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

Looking forward to teaching archery again

Hey Toronto! Happy New Year!

Starting in March 2018 I will be offering archery lessons again, however this year I will be limited to teaching archery mostly on weekends.

People who want Archery Lessons in Toronto should contact me via email - cardiotrek@gmail.com - to arrange lessons.

The time restrictions is because on weekdays I am looking after my son Richard, who is currently 6 months old, while my wife is attending university. There may sometimes be weekdays during which I am available, but I would not wager on it.

That said, I am looking forward to teaching archery again. I taught a dozen or so lessons back in September and October, on weekends, and so it has been several months and I miss being outside teaching.

Although admittedly it is winter right now, and I do not normally teach much during the winter anyway. Still, the snow will melt and it will be Spring soon enough. It will be good to get back to teaching, even if it is only on weekends.


A Handful of Interesting Archery Photos

December 31st 2017.

The following archery photos were taken in 2017:

Careful you don't poke your eyeball out.

Distracting, but on the plus side she gets to see how good her form is.

Who doesn't like pink fletching?

Always nice to see an arrow caught by a camera midshot.

So some of the photos below are not from 2017, but some of them are. The first one below for example is actually a mixture of both 2017 and a photo from 1936.

Berlin Olympic Games 1936 vs 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup also in Berlin.

This guy needs a horse for his horsebow, but will have to make do.

Just some bows chilling on a rack at the Toronto Archery Range.

Happy Halloween!

That is a pretty nice collection of bows.

Some of my personal collection of bows.

This gal has a horse, and she decides to up her game even further.

A local Toronto archer readies her shot. Photo by Simon Lam.

Another poor guy who wishes he had a horse.
 Well this was fun. Hope everyone had a great 2017 and have an even better 2018! :)

Technically not archery, but I included this because it is funny.

No Winter Archery This Year, Winter 2017-18

Hello Would-Be Archery Students in Toronto!

I will not be teaching archery this winter, but I will be resuming teaching archery lessons (weekends only) in March 2018.

Anyone wishing to have archery lessons in 2018 should prebook now as availability may be limited.



Brace Height on a Jandao Recurve Bow

Q

Hello I have a jandao and I was trying to go all over the internet to find the brace height but I'm sol. 

Do you know what the brace height is if I'm shooting 28#66"?

Or where I can ask?

Thanks,
Dwayne
A

Should be approx. 7 or 8 inches.

If you cannot be certain of the brace height I recommend experimenting with it to see which brace height gives you the most speed. Don't worry about accuracy yet, just try to see which brace height gives you the most speed from the arrow. When you find that it will also turn out to be the most accurate, but speed is easier to spot.

If you have difficulty trying to determine which brace height is fastest by yourself, try having a friend or two stand by and judge the speed of the arrows.

Due to personal preference some people will sometimes prefer a slightly higher or lower brace height, still very close to the "ideal brace height", but within a margin of error that some archers find more comfortable.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

PS. Regardless of what the poundage is, the brace height on Jandao should still be the same. So it doesn't really matter if it is 28 lbs, 20 lbs or 38 lbs... same ideal brace height.

Three Frequently Asked Questions: Stump Shooting, Different Elevations, Obstacles

Below are three frequently asked archery questions related to shooting in the wilderness:

"I heard there is something called Stump Shooting. What is it?"

Stump Shooting is the act of shooting at old rotten stumps of trees - rotting tree trunks. The rotting stumps make excellent targets in the woods because they are so soft your arrows go in and come back out easily, without damaging your arrows.

The beauty of stump shooting is that you can wander around in the woods, look for stumps that make great targets - and then practice shooting at it from different angles, different distances, and even different elevations. As an activity it is truly a fun one.

Learn more about Stump Shooting: An Archer's Guide to Stump Shooting


"Do you aim differently when aiming downhill or uphill at a target?"

At short distances, no, not really. While it may seem like a target is further away because of the angle, the amount of time the arrow is in the air makes little or no difference whether you are shooting at a target from an upward or downward angle - what really matters is how much gravity effects the arrow during its flight. While it is true that the arrow would go slightly faster downhill and slightly slower uphill, at short distances the differences is so negligible that it makes really no difference.
At longer distances - extreme heights and such - then you can see a huge difference in terms of where you need to aim.

I can recommend shooting at different heights and practicing aiming uphill and downhill so you can perfect your form and get better at aiming upwards and downwards.
Regardless of the height, the arrow is only in the air for 20 yards of distance - thus gravity effects it the same.


"What is the best way to deal with obstacles in the way when you are trying to shoot?"

