September Update

With the official start of autumn, I thought I would take some time to write to all my followers to let them know what is going on with me.

???????????????????????????????A quick recap, August 7th – 10th was the Ontario Summer Games , which was  held in Windsor Ontario.  Since I am no longer eligible to compete at the Ontario Summer Games, because I have competed at the Canada Games, I decided to coach the Eastern Zone team.  This year was supposed to be Niagara Falls but there was a change in plans and the city of Windsor was kind enough to take over. They did a very good job with such sort short notice.

???????????????????????????????Being the coach at an event like this was a very different experience for me. At times I forgot that I was not shooting and other times various people forgot I was the coach.  One great experience was coaching my little brother Joshua, at 14 years old, in a very competitive field in his very first summer games.  The other athletes seemed to tower over him and yet he was able to capture the Men’s cadet recurve silver medal.  This year delivered the best results for the eastern zone archers since I have started participating, with almost half our athletes going home with medals.   I would like to believe in some small way my coaching assisted our athletes, probably not since they are all amazing athletes without my help, but it is nice to think about.

Recently, I had a couple of questions posted to my website and thought I would take time to answer them now….

My 3X10 arrows for 18M/40cm score is ~ 175 for a long time (both indoor and outdoor). I feel hard to improve the score/consistency. How can I make a breakthrough? I am a 12 years girl. Maybe I should buy more expensive arrows?

Having had been 12 at one point of my archery life, I can understand the frustration you are feeling. Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about your set up, or form, or even how much you practice. However, that being said this would be my advice to you. (Assuming form is fine) I would try to see if there is a better arrow spine that would work better for you and maybe try to see if you can increase your draw weight a little (do NOT jump too much if you can’t handle it). The draw weight should help you get some more speed off the arrow making it more forgiving. The arrow spine/type sounds like it could be the main issue, you may not have enough or you may have too much flexibility in your arrows for your draw weight so it is causing it to fly crazy. Keep in mind given your age you may have to change a lot because you are at a point in your life where your body is making a lot of changes too, like your height. Remember when you are making changes it is just like a science experiment, where you change only ONE factor at a time otherwise you don’t know if you are making it better or worse, and you won’t know what is causing it.  Also make sure you remember where everything was before you make changes so that you can go back to it if worse comes to worse.

How to avoid bow arm (and shoulder) drop right after release? My understanding is that the bow arm should be strong and straight, and only drop the bow hand (dog sit) with the help of sling. My bow is very heavy; I have a tendency not to hold the bow strong after release. Maybe my bow is too heavy. I also shoot very fast because of not to holding bow long enough. How can I overcome these bad habits?

If you are finding it hard to hold the weight you have, then yes you should take off enough weight so that you can hold and control the bow.  Periodically I take off the weight, so I can make sure I have the basics of archery correct. Don’t worry, practicing and training will allow you to reintroduce the weight back in no time whatsoever, but listen to your body first and foremost.

It is important to stay strong and straight throughout the shot however remember not to be tense. When you see other archers “dropping” their wrist, this is result of the stabilizer when it moves with ease, out of your hand and swings itself down. So it looks like your wrist is bending but it really isn’t, your wrist is just tagging along for the ride.

Concerning shooting too fast, if you are finding you don’t have enough energy between shots as you practice or compete, you should practice waiting a little bit of time between shots. This is the 10th step in the 10 steps of archery.  It is important to take your time as well as be fluid with your form, so that you are building up the power to shoot the shot.

I hope this helps, :)

redeemerunivThis summer was very nice, it was a much-needed break from the university grind and an opportunity to shoot, work and enjoy life. I’m kind of sad to see the summer ending and having to leave all my friends and family behind once more, but on the bright side I get to see all my new school friends again. This school year should be a lot of fun looking forward to it, and I’m really looking forward to diving deeper into my chosen field of study (Kinesiology) after completing most of my mandatory subjects.  This year will be special as my younger sister has also chosen Redeemer University to study and I will always have someone around who gets me and is ready to give me a hug if I need it.  She has chosen to study International Development in hopes that she can work for a NGO and change the world for the better.

I know I should be blogging more however my first priority is university, and if there is time for anything else I will do it.

Archery Back Pack Bow Case

IMG_2864Last year, I wrote a blog about archery cases to discuss the various types and their uses. One of my subscribers commented “No rucksack-style cases … great for public transport (being a city person). john | theinfinitecurve.com”.

