Personal Training in Toronto Archery Lessons in Toronto Boxing Lessons in Toronto Ice Skating Lessons in Toronto Swimming Lessons in Toronto
Sign up for personal training / sports training by emailing

Five Styles of Arrow Rests

Investing in a good arrow rest is one of the best things you can do, equipment wise, to improve the accuracy of your bow. Today we are look at five common styles of arrow rests, their pros and cons, and give you a look at why having a good quality arrow rest can go a long way towards improving accuracy.

#1. The Cheap Plastic Arrow Rest

You get what you pay for with this arrow rest. Do not expect any great accuracy and it will eventually wear down and need to be replaced.

The proper way to install it is horizontally. However some people don't know this and install it vertically... Which results in lots more inaccuracy as the arrow fletching ends up rubbing against the arrow rest way more.

There is also a particular style of cheap plastic arrow rest that is meant for either left-handed or right-handed bows, and you are supposed to rip off the section of the arrow rest you are not using - see image below. Again, people don't know that they are supposed to cut off / rip off that section, and thus suffer from unnecessary inaccuracy simply because they don't know any better.

#2. The Wire Arrow Rest aka Flipper

There are many different designs of arrow rests like this (see the image on the right and the two images below) - and in theory people could make their own using nothing more than a paper clip and tape, and it would work practically the same way.

The principle is simple. The arrow rests on top of a tiny bit of wire and it flips out of the way as the arrow passed by, causing comparatively little contact with the arrow - and thus improving accuracy.

Compared to a plastic arrow rest, a wire arrow rest lasts a lot longer. It will eventually wear down however. The wire will become bent, the plastic on the side of the arrow rest can wear down, and so forth.

#3. The Spring Weighted Arrow Rest

NAP and similar companies make a variety of spring-loaded arrow rests wherein the archer can adjust the spring to the weight of the arrow. When used the force of the arrow passing by brushes the arrow rest out of the way, creating very little friction.

For best results the archer should try to adjust the spring so it matches the weight of the arrows perfectly - and then always use the same weight of arrows when shooting with that bow.

This style of arrow rest is commonly used on compound bows, but it can also be used on recurve bows that are compatible.

#4. The Hair Arrow Rest, Traditional Fur or Whisker Biscuit

Traditional archers tend to favour a very traditional way of doing things - in this case an arrow rest that resembles fur. The arrow rests upon the fur, brushes over gently and the fur barely touches it.

Whether an archer uses faux fur, felt, hair, carpet or similar materials, the principle is the same - a furry carpet that brushes gently against the arrow, thus minimizing contact and increasing accuracy. (Personal Note - Years ago I made a similar arrow rest using sheepskin - it was very furry and I had to trim it down quite a bit. It looks like the bow has a moustache.)

The Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rest (shown below) follows the same principle, but is usually used for compound bows. The arrow brushes against plastic whisker that surround and entrap the arrow. Some archers trip the whiskers back where the vane fletching rubs against the whiskers in order to minimize it further.

#5. The Drop Away Arrow Rest

This last type of arrow rest drops down out of the way midshot, in theory allowing the arrow to pass by with zero contact with the arrow rest. It is spring loaded to make the process very fast. It is tuned and attached (usually) to a compound bow cable. When the shot is released, the cable moves, triggering the arrow rest to drop away. This creates an extremely accurate shot, but the arrow rest needs to be tuned properly to achieve this desired result.

Archery Proverbs

While similar to quotes, proverbs are old sayings that cannot be applied to any one person. They are often cultural in their origin, and while likely started with one unknown person, they have since become a saying used by many people.

Proverbs often have a deeper meaning for those wise enough to think about what the deeper meaning might be. Typically a proverb is a metaphor, comparing one thing to another. Sometimes the proverb is also meant to be funny, but not always.

An example of a funny proverb is:

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
- English Proverb

The implied pun is fruit flies. It is corny, and you would think that this proverb is pretty much useless - unless you consider that old things tend to go bad, sour, rot, etc - and that time goes faster than you think. Thus a wise person should respect time and take a moment to use things before they go bad and remember to throw them out before they reach the point where they start to have bad consequences (such as old bananas attracting fruit flies).