There is not one single answer to this, but rather multiple answers. The "best way" really depends on the circumstances and the obstacles.

In some situations kneeling might produce better results. In others you might actually want to get more elevation to shoot over an obstacle. Or you might decide to move sideways to get a clearer shot from a different angle.

I recommend practicing all three so you get really good at figuring out how to solve the problem.

So the long winded answer I guess is "Practice everything and you can do everything."

Is my 15-year-old son still eligible to learn archery?

Q

"Hi, my son is very interested in learning archery. However he is just under 15 years of age. I know you have an age minimum, please advise if he is still eligible?

Do you have any spots open for Saturdays in the morning? Full package.

my thanks,
Nancy H."

A

Hey Nancy!

I retired from teaching archery about a week ago to spend more time with my son while my wife works on her career. My weekends are pretty busy indefinitely so my availability even on weekends is best described as "fully booked". So I am not available any more to teach, regardless of your son's age.

Sorry if there is some mixed messages with respect to my Retirement Signature Message. I should update that.

However I do have a suggestion. Sign your son up for Boy Scouts (when he turns 15 he can switch to Venturer Scouts, which is for ages 15 to 17).
  • Beaver Scouts (Ages 5-7)
  • Cub Scouts (Ages 8-10)
  • Scouts (Ages 11-14)
  • Venturer Scouts (Ages 15-17)
  • Rover Scouts (Ages 18-26)

I can also recommend an excellent book:

Precision Archery
By Steve Ruis and Claudia Stevenson
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/precision-archery/9780736046343-item.html


If you have any questions (such as questions about buying archery equipment) let me know and I will help the best I can. Have a good day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Retirement Signature Message - I officially retired from being a personal trainer / sports coach as of August 28th to pursue being a full time stay-at-home-dad while my wife pursues her career. I will be using the time to finish writing an archery book and I may sometimes teach Archery Lessons (weekends only), depending on my availability. In the meantime please browse free archery tips on CardioTrek.ca, testimonials, and check out what else Cardio Trek has to offer.

OFFICIAL RETIREMENT, AUGUST 28TH 2017

1975 Browning Wasp, at the Toronto Archery Range
August 28th 2017

Hello!

If you are here looking for archery lessons in Toronto, I have some sad news for you: I am official retired, as of today.

I announced my upcoming and now present retirement back in July in the following post: My Retirement from Personal Training / Sports Training. The details and reasons for my retirement are listed there.

Unofficially I may still end up teaching a few archery lessons in the future, only on weekends, and only when my new schedule allows me a little extra time to teach.

Otherwise you will just have to shop around for a different archery instructor, which I am sorry to say there are few archery instructors who have the knowledge and experience that I have, having done archery for 28 years and having taught archery for 8 of those years.

Furthermore I teach all 5 major styles of archery:
  1. Traditional Recurve
  2. Olympic Recurve
  3. Horsebow / Shortbow
  4. Longbow / Flatbow
  5. Compound
I know a few archery instructors who teach 1 or 2 styles, but I know of no other instructor who is qualified and experienced at teaching all 5 styles.

I have been told that my retirement will be "a loss to the Toronto Archery Community" and I am not going to dispute that I have made some contributions to the promotion of the sport in Toronto. In the 8 years that I was teaching I taught well over a thousand different people. I don't know the precise number because I did not keep accurate records in the beginning, but I do estimate that I was teaching approx. 150 to 200 different students each year. The exact number is likely in the 1,200 to 1,600 people range.

Many of my former students now visit the Toronto Archery Range on a weekly or monthly basis to continue practicing their sport. Some of my former students have gone on to compete, including several Olympic contenders from overseas.

Some students came from very far away to study with me. From South Korea, from Japan, from the USA, Britain, Ireland, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia and a variety of other locales. Some of them came all that distance just to study archery under me.

I do not discriminate with students. I have taught young and old. As the years went by I began cutting back on the younger students, preferring to teach people who are 16 years old or older - but I sometimes made exceptions and taught younger students if they were exceptionally interested in archery and showed a keen obsession with the sport. I also thoroughly enjoyed teaching seniors.

In the photo below is two police officers who were visiting the Toronto Archery Range, one of my former students from 2014 (John G.), and myself in the sunglasses / Ducks Unlimited hat. This photo was taken recently, on August 14th 2017. John has become a regular at the archery range over the past 3 years and students like him have been a highlight of my archery teaching career and one of the reasons I give discounts to seniors.


I am going to miss teaching archery.

It has been the most enjoyable career I have had thus far. I got to meet lots of interesting people, make all sorts of archery jokes, educate people on the history of archery / the sport of archery, and promote one of the greatest pastimes of all time.

