Today’s blog post will be on something completely not related to books, because it’s my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want.
Today’s informative post will be on how to shoot a bow like a badass, i.e. how not to do the stupid things you see actors doing in the movies and looking like an idiot. While there are many types of bows, each with slightly different shooting styles, today we shall focus on my favorite, the recurve bow:
- Put the string on the bow the right way around.
There’s this lovely Facebook group called The Back to Front Archery Club , where they post hilarious pictures of people literally putting the string on the bow on the wrong side in movies, which looks stupid and will, quite literally, either cause the string to fly off the bow and hit you in the face (which would be hilarious) or just kind of make your arrow poop a few feet when you let go, as the bow is not supposed to bend in that direction, and just won’t bend very well in that direction.
Fig 1. The Wrong Way. i.e. That String Looks Like It’s Going to Fly Off And Hit Him in the Balls
Fig 2. The Right Way i.e. Notice How The String itsn’t Going to Hit Her in the Balls If She Had Balls?
- Put your feet parallel to each other a shoulder’s width apart. If there was a stick at the end of your toes, they should be facing towards the target.
There are other ways to stand, but this is basically what you want to start with.
Fig 1. Like This.
- Make the girl scout salute (Three fingers straight up) and place them right under your arrow when it’s clipped onto the string (without touching it). When you pull back the string, keep it on the tips of your fingers in a light grip. That way, when you let go and shoot, the bow won’t be jerked around, and you’ll be able to aim better.
While I prefer a different method to grip the string, this way is much better for beginners.
Fig. 1 Grip the String Like This (But don’t touch the arrow.)
Fig. 2 No
- When you pull back the arrow you want to pull it back to the same place each time, or else you might aim at the same spot, but each time you shoot, the arrow will go somewhere else. Therefore, when you pull your string back, put your hand below your jaw, with the string touching the tip of your nose. This way, when you shoot, you will be pulling the string back the same distance, in the same place, every time.
You may see archers pulling back to the corner of their mouth. This is not ideal for recurve bows, as “the corner of your mouth” isn’t a super accurate descriptor, whereas “below your jaw” stays the same each shot. This is because, if your hand is below your jaw and touching it, you physically can’t move your hand any higher. And, if you move your hand lower or to the side, you’ll no longer be touching your jaw, and you’ll know you done goofed.
Fig 1. The Right Way.
Note* She is gripping the arrow in the way that I shoot. While technically it is better, the way you grip your arrow really doesn’t matter until you get really good, and it’s too easy for beginners to screw up.
Fig 2. The I Suck and/or Want To Loose an Eye Way
Notice how they are pulling the bow back in such a way that they probably can’t perfectly recreate? That’s why you want to pull it back to below your chin, hand touching the face, string touching your nose. Like fig. 1. Got it? Don’t be like Katniss and definitely don’t be like Ygritte.
- Brush your face when you release the bow. That way you won’t jerk the bow to the side. You keep shooting too far to one side? Probably because of this.
This sounds nitpicky but trust me, it’s super duper important.
Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwpVYV6QTKo at 24 seconds in.
Alrighty. This was fun! Now, when you go to that bachelorette party, over 40’s meetup, or drunken escapade with projectile weapons, you’ll be able to impress the shit out of everyone else. And not look like a jackass. Win win.
P.S. Please do not aim at the sky like some sort of video game character. If you let go, the arrow is eventually going to come down, and impale someone’s face or, if we get lucky, your face, so….just don’t do that. Please. Or aim at your friends. Or…maybe just take an actual archery class. Don’t learn this shit off the Internet. Seriously. People on the Internet are bullshiters. Don’t trust anyone.