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Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts

When is it time to buy New Archery Equipment?

Q

 

"When is it time to buy new archery equipment?"

 

A


Well, it varies for many people.

#1. Can you afford it in your budget?

Not everyone can afford to be buying 1 or 2 new bows (or more!) every year. *Cough Cough* as I glance at the bows in the basement that require a new bow rack on the wall so I can store them properly.

Some of us (eg. actors seeking to expand their skill sets that they can put on a resume) can even claim things like riding lessons and anything related to owning a horse as a business expense on their taxes because they want to star in a Western someday. Or a fantasy film, or a historical film, or a post apocalyptic film featuring horses... Basically any film with horses.

Likewise an actor could in theory claim their archery expenses as business expenses, as I am sure William Shatner did during the early days of his acting career.

But not all of us can do that and thus we also have to weigh whatever financial pressures we are facing against our thirst to go buy more and more archery equipment.

So let's pretend that money is not the issue...

#2. Do you want a stronger bow?

Some archers (usually men) want a stronger bow because they want to be able to go hunting someday, or perhaps they just want their arrows to fly faster, or perhaps they just want to get more exercise by pulling a harder bow.

For whatever the reason I recommend waiting at least 6 to 12 months after you purchased your first bow before you go and buy your second bow. Why? Because hopefully during that 6 to 12 month period you went out and practiced with the first bow at least once per week (or sometimes twice). So at least 24 or even 48 times.

After that much practice the archer then might be ready for a higher poundage, at which point they should consider getting a bow which is 5 to 6 lbs heavier.

Thus if you started off with a 24 or 25 lb recurve it would now be time to consider getting a 30 lb bow.

Or if your bow is a three-piece recurve bow, well then you could just buy bow limbs that are 5-6 lbs heavier.

Why should you not make bigger jumps? Like 10 lbs or more? Because it is a bit like dumbbells at the gym. You start with the 10 lb dumbbells and repeat that for a few months and then switch to 15 lbs. Then 20, then 25, then 30. You take your time doing it and focus on your form.

If you skip ahead a person's form will frequently suffer, you lose accuracy, you stop making progress with respect to the quality of your form, and such inaccuracy effects your mental confidence. You stop shooting because you think you suck at the sport... But in reality you just pushed yourself too quickly.

Personal Note - I go through this process every Spring. I start by shooting my lighter bows and then practice with them slowly, rebuilding any strength I lost during the Winter. I gradually build up my strength until I am used to shooting 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 or even 60 lbs.

#3. Do you want a prettier bow?

This is certainly a thing. Some archers just want a bow that looks really nice. There are some very pretty bows out there. But here's an interesting rule when it comes to price, prettiness and accuracy.

  • If a bow is both pretty and accurate, it will also be pretty expensive.
  • If a bow is both accurate and inexpensive, it will be "meh okay" to look at.

And nobody wants to buy a bow that is pretty and cheap, because guaranteed it won't be accurate.

Take for example the bow below... It is a Blacktail Elite VL Series bow... It is currently priced at $1470 USD. It is a very pretty bow and suitably accurate when you consider the price tag, but most of what you are paying for is the looks.

This is actually one of their less expensive bows too. They have other bows from their Legacy series which are priced at $4500, $6500 and $8999 USD.

So yes, you can buy super expensive bows it you really want - bows that are essentially more art piece than craft, but would you really want to shoot that bow regularly or take it hunting???

My advice for anyone who is new to archery is that you should aim smaller when it comes to buying a prettier bow. Something in the $400 to $800 range is still a very pretty bow, but you won't need to get financing just to buy it. (Seriously, Blacktail Bows offers financing on their website...)

#4. Do you want to collect archery equipment?

Yes? Awesome.

Most collectors however are not buying "new archery equipment". They're buying vintage. Specifically they are looking for bows that are 40 or more years old. So right now that means anything from the 1970s or earlier.

It also means you are usually browsing bows on eBay or similar websites where people auction off old vintage bows.

When buying such bows you want to look carefully at the photographs being offered. There should be photographs of every part of the bow, and from every angle. Usually that means 16 or more photographs, in high resolution, with no blurry photography.

#5. Do you need new arrows?

Honestly this is the most common reason people buy new archery equipment.

Usually it means they have:

  1. Broken most of their arrows beyond repair.
  2. Damaged most of their arrows (and they need repairs).
  3. Lost most of their arrows.
  4. Combinations of reasons 1, 2 & 3.

Now if you are just dealing with damaged arrows that could be repaired, then absolutely, you should learn how to repair them. You can buy replacement nocks, replacement fletching, replacement inserts, replacement arrowheads... Modern arrows are rather like Lego. Most of the parts are interchangeable and can be replaced.

If they are broken beyond repair / lost, well... Yeah, not much you can do about that. Time to buy new arrows!

#6. Did you break your bow?

Breaking a bow is a very rare occurrence. Extremely rare. Most modern bows are very durable if you take good care of them and are not mistreating them, and the rare manufacturing defects are quite rare.

If it was a manufacturing defect you should check your warranty and see about getting a replacement from the manufacturer. If you don't have a warranty... Well then, you need to buy a new bow.

I definitely recommend buying a bow that comes with a warranty. You never regret it.

Note - Vintage bows definitely do not come with a warranty. Likewise certain cheaper companies don't offer warranties at all. Likewise, there is also the problem of counterfeits - you send the broken bow back to the manufacturer and then they inform you that your bow is a counterfeit, and thus there is no warranty. (Counterfeits are more often purchased online during some kind of sale or discount, so you need to beware of any company selling bows online at large discounts.)

#7. Do you want to try a different style of archery?

One of these days I am going to buy a Japanese yumi bow. It is on my Wish List of bows to buy, but it might be a few years before I do that.

Wanting to try different styles of archery is just something that many people want to do, so you're not alone in this desire. The problem is that certain styles of archery are more expensive, and learning the different style of archery is also an issue.

Eg. When learning a new style you should probably get archery lessons in that specific style.

So yes, if your goal is to try a different style then you should get lessons in that style, and presumably your archery instructor can give you advice about what kind of bows you can purchase, what other archery equipment you will need, where to purchase, anything else you should know, etc.

And if you live in Toronto and want to learn one of the five styles of archery then you should contact me to get archery lessons, because I teach all 5 major styles of archery.

  1. Traditional Recurve
  2. Olympic Recurve
  3. Longbow / Flatbow
  4. Horsebow / Shortbow
  5. Compound Bow


#8. Accessories and issues...

Wear and tear is a thing. Take for example the common three finger glove used by traditional recurve and longbow archers. Made from rawhide (usually) they eventually wear down and stop offering you protection from the bowstring. When you start experiencing this you need to buy a new archery glove.

Same thing happens with bowstrings. You can maintain them as best you can by waxing them, taking good care of them, but eventually you will need to reserve them if they unravel or replace them when they break.

Your gear will wear down and/or break over time and certain things will need replacing. My recommendation whenever replacing an item is to try and replace it with something that is better quality / more durable that will last longer.

Eg. When replacing a plastic arrow rest aim to replace it with either a traditional fur arrow rest, or with a wire arrow rest. Fur or metal will last a lot longer than plastic.

