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Wanted - Sports Photographer in Toronto

For the past several years I have been trying to find a good sports photographer (in Toronto no less) with experience doing a variety of different photography styles.

For example:

Motion Capture Photography, like this tennis player in motion, by Jean Yves Lemoigne, who unfortunately lives in New York State. Pity. He is really good at what he does.

The one below of a male gymnast in motion isn't by Jean, but it is also really good.

Time Lapse Photography, which looks similar to Motion Capture but ultimately looks more like a blur. Depending on the length of the Time Lapse, it can be extremely blurry. Below is an example of Time Lapse Photography of cyclists.

Time Lapse Video, sounds similar to Time Lapse Photography above, except it is video in which only a few frames are captured so that when viewed it appears to be sped up so that you are seeing a longer period of time flashing before you in mere seconds. A good example of this is the GoPro videos that cyclists like to make showing their rides sped up, like the one below.

Slow Motion Video, like the video below which shows a variety of archers shooting and their arrows hitting targets in slow motion. Oh, and it is in HD. Huzzah!

Other forms of photography are also welcome, especially if it works well with the theme of sports.

Anywho, if you are a photographer in Toronto and are available for a short gig please contact me via Send me your hourly rate and three examples of your past work (which may include links to YouTube videos in the event you have past experience doing slow motion or time lapse work).

Also note that I am a firm believer in paying people for work. None of this "it is good for your portfolio" nonsense. If you are doing a job, you deserve to get paid for it. End of story. Everyone has to make a living and artists deserve to be paid like everyone else.

How much does a stabilizer actually help?

Years ago my buddy Matt and I did a series of experiments with homemade stabilizers to see how much of a difference they would make on accuracy - and within our tests we varied the size and weight of the stabilizers.

We were not the first or last people to conduct such tests however.

What Matt and I determined was:

#1. Stabilizers really only helped a little bit at short distances; Its primary purpose was for shooting long distances.

#2. Absorbing vibrations from the bow was not the primary function of a stabilizer, making the bow bottom heavy was the primary function.

Our testing wasn't very scientific, but fortunately Field and Stream (a fishing/hunting magazine based in the USA) did their own series of tests in 2013 and theirs was much more scientific than ours - and yet concluded the same things.

Manufacturers tell us that the primary purpose of stabilizers is to reduce vibrations in the bow, and while that may end up having a minor effect, it is so minor it may not even be worth mentioning.

During the tests Matt and I did we determined that the biggest effect on accuracy was simply the addition of weight - making the bow bottom heavy and then easier to make sure it was perfectly balanced (left to right) and was not canting to the left or right by accident. A loose and relaxed grip plus extra weight made all the difference to the accuracy.

The Field and Stream tests kept careful track of what they were doing:

The Field and Stream Tests

They had three different people shoot three different bows, each with and without a small hunting-style stabilizer and then measured the size of the arrow clusters and got an average number. They also varied the distances by 30, 40 and 50 yards.

Field and Stream Test Results
Total average group sizes for 6-inch hunting stabilizer, no stabilizer:
30 Yards: 2.59 with stabilizer, 2.75 without stabilizer (a 6% increase in cluster accuracy)
40 Yards: 3.66 with stabilizer, 3.61 without stabilizer (cluster accuracy was actually 2% worse)
60 Yards: 5.07 with stabilizer, 5.23 without stabilizer (a 3% increase in cluster accuracy)

So their conclusions was that a small stabilizer really had very little difference in terms of cluster accuracy, and they felt the test was a bit inconclusive because the averages might have been effected by fatigue, wind conditions and physical differences between the three shooters.

During the tests Matt and I conducted we saw virtually no difference when shooting at approx. 20 yards. Our conclusions was that stabilizers were basically unnecessary at close range. The difference in cluster quality was more noticeable when we were shooting at 30 yards or more.

Field and Streams Test #2

After the somewhat inconclusive results of the first test above, Field and Stream conducted a 2nd test using longer and heavier 10-inch or 12-inch stabilizers.

Due to space restrictions and the fact that they only had two people available for the 2nd test they didn't publish their full results of the 2nd test, but what they did note was that: "We both shot markedly better with them."

So the extra weight was certainly a benefit. A big benefit. "[T]he full story is that these results were even more surprising than those of the original test. Damned-near astonishing, in fact."

They didn't notice any major differences at 40 yards or less, but at 60 yards there was a big difference.