It therefore makes sense that I won't be giving it up completely. I will continue to teach from time to time, schedule permitting, but it will be very different from my current schedule of teaching approx. 10 to 15 lessons per week.

There was a time a few years ago when I was teaching 18 to 21 lessons per week, and frankly feeling exhausted after teaching 5 lessons in a single day. I eventually realized that I needed to cutback on teaching so many lessons and relax more. Around that time I raised my rates, cut back on my total number of lessons I was willing to teach per week, and started scheduling more vacation time.

Such vacations likely helped in the wooing of my wife and resulted in our marriage in August 2016. Quickly followed by a Honeymoon in Montreal.

A few months later we began planning the birth of our son Richard who arrived in late June 2017. (2.5 weeks before his due date, I guess he was impatient to meet us.) Below is a photo of our son Richard with a slingshot during a recent trip to the beach. He doesn't know how to shoot it yet, but I had fun shooting beach pebbles into Lake Ontario.


In a few short years he will be shooting that very slingshot and learning how to shoot his first bow. With both parents doing archery and a number of other relatives who do archery (including my cousin Ken who is the 1990 and 1991 Traditional Recurve North American Champion and had so many trophies he was throwing them out...) Richard will raised thinking archery is something that many people do - and frankly many people do archery, it is just not as much as say soccer or baseball.

Richard will be raised with an active lifestyle, something I am looking forward to, with a heavy emphasis on appreciation for nature, science and the world around him. Everything from bird-watching to rock-climbing to geology to astronomy to the wonderful languages and food our world has to offer. (As a polyglot myself, I hope to have him learning a variety of languages during his summers when he is not attending school.)

My Future

I have a long list of things I want to do with my life, outside of raising my son with my wonderful wife. I listed some of those things on my previous post announcing my retirement.

One of the things I most would like to do is to buy a horse farm, raise horses and teach equestrian archery. To me that would truly be living the dream. If I could add Falconry to that dream, that would be fun too.

The Future of CardioTrek.ca

The website isn't going to disappear, I can tell you that. I am going to keep using it to promote exercise and a variety of sports, including archery of course.

By the end of 2017 I expect there to be a total of 830 posts on this website and I will continue to do 5 to 10 posts per month indefinitely.

The big change will be that I will be adding Google Ads on the side of the website, and I will be allowing advertisers to post sponsored articles in the future for a reasonable fee. (I have a baby to feed and clothe after all, and babies are not cheap, so I see nothing wrong with allowing some advertising.) All ads will be family friendly and abide my sense of good morals.

Happy shooting!

Archery Lessons in Toronto, Limited Time Slots Left

Hey Toronto!

So I am looking at my schedule and I only have 8 time slots for teaching archery left before I retire. (See My Retirement from Personal Training / Sports Training for more information about my upcoming retirement.)

So if anyone still wants archery lessons, the time to book is NOW before my retirement arrives.

In unrelated archery news...

Below is a photo of a Toronto police officer who visited the Toronto Archery Range on August 18th and was checking out a vintage Bear Takedown Recurve Bow. The Toronto Police were in the area looking for a homeless person with mental issues who is believed to be camping out in the park surrounding the archery range. The homeless person has been making threats and shouting at people.


And yes, that is a shotgun slung across his back. That particular shotgun shoots non lethal bean bags in order to subdue targets.

The photo below is from August 14th and is a selfie taken by the officer on the left - who was kind enough to send me a copy. In the photo is himself, my old student John G. who I taught in 2014 and is now a frequent visitor to the archery range, the officer's partner, and myself in the sunglasses. (The bow I am carrying is a vintage 1972 Black Hawk Avenger.)


The two officers above said they were just patrolling the park, but I now have a hunch they were also there searching for the same homeless person. The homeless person is considered a threat because they keep shouting threats against people and making references to the terrorist organization ISIS.

Expensive Compound Bows Vs Super Adjustable Compound Bows

Q

Hey Charles.

Question for you on Bows...

I'm really interested in getting a decent composite bow off the start (after a few lessons of course). The one I'm thinking of getting is the Oneida Kestrel or Pheonix. Do you think that's a bad idea? I read online that it's ok to go with more expensive bows as it just means I won't grow out of the bow quickly. I know online comments aren't always accurate, so I'd like to hear from a pro. Thoughts?

- Geoffrey C.

A

Hey Geoffrey!

The Oneida Kestrel as seen on the popular "Arrow" TV show.
The bow has seen a boost in sales thanks to the show.
Well, the Oneida Kestrel/Pheonix are definitely more expensive hybrid recurve compound bows. I only know of two people who even own Oneida bows, as they are pretty rare. I should note that older Oneida's can also be very accurate, judging from the one I shot a few years ago and it was made during the 1990s.