Personal Note - I once bought a plastic arrow rest back in 2010 that broke on the first day. Complete trash. I will never buy another plastic arrow rest.

Additional Note - I routinely see plastic arrow rests on the ground at the archery range. Not broken ones necessarily. Some of them look to be brand new. But this is the inherent problem with them. They're so bad (and people know they're bad) that people are just littering with them.

#9. Did I miss anything?

When in doubt ask yourself the following question: "Do I need this new piece of equipment?"

If you're talking about buying an armguard because you keep hitting yourself, then the answer is probably yes.

But if you are thinking of buying a new armguard just because it is pretty, and you already own 3 other armguards... The answer is no.

But hey! Maybe you are collecting armguards, in which case that is your hobby and who am I to throw stones? I have 30+ bows in the basement that need a new bow rack...

How do I make my own bow?

Q

"How do I make my own bow?"

 

A

One of my archery students during 2020 (one of the very few people I taught between COVID lockdowns) asked my advice on how to make his own archery equipment, specifically longbows.

My response was that he should try learning how to make flatbows first, because flatbows are easier to make than longbows (and many people confuse the two because they don't know the difference anyway).

Also because of the COVID restrictions and everything I suggested a number of books that would help him. I got bow making lessons years ago with a bowyer in Toronto, but because of COVID having in-person lessons isn't really a good idea right now.


Specifically...

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume I

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume II

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume III

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume IV

and

The Traditional Bowyers Encyclopedia


The 5th book, TBE, is really mostly about recurves, which are more tricky to make than flatbows and longbows. However that book is available from the Toronto Public Library, so good news, you don't need to purchase it if you're curious about reading that one.


There are also lots of videos on this subject, available via YouTube.

One of my favourites is Mick Grewcock's YouTube channel and videos like the following in which he makes an ash longbow in a day.


I should also note that it takes a lot of tools to make a longbow or flatbow. You really shouldn't be getting into bow making because you think it is a good way to "save money". You won't save any money. For someone just getting into bow making it is actually very expensive to buy all the tools you will need. It really only becomes economical when you are making multiple bows. At least 6.

Also don't expect your first bow to be particularly good. Expect it to be bad and break.

But then you keep trying and you get better at it.

As you progress at it you develop your craft and your skill improves. Your bows stop breaking so easily and your bows get progressively better.

I am reminded of a chart I found on social media...


And this is why people need archery lessons from a professional archery instructor.

For bow making it is basically the same chart. You are learning how to do something and you really should be expanding your knowledge on the subject. Hence why I recommend reading those books above. The books + bow making lessons from an experienced bowyer is arguably the best solution, but in lieu of that I recommend the books + watching YouTube videos made by experienced bowyers.

Admittedly Mick Grewcock doesn't consider himself to be an experienced bowyer. He thinks of himself as a beginner, but that is just his modesty showing through. His videos are also very well made, which certainly adds to the enjoyment factor when watching them.

What should you do with broken or damaged arrows?

Q

"What should you do with broken or damaged arrows?"

 


A

Well, there are a number of options you can use them for.

#1. You can repair them and use them again as arrows.

Possibly even keep using the same arrows for years and years if you get good at repairing them.

You could potentially even take a broken aluminum arrow that has a wider shaft, cut the shaft into smaller pieces, and use them to make footed shaft arrows out of your carbon fibre arrows, thus making them more durable (and more accurate at short distances).

#2. You can throw them out / recycle them.

I personally find this to be very wasteful, even though you are recycling them. They would have to be completely useless in my opinion to do this.

Also it should be noted that because carbon fibre arrows are made from carbon fibre, well, they're not really recyclable... So you should probably try to find a different use for them. Aluminum and wooden arrows however are certainly recyclable.

#3. Gardening! 

I know multiple people who use their old broken arrows for gardening. Why gardening?

Because a wide variety of plants often need a pole for them to climb on. Peas for example, as well various other varieties of plants. Broken arrows can also be used for labels so you know which plant is which (sometimes it gets confusing when they look similar), and there are other creative options for how to use your broken arrows in your garden.

#4. Crafting!

Some people are just really creative and can use long straight hollow rods for a variety of things. You can glue the arrows together to make sculptures, items for your home, decorations (xmas, halloween?), and other things.

#5. Reuse them for something else!

This is borderline crafting, but not necessarily. You might only need to trim the broken arrow shafts to a desired length and then you can use it for a variety of things.

Eg. While gardening is one example of reusing the arrows, you could also potentially use them for fishing by making a fishing pole out of broken arrows. It wouldn't be a very fancy fishing pole, but all you really need is a pole, fishing line, a hook and bait for it to catch a fish. (A little luck helps too.)

Winter is arguably the best time of year to be doing any kind of crafting project, but with spring coming gardening will soon be an option too!

Bow String Brace Height

Q

"What is the best brace height for my bow?" 


A

It depends on the type of bow and the manufacturer. You should check the manufacturer's guidelines for the best brace height. If you cannot find the manufacturer's guidelines for the ideal brace height then you may need to experiment a bit.

Once you have the manufacturer's recommended distance then you just measure the distance between the lowest point in the handle to the bowstring. If it is too low you need to tighten the string by twisting it about 5 to 10. If the bow string is too high then you need to untwist it 5 or 10 times and check again. Keep repeating this process until you reach the optimal distance.

I personally use the "rule of thumb" method for recurve bows, and slightly less than that for longbows and flatbows. I am less worried about being exactly precise because I know the optimal brace height is really often a range within 1 to 2 inches of the rule of thumb method.

The important things to keep in mind are the physics involved...

The Physics of Brace Height

Too Long Bow String = Too Low Brace Height = Bow string de-accelerates, causing slower arrows, more arrow vibration, more bow vibration, sluggish accuracy.

Perfect String Length = Optimum Brace Height = Bow string accelerates fully, causing nice fast arrows, reduced vibrations, optimal accuracy.

Too Short Bow String = Too High Brace Height = Bow string doesn't accelerate fully, causing slower arrows, vibrations are still reduced, accuracy is down because arrow speed is slower.

Optimal > Too High > Too Low.

Thus it is better to be slightly too high than slightly too low, but ideally you want to get as close to the Optimal Brace Height as you can.

So if you cannot find the manufacturer's recommended brace height then it is better to try the "rule of thumb method" and experiment a bit.

If your bow string is hitting you in the wrist during shots then your brace height is definitely too low.

What is the rule of thumb method?

Holding the bow sideways with the string away from you place your hand on the lowest point on the bow's handle in the "thumbs up" position towards the bowstring. If your thumb is touching the bow string then the brace height is too low and is likely to hit you in the wrist.

You then unstring the bow, twist the bow string 10 times to make it tighter, and restring the bow.

You check the brace height again using the rule of thumb method and if it is still touching your thumb then you repeat the process.

Because people have different sizes of hands the optimal brace height may be roughly 1 or 2 inches above your thumb.

Notes

With longbows and flatbows expect the optimal brace height to be slightly lower than what is normal for recurves, so closer to your thumb or even touching your thumb.

If a bow string is brand new expect it to stretch a bit during the first hour of being used. You may need to stop and adjust the bow string's brace height 30 to 45 minutes a second time.

3 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Olympic Archery

Question #1.

"What equipment do I need to practice Olympic-style archery?"

