All archers need an unchanging anchor point for their draw hand, a location on or below your chin to ensure you have a consistent starting point for your hand and string. One of my Tumbler followers, Andy, asked…
…Since I’m just an amateur with the bow and don’t have any training… why you and archers in general, when they stretch to the full pose, set the hand that is stretching the string with the arrow bellow the chin? That helps for a better accuracy shoot? or is because the type of bow?(sorry I don’t know any terminology if you can help me with that too it would be cool). Thanks for the help…
There are four basic locations for an anchor point; under-the-chin, beside the face, over-hand anchor, and floating anchor, all have there pros and cons depending on your shooting style.
Under the Chin
Draw the string to the center of the nose and middle of chin. A good anchor point consists of an unchanging triangle with the string touching the center of your nose and the center of your chin and your thumb tucked squarely under your jaw line and the shelf of your index finger riding along your jaw. (Alternatively string to the side of nose and the corner of your mouth however this is typically less accurate for recurve archers and better for peep sight usage on compounds.)
- Advantages: This anchor has multiple touch points for triangular consistency and helps avoid overdrawing.
- Disadvantages: It takes a little longer to position and master, and can be less comfortable depending on the archer.
Side of Face
Typically the string is drawn back until the tip of the index finger is at the corner of the mouth with the hand tight against the face. Some archers tuck their thumb under their jaw. Depending on the tournament, some archers can face walk for difference distances. (move your hand up and down on your face)
- Advantages: Anchor style can be established quickly and allows bare-bow to sight down the arrow shaft.
- Disadvantages: This style is not typically as precise as under the chin and sometimes leads to plucking the arrow string.
Over-hand (Mechanical Release)
Typically over-hand is associated with a mechanical release. Mechanical release aids offer less interference with the string and are most commonly used by compound shooters and hunters. When having an over-hand release for a compound shooter you would have either your knuckle(s) or your thumb touching behind the corner of your jaw.
- Advantages: Very accurate and it allows your elbow to align with the arrow at release
- Disadvantages: Takes longer to set and position and a release aid needs to be setup based on the individual archer. Also since it very accurate scores are VERY high in competition and you have less room for error.
Floating Anchor (or partly floating)
A floating anchor is another option for some archers, the shape of some people’s jaw can make it difficult to do an under the chin anchor position. Some people take this position literally and have their hand floating in the middle of nowhere; this is really hard to make consistent because you have no point of reference to make the anchor position easily repeatable. However, you could go with a ‘partly’ floating anchor where you can have your hand touching a point of your jaw (or more if you can).
- Advantages: Can provide an easier anchor point for people with wider jaw lines.
- Disadvantages: Typically, not as consistent or as easily repeatable.
The anchor needs to be consistent and repeatable on every shot. Some tips include…
- Keep your head straight and still and bring the string to you so you can easily make your anchor and draw length consistent.
- Chewing bubble gum, talking, or even moving your chin will result in inconsistent shots and therefore lower scores since you are changing the angle of the string as our jaw moves.
- Keeping your shoulders relaxed and in their sockets and pointing your draw arm directly behind you.
- Check your string alignment by matching the blurred image of the string in relation to the bow’s riser.
You will want to establish as many touch points as you can manage to help develop the most consistent anchor. A great consistent anchor leads to a happier more consistent archer.