting, hunting, traditional archery), the bow's draw weight and speed, and personal preferences in terms of arrow flight characteristics.

To learn more consider signing up for archery lessons with a local archery instructor. Looking for archery lessons in Toronto? Look no further. Cardio Trek can help you.

Arrow Glossary

The following glossary is not comprehensive. Indeed there are many more types of arrowheads, fletches, shafts and specialty nocks used for arrows that aren't listed here. Eg. Lighted LED nocks.

Arrow: A projectile used with a bow, consisting of a shaft with a pointed tip on one end and stabilizing feathers or vanes on the other.

Barbed Point: An arrowhead with barbs on its edges, designed to prevent easy removal from the target. Barbed points are often used in bowfishing.

Blunt Point or Bludgeon Point: A rounded or flat tip designed for hunting small game or birds. Blunt points will still kill a small target through blunt force.

Bodkin Point: A type of arrowhead characterized by a narrow, pointed tip. Bodkin points were historically used to penetrate armor or thick hides.

Broadhead: An arrowhead with wide blades designed for hunting. Broadheads have sharp cutting edges that cause significant damage to the target upon impact. They come in various designs, including fixed-blade and expandable-blade types.

Cock Fletch/Vane: Also known as the Rooster or Index fletch, it is a fletching that is coloured differently from the others to indicate the correct orientation when nocking the arrow.

Cresting: Decorative markings or designs applied to the shaft of an arrow. Cresting is often used for identification or aesthetic purposes.

Cresting Paint: Specialized paint used to apply decorative markings, designs, or patterns on the arrow shaft. Cresting paint is often durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Cresting Wheel: A rotating device used to apply cresting paint to the arrow shaft. The wheel allows for precise and consistent application of markings or designs.

Feather: Traditionally, arrows were fletched with feathers, usually from birds like turkeys. Feathers provide stability and can be either natural or synthetic.

Field Point: Also known as a bullet point or practice point, it is a simple conical tip used primarily for practice and target shooting. It is usually made of metal and has a smooth surface. Field points help prevent damage to targets.

Fletching: The feathers or vanes attached to the rear end of the arrow shaft, responsible for stabilizing the arrow's flight. Fletching helps to minimize drag and maintain accuracy.

Fletching Jig: A device used to position and attach fletching to arrow shafts. The jig ensures consistent placement and angles for optimal arrow flight.

Fletchings Orientation: Refers to the positioning of the feathers or vanes on an arrow shaft. The orientation can be helical (twisted) or straight, affecting arrow stability and spin.

Fletching Tape/Adhesive: The tape or adhesive used to secure the fletching to the arrow shaft. It can be in the form of double-sided tape, glue, or specialized adhesive.

Flu-Flu: A specialized type of fletching with large, full-length feathers or vanes. Flu-flu arrows are designed to slow down quickly and are easy to find, making them suitable for aerial target shooting or hunting birds in the woods. Flu Flu fletching is often brightly coloured (eg. bright yellow) in order to make them easy to find.

Insert: A component inserted into the front end of the arrow shaft, typically made of aluminum or other metal. Inserts provide a threaded connection for screw-in arrowheads and enhance durability.

Judo Point: A specialized arrowhead used for small game hunting. It features spring-loaded arms or wire prongs that prevent the arrow from burying too deep into the ground or vegetation.

Nock: A slot or groove at the rear end of the arrow, designed to engage with the bowstring, allowing the arrow to be properly positioned and released.

Nock Collar: A protective ring or sleeve placed around the rear end of the arrow shaft, near the nock. The nock collar adds strength and durability to the arrow and helps prevent damage.

Point/Tip: The front end of the arrow that pierces the target. Various types of arrowheads exist, each serving different purposes.

Screw-In Point: A type of arrowhead that can be screwed into the arrow shaft, allowing for easy replacement or customization of the point type for specific tasks.

Shaft: The main body of the arrow, typically made of materials like wood, carbon fiber, aluminum, or a combination.

Spine: The stiffness of an arrow shaft, usually measured in deflection or spine value. The spine affects how the arrow flexes during flight and interacts with the bow.

Vane: Modern arrows often use plastic vanes instead of feathers. Vanes are typically made of materials like plastic or rubber and offer improved durability and consistency.

Whistling Arrowheads: Arrowheads with holes cut within them and a hollow interior that make a loud whistling noise when shot. Tibetan and Mongolian archers also used howling arrowheads / howling broadheads, which had the added benefit of demoralizing the enemy in addition to wounding/killing them.

