Stabilization is fundamental to competition archery however most young archers do not understand the science behind them. It is more than eye-candy or ‘bling’ and most young archers want one just to look cool. A stabilizer system reduces vibration, provides a counter-balance to the tension caused by drawing heavier limbs and help stabilize the bow position. The long-rod stabilizer counter-acts the draw weight and provides damping of the string and the side-rods assist stabilizing the left and right motion of the bow.
One precaution is the extra mass weight, it is more important that you are able to first draw more weight. The additional weight can add additional tension and stress to a young archer’s shoulders and have long term effects if you are unable to maintain proper form while shooting. It took several years for me to start using a stabilizer and only recently have been able to add the sidebars. Already a couple of my promising archer friends are no longer shooting after not listening to their coach and started using too heavy stabilizers before they were ready. You need to learn to trust your coach’s opinion; they understand and know what is best, long term, for you.
Cartel offers many options in stabilizers and I have now shot with three; the CR Carbon Stabilizer, the FX 640 Stabilizer and the Midas XD Carbon.
CR Carbon is a great stabilizer for introduction stabilization because it is extremely light, provides great damping for light poundage limbs for minimal investment.
FX 640 is a great stabilizer system for a physically strong archer with heavier poundage limbs. The stabilizer is designed with four aluminum carbon rods and sliding weights. Although the stabilizer has a lot of mass weight for young archers, the weights are able slide back and forth so you can position them for the best damping for your bow.
For the young archer that wants the best of both worlds, I recommend the new Midas XD. The Midas XD provides great stabilization and damping without extra mass weight or huge expense. The non-polished surface does not reflect sunlight that can be distracting while shooting outdoors. Screw-on weights can be added or subtracted to end of the long-rod and side-bars to match even the most experienced archer’s needs. The stabilizer is designed with both red and black carbon fibers inlayed that produce a very cool and attractive pattern.
Once you and your coach decide it is time to begin stabilization, try several different styles until you find the right stabilizer for you. However check out the Midas XD Carbon you may be very pleasantly surprised.