I would disagree with the statement that "people don't grow out of more expensive bows as quickly" because obviously there is going to be exceptions to that statement, and since there are so many different kinds of expensive bows, that is quite a few exceptions.

A better statement would be:

"A compound bow that is easy to adjust, fully adjustable, and has a broad range of power settings, draw length settings, and even comfort settings is the kind of bow a person will not easily grow out of."

This weekend I met a guy who had purchased a compound bow with two comfort settings. The first one had a hard Wall, but faster FPS arrow speed, while the second setting was more comfortable with a soft Wall, but slower FPS arrow speed. Modern compound bows are becoming ever more complicated, and this is largely due to manufacturers trying to make bows which are more easily adjustable and have more options for adjustment to suit the user's needs.

Consequently having more options / more adjustability can make a compound bow more expensive...

However not all compound bows are super adjustable. Some are quite the opposite, they are very narrow in how much they can be adjusted because the manufacturer has decided to focus on making a bow super powerful, faster FPS arrow speed, a harder Wall, more let off, extra gadgets for the sake of accuracy, more durability, lighter, better balanced, more expensive materials, etc.

There are many ways to make a compound bow more expensive. The ability to not grow out of it too quickly doesn't necessarily factor in to the ways a particular bow is more expensive.

With expensive bows there is always the chance a person ends up buying the wrong bow too and ends up regretting it because it was too powerful, not adjustable enough that it was suitable for the individual, etc.

eg. I saw a guy a few weeks ago who bought his girlfriend a compound bow expecting her to be able to use it, and unfortunately she wasn't strong enough to pull it even at the lowest possible setting because the bow he had purchased was not adjustable enough. She then ended up shooting his bow instead - which was super adjustable and could be adjusted to her draw length and power needs. Later he ended up shooting her bow instead of his own. (Maybe that was his evil plan all along, to get himself a new bow?)

If you have additional questions let me know. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

The Oneida Eagle Phoenix Hybrid Recurve Compound Bow

Average Wind in Toronto - Archery, Adjusting for Wind

August is the least windy month in Toronto - on average. In contrast January is the most windy month. Clearly this means doing archery in August will be more accurate due to less wind. But how do the other months stack up?

Average Wind Speeds in Toronto, Historical Averages
  • January - 18 kmph
  • February - 17 kmph
  • March - 17 kmph
  • April - 17 kmph
  • May - 14 kmph
  • June - 13 kmph
  • July - 13 kmph
  • August - 12 kmph
  • September - 13 kmph
  • October - 14 kmph
  • November - 16 kmph
  • December - 17 kmph
So as an archer if you want to avoid wind, August is a clear choice. However August is also the 2nd hottest time of year (#1 being July) in Toronto, so there may be other factors to consider.

eg. April, May, June, September and October are considered to be the best times of year temperature wise. Not too hot, not too cold.

Of course maybe you are one of those archers who love a challenge. Who embrace the wind and wnt to learn from it. In which case, you want to learn how to adjust for the wind conditions. It is definitely not impossible to maintain accuracy in these conditions however, you'll just have to modify your shooting patterns a little bit and understand the physics of what happens to your arrow in flight.

Regarding Equipment

Your equipment can have some serious effects, in addition to the wind. If you know you're going to be shooting on a heavier day there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Heavier arrows will always tend to fly better in the wind. This might seem counter-intuitive since they'll fly at a lower speed and thus are exposed to the wind's effect for longer but they'll maintain a truer course in windy situations thanks to their weight adding to their forward momentum. The heavier the arrow, the less wind can push it. You can plan ahead for this if you know you are going to be shooting on a windy day and bring your heaviest arrows.

Thinner arrows will naturally be less effected by the wind as well. This in theory makes a heavy, thin arrow the easiest to shoot in the wind, but good luck finding both of those qualities in an arrow.

Smaller fletching on your arrows also makes a difference. Larger fletch is more effected by the wind, smaller fletch is less effected. So having heavy arrows with tiny fletching is more accurate in wind.

Your bow's profile can also play an effect, particularly in heavier crosswinds. You'll have to compensate in the direction of the wind in order to stay on target. This can mean removing some accessories depending on your shooting style, but a heavier bow will also be less effected by the wind - and a bottom heavy bow will be more accurate.

Aiming with a Sight

If you use sights on your bow and do target shooting they can make things a bit easier on you as you can learn to shoot at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock on the target. If your arrows are dipping due to lost speed in windy conditions you might even aim at 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock.