Question #2.

"Why do Olympic-style archers swing their bows forward?"

Question #3.

"Do I need to compete to do Olympic-style archery or can I just do it for fun?"


ANSWERS

Answer #1.

Generally speaking you will want all of the following:

  • 1 Olympic-style riser.
  • 1 or more sets of Olympic-style bow limbs.
  • 1 or more bowstrings of the correct length for your bow.
  • 1 arrow rest (typically it will be a wire arrow rest).
  • 1 Olympic-style stabilizer.
  • 1 set of Olympic arrows (I recommend starting with 12) with the correct spine for your bow's poundage and glued-in arrowheads (I recommend starting with heavier arrowheads when you are first starting).
  • 1 shooting tab.
  • 1 bowstringer.
  • 1 nock bead installed on your bowstring.

Everything beyond the list above is basically optional. See the Archery Equipment Checklist and scroll to the bottom to see a list of optional things people sometimes purchase.

Answer #2.

They're not actually swinging it forward. They are letting gravity roll the bow forward, while maintaining their hand in a relaxed position.

The whole goal is to have their hand relaxed completely and to never grip the bow. Gripping the bow causes a loss of accuracy because the archer's body will sometimes shake or move unconsciously, so instead archers will maintain a very relaxed hand. When they shoot they let the arrow go and allow the bow to roll forward due to the weight of the stabilizer on the front.

Answer #3.

Of course you can do it just for fun. Every type of archery can be done for recreational - just for fun. There is no rule saying you have to be competitive in order to do a particular style.

Note - Saudi Arabia does require that people be Olympic archers before they are allowed to even purchase equipment in that country, which is ironically a Catch-22 because how are you supposed to become an Olympic-style archer unless you first purchase equipment and learn how to use it??? This is why beginner archers from Saudi Arabia often get archery lessons overseas and purchase their equipment overseas before returning.

 

Got More Olympic Archery Questions???

Maybe these will help.

Olympic Archery and becoming an Olympian

What does it take to become an Olympic Archer?

Olympic Archery Equipment - Does more expensive equipment matter?

Optional Archery Equipment, Need or Don't Need?


3 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Compound Bows

Question #1.

"I dryfired my compound bow and the peep sight ripped out of the bowstring. How do I fix this?"

Question #2.

"An older archer told me that my compound bow is 'cocking upwards' whenever I shoot. What does that mean and how do I fix it?"

Question #3.

"Where is a good place to practice shooting with my broadheads? I cannot shoot broadheads at the local archery range."

(Okay, so technically the 3rd question isn't about compound bows, it is about broadheads. However this is a common question for compound shooters because many of them want to get into hunting. While it is possible [and increasingly popular] to hunt with a recurve or longbow, most bowhunters prefer to hunt with a compound. Thus I lumped this question in with compound related questions.)


ANSWERS

Answer #1.

Take a field point arrowhead and insert it halfway between the bowstring strands of where the peep sight used to be. Once fully inserted do this a second time next to and then spread the two apart to create space to reinsert your peep sight in there. Once the peep sight is fully in remove the two field points.

Then you will need to check the peep sight's alignment. Pull back the bow (do not dryfire!!!) to check that the peep sight is now aligned with the front sight housing. If it is off to the side to the left or the right then you need to repeat the first step and adjust the angle of the peep sight so that it is facing the correct direction when at full draw.

You may need to repeat the process 3 or 4 times to get the perfect alignment, offsetting the angle a little bit each time.

Answer #2.

'Cocking upwards' means that your compound bow is rolling so that your stabilizer is going up instead of down when you shoot. (Sort of like the Pitch axis on an airplane.) For accuracy purposes you want it to be rolling downwards, not upwards. This happens when people use a stabilizer which is too light (or when they don't own a stabilizer or are not using a stabilizer). The solution is to either get a heavier stabilizer or to add some extra weight to your stabilizer.

Answer #3.

Multiple answers for this:

  • Private Archery Ranges
  • Private Land (eg. farmland or woodlands)
  • Ghost Towns / Abandoned Land
  • Campsites that allow archery

However I should also point out that practicing with a broadhead is really unnecessary if you have field points that weigh exactly the same amount. Practicing with broadheads often leads to damaging your broadheads. Or your arrows if the cluster is very tight.

Why is it so hard to book an archery lesson on a Saturday?

Q

 "Why is it so hard to book an archery lesson on a Saturday?"

A

Honestly, because it is the most popular day of the week for people wanting archery lessons, but there are other factors.

#1. People Order Multiple Lessons

When someone contacts me asking for archery lessons most people (roughly 80% of them) are asking for 3 or more lessons. Thus if a particular person requests "Saturday at noon" that means I just became fully booked for that time slot for a period of 3 weeks.

Or what happens when someone asks for 10 lessons and wants "Saturday at 2 PM"? Well, that means I am fully booked for that time slot for roughly 3 months.

#2. Certain Time Slots Are More Desirable

Saturday at noon is easily the most common, and it usually disappears quickly. It is the most popular time slot on the most popular day.

#3. Most People Work On Weekdays

I do teach archery on weekdays, and there is a reason why I give discounts to seniors and veterans because I know they are more likely to be available on weekdays. (They're also a joy to teach.) But because most people work on weekdays, Saturday and Sunday are consequently more popular and more likely to fill up faster.

#4. Popularity

My archery lessons are popular. Why this is so is open to debate. There are many contributing factors. I have been doing archery for 32 years and teaching for 12 years. I get good reviews and testimonials from my archery students and they tell their friends about me. I provide all of the equipment during archery lessons so that beginners don't need to purchase their own equipment. I only teach one-on-one lessons, no group lessons. I publish archery articles in magazines. I have been on radio and television multiple times promoting the sport. I am even on Netflix. (I was nearly on Apple TV too, but I turned it down because I was too busy.)

Honestly, if my archery lessons weren't popular then I probably would be doing something else for a career, wouldn't I?


SO HOW DO YOU FIX THIS PROBLEM?

Easy...

Book your archery lessons well in advance. Like during the winter, and you are then practically guaranteed to get the day and time slot that you want because you booked them months in advance.

I heard recently that a lot of campsites across Ontario are fully booked until August, and it is only February 2nd. That is how crazy the booking is for campsites right now because of COVID and people wanting to go on vacations / go camping.

Another thing people can do is book their archery lessons for March. Yes, it is a bit cold outside, but it isn't super cold like January or February. If you book your archery lessons for mid-March / early-April then you can beat the rush of people who start booking in April and May.

Another great solution is if you don't work on weekdays and/or your work hours are flexible. If you fall into this category then it is much easier for you to potentially book a lesson on a Wednesday instead of a Saturday.

And one more tip...

Don't procrastinate. Emailing me now is better than emailing me later. A particular time slot might be available right now, but if you wait 2 weeks to email me then it might be gone / fully booked for months.

Browse my rates for archery lessons in Toronto and email me today to discuss availability.

Hay Bale Archery Backstop

Q


"How far in to a round bale would one of my arrows go when [shot] from the same kind of distance as we do in class?"

- Michelle H.

 

A

Hey Michelle!

It will vary upon the poundage of the bow, the weight of the arrow, how much damage the hay bale has previously suffered, etc. Some shots might only go in a few inches, others more so. If it has been shot repeatedly in the same location you will discover it goes a lot deeper.