The primary goal of a proverb is to impart some speck of wisdom. However small.

Lets take for example the Sudanese Proverb: "Let rats shoot arrows at each other." The implied wisdom here is that untrustworthy people (rats) will end up killing each other. The implied wisdom is that a person should: 1) Not associate themselves with untrustworthy rats. 2) They should not be rats themselves.

Many of the proverbs on this page are cultural proverbs that are not necessarily about archery, but using archery as a metaphor to talk about something else.

Below are some examples of Archery Proverbs that are actually about Archery:

"Aim small, miss small."

"When in doubt, aim lower."

"It never hurts to be closer to the target."

"Don't rub your fletching the wrong way."

Some proverbs are also found across multiple cultures but with different wordings. So you may spot a number of proverbs below which are identical or very similar to proverbs to other cultures. This is often because the two cultures were close to each other geographically or perhaps have a historical connection.

For example:

"A man without money is a bow without an arrow."
- Romanian Proverb

"A man without money is like a bow without arrows."
- Indian Proverb

Now you might think India is pretty far from Romania, but if you know your history then you should also know that Romani Gypsies are originally from India. Thus the Romanian Proverb likely has its origin in India and traveled there with wandering gypsies.

Other times it is pretty clear that similarities in proverbs is due to a shared language.

"The archer that shoots badly has a lie ready."
- Spanish Proverb

"The bowman who is a bad marksman has a lie ready."
- Mexican Proverb

And of course sometimes there are proverbs that don't have a known particular culture.

"A wise woman knows her husband like an archer knows their target."
- Traditional Proverb

Note - The list of archery proverbs below are in no way comprehensive or complete. There are doubtlessly more. If you know of any I am missing, please add them in the comments.

Listed Alphabetically, by Culture

"Words are like arrows throw them only when you know where they will fall."
- African Proverb

"A cutting word is worse than a bowstring, a cut may heal, but the cut of the tongue does not."
- African Proverb

"A hunter with one arrow doesn't shoot with a careless aim."
- African Proverb

"The arrow that missed the head of its target will never hit the tail."
- African Proverb

"The last partridge will take the most arrows."
- African Proverb

"A bow too much bent will break."
- Albanian Proverb

"Faster than an arrow."
- Arab Proverb

"I taught him archery everyday, and when he got good at it he throw an arrow at me."
- Arab Proverb

"The ropeman got mixed with the archer."
- Arab Proverb

"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey."
- Arab Proverb

"Four things come not back -- the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity."
- Arab Proverb

"The eagle was killed by an arrow made from its own feathers."
- Armenian Proverb

"If you shoot your arrows at stones, you will damage them."
- Austrian Proverb

"A trick is not an arrow."
- Bajan Proverb

"A son as cunning as his father knows the arrows like father."
- Bajan Proverb

"There is no bow without its meat."
- Bajan Proverb

"For a jest one should not take the arrow out of the quiver."
- Bajan Proverb

"The place to use the club and the above arrow are not the same."
- Bajan Proverb

"Don't use up your arrows before you go to battle."
- Burmese Proverb

"If one archer guards a narrow pass, ten thousand cannot get through."
- Chinese Proverb

"It is easy to dodge the arrow of an enemy, but difficult to avoid the spear of a friend."
- Chinese Proverb

"Deer-hunter, waste not your arrow on the hare."
- Chinese Proverb

"Kill two vultures with one arrow."
- Chinese Proverb

"Mistaking the reflection of a bow in a cup for a snake."
- Chinese Proverb

"Draw the bow but don't shoot - it is a bigger threat to be intimidated than to be hit."
- Chinese Proverb

"A bow long bent at length waxeth weak."
- Danish Proverb

"The bow may be bent until it breaks."
- Danish Proverb

"Don't overstrain your bow -- it may break."
- Dutch Proverb

"Strain not your bow beyond its bent, lest it break."
- Dutch Proverb

"Good hunters track narrowly."
- Dutch Proverb

"The bow must not be always bent."
- Dutch Proverb

"It is too late to cry "Hold hard!" when the arrow has left the bow."
- Dutch Proverb