Head Wind - Slightly higher, 12 o'clock.
Tail Wind - Slightly lower, 6 o'clock.
Cross Wind - 3 or 9 o'clock. (Or sometimes higher.)

And if the wind is coming from angles, a bit of head wind + cross wind for example, then you might find yourself aiming at 1, 2, 10 or 11 o'clock in order to have a more centered shot that is the correct height.

Cross winds will often slow your arrow down so you may find you have to aim closer to 9:30 or 2:30.

Traditional Aiming or Gap Shooting

If you are aiming off the arrow (Traditional Aiming) or Gap Shooting (similar to Traditional Aiming, but you are looking at the gap between the target and the side of the bow) then you will make similar adjustments just like you would with a sight, but you have to imagine and guess how much adjustment you need to do. eg. For gap shooting you might be shrinking or widening the gap, while aiming a bit higher depending on wind direction and power.

How The Wind Affects Your Arrows
  • A wind blowing from 12 o'clock will not cause sideways drift, but will slow it down.
  • A wind blowing 1 or 11 o'clock will cause a little sideways drift and slow it down.
  • At 2 or 10 o'clock the sideways drift will be stronger, but the arrow will only slow down a more moderate amount.
  • At 3 or 9 o'clock you're at a direct crosswind and the arrow will definitely have sideways drift, but it should only be slowed down marginally.
  • At 4 or 8 o'clock you will see sideways drift, but the height should not be effected as much because the tailwind is giving it a bit of a push.
  • At 5 or 7 o'clock most of what you will see it tailwind with a little sideways drift.
  • At 6 o'clock you'll be at a tailwind, your arrows will go faster and slightly higher.
Fluctuating Wind Directions and Power

Whenever possible try to pay attention to the following and adjust accordingly:
  • Which way flags are going. Wind socks are also handy.
  • Which way trees and/or grass are going.
  • Gusts - either wait for a gust to stop or adjust more than normal. Being patient and waiting is your best bet for accuracy as a gust can end at any time.
  • Stable wind from one solid direction is a good time to shoot.
  • Fluctuating winds form different directions can really cause problems.
  • Don't worry what the wind or flags are doing behind the target, worry what the wind is doing in front of the target - preferably at half the distance.
Don't Forget the Wind is also Pushing You

Depending on how much you physically weigh, the wind can also be pushing YOU sideways too, thus causing you to be less stable during a shot. The best solution for this problem is to tighten up your abdominal muscles that your core (belly and chest area of your torso) remains stable.

Alternatively it is also possible to try and shoot from a position where you are less effected by the wind, such as a bowhunter who is stalking and trying to shoot a deer might decide to shoot from a different angle where trees or a hill might give them more protection from the wind.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much wind is too much?

Honestly, I find 30 kmph or more is quite a bit. Definitely more challenging, but not impossible. 40 kmph or more is when you might as well not even bother. 50 kmph or more is basically a windstorm. Seek shelter.

Is there any equipment I can buy to compensate for the wind?

Asides from heavier arrows with smaller fletching, yes, buy flags! Flags will help you learn how to look at the wind and adjust for the wind accordingly. Or failing to get a flag, try to get a wind sock, weather vane, or something that tells you what the wind is doing.


Any Questions?

If I left anything out please leave any questions in the comments below and I will respond to your questions ASAP.

Also for fun, here is scene from Game of Thrones:


The Bear Takedown Recurve Vs the Samick Sage

Q

Hey Charles, this is the bow I'm thinking about getting I'm just wondering what configuration would work best for me?
http://www.bow-shop.com/secure/store/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=124_127_141&products_id=584
- Jon C.

A

Hey Jon!

Ooo fancy, the Bear Takedown. I have been wanting one of those for almost a decade. I will probably get one eventually, if I ever stop buying antiques / vintage bows - or maybe I will buy a vintage Takedown. We shall see.

See also http://www.beararchery.com/bows/traditional/takedown so you have a better idea of its stats.

The Takedown has two different riser lengths, 56 and 60 inches. I recommend the 60 as it is more forgiving of canting mistakes. (Shorter bows / shorter risers are less forgiving, so if you make a canting mistake it can be way off instead of a little off.)

The real problem is the poundage of the limbs - for which the minimum is 35 lbs. Ideally for someone who is still learning I recommend 20 to 25 lbs so that they can work on building their form while building strength, and then later get a 30 to 35 lb bow and work their way up to 40 to 45 lbs. Starting off at 35 lbs right away can cause a person to develop bad habits and I want my students to avoid that.

