Are you overbowed? Let's have a discussion

Wilderlife

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Hi all,

Please take this video and post in the way that they are intended to be. I'm not trying to be provocative or controversial for the sake of stirring up conflict and I'm certainly not trying to come across as some sort of expert who needs everyone to listen to them. I just see a lot of talk about being 'overbowed' on the internet and thought it would be interesting to get some discussion rolling about what it really means.
For me, starting out with a bow that's too heavy is certainly being overbowed but now that I've been shooting for a few years I like to shoot bows that are at my limit of strength in an attempt to get stronger. It's a way of pushing myself, and I don't believe it's a problem unless I'm unknowingly collapsing or using horrible form and not realising it's happening or not making efforts to correct it.

What do you all think? I hope you find the video interesting and I'm keen to hear your thoughts.

 

Foggy Mountain

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Quite a few guys are overbowed. They can’t even reach full draw or they talk about “snap shooting” not because it is the best for them which normally it’s not but because they can’t reach anchor and settle in.
Idk if you’ll ever convince guys of that but it’s pretty obvious and prob one of trad guys common issues.
Getting to anchor and settling in, applying back tension has you shooting off bone structure which actually takes a lot of stress off any muscle. Lots don’t understand that concept
 

Foggy Mountain

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Idk how many guys have seen this but it explains back tension and bone on bone shooting well.
So many guys if they incorporated bone on bone shooting might realize they could handle their bow easier. Also before guys state a light bow is the best way to learn/practice form, it’s not a string bow is. USA archery uses a band but same principle. I like the string better. Hope Clays video helps someone understand how to get back and hold a bow.
There is a difference in purely overbowed and dancing on a line where bettering ones self may help.
Also prob need to say one more observation. Idk how many old timers we have but years back was sort of a meat head thing. Everyone shot super heavy bows, lifted super heavy weights, carried as many 2x4s up the stairs at a job site they could. That’s no longer the case.
Many, and to me I’ve seen it a million times but it still drives me crazy, get up to a line the very first time and can’t even hold the bow arm up to preset. They ask if we have anything lighter. Hmmm they need to drink milk and do push-ups.
Idk if so many nowadays are striving for high bow weight. Society has become so weak. The days of the farm boy tossing hay bales is gone.

 
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Wilderlife

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Quite a few guys are overbowed. They can’t even reach full draw or they talk about “snap shooting” not because it is the best for them which normally it’s not but because they can’t reach anchor and settle in.
Idk if you’ll ever convince guys of that but it’s pretty obvious and prob one of trad guys common issues.
Getting to anchor and settling in, applying back tension has you shooting off bone structure which actually takes a lot of stress off any muscle. Lots don’t understand that concept
Interesting observations for sure. I haven't been around trad archery for a lifetime so I haven't seen the shift in some of these attitudes. A lot of what I see in my circles is people talking a lot more about things like Tom Clum's online course and really working on back tension, alignment, tension in the right direction, etc. Further to your point though is that I do see some older people at my club shooting in a way that suggests they've got a bigger problem with target panic than they do with how heavy their bow poundage is. Having said that, I see some people talking about shooting really heavy bows in a 'war style' which is impressive but there isn't much holding at full draw and gap shooting being done there.
 

LostArra

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I have some compound-shooting friends that wanted to give traditional a try. Each one of them bought a bow much too heavy for their ability. Their rationale was "I shoot a 70# compound, so I'll try 65# recurve" Ouch!
 

bobinmi

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Take my opinion with a grain of salt. I've never been out west and I only have whitetails to hunt around here. I shoot a 54lb @ 29 Ilf bow. I'm gonna back it down to 40 or 45 when the season is over. (I've got too much other chit to get ready before the season starts and don't feel like starting a new tune when the current one is perfect) I shoot better and more accurately with a 40-45lb setup and I will shoot all the way through any whitetail that's ever been on this earth with that weight. Unless someone has a god awful release, ashby comes to mind because he has nerve damage in a finger, everyone will shoot better with less poundage. Anything above whatever is needed to put an arrow through is wasted energy and just an ego trip.
 