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
- English Proverb

"An arrow shot upright falls on the shooter's head."
- English Proverb

"The air of a window is as the stroke of a cross-bow."
- English Proverb

"A good archer is not known by his arrows, but his aim."
- English Proverb

"If you sow arrows, you will reap sorrows."
- Filipino Proverb

"Not every sort of wood is fit to make an arrow."
- French Proverb

"Unstringing the bow does not cure the wound."
- French Proverb

"If you have no arrows in your quiver, go not with archers."
- German Proverb

"You will break the bow if you keep it always bent."
- Greek Proverb

"He who wants to shoot at a crow, will not pluck his bow."
- Hungarian Proverb

"A man who shoots his arrows as he makes them does not realize when he has shot a whole sheaf."
- Igbo Proverb

"A man without money is like a bow without arrows."
- Indian Proverb

"Why would a man without a bow look for arrows?"
- Indian Proverb

"It is always good to have two strings to your bow."
- Italian Proverb

"Unbending the bow does not heal the wound."
- Italian Proverb

"A bow that is bent too far will break."
- Italian Proverb

"Have two strings to your bow."
- Italian Proverb

"Time flies like an arrow."
- Japanese Proverb

"A wild goose may be worth a hundred pieces of gold, but you first have to spend three pieces of gold to buy an arrow."
- Japanese Proverb

"A single arrow is easily broken; a quiver of ten is not."
- Japanese Proverb

"The pen wounds deeper than an arrow."
- Jewish Proverb

"Do not throw the arrow which will return against you."
- Kurdish Proverb

"Let but the hours of idleness cease, and the bow of Cupid will become broken and his torch extinguished."
- Latin Proverb

"Don't draw another's bow, don't ride another's horse, don't mind another's business."
- Latin Proverb

"A bow too much bent is broken."
- Latin Proverb

"One little arrow does not kill a serpent."
- Malawian Proverb

"The bowman who is a bad marksman has a lie ready."
- Mexican Proverb

"A man must make his own arrows."
- Native American Proverb

"There are many good moccasin tracks along the trail of a straight arrow.""
- Native American Proverb

"Thoughts are like arrows: once released, they strike their mark. guard them well or one day you may be your own victim."
- Native American Proverb

"A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim."
- Nigerian Proverb

"If a child shoots an arrow that reaches the top of a tall palm tree, then it must be that an elderly person carved the arrow for him."
- Nigerian Proverb

"Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands."
- Nigerian Proverb

"The archer knows his target."
- Nilotic Proverb

"A father without sons is like a bow without arrows."
- Nilotic Proverb

"The archer that speaks too much, goes home empty handed."
- Nilotic Proverb

"Harsh words hurt more than a poisonous arrow."
- Nilotic Proverb

"The bird will not fly into your arrow."
- Ovambo Proverb

"Draw not thy bow before thy arrow be fixed."
- Persian Proverb

"The arrow that has left the bow never returns."
- Persian Proverb

"An arrow can be pulled out of a wound, but a hurtful word stays forever in your heart."
- Persian Proverb

"You have many strings to your bow."
- Portuguese Proverb

"Like wood, like arrow."
- Romanian Proverb

"A bow long bent at last waxes weak."
- Romanian Proverb

"A man without money is a bow without an arrow."
- Romanian Proverb

"You can best shoot an eagle with an arrow made from its own feathers."
- Russian Proverb

"Many speaks of Robin Hood, that never shot in his Bow."
- Scottish Proverb

"I have a good bow, but it is in the Castle."
- Scottish Proverb

"It is the hunter who always beats the lions, because it is the hunter who always tells the stories."
- Senegalese Proverb

"A hunter has no mysterious notions about the forest."
- Shona Proverb

"Better to be shot with a crossbow than rejected by a window slammed shut."
- Sicilian Proverb