The analogy I like to use is dumbbells and weightlifting. You start off the smaller dumbbells, use them with good form in a variety of exercises, build up strength and eventually go to a bigger set of dumbbells when the old dumbbells start to feel too easy. This way a person progresses from one stage to the next, working on their form while simultaneously building strength/endurance.

Starting off with a bow that is too strong a person will often get exhausted easily, their endurance will lag, they will start making form mistakes / shooting too quickly / etc.

Here is one you might consider in the meantime:

Samick Sage - available with 25 lb limbs
http://www.bow-shop.com/secure/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=124_127_201&products_id=1558

Then after you build up strength and that bow feels easy you can get a 30 to 35 lb bow, eg. the Takedown, and progress from there.

The good news about both the Sage and the Takedown is that you get more powerful limbs as you progress too, allowing you to experiment with other poundages to see which one you like best. Obviously there will be a big price difference between those two bows.

Also it is handy to have an extra bow that is easier to pull in the future should you ever introduce a friend to archery, or perhaps even just have off-days when you want to relax and just shoot without it feeling like a weightlifting workout.

Pros and Cons

The Bear Takedown is one of the best traditional recurves you can get. It is powerful, durable and comes with a great warranty.

The Samick Sage in comparison is basically the Ford F-150 of bows - it does everything you need the bow to do, on a budget. (History Note - Decades ago the Damon Howatt X-200 / Martin X-150 used to fill that role, and was quite literally the F-150 of bows.)

Both bows have lots of great reviews, although Bear's warranty / craftsmanship / quality assurance certainly make it a fan favourite.

Both bows are attractive to look at. The Takedown is obviously prettier, but the Sage is certainly not ugly either.

There is the obvious price difference, however the price I don't think is the biggest issue here. It is the available poundages that matter.

The Samick Sage is available in 25 lbs. It is even possible to get 20 lb limbs that match it, but it is trickier to find those. This will make it easier to pull and work on quality form.

The Bear Takedown has a minimum of 35 lbs. It is not meant for someone who is still building up their strength and working on form. It was primarily designed to be used for bowhunting.

The Samick Sage does have a very good resale value. If you buy one for $175 CDN you can later sell it for about $140-$150 CDN. Thus if you decide to get one and later switch to the Bear Takedown, that is certainly an option. Or keep it as an extra bow for friends to try archery.

Conclusions

By now you have probably guessed that I feel strongly about this whole patience / proper form / building up strength issue. I have seen past students ignore my advice because I was not adamant enough about the whole being patient / working on proper form issue, and they bought a bow that was too powerful for them to properly practice with and they eventually stopped shooting because it was simply too hard - and now their bow is probably collecting dust in a closet.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Archery Lessons Syllabus, Updated 2017

This page is an update to my Archery Lessons Syllabus, so that students have a better idea of what to expect when they sign up for 1 or more lessons.

Regarding packages it really depends on how much you want to learn:

3 Lessons - $170;
  • First lesson includes safety lecture, eye dominance test, lecture on how to aim, lecture on proper form, and archery lesson focuses on field archery (targets at different distances).
  • Second lesson focuses on target archery (one distance, 60 feet) and includes a lecture on arrowheads.
  • Third lesson focuses on long distance field archery and includes a lecture on arrow spine.

5 Lessons - $270;
  • Fourth lesson focuses on target archery but introduces a different way of aiming (gap shooting) which is useful for shooting at moving targets. Includes a lecture on how to wax a bowstring.
  • Fifth lesson can vary sometimes, but usually focuses on teaching the archer how to shoot while in motion and/or shooting from a kneeling position. Includes a lecture on types of fletching and pros/cons of different fletching types.

10 Lessons - $520.
Lessons 6 to 10 usually vary on the student, focusing on the student's individual needs but covering a range of topics depending on what the student is more interested in and also special attention to getting rid of any remaining bad habits so that the archer can shoot competently using several different bows/poundages. Topics may include:
  • Adjusting for Wind Conditions
  • Long Distance Shooting
  • Shooting at Moving Targets
  • Precision Archery Practice
  • Instinctive Archery
  • Mental Discipline
  • Aiming Exercises
  • Flight Archery
  • Longbow / Flatbow / Shortbow / Horsebow Form
  • Horsebow Releases
  • Various mini lectures on a variety of topics. eg. How to string a longbow, how to repair a bowstring, how to oil a wooden bow, etc.

Archery Lessons in the Rain in Toronto

It has been raining so much in the last two months (April and May) that I am curious how many people actually want archery lessons on rainy days.

