RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT ARROW MAKING
LONG AGO A MENTOR EXPLAINED TO ME ABOUT “THE VIRTUOUS CYCLE”, AND “THE VICIOUS CYCLE”.
The virtuous cycle is the opposite of the vicious cycle. Of course, this is applicable to most choices we make in life, but in archery, here is how it worked for me. Perhaps it sounds familiar to you?
When your arrows don’t really group all that well, the problem could be any number of things. That’s the vicious cycle. You make changes, and start chasing your previous shot around the target. “Why did that arrow hit there?” Maybe the problem is not only your form. Maybe your archery form needs improvement, but maybe it is your equipment too? I certainly spent my time chasing a group around the target face at 20 yards with a wonderful bow, and arrows that were nowhere near what I should have been shooting. However, WHEN YOU CAN depend on your arrows to group tightly, and one arrow doesn’t go into the group, then the problem was your form. This informs where to focus your attention.
If you are not careful, this inevitably leads to you splitting your own arrows.
There are many reasons I take this much trouble in making an arrow:
The first reason is that I claim to make the very best bamboo arrows you will find on the internet. They are exceptionally tough, and they will group into a teacup if your form is good. This is my business.
The second reason goes back to the virtuous cycle mentioned previously. If I KNOW the arrows will all group tightly, and I find that they are scattering…well, it isn’t my arrows. IT IS MY FORM! Now I know what I need to work on. Success breeds success. It is just THAT simple.
As an old fashioned arrow maker, few things give me as much pleasure as hearing from an archer who is using my arrows, and suddenly is “in the medals”. THAT is the virtuous cycle.
The first day I split 5 of my own arrows, I realized the skills I needed to be successful were attainable. I certainly don’t do this everyday, but I recall that day often. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…
One thing I believe to be true about archery is this. If there are two equally skillful archers, one of which is shooting a lousy bow with tuned and matched arrows, and the other archer has a wonderful bow, but lousy arrows; the first shooter is going to have a much better day then the second archer. I believe that we have lowered our expectations about arrows to the point that we rarely expect to find those wonderful arrows which are one of several tools for success with traditional archery.
The job of an arrow maker is to set the archer up for success. That means different things for different archers. It is the success of the archer which is important, not just a sale. Great arrows are one indespensible tool for you to use on your path to your archery goals. Poor arrows only mislead you. This is why I am the market leader in custom bamboo arrows. You see, the virtuous cycle cuts both directions!
My job is not to make you a set of good arrows. My job is to help you find the PERFECT set of arrows for YOU. Then you can really set to work at what is most important, which is your form! A well-made dependable arrow is the tool to help you perfect your archery skills. Shot after shot, arrow after arrow, group after group…when you know you can hit whatever you want within a reasonable distance, the satisfaction is perfect. The wonderful thing about traditional archery is that the simplicity is beautiful, and the learning never stops.
I had almost given up on trying to shoot with a horse bow using a split finger technique. My arrows if they hit the target were usually all over the place. You took the time to measure the poundage of my bow and advised me on the brace height (manufacturer didn’t list a recommended brace height). The results in practice have been phenomenal. Over the past few months I have shot better with my horse bow using your arrows better than I ever thought I could. Even at 50 yards I am happy with the groupings I have put together. I want to thank you for the time, effort and craftsmanship you have put in to your arrows. I will recommend them to anyone trying to improve their traditional archery shooting game.
Nothing succeeds like success!
When Marcus knows his arrows will group like this, his archery now becomes ALL ABOUT HIS FORM, which is critical. Consider the outcome of perfect practice over the next 6 months shooting arrows which are reliable and tough?
We each have our reasons for coming to archery. For many years, my favorite shooting buddy was Nipper. If Archery isn’t fun for you, what is the point doing it?
As far as an activity goes, few are more rewarding than Archery. There has certainly been an upsurge in traditional archery lately, and with that comes new archers. Consider how expensive it is when you buy what you DON’T really need, or equipment which is not particularly good. It is a fair bet that you will not be having as much fun as you had hoped, and it will get more expensive when you have to buy the equipment a second time…or third time…and hope it is an improvement.
Eventually, you will decide one way or another; “Why are you here? What kind of archer do you want to be? What will your archery goals be?”