I think you mentioned previously that you were planning on using the hay bales as a backstop, behind a target made of cardboard, plastic or foam? The hay bales should make a decent backstop, but you will probably still want to swap them out once per year as they will get rained on and start to smell/etc.

Some people even build a roof for their archery target so the hay doesn't get rained on as much.
 
Another thing to look into is a traditional straw archery target, like the kind used during the middle ages. They're inexpensive but last a long time because they're woven together like a rug.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca
 



 

What is Reverse Dieting? How do you do it to Maintain Weight?

Q

"What is reverse dieting?"

"How do you use reverse dieting to maintain weight?"


A


Reverse Dieting
is all about weight maintenance.

The goal with Reverse Dieting is to reach a person's ideal weight and then maintain that weight. Often people will go on a diet, reach their desired weight, and then a few months or years later they regain the weight and feel bad about having regained the weight because they didn't know how to maintain their desired weight.

Reverse Dieting also assumes that a person is maintaining the same level of fitness during the time period, and thus the primary focus is on what they are eating.

There are a number of ways to do Reverse Dieting...

#1. Trial and Error

In this version you eat what you think you should be eating and focus on healthy foods while avoiding sugary foods and high carbs, but you check your weight daily to see if your weight has gone up or down and then keep track of your weight fluctuations to see whether you should be eating more or less.

Gained two pounds in the last week? Eat less. Lost two pounds in the opposite direction? Eat slightly more.

#2. Calorie Tracking

Another popular (and highly successful) way of doing Reverse Dieting is to track your calorie intake and over time determine how many calories you need per day (and/or per week) in order to maintain your ideal weight.

#3. Health Food Days and High Carb Days

This method is about trying to achieve a balance by simply determining which days you can eat healthy foods and which days you allow yourself to enjoy more carbs. I recommend starting with 6 healthy food days and 1 high carb day. Then check your weight every Monday for 3 weeks.

If your weight is still dropping raise the high carb days to 2 and the healthy food days go down to 5. Do that for 3 weeks and track your weight fluctuations every Monday. If it is still dropping then you need to be eating more, which could mean you should be eating more in general or you should add another high carbs day, raising the number to 3 high carbs days per week.

#4. Do all three at once! Or combinations of 2.

#5. Come up with your own system.

 

Is there a Right or Wrong way to do Reverse Dieting?

The trick to Reverse Dieting is that there is no Right or Wrong system. There is only the system of diet that works FOR YOU.

Tracking high carb days, tracking your weight and some trial and error is to be expected if you want to succeed at finding your ideal diet in order to maintain a specific weight. You have to determine what amount of food you need personally in order to achieve your ideal weight, and you don't fit into a cookie cutter mould of expectations, so you need to expect some trial and error with whatever method you end up using.

Plus you can expect life to throw you some curve balls, like whenever you get sick, when you get injured, and whenever you cannot exercise enough because it is winter or raining a lot outside. So whatever system you choose to use you need to add some flexibility within the system so you can adjust it to fit your personal needs at the time.

Eg. Going on vacation? Expect to be exercising more while on vacation, but also eating more. Even so you might find yourself coming back from vacation having lost or gained a few pounds.

Life is a balancing act. Roll with it.

3 Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Archery Questions

1. What poundage should I start with? I know that some bows are harder to pull back than others, which should I start with the easy ones or the hard ones?

2. Where can I get archery equipment?

3. Can I make my own bow?  I have seen some videos on YouTube and I would like to try it out.


Answers

1. You should start with a lower poundage.

If you're an adult I usually recommend people starting with either 20 to 25 lbs, depending upon their physical strength. You want to start with something easier so you can practice proper archery form - which is an ENDURANCE activity - and not being physically exhausted after only doing a few shots.

People who start with 30 lbs or more often do so out of ego (or lack of knowledge), but their form suffers from it because they are frequently shooting too quickly before they have adjusted their form properly. This develops into a bad habit of sloppy form and equates to sloppy accuracy.

What you want to do instead is to think of your bow(s) like dumbbells. You start off with the some lower weight dumbbells and build your endurance/strength, and then as you get stronger you start getting some heavier dumbbells.

You want to use that same philosophy with your bows. You start with an easier 20 or 25 lb bow and then progressively get stronger bows. So if you start with a 25 lb bow then your second bow might be 30 lbs, your 3rd bow might be 40 lbs, etc.

Also when buying a beginner bow I recommend getting a 3-piece bow where the limbs can be removed and swapped out. This way you can start with 25 lb limbs and when you want to go to a higher poundage then you just buy extra 30 lb limbs.

This then gives you the option of switching to harder or easier limbs when you go to the archery range as you might have 2 or 3 different sets of limbs to choose from.

"What limbs do I want to use today?"

2. There are archery specific stores you can go to, or you can try hunting/fishing stores that also sell archery equipment (although they might have a limited selection and only sell compound bows or crossbows).

ArcheryToronto.ca has a list of recommended stores in the GTA and southern Ontario which you can look into at http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

With respect to specific brands and models I usually recommend the Samick Sage. It is an affordable bow, usually costing $150 to $180 CDN, it isn't bad to look at, and it offers everything that a beginner archer will want in their first bow.

3. Yes, tt is certainly possible to make your own bow, although I recommend using a simpler design when trying to make your first bow.

Eg. A flatbow made out of oak, ash or hickory may be the easiest thing to make and a good thing to try when making your first bow.

Think of it like a progression, a learning process. Make something simple for your first bow.

A normal flatbow is a very good way to start off.

A pyramid bow is a bit more complicated, but the handle looks more interesting.

And there are other more complicated bow designs that you can look into, but I recommend practicing making flatbows and pyramid bows first.

I also recommend getting a book:

"The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume One"

Technically there are four volumes of this book series, but the first book is the most important book that anyone who wants to do bow making should definitely read. So if you read the first book, especially the section on bow design, and you make several bows and decide you want to learn more then you can look into buying books II, III and IV.

In my case I also went a step further than just buying the books. Years ago I also invested in getting bow making lessons from a local bowyer here in Toronto, which is certainly more expensive than just buying some books and doing it yourself, but for me I felt it was important to see what other bowyers were doing in their workshops so I could perhaps learn some tips and tricks to bow making that I wouldn't necessarily learn from a book or from a YouTube channel.

I also habitually watch woodworking episodes of "The Woodwright's Shop" from PBS, which isn't about bow making, but certainly informative in other ways. Many of those episodes are now available via YouTube.

There are lots of YouTube channels out there on making bows too. One of my favourites is Mick Grewcock from the UK. I find his videos very relaxing and enjoyable, and there is a lot of quality effort put into his videos.

Below I have included a video from Mick Grewcock's YouTube channel in which he makes an ash flatbow in a day.


Do you need a personal trainer to learn how to do the splits?

Q

 "Hi...are you still available to provide split training? I am seeking for a trainer to help me achieve the splits."

 - Kamal B.

 

A

 

Hello Kamal!

I presume your email is in response to my 2013 post titled "How to do the Splits".

However I am sorry to disappoint you, I am not available to do such training right now (due to COVID), but also you don't really need a personal trainer to train yourself how to do the splits. All you really need to do is to be doing the Three Exercises listed on that page daily.