Foggy Mountain

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Bobinmi your opinion is valid but realize some of the reason for slightly more weight is if things aren’t perfect more weight would never hurt. It does happen.
Also everyone will shoot better with less poundage isn’t exactly always the case. With a maneagable poundage for sure but just because it’s less doesn’t mean accuracy is going up unless they are overbowed. Overbowed for one doesn’t mean overbowed for everyone. We all have different strength and ability. Food for thought
 
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Wilderlife

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I'm happy to talk plenty about heavier bows and why they're interesting but the intention of the video is about whether someone may be overbowed or not. Discussing that and discussing why a heavy bow may be useful or useless are two completely different things.

The comparison can be made with rifle cartridges. I've shot hundreds of deer with a .222 or .223 but the situation has needed to be perfect to get the job done. I've also killed hundreds of deer with any of the following - .243, .308, .30-30, .300WM and 9.3x62. Some are certainly 'overkill' but you can't get deader than dead. Reasons for taking different rifles depend on a huge variety of factors, but at the end of the day, if you can shoot a powerful rifle (or heavy bow accurately) why does it matter?

You can make the same argument for a heavy bow being ideal when something goes wrong and more energy is always better than less energy (unless of course you can't shoot 'more energy' accurately or handle the bow properly). My point being, I've had people tell me things like "its such a shame to see people overbowed" when I've been shooting my longbow and my response has always been "what does that even mean?" I'm not driven by ego wth anything I do in life. I enjoy challenging myself, and while I'm young and keeping fit and strong I enjoy shooting bows of many different styles.

It's also interesting noting 'when season is over' as here in Australia we can (and I do) hunt year round.
 
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Wilderlife

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Bobinmi your opinion is valid but realize some of the reason for slightly more weight is if things aren’t perfect more weight would never hurt. It does happen.
Also everyone will shoot better with less poundage isn’t exactly always the case. With a maneagable poundage for sure but just because it’s less doesn’t mean accuracy is going up unless they are overbowed. Overbowed for one doesn’t mean overbowed for everyone. We all have different strength and ability. Food for thought
I can put my hand on my heart and say before fatigue sets in, I'm more accurate with my heavier bows than my lighter bows. My release is so much cleaner and I find increasing back tension consistently on the heavier bows much easier.
I'm more accurate with my Widow PCH with both the 51# and 62# limbs compared to my 65# longbow but that's less to do with the poundage and more to do with the fact that a Widow is much easier to hold steady because it weighs so much more.

Of course, when I get tired and my form breaks down I can't hit anything consistently but the same can be said for the lighter bows if I've been shooting a lot of arrows in a short period.
 
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Wilderlife

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I have some compound-shooting friends that wanted to give traditional a try. Each one of them bought a bow much too heavy for their ability. Their rationale was "I shoot a 70# compound, so I'll try 65# recurve" Ouch!
When I was gifted my first recurve bow I didn't exactly get a choice. My friend gave me the Widow with 65# @ 28 limbs and said "they might be a bit much but see how you go."

After drawing it back once it was obvious I couldn't handle it. The first thing I did after that was buy a 35# @ 28 recurve and then source the lighter limbs for the Widow. After a couple of years of working on my form and my strength I can handle the heavy limbs I originally got very well.

If anything about 'ego' comes into it for me, it was coming to terms with the idea that it wasn't just about strength but the application of strength, and a lot about technique. You can only muscle a bow is you're really strong to a certain point, but being strong doesn't mean you automatically get aligned perfectly. Learning correct technique and alignment is the way to working towards shooting heavier bows (in my experience). I've always considered myself fairly strong and fit for my body size and now I see people much bigger and stronger than me having a hard time pulling my longbow but again, it's as a result of their lack of familiarity with the technique.
 

