Category Archives: Archery

First field shoot of the year (and bonus bow review)

Taking a long shot after a peg was complete.

Just completed the first field shoot of the year, this was a taster day held for the plymouth university archery club by another local club (South Hams Field Archery club). This was only the second time ever shooting a field course, and only the second or third time I have shot my longbow this year.

I would have shot my barebow (#UUKHA) , but as I currently don’t have arrows suitable for field shooting this did not happen. Having arrows that cost north of £350 of a set of 12 would have meant being terrified of missing for the entire day, as happened last year at Dunster Archery week (see photo). On this occasion I lost about £75 pounds worth of Aluminium-carbon arrows. Not an experience I would like to repeat any time soon. So after speaking to some of the club members I have ordered a set of very cheap fibreglass arrows from the internet, fingers crossed they shoot okay, otherwise I may have to get some arrows from these guys:
https://www.nijora.de/ , as they are the only company I know that sell arrows longer than 33 for less than an arm and a leg! if anyone has any other suggestions I am all ears, please comment below.

My first arrow on a field course, At Dunster week 2018

Speaking of my longbow, I have been meaning to write about it for a while. I currently shoot a Triple laminate bow, Hickory backed, purplewood heard and lemonwood belly, made by Will lord. This was a custom made bow (due to my gorilla size arms), I had it made to 50 lbs at 33″ draw, not something that is available off the shelf at your average archery store. its overall length unstrung is about 6’7″ and strung is approximately 6’6″. Having only occasionally shot this bow since I bought it at the end of last years outdoor season I have put off writing about it until I have had a good chance to shoot it and let it settle down.

My favourite peg all day, dappled shade, smell of spring in the air and a bow.

What I have noticed is that it has taken a large amount of string follow even over the few times I have shot it (totalling around 10 sessions). I have always meticulously de-strung it after sessions and during breaks. As I normally shoot alongside archers with bamboo backed bows it is immediately obvious how much slower this bow is. It is also noticeably heavier and chunkier than the other bows I have seen. As can be seen from the pictures of the bow fully drawn there is a slightly uneven tiller. Shooting the bow feels quite nice if I am honest, I think this is helped by the bow shooting relatively slowly and being on the heavy side.

Overall I feel that it is OK for the (discounted) price I paid. I am currently looking for a replacement to use as main bow. It is serviceable for now.

Props to South Hams Field Archery Club for hosting the University members for the have-a-go. We had a fantastic day in the sun winging arrows at some fake animals. the course we were on was fantastically set up, some lovely clean shots and some more challenging shots, with rock shaped consequences on either side.

Arrow retrieval, for (luckily) not my arrows.

Easton Target Arrow Comparison spreadsheet

I thought I would share my easton arrow spreadsheet, or what eastons arrow selector could have been.
It allows easy filtering by max shaft length available, or maximum spine. etc,

So for example I require 33.5″ shafts and a spine of 300-380 thou. this can be easily filtered using excel’s filters. this shows that my choice of arrows is severely limited for long range outdoors to either X10s/X10-Protours or Procomps.

the main reason for creating this was to test Excels web query function, and the results (only) are available below.

Easton arrows available in 33.5″ with a spine of 360 or greater.

As always servers aren’t free and if you feel that this or any of my work has been helpful please donate, any amount is appreciated!

To view the spreadsheet, simply download it below.

It’s been a while

So its been way too long since I last updated this blog!

I haven’t been idle in the time since my last post. in archery news I Had a very successful rest of the indoor season and went on to have a great outdoor season, achieving Bowmans qualification within 5 weeks and 4 shoots of starting outdoor shooting. I carried this on to getting onto the county squad and have been able to massively benefit from coaching organized for this during the winter season, having gained a much better appreciation of the mental side to the sport.

Starting in september I started back at university for the 3rd year of studying. during the end of the outdoor season and into the 1st few months of the new indoor season I was able to put a lot of time and money into my archery, acquiring a new set of UUKHA limbs and setting up my X7 arrows with XS-Wings. I was able to keep a log and was planning to train and shoot in excess of 500 arrows per week. unfortunately this has been tricky since I also started my dissertation, “Numerical analysis of a Marine hydraulic motor valve”. This has since become a large part of my year.

Recently I have had to reduce my shooting to less than a portsmouth per week. On the other hand I have continued working on my riser grip project and used my 3D printer to repair and improve some of my archery kit.

My grip models can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3156359

And a small selection of tab plates that fit the KSL gold leather, plates and spacers can be found here:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3421113

My bracing height broke so I replaced one of the clips with this part:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3415992

A Fellow archer needed a longer clicker plate to fit their riser (MK Korea brand) so this was created:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3416006

And my bow needed some new weight covers to match the all black look so These were modelled and printed:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3156530

Goal setting

IMG_20171208_191824.jpg

Target

Goal setting is an important part of progression and personal development. This is especially apparent to me in archery as it can often seam like progress has stagnated if I don’t shoot a new record every few weeks.

In the past I have set myself a goal each season that I  want to achieve before the end of the summer tel term. Last year this was shooting over 500 in a Portsmouth round with Barebow. Unfortunately I missed this by 2 or so points or 1 session depending on how you look at it, as I scored 498 in the penultimate shoot of the year and then smashed that target with 515 on the first session back in September. Since then my score has steadily risen every month or so, to where I currently stand at 529.

The next goal I set myself was to shoot a Portsmouth without any blues. This was because I was shooting quite erratically with most of my arrows being ok, but every now and again one would fly out from the group and land in the 5 or 6 ring. I think that was a more constructive goal to set myself than getting a new high score as it encourages me to concentrate on each and every shot.

These goals are alright and better than nothing, but they are woolly and aren’t very specific. So going forward I am going to try to set SMART goals regularly, and record how I Progress on them to ensure I keep pushing myself and working on relevant areas of my technique.

Long term goal:

Maintain or improve my position in the UKSAA E-League this year, I am currently sat in second place in the individual RBB table. I would also like to remain on the Plymouth Uni ‘A’ team for the remainder of season.

In addition to continuing to shoot indoors for the UKSAA I would like to qualify for the DCAS squad for next season, requiring qualifying scores on outdoor rounds.

Aspirational goal: Score 550 on a portsmouth round.

Mid Term Goal:

Experiment with different handle shapes to improve bow hand posture and stability.

Short term goals:

Improve my technique, in particular work on my loose and eliminate any beard plucking that is currently plaguing my shooting and regularly leads to serious pain and enforced breaks, as well as steadily thinning my beard.

While you are here check out Archery meditations.