1. Each Butterfly Stretch takes 5 to 10 seconds to do and you're supposed to do 10 of them. If you take a short break between each stretch you should be able to complete 10 of them in about 5 minutes.

2. Knees and Leg Stretches take 30 to 60 seconds each and you want to do 5 for each leg, so 10 total. You shouldn't really need a break between the stretches, but if you are taking short breaks then it will take about 5 to 15 minutes to do all 10 stretches. So on average about 10 minutes.

3. The Standing Leg Stretches take 10 seconds each and you want to do 10 for each leg, so 20 total. With short breaks you should be able to do 20 stretches in about 7 minutes.

The 4th activity of course is attempting to do the splits, but I don't recommend even trying this until week 3 or 4 of consistently doing the stretches.

Now if you've been doing some math you will have noticed it only takes about 22 minutes per day to do the stretches. Thus you don't really need a personal trainer to watch you do the stretches and my minimum pay rate is for 1 hour of my time, so you'd be paying for the full hour and you'd have to do some other kind of exercises for the other 38 minutes. I would be really bored watching the stretches however as you don't really need me (or any other trainer) to help you do these particular exercises.

Many people are able to successfully do the splits after 30 days of doing the stretches, but obviously "mileage may vary" with this depending upon the person's commitment to remembering to do the stretches every day and their personal level of fitness / flexibility before they started doing the stretches.

I wish you luck in your journey and hope you will make the stretches part of your daily routine so you can eventually reach your goal.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Where to Buy Bows Online

Q

"Hey fellow archer! I saw your post and was wondering if you had any advice. I'm looking to get a new recurve but not sure where to buy them. Do you know any good online places or do you get them in person? 


I'm looking to replace my 60" recurve. I got two of mine from an antique store and one is still going but barely.  I ordered a horsebow for my wife but I really want something closer to what I saw in your post.  Not a huge fan of take downs.  Sorry, I don't know a lot of archers I can ask."

Jarin H.

A

I usually buy my bows in person from stores in Toronto, but I also buy vintage bows off eBay.

  • Basically Bows Archery
  • Canada Archery Online
Both of those locations accept online orders.

Buying vintage bows on eBay is trickier because you're taking a risk, but you can mitigate the risks by only looking at bows where they have 12 to 20 photos of the bow from every angle so you know if the bow has any damage.

I would NEVER buy an eBay bow if it has very few photos of it (or the photos are of low quality) and you cannot tell if the bow limbs are straight / undamaged.

I also sometimes buy archery equipment (but never bows) off of Amazon. The problem with Amazon is I don't exactly trust the third party sellers on Amazon, whereas with eBay I know that I am deliberately buying a vintage bow and that it is used, and it comes with the territory. Amazon in contrast doesn't sell used/vintage bows.

Other websites to consider:

  • 3riversarchery.com
  • lancasterarchery.com

I have browsed those websites many times, but never actually ordered from them. Given the choices I usually buy locally as much as possible. Due to COVID/Coronavirus I get that many people these days might prefer to order online, but it is important to note that both Basically Bows Archery and Canada Archery Online do accept online orders. (BBA basically ONLY accepts online orders and pickups currently. The owner Gary doesn't allow people to come in the store and browse any more.)

So it is still possible to shop locally and order online.

Happy Shooting!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Below is a circa 1974 Shakespeare Sierra Model X18 which I recently shot on November 7th.

I got the vintage recurve bow for xmas in 2018, but it sat on the shelf for almost 2 years because I kept delaying getting a new bowstring for it. I finally got a new fleming twist bowstring and a new arrow rest (from CAO) for it recently and took it to the range to do some shooting. Despite being a vintage bow it shoots beautifully, and it looks like it is practically brand new.



 

 

Xmas 2018



Where to buy Archery Winter Gloves

Q

"I shoot down to a temp of just above zero but my hands get cold. Do you know of any cold weather gloves I could try?"

- Mark M. 

A

Hey Mark!

There are archery winter gloves you can look into. I got a set years ago from England, from a company called Merlin Archery Centre:




 
Then I showed them to Gary at Basically Bows, and he ended up finding a supplier who makes the same gloves with a different company logo on them. You can see the gloves on his website at https://basically-bows1.webnode.com/accessories/, but you will need to make an appointment and go to his physical shop if you want to purchase. He does apparently do online orders too, so you could just order over the phone or via email.

Historically, before I got the archery winter gloves from Merlin, I would just cut three fingers off a cheap pair of gloves from the Dollarama and then shoot like that.


GOT AN ARCHERY QUESTION???

JUST EMAIL cardiotrek@gmail.com AND I SHALL ANSWER IT FOR YOU.

HAPPY SHOOTING! 

 

 



FAQ: Why can't I just do archery in my backyard?

Q

Frequently Asked Question:

"Why can't I just do archery in my backyard?"


A

In theory you can, but it is a problem of how safely can you do it.

If you own a farm, a cabin in the woods, or a similar large property nobody is going to complain about you shooting on your own property in a safe and reasonable manner.

If you own a property in a town or city you need to be taking precautions to make certain what you are doing is still being done in a safe manner. Eg. Higher fences, using some kind of a backstop, shooting on a downward angle so the arrow is certain to be hitting the ground or the backstop, etc.

Now we could imagine if you don't do these things what might happen, but instead I am going to tell the story of an incident which was told to me via word-of-mouth by another archer.

It involves a 12-year-old boy shooting a youth compound bow (depending upon the poundage youth compound bows can still be used for hunting and are still deadly) in his parents' lane way near the garage beside their suburban home. The father meanwhile was cleaning the backyard and while the son normally shot in the backyard in a safe manner due to the backyard being busy the father gave his son permission to shoot in the lane way, but he wasn't supervising what his son was actually doing.

What happened next is a bit predictable.

The child began shooting in an increasingly reckless manner. He started shooting from further away, walking into the street and shooting across the street and into the lane way. He also started shooting higher and eventually nearly straight up to see where the arrow would land. One of the neighbours complained, asking the child to please shoot in a safer manner.

The father still wasn't paying attention and was unaware his son was shooting so recklessly. He was also unaware of the exchange with the neighbour.

The son ignored the neighbour and continued to shoot in this dangerous manner. Eventually one of his arrows came down and hit a passing motorist's car in the front windshield, giving the driver quite the fright and causing hundreds of dollars in damages.

The driver, under the impression that the child had shot at his car deliberately, immediately called the police.

Police arrived to find the driver in a shouting match with the father, with the driver wanting to be paid for the damages to his car and threatening to sue, plus accusing the son of attempted murder.

The neighbour stepped in and gave a statement to the police, confirming that it had been accidental, but that the son had been behaving in a reckless manner by shooting arrows straight up, etc.

Police then arrested the father (not the son) for Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm, and fined him $4000. They also confiscated the compound bow and arrows as evidence and took photographs of the crime scene/damages.

The father tried to initially plead ignorance of the law, claiming he didn't know it was illegal, but ignorance of the law is not a defense. If someone accidentally kills someone due to negligence or by behaving recklessly they are still considered to be guilty in the eyes of the law even if they claim that they didn't know that being negligent or reckless was illegal. Why? Because it is common sense that if you're doing something dangerous that someone could get hurt. He later pleaded guilty, served one month in prison, paid the $4000 fine, and was forced to pay for the damages to the driver's car.