"Love kills with golden arrows."
- Spanish Proverb

"The bow that is always bent slackens or breaks."
- Spanish Proverb

"The archer that shoots badly has a lie ready."
- Spanish Proverb

"The pig's tail will never make a good arrow."
- Spanish Proverb

"Let rats shoot arrows at each other."
- Sudanese Proverb

"If an arrow goes into a forest it is not lost."
- Swahili Proverb

"Do not lend your bow or arrows to a man who seeks to do you ill."
- Traditional Proverb

"The enemy's cold heart summons the arrow to it."
- Traditional Proverb

"It is easy to dodge a spear that comes in front of you but hard to keep harms away from an arrow shot from behind."
- Traditional Proverb

"An archer cannot hit the bullseye if he doesnt know where the target is."
- Traditional Proverb

"One arrow does not bring down two birds. But one archer can."
- Turkish Proverb

"The forest provides food to the bowhunter after they are exhaustingly tired."
- Zimbabwean Proverb

Tips to Lose Weight at Work


By Beth Martel

Losing weight is hard work, particularly when you have a full time job you are trying to handle. If you truly want to shed those extra pounds, you are going to have to put a significant amount of time and effort into it, and in today’s crazy world of unexpected overtime and unprecedented employer demands, most people simply don’t have any time to set aside for a work out, nor do they have the energy it takes to follow a strict, healthy diet.

However, there are a lot of ways you can lose weight while you are at work without affecting your productivity in any way! Let’s start with how you can exercise a little at work to boost your fitness levels.

See 12 Things to do during your Lunch Hour
Office Exercises

Most of your work day is spent sitting at your desk, and this sedentary lifestyle is what leads to weight gain. However, there are a bunch of exercises you can do without even getting up from your workspace. Side to side stretched and torso rotations are a great example, as both can be done while seated and are great at burning off belly fat.

You can also do some seated leg raises by tucking your knees into your chest using the strength of your abs. This helps to tone your body and helps burn those pesky calories. If you want to exercise your arms you can use a stress ball throughout the day, and if you want something a little more intense you can use some light dumbbells during those inevitable five minute breaks you will often take.

See The Toronto Bicycle Trail Challenge
A Fitter Commute

There are a bunch of other things you can do outside of your desk. If you drive to work, consider getting a bicycle and using that instead. This will help you get some great exercise every morning! Even if you shift to public transport, this would often involve a lot more activity as you would have to walk to bus stops instead of just sitting in a car.

Taking the stairs is an underrated method of losing weight. Even if your office is on a high floor, you can take the stairs for a couple of floors and take the elevator the rest of the way.

See 100 Healthy Snacks
Your Work Diet

What you eat at work can also really impact your weight loss. Snacking is a great way to keep your energy levels up during the work day, but if you switch out the chips and candy for something wholesome like apple or celery with peanut butter you can end up avoiding a lot of unnecessary calories. Super foods like yogurt can help to boost your metabolism as well, and are a great source of energy so you would find your hunger satisfied.

Overall, losing weight at work can be easy as long as you are willing to make these little changes to you routine. You aren’t going to need to set any time aside at all if you just put a little effort into being active.

Author Biography

This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at

Check out a recent article by Beth Martel in which she discusses three of the best yet affordable running shoes that help you run with comfort and at your best by visiting

Arrow Speed of Compound Bows Vs Recurves, Shooting Longer Distances

Compound bows shoot arrows at over 300 fps (feet per second), compared to recurves which do closer to 200 fps - which gives an archer a significant advantage when it comes to shooting longer distances.

Take for example the following bow: "The 2017 Mathews Halon 32". (I am not endorsing this bow, I am just using it as an example of a fast compound bow.)

The Mathews Halon 32 has a top IBO speed of 350 fps.