"Shooting a Bowtech Insanity CPXL with your basic 5-inch hunting stabilizer, I shot 10 three-shot groups that averaged 4.82 inches—which was on par with most of my other 60-yard groups. Then I screwed on a 10-3/8-inch, 10.5-ounce, Doinker EFDF (, and shot 10 more groups at 60. Average size: 2.97 inches. I figured that had to be a fluke, so I shot another 10 groups. They averaged 3.21 inches. I later got similar results with a 12-inch Doinker D.I.S.H. and a 10-inch Bee Stinger Pro Hunter, too ("

"Meanwhile, Brantley cut his 60-yard groups nearly in half (from 6.12 to 3.50) when he went from no stabilizer to a 12-inch, 17-ounce Fuse Carbon Bowhunter Freestyle ( on a Hoyt Spyder Turbo. He called the result “amazing.” In the end, we agreed that it makes no sense to hang such a big, heavy model on a short-range woods bow, but on long-range western or 3D bow, we’d definitely carry the extra weight to get all that extra accuracy."

So the bigger heavier stabilizers really do help - but only at long distances and only a small bit at close distances. At close range or point blank range they are pretty much unnecessary.

One last note...

Years ago I witnessed a fellow archer who prefers to shoot Olympic style go from a mid-weight stabilizer to a very expensive / much heavier stabilizer. Prior to switch he was shooting doughnut sized clusters at 30 yards. After the switch his clusters became the size of footlong subs, going up and down. Now you might wonder what was he doing wrong? If the only thing that had changed was the stabilizer, why would it be causing his clusters to go up and down so dramatically?

The answer is that his bow arm/shoulder was too weak for the huge / heavy stabilizer. He had spent $400 on a very expensive stabilizer that was actually too big for him to handle properly.

And to top it off, according to the test results by both myself, Matt and the good folks at Field and Stream - he really did not need a stabilizer to be shooting at 30 yards. It was an unnecessary crutch and in his case he was actually getting worse.

Now you might think "Won't he get stronger if he keeps using it?" Maybe. However from past conversations with him I know that he is against exercising and argues that "You don't need to exercise to do archery."

Which is true, you do not need to exercise to do archery. But it certainly helps your accuracy if your muscles are stronger in all the right places.

In the same vein, you don't need a stabilizer to do long distance archery. But it does help improve your accuracy a little bit.

Ultimately it is up to personal choice. Some people prefer to shoot with stabilizers, some prefer to shoot without them. I personally only put stabilizers on when shooting my compound bow. I rarely use them on recurve bows.

 Happy Shooting!

Gym Personal Trainers and Why I Don't Like Them

Many years ago, long before I became a personal trainer myself, I signed up for a gym membership here in Toronto and got a complimentary session with one of the gym's personal trainers. (This happened twice on separate occasions when I signed up for different gym memberships, revealing to me that gym personal trainers have a lot of flaws.)

Former Mayor Rob Ford with Personal Trainer.
Sometimes trainers are hired for their physique, not their skills.
Now I want to point a few things out before I get into this...

Gym Personal Trainers are low paid, often un-certified, and seem to just make it up as they go along. Having spoken to multiple gym personal trainers I have determined a number of things.

They are often paid as little as $17 to $19 per hour (minus taxes/etc), but the gym charges $60 to $120 per hour for their services. This is compared to normal personal trainers which often charge between $30 to $120 per hour - but they make that full amount, minus taxes/etc.

Take into account that personal trainers at the gym are often un-certified and give shoddy advice, and you would probably wonder if you are overpaying for their services.

From my experience with gym personal trainers, they do the following:

#1. They don't really write much down.

A complimentary session is more of a sales pitch and not a very good one. They ask you your weight, your height, calculate your BMI, and they use a machine or some other method to give you an estimate of your Body Fat Percentage (BFP). This process is basically designed for them to waste time as they try to make it look like they know what they are doing. They may also ask if you want to lose weight and if so, how much. Often at this point they will get out a calculator because they lack the mental skills to perform the simple task of subtracting one number from another. Beyond your BMI, BFP and finding out how much weight you want to lose, they don't write anything else down because their primary goal during a complimentary session is to get you to sign up for more sessions.

A real personal trainer should have a notebook, tablet or similar device - and be recording goals, setting a timeline / schedule, taking note of what types of exercise to focus on, etc. Details matter and unless you have an eidetic memory like I do, then you need to write those details down. (Note - I write these things down anyway, more as a matter of record keeping for the client than as personal notes for myself. I like keeping records of everything.)

#2. They barely even mentioned food.

I found this to be bizarre. 90% of weight loss is eating habits, and it is a big factor to weightlifters / bodybuilders as well, because if they are not getting their protein and veggies, then they cannot bulk up as quickly as they could be. People who are not eating properly are really just delaying their goals or preventing their goals from happening at all. (Especially if the gym visitor goes out for a cheeseburger after their workout every time.)