The son received a weapons ban, prohibiting him from owning any kind of firearms. It is unknown when or whether the weapons ban would expire*.

* I looked it up. In Ontario a weapons ban is 10 years for a first offense. For life if it is a second offense.

The father was lucky he didn't get sued and his son was lucky not to be charged with something worse.

Assuming that the son doesn't get into additional trouble in the future, he would be allowed to own weapons when he reaches the age of 22.

Now this is admittedly an extreme example of why people need to be careful. Shooting in the backyard is certainly safer than shooting in the front yard, and any children shooting should definitely be supervised.

After hearing this story I tried looking it up to see if it was the media, but it was not. Instead I found similar stories, usually involving people getting injured or killed. Which I kind of understand why those stories would get more media attention. "If it bleeds it leads" and so forth. A damaged car doesn't seem that newsworthy in comparison.

And certainly this doesn't happen very often because most people have common sense, but it does happen and there are reasons why Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm carries a prison sentence and a fine, and likewise there are reasons why bows and crossbows are considered to be firearms in the eyes of the law.

So yes, it is entirely possible to do archery in your backyard. But you need to do so with a degree of caution because bows are legally considered to be firearms.

I know of multiple people who do archery in their backyards or on their private property. Most archers have built their own mini archery range in such circumstances, not just for safety reasons, but also because they don't want to damage or lose arrows.

You're not limited to your backyard either. Some people build a private range in their garage, in their basement, or even in their attic like the photo on the above right. Owning a large property is certainly ideal, but for those who don't having a small space in their attic or similar location is what works for them.

I have also heard of people renting a tractor trailer or a storage unit and building a private archery range inside such a space.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Pain in Middle Finger after Archery Lesson

 Q

"Hi Charles, 

After the lesson today I noticed the last joint (closest to the tip) of my middle finger is quite sore. I noticed the same thing the last time I shot with my new glove, bow, etc. Is this normal for a new glove or is it an indication of something wrong, either with my form or the glove? 

Regards,
-Brian H."

 

A

Hey Brian!

That happens sometimes when the glove is either not protecting the fingers enough or the person is not used to pulling a higher poundage.

In your case however I did notice that you sometimes pulled the bowstring unevenly, wherein your middle finger was usually about half an inch further across the bowstring and the bowstring was then on the joint itself (as opposed to halfway on the fingertips). You were only doing it with your middle finger (and you didn't always do it so at the time I wasn't too worried about it because I felt you would eventually stop doing it) and you are not experiencing pain in any other fingers, correct? In the future I recommend making an effort to only use half your fingertips and see if that solves the problem.

You may recall me saying "Half your fingertips is twice as accurate." In this case however it could also be "Half your fingertips is twice as accurate, but also less painful." Half your fingertips also reduces the chances of plucking the bowstring during the release. Definitely something to build into a positive habit.

See you at the range!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

 

 

Are women more associated with archery?

 Q

"Can I ask you an archery question for research/my thesis?

Okay so I’m writing a thesis about gender and gender presentations in warrior women. I argue that gender is a construct and that objects should not be gendered when they are tools in one’s art of being a warrior, but my professor countered that bows and archery are more associated with women than men (not meant to offend anyone just looking for answers) is that true? Where does that come from? 

To me, when I think of archers I think of famous ones like Green Arrow, Robin Hood, and Legolas...Are there other archers in literature that you can think of that identify as a woman besides Susan Pevensie that would dominate the symbol of archers?"

- J. E. T.

A

Gender is indeed a construct, much in the same way that identity is a social construct. Or Zodiac signs is a superstitious construct.

With respect to archery it is predominantly a male sport. For example, with respect to my local archery range, men make up over 80% of the archery range's users, and that the "regulars" are even more male dominated, making up at least 90% of the frequent users.

Archery is a sport requiring strength and endurance. Far too often non-archers are expecting the sport to be easy, and they are not at all prepared for how difficult or strength intensive this sport is.

Part of this misconception is the fault of mass media, Hollywood, and the types of body types depicted in films, television and literature. People see these depictions in a variety of media and then perpetuate the false idea that archers are a specific body type. Eg. Skinny Legolas.

There are a variety of films during the past 30 years wherein skinny female characters are depicted as archers. This depiction is a double edged sword: It creates the stereotype that skinny women are ideally suited for archery, promotes archery to women, but also pushes the idea that women are unsuited to hand-to-hand melee.

While I appreciate and applaud that Hollywood is pushing the idea of more women in archery, it is coming at the expense of saying women are unsuitable for using axes, lances, swords or a variety of other medieval era weaponry, while simultaneously pushing the idea that archery is not a sport of strength and endurance.

This all comes back to depictions of body types in my opinion. Eg. Try to think of a film that depicts a female archer as not being skinny. I cannot name one. Hollywood depicts female archers as being ballerina skinny (and usually Caucasian, Asian, or giant blue alien, but that is another topic entirely).

In reality archers are all kinds of body types, but there is one commonality with respect to experienced archers - They are all strong and have built up their back muscles so that they can pull higher poundage bows. Some archers started being reasonably strong, and then became stronger as they built up their rhomboids, deltoids and other muscles used for archery. Some were weaker, but built up the muscle groups over time. Even older archers are often surprisingly robust and strong for their age.

Thus even if an archer started as being skinny or overweight, after 20 years of doing the sport regularly they're going to have a more robust stature because they've built up the muscle groups.

This strength factor doesn't mean that women cannot excel at archery however. While women are certainly a minority, I have met plenty of women who excel at archery.

Eg. Back in March (a week before COVID shut everything down) I had the pleasure of teaching a dancer in her 40s who has what I would describe as having an Amazonian body type. Certainly more in the direction of an athlete, which was an asset and she did very well during her first lesson. You can see a video of her on my Cardio Trek YouTube channel. Her lessons are supposed to resume this Autumn.
 

So does having more of a Tom Boy / Amazonian / athletic physique help when doing archery? Absolutely it helps. It is a sport of strength and endurance after all. However that doesn't mean it is only body type that can excel at archery. An archer who is overweight can excel just as easily if they build up the needed muscle groups, and likewise a skinny will become stronger over time.

With respect to archers of literature like Green Arrow, Robin Hood and Legolas there is definitely one missing:

Hercules.

Now you might think "Wait, Hercules did archery?"

Indeed he did. He was supposedly extremely good at archery, owing to his demigod strength.

Here's another: Odysseus / Ulysses.

Ulysses returned after 20 years of fighting Trojans & being lost at sea to find his kingdom in turmoil and suitors trying to marry his wife and take his kingdom. But his wife was very smart. She said she would only marry a man who could string her husband's bow. All the suitors tried and failed. They weren't strong enough. Then Ulysses, now an old man in disguise, asked to try. He strung his bow easily and killed all the suitors. There is a lovely clip of this scene on YouTube wherein actor Kirk Douglas plays Ulysses in the scene from the 1954 film.
 

So what is Greek female equivalent of Hercules or Ulysses?

Atalanta, and to some extent the Amazons.