Wrap: A decorative tape or shrinkable tube applied to the arrow shaft. Wraps can feature designs, patterns, or personalization and provide additional protection to the shaft.

A Guide to Adaptive Archery

See Also: A Lesson in Adaptive Archery by Charles Moffat, an article in Archery Focus Magazine.

Adaptive Archery is a form of archery that caters to individuals with physical disabilities or limitations, allowing them to participate and enjoy the sport. It embraces the principles of inclusivity, accessibility and adaptability, providing modified techniques and equipment to accommodate different needs. 

Whether you have a mobility impairment, limb difference, or other physical challenges, Adaptive Archery can offer an empowering and fulfilling experience. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started:

  1. Find a Qualified Instructor: Look for an archery instructor who has experience and knowledge in Adaptive Archery. They should have expertise in working with individuals with disabilities and be able to provide the necessary guidance and support.

  2. Discuss Your Needs: Communicate with your instructor about your specific needs, limitations, and goals. Share any relevant medical information or concerns. This will help the instructor tailor the training and equipment to suit your requirements.

  3. Equipment Selection: Depending on your abilities, the instructor will assist you in selecting appropriate adaptive archery equipment. This may include adaptive bows, release aids, stabilizers, or customized modifications. The equipment should be properly fitted and adjusted to ensure comfort and optimal performance.

  4. Warm-up and Stretching: Engage in a warm-up routine to prepare your body for archery. Gentle stretching exercises can help loosen muscles and improve flexibility. Focus on areas that may need extra attention due to your specific condition.

  5. Proper Technique and Form: Learn the fundamentals of archery technique, focusing on a modified form that accommodates your physical abilities. The instructor will guide you on how to position your body, grip the bow, draw the string, and release the arrow safely and efficiently. Practice proper posture and alignment to enhance accuracy and minimize the risk of injury.

  6. Adaptations and Modifications: Depending on your needs, the instructor may introduce specific adaptations or modifications. This could involve using a shooting rest or support system, adjusting the draw weight of the bow, or employing assistive devices for gripping or releasing the bowstring.

  7. Safety Measures: Archery safety is crucial for everyone. Ensure you understand and follow all safety guidelines, including range rules and procedures. Learn how to handle the equipment safely, how to use protective gear, and how to communicate effectively with others on the range.

  8. Progress Gradually: Archery is a skill that requires practice and patience. Start with shorter shooting distances and gradually increase the distance as you gain confidence and improve your skills. Celebrate your progress along the way and embrace the joy of the learning process.

  9. Focus on Mindfulness: Archery provides an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and mental focus. Practice being fully present in each shot, paying attention to your breath, body alignment, and the process of releasing the arrow. Embrace the meditative aspects of archery to enhance your overall well-being.

  10. Join Adaptive Archery Communities: Seek out local or online communities dedicated to Adaptive Archery. Engaging with others who share similar experiences can provide support, inspiration, and opportunities for further learning and participation in adaptive archery events or competitions.

Remember, Adaptive Archery is about finding joy in the sport, overcoming challenges, and embracing your abilities. With the right instruction, equipment, and mindset, archery can become a fulfilling and empowering activity regardless of physical limitations.

5 Exercises for Building Muscles for Archery

Here are five exercises that engage similar muscle groups as archery:

  1. Resistance Band Rows: This exercise targets the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and arms, which are heavily involved in archery. Attach a resistance band to a stable object at waist height. Hold the ends of the band, step back to create tension, and pull your hands towards your body, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

  2. Standing Dumbbell Rows: Similar to resistance band rows, this exercise targets the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and arms. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the hips, keeping your back straight, and let the dumbbells hang at arm's length. Pull the dumbbells up towards your body, leading with your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.

  3. Push-ups: Push-ups engage the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and arms, which are utilized during the drawing and holding phases of archery. Start in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides, until your chest nearly touches the ground. Push back up to the starting position.

  4. Plank: The plank exercise strengthens the core muscles, including the abdominal muscles and lower back, which provide stability during archery. Start in a push-up position, but with your elbows resting on the ground directly under your shoulders. Keep your body straight from head to toe, engaging your core muscles. Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.

  5. Standing Cable Rotations: This exercise targets the muscles of the core, including the obliques, which are crucial for stability and rotational movements in archery. Stand facing a cable machine with the cable set at chest height. Hold the handle with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and rotate your upper body away from the machine while keeping your hips and lower body stable. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine can help strengthen the muscles used in archery and improve overall stability and control.