The Halon 32 is not alone in this category of high speed compound bows. Here is a brief list of manufacturers (all 2017 models currently available on the market) and their top IBO speeds:
  • APA Mamba M34TF - 355 fps
  • Bear Legend LS6 - 355 fps
  • Xpedition Xplorer SS - 355 fps
  • Bowtech Reign - 350 fps
  • Hoyt Pro Defiant - 350 fps
  • Darton Maverick II - 350 fps
  • Obsession  Turmoil - 350 fps
  • PSE Evolve - 346 fps
  • Bear Moment - 340 fps
  • Hoyt Double XL - 340 fps
  • Obsession Hemorrhage DE - 340 fps
  • PSE Bow Madness Epix - 340 fps
  • PSE Carbon Air 34 ECS - 336 fps
  • Prime Centergy - 333 fps
  • Hoyt Carbon Defiant - 331 fps
  • Bear Legend LS4 - 330 fps
  • Cabela's Fortitude - 330 fps
  • Martin Firecat - 330 fps
  • Prime One STXv2 - 325 fps
  • Bowtech Fanatic 3.0 - 320 fps
  • Mathews Avail - 320 fps
  • Mathews Stoke - 314 (youth bow)
  • Gearhead T15 Pro -  237 (micro hobby bow)
So immediately what you learn here is that even the smallest compound bows, like the Mathews Stoke youth bow and Gearhead micro bow, still shoot arrows at faster speeds than recurves. Compound Bows (and those people who are big fans of them) are essentially speed freaks.

You also learn that 300 fps is really more of a minimum. As you can see most of the normal adult compound bows are shooting between 320 to 350 fps.

So why does speed matter for shooting longer distances?

The short answer: Longer arcs equals more accuracy.

Arrows arc their way upwards and eventually downwards at longer distances. At short distances arrows arc up (which means the archer has to aim the arrow significantly below the target), at medium distances they begin to arc downwards (which means the archer has to start aiming higher, possibly just below or just above the target - depending on the distance), and at long distances arrows arc dramatically lower.

If the arc is really short (shot from a weak or possibly sluggish bow), the shots lose accuracy because of the slightest change in aim. In comparison a strong / fast bow will shoot arrows with a flatter trajectory, which allows an archer to more easily make aim corrections that rapidly increase their accuracy. They don't have to worry about the arc of the arrow so much, whereas someone shooting a weak / sluggish bow does.

Remember: The faster the arrow is going, the longer the arc is, the more accurate the arrow will be at longer distances due to the archer being able to more easily adjust their aim.

Is there any reasons why you would not want more speed?

Well, there are some pros and cons - depending on what you are shooting for.

The speed of the arrow is directly tied to the amount of kinetic energy being released from the bow (via the bowstring) and into the arrow, propelling it forward at incredible speed.
  • The heavier the arrow, the more kinetic energy it can initially store - and the more momentum and power it retains when it finally hits the target. This makes heavier arrows better for hunting purposes.
  • Lighter arrows, although they store less energy, go faster because they weigh less - but at the expense of hitting a target with less kinetic momentum. This makes lighter arrows better for competitive because they want more speed for the purposes of long distance accuracy.
Why would someone choose to use a recurve bow instead of a compound bow?

I shall answer this with a question:

Why would someone choose to use a bow instead of a rifle?

Obviously they have their reasons. Each person might have a slightly different reason.

Thus it really comes down to Personal Preference. People can still get pretty impressive accuracy with a traditional bow - even at long distances.
  • Some people find compound bows to be boring.
  • Some people find compound bows to be ugly.
  • Some people like the challenge of shooting something more traditional.
  • Some people like the tradition and history of shooting recurve bows, longbows, horsebows, etc.
  • Some people find wooden bows are more visually appealing.
  • Some people like making their own bows and thus shooting a "self-bow".
  • Some people are drawn to a particular style of archery, such as horseback archery.
Do arrows slow down significantly before they hit a target?

Not by much. It is a common myth that arrows slow down significantly while flying through the air and before hitting the target. Such myths are due to a common misunderstanding about the physics of speed, air resistance, wind, and gravity.

Air resistance and wind has comparatively little effect on the arrow. The big thing is gravity, and that only pulls the arrow downwards. It does not stop forward momentum.

Also an arrow doesn't come to a full stop until AFTER it hits a target. Until it does so, it is still going at a significant speed.