Backpack style bow cases are a relatively new type of soft-shell case, recently Cartel sent me one of their Midas infinity archery “backpack” bow cases, to check out and I have to say, I really like it! I find it different from traditional soft-shell cases, as it is more rigid, rugged, and protective and has more compartments to keep everything organized.

Midas infinity Backpack Case

IMG_2868This bow case has two large pockets, with a side compartment for an arrow tube. The main pocket is divided into two large pockets plus a thinner one (for holding limbs, riser, and stabilizer). There are also straps just above the pocket to limit movement and ensure security. There is extra space for other equipment to fit in the main pocket, if needed. The second pocket which is a little bit smaller than the main pocket has three pockets and a strap. Two of the pockets are fairly small and handy for tools and other small equipment, the other pocket is larger and better for towels or maybe a sight. On the back of the backpack there are thick straps and buckles for you to wear your bow case like a backpack. There are also cushions for lumbar support and it enables airflow to your back. IMG_2872There is also a handle if you want to hang your bow case up right, with a small pocket for your address card just above it. There is also a side handle if you want to carry your bowcase like suit case (or like most other bow case). The Midas infinity archery backpack comes in three colors; blue, red, and grey. In one of my past blogs I talked about the many uses for a case and the reasons why you would buy a certain case.

In this particular “case”, archers that go and shoot in the bush a lot would find this style very useful. I know for me personally this case will be handy, light and easy for me to transport to where I shoot or back home to visit while I am at university.   I look forward to using this new bow case this up and coming school year.

Cheap Bow Storage

As I mentioned in my last blog, there were about seven students in total, which is the most amount of students that I have personally coached at once. Introducing archery to Leahurst College students was a lot of fun. To teach that many students with only one hour for a lesson, I needed to make sure everyone had their own bow. Luckily, I had several bows, so the number was not a problem. The challenge I experienced was where to store them until the lessons and where to store them during lessons as I did not want lying in the grass. Solutions: Basement Ceiling Storage – Two T-Bars Storage from Dollarama ($3 each)   Roof T (Medium)Roof T front(Medium) Old Hockey Net Bow Stand – Removed Net hockey net(Medium)bow stand(Medium)     These are not ideal storage ideas for an official archery shop but if you have a lot of bows or give lessons they are good solutions for minimal investment.

Silver for Canada at World Youth Archery Championship

logo_208Canada finished the 2013 World Youth Archery Championship in Wuxi, China on a high note as the Men’s Team in the Cadet (age class) Compound Bow category won the silver medal. The Canadian Team, comprised of Hunter McGinnis (Winnipeg, MB), Logan Kupchanko (Regina, SK) and Tyler Murphy (Fredericton, NB), faced Turkey in the gold medal match on Saturday. After building an early lead, Turkey prevailed in winning the match by a score of 224-218. Kupchanko followed in the footsteps of his older brother Michael who was a member of the Junior Men’s Compound Team that won the gold medal for Canada at the 2011 World Youth Archery Championship. Read More…

Congratulations Hunter, Logan and Tyler and to the entire Canadian team.

Crispin Duenas Brings Home Bronze Medal from World Archery Championship

duenasIn the bronze medal match, Duenas who is 27 years old, won his first-ever World Championship medal. After defeating a string of top opponents in the elimination rounds (including 2012 Olympic silver medallist Takaharu Furukawa of Japan and 2012 World Cup medallist Markiyan Ivashko of Ukraine), the 2012 and 2008 Canadian Olympian faced China’s Dai Xiaoxiang for the first time in competition. Against the reigning individual Olympic bronze medallist and World Cup Final silver medallist, Duenas stormed to victory in just three sets. Under the pressure to deliver a 10 with his last arrow to win, Duenas blasted an arrow down for a perfect score. “Surprisingly, it felt easy to execute my shot”, Duenas commented. “It’s my first time out here in front of this big crowd at the World Championship, and I’m just really happy right now. I just kept it in my head that it’s exactly the same thing that I’m doing all the time. It made it a lot easier for me.” Read More…

Congratulations Crispin and the entire Canadian Team!!!

Keeping Your Equipment Dry

NB 2013 1 546All weather conditions present various challenges for competing as my earlier blog about weather can attest. If you have been shooting for some time, you probably already have experienced what the weather can do to your equipment. The rain, or any adverse weather, can have some undesired long-term effects on your bow.