Happy Shooting!

5 Ways to Practice Archery after you get Archery Lessons

Let's pretend for a moment that you've already got archery lessons in Toronto. Once you've already been trained by an archery instructor / coach, what are some good ways to practice by yourself?

If you've already had lessons (I recommend 3 or more if you're planning to buy your equipment) then you should already have done the following during your lessons:

  1. Learned Proper Safety Etiquette
  2. Purchased Equipment that is suitable for your Needs
  3. Learned How to Aim
  4. Learned Proper Form
  5. Practiced during your Lessons

So if you've already done all of theses things (either with me or a different instructor) what we really want to be talking is the following:

1. Small Target Practice

I recommend using small targets, something about the size of a coffee lid, so that you have to truly focus and concentrate on what you're doing in order to hit it. The smaller the target the more you have to concentrate on your form in order to hit it.

2. Setting Goals + Tracking Progress

Some archers like to establish specific goals for each practice session, whether it's improving their groupings or hitting a certain score. Keep a record of your progress to track your development over time. However this isn't for everyone. Some people prefer a more relaxed / less regimented practice session.

3. Incorporate Drills and Exercises

Include various drills in your practice routine to work on specific aspects of your shooting, such as target archery and trying to beat a certain score, field archery at various distances, or possibly more complicated things like shooting at moving targets or shooting while walking (I teach these more advanced things to my students who get 5 or more lessons).

4. Mental Focus

Over time it isn't the physical aspect of archery that becomes the tricky part. It is the mental stuff that starts to mess with the archer's head. Some archers will get into relaxation techniques, practice breathing control, and imagining/visualizing a successful shot.

I personally like reading/writing zen poetry, but that isn't for everyone. But for those people interested in such topics I recommend the following books

Zen Bow, Zen Arrow by John Stevens

Dreaming of Zen Archery by Charles Moffat

5. To Video Record or Not To Video Record

There are Pros and Cons to recording your practice sessions from different angles to review your form and identify areas for improvement. It helps if you already know proper form and you know what problem areas you need to be paying attention to.

Some people will also use the videos to compare your technique to instructional videos or to seek feedback from online archery communities, but because there are many different types of archery (including stringwalkers and facewalkers) you're more likely to get confused by the broad range of responses you will get from the community, many of whom may have only been shooting for a short period of time, so you might be getting a lot of bad advice from people. Instead I recommend only showing the video to an archery instructor who teaches the style of archery you are practicing. Otherwise the deluge of bad advice could end up making the quality of your shooting worse.

It is also possible to mentally psyche yourself out by watching the videos of yourself and mess up your mental focus.

Bonus! Join an Archery Club / Community

Socializing with other archers in person is a great way to seek advice, ask questions, and learn from their experiences to enhance your learning journey. Doing this in-person is fundamental because it allows you to better gauge the experience of the archers you are talking to and how seriously you should take their advice. Also if you join a club it gives you an excuse to practice more often and make friends within the community.

New Gift Voucher Artwork for Cardio Trek Archery Lessons

Okay, so many years now I have been using the same design for Cardio Trek's Gift Vouchers with respect to archery lessons.

And it occurred to me recently that perhaps it was time to make a new design.

So here are the old designs. First up the Regular design:

And the Valentines Day version.

I still like the concept of the gift box in the image, but I felt it was time for something new. Plus I wanted to use the same font used for the Cardio Trek logo.


Now immediately I know some people are going to prefer the old versions... But whatever. It doesn't matter which version people want to use. What really matters is the Gift Voucher Number when people contact me to book their archery lessons in Toronto.

Want to give a friend, loved one or coworker a gift? Why not archery lessons?! Just contact me via to get started.

Happy Shooting!

Archery Equipment Guide for Beginners

A bow and an arrow. That's all you need, right?

Well, not exactly. There's a lot more things you need. See my Archery Equipment Checklist. But I don't go into a lot of details on that Checklist, but today I am going to do so. Here's what you really need... and Why!

Traditional Recurve Archery Equipment Guide

Recurve Bow

You want to start with a bow with a fairly low poundage so that you can focus on form first and build strength gradually over time. Generally someone new to archery should start with a 20 to 25 lb bow, depending upon their strength and size. Even people who are very strong should start with a maximum of 25 lbs and then as they progress they can purchase higher poundage limbs or more powerful bows.

This is similar to a person at the gym doing weightlifting: You don't start with the 50 lb dumbbells and start doing bicep curls. You start with the 15s or 20s and work your way up gradually. Someone who starts with a bow that is too powerful will get tired very quickly and their form will suffer as a result, causing a lot of inaccuracy.