A real personal trainer has to be part coach and part nutritionist. If they are not advising you on food matters, at least offering to give you advice (regardless of whether you accept it), then they are really only doing half of their job.

#3. 20 Minutes on the Treadmill.

Both times that I had complimentary sessions years ago the gym personal trainers stuck me on a treadmill and left me there for 20 minutes while they went to read email, play on their cellphone, and basically do nothing for 20 minutes. The one trainer actually did this THRICE during the same session. 20 minutes on the treadmill followed by 15 minutes on the rowing machine, followed by another 10 minutes on an elliptical. He basically wasted 45 minutes of the 1 hour session goofing off on his cellphone while I did all the work.

A real personal trainer shouldn't be wasting your time watching you do 10, 15 or 20 minutes of the same activity while they do little or no work. If you are paying $60 per hour for example, and you just spent 45 minutes on a treadmill/etc, then you just spent $45 on having the trainer stand there and play on their cellphone. The other 15 minutes of your personal training session better have some pretty valuable advice otherwise you just got ripped off.

#4. Not Correcting Your Technique.

If you watch gym personal trainers you will notice their clients struggling to perform an exercise (a Burpee for example) and the trainer does nothing to help the client correct their technique. Nothing. Zip.

A real personal trainer should be helping you use correct form so you don't hurt yourself / develop a sports injury. Serious sports injuries are even grounds for a lawsuit if it causes permanent damage.

#5. Bosu Balls and other Fads.

I hate Bosu Balls. I just plain refuse to use them. That doesn't mean people cannot use them, but having been on the receiving end I will tell you that some gym personal trainers have a tendency to overuse these devices. The purpose of a Bosu Ball is to build balance muscles, mostly in the legs and core. However they are mostly useless for the vast majority of people's goals of losing weight or gaining muscle. Unless you are dancer, a gymnast or someone wanting to increase your balance, then there is no reason for you to be using a Bosu Ball. In my experience Bosu Balls are the result of a fad that really took off and some gym personal trainers are "one trick wonder gadgeteers" who are obsessed with one gadget and have all of their clients use the same gadget, regardless of what the client's goals are.

A real personal trainer custom tailors their sessions to the client's needs and goals, and uses whatever tools available that suit those goals. They don't force ridiculous gadgets on clients because it is the latest fad.

#6. Exhausted and Demotivated.

Anyone can make you exhausted. Trying playing tag with a five year old and you will get a pretty good cardio. A personal trainer who sticks you on an elliptical for 20 minutes, weights for 20 minutes and a bosu ball for 20 minutes will have tired you out. Will you have learned anything? Nope. Will you be motivated to do that over again next time? Nope. You don't really need a personal trainer to make yourself exhausted and demotivated, you can do that pretty well by yourself.

A real personal trainer gauges your exhaustion levels and schedules breaks into your training session and uses that time to feed you advice about proper form, attaining better results, nutrition, etc. They should also be using their time to say things that are encouraging so you feel like you've accomplished something when you are done and feel motivated to do it again.


Having bore witness to the kind of amateur nonsense that gym personal trainers do, I have to conclude that they are really just there to make money and have very little interest in helping clients achieve their goals. They waste your time and your money and give a bad rep to personal trainers.

Often gym personal trainers are simply people who are in good shape who needed a "job". It isn't a career to them. Just another job that they will quit when they find something better.

Happy Exercising!

Javelin as a Sport

Javelin throwing as a sport isn't something you normally hear about these days except for those few people who practice it for the Olympics, Decathlon events, and similar sporting events. Very few people have even tried throwing a javelin and even less get into javelins as a sport.

As such, it is an extremely rare sport.

The Javelin is like a spear, but longer and shaped so most of the weight is on the front end of the javelin, which gives it better accuracy and impact when used for hunting. Historically there is over a hundred different names and variations of the classic javelin, but the design principles of them are roughly the same. 1.8 to 2.8 meters long, and tapered so most of the weight is towards the tip.

Modern competitive javelins are 2.6 to 2.7 meters long for men and 2.2 to 2.3 meters long for women.

Unlike Archery, javelin is thrown for distance - not accuracy. Historically javelins were thrown for accuracy, but modern javelin as a sport is all about throwing for distance.

It does have its benefits however.

#1. Cheap.

It is a relatively inexpensive sport to get into, and thus it isn't a particularly elitist sport compared to other more expensive sports like polo, horse-racing, golf, yacht racing, etc. All you really need is a few javelins and a wide open space to throw.

#2. Easy to Learn.