Newtosavage

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I once traveled to the Kzoo trad rendevous in Michigan. What I observed there at the test range (where you could test out various trad bows) was about 80-90% of guys who were shooting bows too heavy for them, short drawing and snap shooting. I would be most of them had no idea what their actual draw length is. Their arrows were typically 3-4" in front of the riser when they released but I'm sure in their mind they were drawing them all the way back and reaching anchor. Very few, in fact, reached anchor.

I get it. I started out with a 65# Assenheimer that I took in trade for some tree work I did as a teen. It was WAY too much for me and I probably looked like those guys at Kzoo when I shot it. I short-drew and snap-shot for about 10 years until I met someone who actually knew how to shoot correctly and asked him to teach me. My draw length grew over 2" in one lesson.
 

oldgoat

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I think a lot of guys don't see the improvement they are looking for when they drop poundage because they have a shitty release with no back tension! Heavy string on your fingers smooths out a lot of kinks and torques in your release, especially when coupled with a crappy glove versus quality cordovan tab!
 

bpctcb

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Good video.

I recently started shooting traditional again after a 20+ year absence. I had 55 & 60# recurves on hand but knew not to even try those. I ordered up a 45# bow and quickly found that was too much to learn proper form with. So I ordered a 35# bow and that was the ticket. Finally figured out what anchor works best for me and how to tune arrows with a trad bow with the 35#’er.

Then I grabbed the 45# bow and got comfortable with it. At first I shot the 35# bow better. Now I shoot the 45# better. As Old Goat stated I suspect it’s because of my less than perfect release. I still shoot the 35# bow because I can shoot it all day without fatigue. I gotta put the 45# bow down after awhile. I hope to work up to 50-55# next year.

BP


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Foggy Mountain

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I once traveled to the Kzoo trad rendevous in Michigan. What I observed there at the test range (where you could test out various trad bows) was about 80-90% of guys who were shooting bows too heavy for them, short drawing and snap shooting. I would be most of them had no idea what their actual draw length is. Their arrows were typically 3-4" in front of the riser when they released but I'm sure in their mind they were drawing them all the way back and reaching anchor. Very few, in fact, reached anchor.

I get it. I started out with a 65# Assenheimer that I took in trade for some tree work I did as a teen. It was WAY too much for me and I probably looked like those guys at Kzoo when I shot it. I short-drew and snap-shot for about 10 years until I met someone who actually knew how to shoot correctly and asked him to teach me. My draw length grew over 2" in one lesson.
Understand something, having arrows a little long isn’t necessarily a sign of short drawing. If someone shoots gap for instance it could a way to lessen that. I understand what you’re saying as well, just realize it is possible to reach full draw, anchor properly and be a few inches long on purpose.
 

Newtosavage

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Understand something, having arrows a little long isn’t necessarily a sign of short drawing. If someone shoots gap for instance it could a way to lessen that. I understand what you’re saying as well, just realize it is possible to reach full draw, anchor properly and be a few inches long on purpose.
Understand something, I've been at this since the 80's and I'm well aware of that. :D But thanks for bringing it up because some folks may not know.

In the instances I mention, their arrows were hanging 4-5" past their riser because they never came close to reaching their anchors, much less decent alignment, because they were way overbowed.
 

Foggy Mountain

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Understand something, I've been at this since the 80's and I'm well aware of that. :D But thanks for bringing it up because some folks may not know.

In the instances I mention, their arrows were hanging 4-5" past their riser because they never came close to reaching their anchors, much less decent alignment, because they were way overbowed.
No worries bud, I don’t know you and don’t know what you know. I’ve been at this since 1970. Many haven’t been involved as long as we have and even those have may not know something.
 

North Idaho Stickbow

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To each his own, but I prefer a “lighter” bow. I like to get into alignment and have plenty of time to hold and aim if I need to. Plus, I’m not shooting any further than 25 yards at an animal.
 
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