While an arrow is arcing up it still has plenty of forward momentum. That momentum is effectively separate from the power of gravity pulling it downwards. If there was nothing in the way (targets, ground, etc) it would just keep going forward until it lost all of its forward momentum.

There is really only one exception to this:

If you shot an arrow almost straight up it would eventually slow down its vertical climb due to gravity and then start falling - and then pick up speed due to gravity. Thus it did eventually slow down to a speed of almost zero at the top of its zenith, it is always still in motion because it immediately begins its downward ascent and picking up speed again. In theory an arrow could go up, reach its zenith, and then come back down and hit the ground at a speed that was greater than what it was originally shot at - this is because gravity would cause the arrow to accelerate on its downward ascent.

Think of an army of bowmen shooting arrows at an enemy on a distant hill. They aim at the sky, and shoot all their arrows at once in a single volley. The arrows go up, reach their zenith and come back down. They still lots of forward momentum - and they could actually end up going faster due to gravity causing the arrows to accelerate during the downwards arc. Thus when they hit the enemy those arrows are still flying at very impressive and deadly speeds.

And just to able to reach that distance the arrows need to be traveling at a good speed to begin with, which implies that they should be shot from fast / powerful bows.

At the Toronto Archery Range we have a variety of targets people can shoot at ranging from approx. 20 yards to 75 yards (60 feet to 225 feet respectively).

  • An arrow shot at a speed of 200 fps reaches the 20 yard target in a mere 0.3 of a second.
  • An arrow shot at a speed of 200 fps reaches the 75 yard target in 1.125 seconds.
In theory arrows lose a bit of its speed before they reach 20 yards, and a bit more before reaching 75 yard target, but the distance is still for both is still so short that it is barely worth mentioning. Even at 75 yards, the arrow is probably still doing at least 190 fps at the moment it hits.

For comparison purposes:
  • A compound bow shooting an arrow at a speed of 350 fps reaches the 20 yard target in 0.1714 of a second.
  • A compound bow shooting an arrow at a speed of 350 fps reaches the 75 yard target in 0.6429 of a second.
And again, the arrows do technically slow down a bit by the time they reach those distances - but the difference is negligible. Guaranteed the arrow is still doing at least 345 fps by the time it reaches 75 yards.

At extreme distances (250 meters or more) you might start notice a larger decline in arrow speed, but the forward arc will still continue until it hits something that gets in its path. A high speed arrow would have to be shot extremely far away (with no obstacles in its way) for it to completely run out of its forward momentum.

How does Newton's Three Laws of Motions apply to Archery?

Newton's First Law of Motion: An object remains at rest/at a constant velocity unless it experiences an unbalanced force.

You may have heard this one before. An object in motion (in this case an arrow) remains in motion until acted upon by an equal or greater force. Thus the arrow keeps its forward motion until it hits an object capable of halting its forward momentum. Air resistance really accounts for a tiny fraction of slowing down an arrow's speed.

When a person pulls back a bow they are storing kinetic energy in the limbs of the bow. When they release the bow, some of that kinetic energy is transferred via the bowstring into the arrow, which propels it forward. Once the arrow is in the air, it meets resistance from air resistance, its trajectory can be modified by wind conditions, and gravity will pull it downwards. However the arrow doesn't stop until it meets resistance sufficient to stop it completely - such as puncturing a target. (eg. See the arrows below sticking out the back of a target.)

Newton's Second Law of Motion: F=ma. Force (measured in Newtons) equals the mass multiplied by acceleration.

The archer applies force when pulling back the bow. That energy is then released as the bowstring goes forward, which accelerates forward past its original brace height. The arrow doesn't leave the bowstring until the bowstring rebounds back to its normal brace height. Once it leaves the bow, the arrows ceases acceleration and has a speed - which remains at a constant until acted upon by Newton's First Law of Motion.

The bigger the arrow (in terms of weight/mass) the larger the force it stores during the initial release. Heavier arrows hit harder. Lighter arrows go faster because they were able to accelerate faster during the initial release of the bowstring, but consequently also store less energy.

Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action force, there's an opposite and equal reaction force.

When the bowstring is pulled back that is the action, the reaction is the arrow springing forward from spring force of the bow limbs. Some of the energy released also goes into the bow's limbs and causes vibrations - which can effect the accuracy of the shot. This is why some archers shoot to use things like dampeners (which also reduce the sound of the bowstring), limb savers (which reduce vibration in the limbs), and stabilizers (which reduces vibration in the riser, while simultaneously making the bow bottom heavy so it is less likely to be canted left or right by the archer).

Want to learn more about archery?

Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto with Cardio Trek.

Lovely Winter Weather for Archery / Antique Bows

On Saturday I was very tempted to go do some archery, as the weather was warm (10 degrees or so) and a bit foggy. Unfortunately I had chores to do around the home so that was not to be despite the beautiful warm weather on Saturday.

I also have two *new* bows with brand new bowstrings that I want to try out sometime soon.

The two bows are:

A 1949 Bear Grizzly Static (Grayling)

A 1960s Archery Craft Toronto 64" Longbow

(Photos forthcoming.)

I purchased them both back in 2016 but had to wait to get custom made bowstrings for the two bows before I can use them. I strung them up two nights ago to exercise the limbs a little bit.

This is the thing about antique bows. When you buy an antique bow you should not be full drawing them right away. Instead you want to exercise them because they may not have been drawn in a very long time. Exercising them improves their life expectancy.

To exercise a bow you string the bow (preferably using a bowstringer) and then lightly pull on it a few inches. You repeat this process many times and then leave the bow strung for an hour or two.

Then you unstring the bow and leave it alone.

A day later or a few days later, you repeat the process. This time you *might* decide to draw it a bit further, always being cautious to never pull it to full draw.

Only after the bow has been exercised multiple times do you begin full drawing - and this assumes you have a normal draw length. If you any weird noises (pings or clicking sounds) this is a bad sign and you should immediately stop. A loud cracking noise would be really bad.

I feel more confident about exercising the Bear Grizzly Static as the limbs are made with an aluminum core.

The Archery Craft Toronto bow I purchased from a woman in Montreal, so to me that was a case of bringing an antique longbow made in Toronto back to Toronto where it belongs. I am less worried about shooting that bow and more interested in it as a collector's item and museum piece (it is my long term goal to someday open an archery museum).

If you have a really long draw length of 29 inches or more, then you probably should not be purchasing the really old antiques. Bows from the 1970s or 1980s you would probably be okay with, especially if they are compounds or fibreglass recurves, but for people with longer draw lengths you need to be extra careful overdrawing an antique.

I have a few antiques that even now I never full draw them. eg, I have 1942 Ben Pearon lemonwood longbow which still shoots well, but I only pull it to roughly 26 or 27 inches when using it. It may be lemonwood (a very good tropical bow wood), but because it is 75 years old I am super cautious with it.

I also have several antique bows that are meant for children - which are basically decorative and not used at all. Maybe someday I will let younger family members use them. Or maybe they will simply decorate my walls, or likewise a presumptive archery museum.

Buying antique bows there is always a risk you might break the bow. It hasn't happened to me yet, but I did have one bow make weird noises two years ago. It was a 1952 Roy Rogers longbow meant for kids. I drew it back and clearly was drawing it too far when I heard a sharp click sound from the bow limb. That is a bow that is evidently meant to have a short draw length and should never be drawn by anyone who is taller than the bow.

Having been making my own bows for almost 28 years now I should also say you do some of the same things during the tillering process of making a bow. If you hear a click or ping sound when tillering, you need to stop and examine the bow limbs for any signs of cracks or chips in the wood. Last winter I did a bowmaking class here in Toronto and a topic that came up during the class of what to do if a bow makes such a sound during the tillering process.

There was a number of solutions, but the most obvious one was: Don't shoot that bow because it could break. The alternatives were time consuming and didn't guarantee the bow would be safe to shoot. It would be less time consuming and safer just to start from scratch and make a whole new bow.
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!


Popular Posts

Cardio Trek Posts