Rain is especially tricky as it can get into all kinds of small places that you would never even expect like inside your string, inside your plunger or other various tiny screw holes. It can even impact the inserts for your limbs. If ignored, rust can form and make things very difficult to adjust in the future, which can lead to a lot of work to fix or money to replace.

peeledRain can also create havoc during competition with your equipment like impacting plunger performance, making your handle slippery, and it can even impact limb reaction speed. However the most common and problematic is with your sight. Besides the potential of additional weight on the arrows, impacting your sight marks, there is the potential of faded sight marks or the sight mark tape losing adhesive and peeling completely off.

Although shooting in the rain is unavoidable for any competitive archer, there are a few things you can do before, during and after a rainy competition.

Pre-Competition

  • String: Make sure your string is waxed
  • Handle: Add grip (adhesive or wrap) to the handle
  • Pack: A Towel, Small Tarp, Plastic bags, Umbrella, Footwear, etc…

During Competition

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  • Before Each End:
    • String: Pluck your string to remove any accumulation of water.
  • Between Ends
    • Sight : Protect your sight with a Ziploc or small plastic bag when not shooting
    • Bow: Store your bow under a tent, tarp or umbrella
    • Finger Tab: Store your finger tab in a dry place.
  • During Breaks
    • All Equipment:  Use a towel to dry off all surfaces

Afterwards

  • String: Pluck the string before taking it off the bow.
  • All Metal and Plastic Equipment: Thoroughly dry off all surfaces and meticulously towel dry all small parts of your bow including sight, limb fittings, plunger, any screws, etc..
  • All Other Material Equipment: Take a hair dryer to your finger tab, sling, arm guard etc…
  • Bow & arrows: Towel dry each arrow shaft and dry your feathers.

Personally, I love shooting in the rain, it can be lots of fun if you are in the right mindset. So, if you are prepared, all you need to do enjoy it.

The Evolution of the Riser

2012-MidasIn this series I am going to discuss the evolution of the riser or the structural strength of the bow which houses the handle, to which the limbs are attached and other various accessories.  Originally the riser and the limbs were actually one piece, as you would see in a bare bow or instinctive bow, however in most modern bows the riser is completely independent component.

Historically, the original construction material was wood and sometimes combinations of different types of wood. Other historical materials included horn and sinew (A piece of tough fibrous tissue uniting muscle to bone or bone to bone; a tendon or ligament) to create composite bows.  Beautiful laminated wooden bows and risers are still manufactured for lightweight, beauty, tradition, and style.

1212210010_L1Although some bows are still manufactured from various laminated hardwoods and are quite durable, the development of other modern components with materials such as carbon arrows and various strings, wooden risers were strained.  Therefore bow makers were forced to invest in the development of other more durable materials for competitive archers to maintain that competitive edge.  Competition target archers need enough arrow speed with great sight marks, with minimal string creep, since they practice a lot of shooting (anywhere from 150 – 1000 arrows a day).  Wooden bows will eventually break under the additional loads of pressure applied from the stress and strain.

Today there are two primary types of risers used by Olympic target archers, CNC machined aluminium and Carbon fibre or a combination of the two.  In the past, other materials and manufacturing methods were used such as forging and casting.

Forging

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This method hammers a metal bar under high temperature and high pressure that results in an extremely strong riser. Typically forging is an expense development process which requires machining, straightening and painting with very few variations.

Casting

ben-castingUsually a mix of aluminium and magnesium were developed with either die-casting or sand-casting methods.  Still available in the market today with low-to-mid range bow are a relatively cheap to make once you have the mould.

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CNC Machined Aluminium

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A computer controlled method to machine a riser from stress-relieved aircraft grade aluminium alloy until they weigh less than 3 pounds. Sometimes, in order to reduce the costs, risers can be extruded through a die to minimise the amount of machining required. CNC risers are usually anodised to provide a hard wearing finish.

Carbon Fibre

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A method of layering synthetic fibres usually over a dense foam core mould, which is cured with resin epoxy to develop an extremely strong and lightweight riser. Although this method can be expensive to develop and test with, the process has almost infinite number of possibilities in terms of strength and flexibility of design.

Currently, the market is primarily CNC Machined Aluminium with overlayed Carbon Fibre to gain the best of both worlds. Who knows what the future holds for risers as target archers look to find the competitive edge and manufacturers investigate in cost savings.