I learned how to throw a javelin when I was in highschool. Our gym teacher taught a series of classes all about various Olympic sports and of those javelin was one of the things we did. I ended up having an aptitude for it and enjoyed it. I sometimes wonder what could have happened if I had pursued it as an activity and tried competing in it.

Technique wise it is rather like throwing a baseball, except with javelin you get a 30 meter running start before you throw. The throw must be over the shoulder or upper arm, and you are not allowed to spin like you are throwing a discus or shot put. You aren't allowed to go over the line at the end of the 30 meters otherwise the throw doesn't count. If you step over the line before the javelin lands, the throw is disqualified. New rules in recent decades state that the tip of the javelin has to be the first part to hit the ground, otherwise it is disqualified. Measurements are rounded down to the nearest cm.

During a competition each athlete gets 1 throw per round, with 3 to 6 rounds during the competition. The athlete with the longest throw overall wins. Depending on the number of athletes present all of the athletes compete in the first 3 rounds, but only the top 8 athletes (determined by their best scores in the first 3 rounds) compete in the final three rounds.

#3. Space to Throw

All you really need is about 100 meters of space to practice. Some place safe, away from people, like a high school or university football field. (Hence why most javelin competitors are university or high school students.)

The world record from 1984 is 104.8 meters and that is before they changed the specifications for men in 1986 and for women in 1999. At the time was the issue that they needed javelins to be throwing within the confines of a stadium and thus they redesigned javelins to have the center of gravity closer to the front of the javelin, which made it dip down sooner and had the added benefit of being more likely to be sticking point down in the grass where it landed, as opposed to landing flat on the ground by accident.

In 1991 holes or serrations in the tails of javelins were also banned, causing a number of world records to be reverted and disregarded. The current world record for men's javelin is 98.48 meters. The current world record for women's javelin is 72.2 meters.

On the topic of Javelins...

While spears existed in many countries and cultures, the modern sport of Javelin is predominately an European activity. So much so that most of the world record holders are from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary and Russia.

In North America competitive javelin is pretty rare because anyone with a good throwing arm and fast legs usually ends up playing baseball or football. It does make me wonder however if you asked a lot of football players and baseball players to try javelin, just how well would they do at it? Quite well I imagine.

As a more traditional sport javelin fits in there with sprinting, hurdles, relays, steeplechases, shot put, hammer-throw, discus, archery, diving, swimming, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, decathlon, heptathlon, pentathlon, biathlon, and marathons. In contrast "neo-sports" like surfing, water polo, BMX, mountain biking, trampoline, Taekwondo, golf, water skiing and others have either been added as Olympic sports, or are currently being discussed as becoming Olympic sports. 50 years from now there might be many Olympic sports that we no longer recognize and have to scratch our heads and wonder "How did THAT become an Olympic sport?!"

With Javelin you don't have that problem. As an Olympic sport it has been around for over a century, but as a traditional sport and hunting implement it has been around for at least 500,000 years.

Men's Javelin was first introduced as an Olympic sport in the 1906 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece (now known as the 1906 Intercalated Games). Women's Javelin was first introduced in 1932 at the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Where to find Archery Camps in Toronto / GTA



I am looking for an archery day camp for my son who is 11yrs old.  I found your website and it talks about day camps in Toronto by all the link and camp listed are overnight camps up north.

Is it possible to guide me where I can find a day camps in Toronto preferably around Bloor west village, Etobicoke (more west end and south).

If there is  a number I can called to discuss it will be great

Thanks in advance



Hello Dominique!
Sadly I am unaware of any day camps or summer camps in the Bloor West Village area, or the region south-west of there, that does archery.
There are various day camps and summer camps in other parts of the city that do offer archery however, although they are probably less convenient to get to. maintains a list of camps at

If you do manage to find a camp that is not on that list I recommend contacting and letting them know about any other locations in Toronto or the GTA that do archery.
Another option would be for you to look into Boy Scouts of Canada. [Or Girl Guides of Canada for any parents reading this who want their daughter(s) to learn archery and other skills.] Some scout groups also do archery, so that is a possibility as well since your son is the right age for it. I first learned archery in Boy Scouts myself when I was 10, and speaking from personal experience I would say Boy Scouts is an excellent way to learn a variety of other woodcraft skills. The website would be a great place to start.

Lastly I know of an instructor in Burlington who teaches kids / teenagers, private lessons only. If you are willing to go in that direction that is also an option.

Have a great summer!

Charles Moffat

Note: If any parents are reading this and your kids are over 16 years of age and they are serious about learning archery, private lessons would be their best bet. In that case bring them to me.

The photo above is from Boy Scouts of Canada.

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


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