Normally if it rains I reschedule lessons for several reasons:
  1. Water damages equipment.
  2. Water also causes mildew to grow on equipment.
  3. People are susceptible to getting sick if they get cold.
  4. People don't want to be standing in a field holding a potential lightning rod.
  5. People often feel miserable when shooting in the rain, which effects accuracy.
  6. A downpour will effect the accuracy of individual shots.
  7. The archer's ability to aim can be reduced by rain interfering with their visual sight.
However in theory if I used equipment that is immune to water damage I could teach on rainy days to people who are willing and up to the challenge. (I already have arrows suitable for this, although I might have to invest in different bows for teaching with than the ones I normally teach with.)

I am curious if there are people out there who would actually want archery lessons in the rain - perhaps there are people out there who really like a challenge.

If this sounds like you, send me an email and we shall explore this option.


Outfitting your Archery Man Cave

Disclaimer - There is no reason why women cannot have their own "Archery Cave" or whatever people want to call it. I am simply using the vernacular "Man Cave" in this situation as it represents the often male urge to create dingy dark cave in which a man can indulge in their interests.
man cave 
nounhumorous 
noun: man cave; plural noun: man caves
  1. a room or other part of a home regarded as a refuge for the man or men of a household.
    Example - "a man cave equipped with a pool table and pinball machine"

Right - Bo Jackson in his Archery Man Cave.

Typically many a man cave is dark (hence why they are jokingly called caves) and not very clean - as men are sometimes prone to not cleaning up after themselves.

Bo Jackson on the right clearly believes in keeping his Archery Man Cave organized, with lots of hooks to store everything on.

So what should an Archery Man Cave have in it?

#1. A target to shoot at and space to shoot. Any good Archery Man Cave should at least have a small shooting area within it so you can take a few shots if you desire to test out a new product, creation or just shooting for fun.

Speaking for myself, my "Archery Man Cave" is in my garage, but as you can see in the photo on the right a basement with a fair bit of length can also be used.

#2. Lots of hooks for storing for archery items on, or a toolbox to store them all in.

Because if you are like me, you tend to collect arrowheads, nocks, fletching, fletching glue, fletching tape and all manner of archery related items.

#3. A rack or container for storing arrows in.

eg. I think a Bowman Dairy Milk Can would be great for storing arrows in. The trick is finding one, because those old milk cans are tricky to find and collector's items now.

#4. A magazine rack or shelf for archery magazines.

There is a fair number of archery publications available out there, including:
  • Archery Focus Magazine
  • Bowhunter Magazine
  • Petersen's Bowhunting Magazine
  • TradArchers' World Magazine
  • Traditional Bowhunter Magazine
  • Ontario Out of Doors Magazine
The last one I listed, OOD, is a local magazine here in Ontario which is also about fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities - not just bowhunting. I do not subscribe to it myself, but I do keep an eye out for issues with articles about archery because they do sometimes have articles worth reading. Plus I enjoy fishing, but that is a whole different topic.


#5. A bookshelf for archery books.

Plus related books on bowmaking, arrowmaking, and general woodworking books. You might even store DVDs on that shelf about various topics like bowmaking, bowfishing, bowhunting skills, or even your favourite archery movies like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, etc.

#6. A collection of woodworking tools commonly used for bowmaking.
  • Rasps
  • Files
  • Draw Knives
  • Sand Paper
  • Tillering Stick
  • Work Bench
  • Vise
  • Etc
You might even have items like a Fletching Jig or an Arrow Dowel Maker (I started building an arrow dowel maker two years ago and it is on my To Do List to finish making it...) and similar useful tools.

Photo Courtesy of ArtemisArchery.ca
Take Gary for example, the owner of Basically Bows Archery in Toronto. His archery shop, commonly just known as "Gary's", is essentially both his Archery Man Cave and his archery shop. He has all his tools there for doing woodworking, he has decorated the place, and has lots of archery equipment all over the place, but roughly one third of his shop is dedicated just to his tools and woodworking area.

#7. Archery Posters, Paintings and Decorations.

No Archery Man Cave is complete until you've added some decorative touches.

Paintings, posters, photographs, sculptures, beadwork, drawings, decorative bows, antlers or taxidermy - if it is artwork or decorative, it has a home in your Archery Man Cave.

It doesn't even have to be archery themed artwork per se. It is your "Man Cave", you make the rules for what you want to have in it in terms of decor.

#8. A Bow Rack.

Clearly this is something any bow collector will need. Now admittedly some people only have 1, 2 or 3 bows, but for the collectors like myself (I currently have 30 bows) having a bow rack is a necessity.

Below is the bow rack I built in 2015 and is currently in my living room.


 But there are many different ways to design a bow rack. You should not feel limited by one design. Here are a few more sample designs to look at.