Atalanta was abandoned on a mountain and raised by bears. Away from the social constructs of her fellow Greeks. The Greek myth makers clearly understood that femininity is a social construct and apparently believed that the only way a woman could grow to maturity without such constructs was to be raised in the wild by animals.

The Amazons it is now believed was one part myth and one part based on the Scythians (or the forebears of the Scythians), who were a nomadic group of hunters from Asia Minor wherein men and women both hunted, often from horseback, and they perfected the Scythian bow, which is a very complex recurve-decurve-recurve shape. As such they were phenomenal archers. It is small surprise that the Greeks mythologized such encounters with any warrior-women they encountered from Scythia as they were doubtlessly deadly with the bow.

Obviously I could keep going. I could probably write a nonfiction book on this subject.

So yes, in conclusion the idea that archery is strongly associated with women (and a skinny body type) is a stereotype perpetuated by the media. Largely due to Hollywood and anyone influenced by that false narrative. Archery is still very much a male dominated sport, it is a sport requiring strength and not agility (despite what Dungeons and Dragons would have people believe).

I would also assert that gender identity is not a factor in archery. People can identify as whatever gender they want to, it will make zero difference when you hand them a high poundage bow and ask them to pull it.

Anyone wishing to disagree can come to my local archery range and I will hand them a 50 lb Browning Wasp recurve bow, at which point we shall see if their perceptions of archery being "easy" or not requiring strength is remotely accurate. If they can't pull it I will give them a "much easier" 24 lb Ragim Matrix recurve bow. And if they still cannot pull that I will swap out the limbs for 18 lbs.

I have been teaching archery for almost 12 years now. Beginners are continually surprised at how physically exhausting the sport is. It is the reason why my lessons are 90 minutes long. Two hours is too long. People get tired and start making more mistakes close to the 90 minute mark.

There is a reason why I have blog posts on my website pertaining to weight training exercises specifically aimed at archers, so they can build more muscle in the needed areas of their body faster.

It truly is a sport of strength and endurance. Anyone who has fallen for the Hollywood fantasy that it is not... They're just perpetuating the false narrative.

My apologies if this is a bit of a rant. Archery is a lifestyle for me. I have been practicing the sport for over 31 years. Teaching for almost 12 years. My wife shoots. My 3-year-old son shoots. I write both fiction and nonfiction about archery. I am very passionate about promoting the virtues of the sport and it annoys me that there are so many false perceptions of it.

I recommend including my entire email in your appendices for your professor to peruse. If they have any questions or follow up they can address it to cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

What kind of bow should I get my wife?

Q

"Hello! My wife weighs 115 lbs and isn't very big. What kind of bow should I get her for getting into archery?

Matt M."

A

Hey Matt!

Her weight isn't the biggest concern, her height and strength are bigger factors. I am guessing she is petite?

Start her on a low poundage bow, like a 15 to 20 lb recurve. I recommend a 3 piece recurve where she can get more powerful limbs later so she can build more muscle as she progresses.

If she is short you should also consider a youth bow. Some of my adult archery students who are closer to 5 feet tall need to use a youth bow, so if your wife is 5'2" or shorter this is an option, otherwise she may have clearance issues with the bowstring rubbing against her side.

If you have any questions just email me at cardiotrek@gmail.com

Good luck and happy shooting!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
 
 
Follow Up

"Thank you very much. This has been a big help. She is 5'3" so I am probably gonna go with a 3 piece so I can get her stronger limbs when she improves.

I was thinking the Samick Sage for her, but I'm worried the riser might be to big for her hands any other good starters you can recommend?"

A


Also the lowest poundage for the Sage is 25.

Perhaps the Samick Little Fox?

https://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-little-fox-48-takedown-bow.html

Maybe get 20 lbs and she can later get 25 lb limbs. By the time she is ready for 30 lbs or more you can look at more expensive bows.

Cartel has a slightly bigger 54" bow that would also suit her, also available in 20 lbs.

https://www.lancasterarchery.com/cartel-triple-54-takedown-recurve-bow-58177.html
 
Or the Galaxy Bullseye 54, if she prefers wood.

Due to her height try to find something in the 48 to 58 inches range. The bigger the bow the more likely she will have clearance issues. 60 to 66 inches might be too big and have clearance issues with the bowstring.


Reply

"Thank you very much again. Very helpful."

Lesson Plan for Compound Archery

The lesson plan for Compound Archery differs dramatically compared to that of traditional recurve, Olympic recurve and other archery styles. This is because Compound Bows are so fundamentally different in their structure and design that it necessitates teaching it in a different way.

There are some things which are similar or the same when compared to the other lessons, but much of what a compound shooter learns will be focused on issues and aspects that are unique to compound bows. 


Lesson One

  • Safety Lecture
  • Eye Dominance Test, Optional (Honestly, this should have been done in the store before you purchased your bow. It would be an issue if the store failed to do this and sold you the wrong bow.)
  • Lecture on Proper Form
  • Tuning the Sights at 20 Yards

Lesson Two

  • Fine Tuning Sights at 20 Yards
  • Stabilizers and Form
  • Arrowhead Lecture
  • Tuning Sights at 30 Yards

Lesson Three

  • Warm Up at 20 Yards
  • Fine Tuning Sights at 30 Yards
  • Arrow Spine Lecture
  • Tuning Sights at 50 Yards

Lesson Four

  • Warm Up at 20 Yards
  • Variant Distances / Field Archery (Useful skill for hunting as the prey is rarely exactly at 20 yards.)

Lesson Five & Beyond

Varies upon the needs of the archer. Might include topics like shooting at moving targets, shooting long distances, shooting while sitting or kneeling, etc.

Sometimes archery lessons may include other topics like equipment maintenance, installing new equipment, answering the student's questions, issues related to bowhunting, etc.

Lessons can vary from student to student and are often modified to meet the needs of students.


The Bear Cruzer Vs the Diamond Infinite Edge, Two Excellent Beginner Compounds

What Should You Buy If You're New To Compounds???

Let's say you're new to archery (or new to compound shooting) and you don't know what you should buy.

The answer is that you want to buy a good beginner compound, something that is:

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Good value for money.
  • Offers you a range of draw weights / draw distances.
  • Easy to change the weight/draw settings without a bow press.

The answer is that there are two compound bows on the market which fulfill these requirements:

  • The Bear Cruzer (and variants of it)
  • The Diamond Infinite Edge (and variants of it)

Both of these bows from competing manufacturers offer everything a beginner compound shooter is looking for, and if they take good care of it then it will serve them well. There is only one downside, each of these bows top out at approx. 310 fps for arrow speed. Which is still plenty fast, but you're not going to breaking any speed records compared to more expensive compounds offering fps speeds of 330 to 380.

In contrast most traditional recurves top out at about 200 fps, and people still hunt with them. So having a fast compound is not a necessity.

It is more important that you learn how to shoot properly and accurately, and buying the wrong bow which doesn't suit the user would be a step in the wrong direction.

Got an archery question about compound bows? Just ask! Email cardiotrek@gmail.com.

See Also

Should you cancel your gym membership during COVID?

Q

 "Should I cancel my gym membership during the Coronavirus Pandemic?"

 

A

Honestly, if you're not able to use your gym membership right now because all of the gyms in the city are shutdown, then absolutely you should consider canceling your gym membership.