Right: Samick Sage Recurve Bow.

There are many different brands and models of Traditional Recurve Bows to choose from. A very popular model is the Samick Sage (which my wife uses), but there are lots to choose from. When buying your first bow however try to get one that is the desired poundage. Don't worry so much about brand and model, poundage is much more important. You can always get a fancy bow later after your skill has improved significantly.

12 Arrows

So... Funny thing. Beginners have a tendency to lose arrows or break arrows quite often. So if you start with 6 arrows, you're probably going to lose/break half of them during the first month. This is why I recommend starting with 12, because if you break/lose 3 of them then you still have 9 left.

You also want to make certain that the arrows you purchase are spined correctly for the bow you are shooting. If they're too stiff then it reduces accuracy, but if they're too weak then it increases the chances of the arrows spontaneously breaking (and possibly hurting the archer).

See my old article: Three Frequently Asked Questions about Archery.


A fairly simple device used for stringing your bow easily and without damaging the bow. If you string a recurve bow using the leg method (or the knee method) then you void the warranty. So you really want to string it properly using a bowstringer.

If you are getting archery lessons then your instructor can show you how to use a bowstringer properly, otherwise you can also ask someone in an archery store to demonstrate how to use it. Failing that there are also YouTube videos on how to use a bowstringer.

During a student's first archery lesson I often tell a story during the demonstration of how to use a bowstringer. The story is about Ulysses (Odysseus) and his return to Ithaca and how he strung his bow after being gone for 20 years and returning to Ithaca an old man. Or you can watch the 1954 version starring Kirk Douglas.

Archery Glove or Tab or Thumbring

Protects your fingers. Traditionally archers wore leather gloves of various styles to protect their fingers while shooting. If you shoot regularly without protection it will hurt your fingers and damage the nerve endings.

In the image on the right you can see the character Bran (from A Game of Thrones) wearing an archery glove. The glove in question is actually just a Neet Archery Glove that has had the label removed and the image has been tinted so it appears to be darker.

I saw someone about a decade ago shooting with zero protection. He was insisting on "doing it the traditional way", even though people traditionally used some kind of hand protection. His fingers during the summer turned black and blue because of all the damage he did to the nerve endings. We never saw him again after that summer. I am guessing his fingers had to be amputated. So yes, definitely wear protection. Wearing a glove, tab or thumbring is very traditional.

Below: An example of someone using a thumb draw with a thumbring. Thumbrings are usually used by people shooting horsebows (shortbows), but I have also experimented with using them to shoot longbows and flatbows.

Arrow Rest

Most bows (unless you buy a kit) don't come with an arrow rest. My biggest piece of advice on this topic is: DO NOT BUY THE CHEAP PLASTIC ARROW RESTS.

They break very easily.

Instead I recommend getting a steel or fur arrow rest. See my older post Five Styles of Arrow Rests for more on that topic.

For beginners what I generally ask is: Do you want something more traditional or more modern?

If the new archer says traditional I point them at the fur arrow rest (which isn't made of real fur), which you can see to the right.

And if they want something more modern then I point them at either a Flipper style arrow rest or a spring loaded arrow rest. I particularly like the QuikTune by NAP and I use it when teaching beginners because the arrow doesn't fall off easily when they cant the bow to the left. Beginner archers have a habit of canting the bow left and right and then the arrow slides off the arrow rest.

Nock Bead

The nock bead is a tiny brass bead that goes on the bowstring and acts as a guide for wear to nock the arrow on the bowstring, and prevents the arrow from sliding around on the bowstring.

Some archers will even put two nock beads on there, one above the arrow and below it, so it is even less likely to slide around.


So yeah... Arrows don't usually come with arrowheads. Some do, but not all.

Also there are many different kinds of arrowheads, and they're measured in grains. (There are 7000 grains in 1 lb.)

I generally recommend that beginners start with 125 grain field point arrowheads, and if they want to shoot longer distances they can get 100 grain field points for shooting medium distances (30 to 50 yards) and 75 grain field points for shooting long distances (60 yards or further). You swap out the arrowheads for shooting longer distances so you can save on weight/increase arrow speed, but at medium or close distances you want a heavier arrowhead because it increases accuracy.

If the arrow itself is heavier than normal then you might even want a heavier arrowhead in order to change the FOC balancing point of the arrow. See my old article on the subject: What the eff is FOC Weight?

So yes...