 #9. Something to sit on.

I always find it annoying when you go somewhere and they don't have any seating. Stools, comfy chairs, whatever you can find. A nice sofa.

It was one of the first things I suggested to Gary when he opened Basically Bows Archery - get stools to sit on. I was his second customer after he opened years ago and I am happy to say he took my advice about getting some stools, because when you visit his shop you really need to sit down and take your time there. (He should probably sell drinks too, as talking about archery for long periods can be thirsty business.)

#10. Entertainment and Relaxation.

This may be an archery themed man cave, but it is still a man cave - so having some form of entertainment is a good idea.

My recommendation? A big screen TV, a PS4 and a copy of The Elder Scrolls - Skyrim Special Edition. Because frankly that particular game is so good you can play it for years and never get bored of it. The Special Edition version uses updated graphics and is smoother / more detailed, and includes all the expansions.


A friend of mine a few months ago gifted me with a map of Skyrim, so obviously that is something that would be used as decoration for a wall in some future version of my Archery Man Cave. For now I keep the map folded up and near our PlayStation.

Assassins Creed III (the one about the American Revolutionary War) also has archery in it and might also be on your list of games worth playing.


#11. Archery Comic Books.

Not all of us are into Green Arrow, Hawkeye or various other superheroes found in Marvel/DC or other sources (Japanese Anime for example), but for those people who are it would probably make sense that they would want to store all of the archery themed comic books in their Archery Man Cave.

You know, because you are just obsessed with archery, and that is frankly okay. You are not alone.

You might store them on a shelf, in a display case, framed on the wall like artwork - or in the same rack you store your magazines in.

And because you might enjoy other kinds of comic books, you might as well store your Batman comic books / etc there too. And if anyone asks why your Batman comics are in there too, just mention The Dark Knight Rises and how in the very first scene with Bruce Wayne he is practicing archery in his own little Archery Man Cave in Wayne Manor... Except his Archery Man Cave is way more well decorated than anything we could have. So there you go, in a round about way you now have an excuse to include any items pertaining to Batman in your Archery Man Cave. Congrats!

Bruce Wayne, right after scaring Catwoman with an Arrow.
When it comes to making Man Caves, Batman clearly deserves some attention right?

#12. Some Non-Archery Things that you nevertheless Enjoy.

Personally, I would include a dart board and darts. Something fun to do when bored. I guess a dart board technically counts as entertainment, but it is more of a "like archery, but obviously not archery" item to put in the man cave.

A person might also store their throwing knives, throwing axes, javelins, fishing equipment or other items in their man cave.

Personally my Man Cave would have a lot of woodworking items in it. After all, I consider Woodworking to be Exercise.

Keeping my collection of dumbbells and other exercise equipment in there would also be useful.

So clearly #12 here allows for a lot of personal taste in terms of personalizing your Man Cave to suit your needs.

I quite enjoyed writing this. Enjoy designing and decorating your own Man Cave!

Archery Equipment Checklist

Q


"Is there a checklist of items I should get when looking for archery equipment [to buy]? I am looking to shoot recurve."

- Joe B.

A

Samick Sage is a very popular beginner recurve.
Hey Joe!

Sure, here you go:

  • A recurve bow in a poundage you can pull and hold steady for long periods. Avoid any bow you cannot pull and keep steady. When sold a new bow typically comes with a bowstring. See a list of popular recurve bow brands and models, there are plenty to choose from.
  • A Bowstringer - to string your bow properly, without the risk of damaging it).
  • An archery glove or tab (to protect your fingers properly). The most common style is a 3-finger glove, such as the one made by the American company Neet.
  • Arrow Rest - there are many styles of arrow rests, choose one you like that is within your budget. Generally the better quality arrow rests effect the accuracy of your dramatically, so if you are going to invest in something better, spending it on the arrow rest is a good idea.
  • Nock Bead - a tiny brass bead that goes on your bowstring that is used to prevent Stringwalking by accident.
  • Arrowheads - 125 grain field points are the most commonly used. Heavier field points are for shooting at close targets, light field points and for shooting further distances.
  • Arrows that are spined correctly for your bow's poundage. This is actually extremely important. You want the right arrows that suit your bow, both for accuracy reasons and for safety reasons (shooting cheap weak spined arrows on a very powerful bow can cause the arrow to shatter midshot and you can end up with pieces of arrow in your bow arm or hand - see photo below). See 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Archery Equipment for more details.
Just one reason why you need arrows that are spined correctly for your bow.

Optional, but Not a Necessity. See Optional Archery Equipment for more details.
  • Armguard 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.

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

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