I don't know when the lockdown is going to be over, and who knows when you will be working again / making money, so you might as well cancel your gym membership and find a different way to exercise that doesn't involve being around people.

The same thing goes with if you currently have a personal trainer (like myself). Right now is a good time to cancel (or indefinitely reschedule) those sessions with your personal trainer and ask about a refund.

I have already started issuing refunds to my archery students who signed up for archery lessons in April and May, or rescheduling them until "later". Hopefully when the pandemic has dwindled I can teach archery again, but in the meantime due to the lockdown that isn't going to be happening.

Let's consider the math...

If this lockdown goes on for months you could be out hundreds of dollars.

Back in 2008 I had a gym membership that was costing me $75 + HST per month. If you are paying a similar rate at your local gym and the lockdown goes on for 6 months that is going to cost you...

$75 x 6 + 13% HST = $508.50.

It could last less, it could last longer. We have no idea when this Coronavirus Pandemic is going to end.

And even if the pandemic was ending in September, and we had a confirmed date on when it would end, would you really want to be paying gym fees for April, May, June, July and August for a gym you cannot use (or are afraid to use) during the pandemic.

What happens when we eventually get a vaccine?

1. Not everyone is going to take the vaccine. Eg. Anti-vaxxers.

2. They need to test the vaccine properly, a process which normally takes 2 years. So it isn't going to be tested and ready by September or October anyway. Not this year. It might take until 2021 or 2022 to have a vaccine that works.

3. Even when they do make the vaccine the production of the vaccine might be quite slow. In the film "Contagion" (which was a very realistic film) it took months just to make and distribute the vaccine.

4. Assuming you get the vaccine early, are the gyms going to open up at the same time? Doubtful. Their staff might not yet have the vaccine. They need to make certain all their staff have been vaccinated. I foresee employers requiring all their employees to bring in a doctor's note confirming that they've been vaccinated.

So what should you do in the meantime?

1. Go for walks. Do some outdoor photography. Take the dog or kids with you.

2. Find a sport or exercise activity you can do indoors. Eg. Put on some music and dance. Dancing costs you basically nothing so it ends up being very frugal. Yoga? Body weight exercises? Lots of options.

3. Buy a treadmill, a home weightlifting gym or something similar. You don't have to get something expensive. Start small, say $25 to $40 per month on exercise equipment, and you will still be spending way less on exercise equipment for your home than you would be paying for a gym membership.

4. Go bicycling. Spring is here already and Summer will be here soon enough. Either fix up your old bicycle or buy a new bicycle. Totally worth it. You could even bring your camera with you and do photography as you cycle around Toronto (or whatever city you are in).

5. Swimming, specifically in lakes or rivers, but if you know of a place with a pool where you feel safe and COVID free go ahead.

6. Go for long hikes. Again, take your dog, kids and/or camera with you.

7. Take up jogging.

Seriously there is a long list of activities you can do instead of going to the gym. Going to the gym was never mandatory. You should never have to feel obligated to exercise just because you are paying money to a gym, you should feel MOTIVATED to exercise because you've found something that you love doing which just happens to be exercise.

That is why I teach archery, boxing, swimming and ice skating. Mostly archery these days. I love those activities. They're highly enjoyable and I feel very motivated to go out to the archery range, the ice rink or the swimming pool to do such activities because they're FUN.

Eg. Until the COVID shutdown started I was a regular at my local indoor pool and my toddler son (he's 2 years old) was learning how to swim. I was taking him there twice per week to do 1 hour of swim time so he can learn how to swim and enjoy the water.

And when he is older I will get him a bicycle and we will be out there cycling together so that he learns how, but also because he will enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with having a bicycle.

And if you're trapped indoors because of COVID during the next few months then having the freedom to hop on your bicycle and just go places, that feeling of freedom could be very therapeutic.



7+ Frequently Asked Archery Questions

Where can I do archery? Is it safe and legal to do it in my backyard?  Is there a designated place to do archery in my city?

In Toronto the best place to do archery is at the Toronto Archery Range, located in E. T. Seton Park (near the Ontario Science Centre).

Visit archerytoronto.ca/Toronto-Archery-Range.html to see maps and parking info.
The legality of doing archery in your backyard depends upon how safe you are doing it. If a neighbour complains about your lack of safety precautions and police investigate they could charge you with reckless endangerment with a firearm. Since Toronto has a public archery range however it is generally accepted that you should really be practicing archery at the archery range.

What is the cost of equipment?  Do I have to shell out big bucks or can I do it on a budget?

Either. Nobody is forcing you to spend a lot of money. A typical beginners budget for equipment is about $350 CDN to buy bow, arrows, arrowheads, arrowrest, shooting glove or tab, bowstringer, etc. Alternatively you could just make your own equipment if you are skilled at woodworking and want to try your hand at bowmaking / fletching arrows.

What kind of equipment do I need to start out?  Should I just get a bow and some arrows or is there anything else I need?

Yes. You will want:


  • Arrowheads
  • Arrowrest
  • Shooting glove or tab
  • Bowstringer
  • A bag or box for carrying your equipment to and from the archery range.
  • Various optional items like a quiver, arm guard/bracer, arrow nock bead, paper targets, portable targets, 3D targets, and a variety of other accessories.

Do I need archery lessons?  Can I just go and shoot or do I need to be instructed on technique, safety, best practices, etc...?

No, you absolutely do not need lessons, but it is definitely helpful to have archery lessons and you should definitely pay attention and abide by all the safety bylaws as they are for your own protection and to protect others.

What types of bows are there?  I have seen some complicated contraptions and more Robin Hood looking bows, but what is the difference and which should I choose?

The most common styles of bows are:

  • Recurve Bows
  • Longbows / Flatbows
  • Horsebows / Shortbows
  • Olympic Recurve Bows
  • Compound Bows

Recurve Bows are the easiest to learn how to use. Longbows/Flatbows and Horsebows/Shortbows are stylistically similar, but have a more difficult learning curve. Olympic Recurves are more specialized and use gadgets to help the archery increase archery. Compound Bows are typically decked out with every gadget you can find. The biggest difference between the styles is how much the individual archer wants to embrace specific traditions or whether they prefer to use gadgets to get extra accuracy.


How long will it take me to be good?  Is it a long process or will I pick it up quickly?

It varies significantly upon a number of factors.


  • Whether or not you get archery lessons.
  • How many archery lessons you get.
  • Whether or not you buy/read any archery books or read websites about improving your archery form.
  • How good is your posture.
  • How often your practice.
  • What your definition of "good" is.

It takes years to get really good at archery. It isn't something that happens overnight. Getting archery lessons / reading a good book on the subject really speeds up the process.

What types of arrows are there?  What do you call the feathers at the end?  What is the best arrow I can buy?

There are many types of arrows, usually made from wood, bamboo, carbon fibre, aluminum or fibreglass. The feathers are called fletching. The "best arrow" depends on what you are using it for. An expensive arrow doesn't necessarily mean it is better at a specific task. Eg. A lightweight arrow would be better for long distance (flight archery), but a heavier arrow can often be better for hunting purposes. So it really depends.

Historically "footed shaft" arrows were considered to be the best of both worlds because they were heavier on the front and lighter on the back, which improved accuracy.

More Frequently Asked Archery Questions
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