That is everything that you "NEED".

You may have noticed that having an arm guard (arm bracer) or a quiver isn't actually a necessity. Those are really more optional. Below is a list of Optional Archery Equipment or you can browse Optional Archery Equipment for more details.

  • Arm guard or Bracer - arguably a necessity for some people, but not everyone needs one.
  • A spare bowstring. (In case the first one breaks.)
  • Spare Parts for Arrows - spare nocks, spare fletching, fletching glue, spare arrowheads, spare inserts. This is in case you ever need to repair arrows.
  • A quiver of some kind - possibly a back quiver, side quiver, hip quiver, ground quiver - or you can just make your own.
  • Dampeners - puffy balls that make your bowstring quieter.
  • Archery Backpack - to carry your gear in.
  • Bow Sock - for storing a longbow or one-piece recurve in.
  • 3D Targets - for shooting at fake rabbits and such.
  • Portable Archery Targets - for when you don't have anything else to shoot at.
  • Stabilizer - a gadget to help prevent people from canting the bow.
  • Decorative Limbs Skins - purely for decoration.
  • Wrist Strap - so you don't accidentally drop your bow.
  • Bow Racks / Bow Stands - for storing your bow when you are not shooting it.
  • Strange Arrowheads - Whistling arrowheads, Tibetan howling arrowheads, blunt arrowheads, glass arrowheads, flint, obsidian - there are quite a variety available.


Below are two examples of some whistling arrowheads.

Becoming an Experienced Archer in 10 Weeks

Is it possible to become an Experienced Archer in just 10 Weeks?

Well, yes, but it depends upon how you define "Experienced".

Experienced doesn't necessarily mean that are good at something. You can be experienced at rowing a canoe, but that doesn't mean you are very good at it.

Using that definition a toddler could be "experienced at archery", but that doesn't mean they're good at it. [Photo on the right is my son Arthur, who is 11 months old in this picture. It is going to be many years before he is an "experienced archer". My older son Richard (currently 5) meanwhile can shoot moving bubbles in the backyard while barely trying.]

But for the purpose of exploring hypotheticals, how do you go from just starting archery as a complete beginner to becoming an experienced archer in just 10 weeks?

Well, it is certainly possible to do it with a lot of practice, but I believe it is easiest when you have an archery instructor. Becoming "good" at archery is many times slower if a person is trying to do it by being self-taught, but you speed the process up significantly by having an instructor who can help you avoid common mistakes that many beginners get stuck on and they don't know what they're doing wrong.

A good book on the subject can also help, but a book cannot spot your errors when you make them and if you don't know what errors you are making then it cannot teach you how to avoid those bad habits while reinforcing good habits.

One of the biggest factors, in my opinion, is how serious the student is about learning archery. A child who is more interested in staring at their phone isn't going to get as much out of 10 archery lessons than a similar child who pays attention and is excited/enthusiastic about learning archery. Same goes with an adult who is similarly addicted to their phone versus an adult who really wants to learn archery. This isn't so much an age issue as it is a maturity issue.

Speaking on behalf of myself and my archery lessons you can learn quite a bit in 10 lessons, however just because I offer 10 lessons doesn't necesssarily mean that you cannot learn more. I have had some students who keep coming back for more lessons. 20? 50? More than that?

It happens. One of my students (Adam) just keeps coming back for more lessons every year. He was a teenager when he started, now he's in his 20s.

Some archers just want to be challenged constantly and they yearn to learn more things as they progress, possibly learning other styles of archery, other techniques, and more obscure topics that aren't covered in my normal block of 10 lessons.

See my Archery Lesson Plan + How many lessons should you do? post on the subject to learn more about the types of things you can learn during 10 weeks of archery lessons.

Refresher Course Archery Lessons

Good Morning!

There is no shame in getting a refresher course.

If you haven't done archery in a long time and you are worried you've forgotten a few things, or perhaps you've been doing it regularly, but you feel the need to improve on a few things that you feel you are having difficulty with, well then there's nothing wrong with getting a refresher course.

And judging by the pleasant sunny weather outside, spring is coming early.

So to all my former archery students, welcome back! Come get a refresher course. Refresh your memory and pick up some new archery skills too. Plus I thought it would be nice to see some of my old students from a decade ago.

Happy Shooting!

Charles M.

PS. Below is a needlessly cute of my son Arthur that I took this morning after changing his diaper and getting him dressed for the day. I gave him one of Richard's old plastic bows and snapped a photo of Arthur plucking the bowstring.

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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