Bow Poundage

Whitehart

Well-known member
All this year as an aside issue I have been interested in the draw weights many archers are shooting.

I have surmised that over 70% of archers are overbowed, what is it with this desire for so much weight?

With modern materials, good form, a good bow set up and the correct arrows I have archers comfortably shooting good groups at 70m with just 32lb on their fingers.

Yes, I understand a bit more power does help in poor weather conditions, but if you cannot control it properly then you just miss faster and score lower.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I guess some of the high weights could be put down to experienced archers passing on their draw weights to newer members who copy them because they feel they are right.
As beginners, perhaps they feel they struggle because they are still new to shooting rather than it being the draw weight.
I notice that archers who struggle are far happier to buy better arrows than reduce draw weight. It is almost as if they believe they can manage the weight and their arrows don't match the bow; or are not high enough spec arrows.
 


fbirder

Supporter
Supporter
It is very frustrating to watch somebody shoot three ends really well, then spend the rest of the shoot trembling like a leaf and their draw collapsing. And they refuse to listen to any coaching.

It does seem much more common with the male of the species.

I've always put it down to the same thing that makes young males insist on the hottest curry available.
 


KidCurry

Active member
With modern materials, good form, a good bow set up and the correct arrows I have archers comfortably shooting good groups at 70m with just 32lb on their fingers.
90m is king at WA1440, County Champs, National Champs, the Masters and MB and GMB... well for men anyway. I can reach 90m with 32lb but would have to aim above the target. With 41lb I can get point on gold (barebow) and shoot 250 arrows before lunch.
I think what is important is to make sure your form is excellent with every distance and weight before moving to the next and only when you find your current weight easy. If after a days club shooting you are beginning to tire, even slightly, you are not ready to move up. As Whitehart said you must be in control of every shot.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I wonder if Whitehart is thinking about all archers ,or top archers, or club archers?
I see a few archers who are overbowed and are still on 252 scheme at 40y. They could easily manage the distance on lower draw weights.
 


chuffalump

Member
There's always the attraction of arrow speed but, personally, I prefer to think of it as a way of improving sight marks. I stopped ramping up recurve when I could reach all the distances I shot at easily and that all the problems were my own form. 32lb limbs giving me maybe 36 - 37 otf.
 


mbaker74

Supporter
Supporter
You see on here archers who have started this year buying 40+lb limbs, aiming to be shooting 46-50lb otf. No idea where it comes from apart from a misguided belief that they can easily do it?? Maybe from other club members?
 


Stretch

Member
I had to shoot with 40# OTF for a while when a new bow did not measure up as expected. When you have a 32” draw that is not ideal. (I had been shooting 49#). However, I proceeded to shoot a bunch of PBs, including an 1100 York and won a bunch of shoots. So ended up with 43# when they sent me the right limbs. That was back in the 1990s. Did end up at 46 to 47 a few years later but I was shooting every day. Any more than that and I needed to go up spine which in theory wasn’t a bad thing but in practice was.

Unfortunately a lot of folks hear “Brady is shooting 53” and seem to think that is a reasonable goal because they shot a nice group in the 10 with it once. Or maybe they thing 47# as a reasonable compromise... nuts, unless you are shooting 1000 good arrows a week.

With my current bow I reckon I *could* be competitive with 38# if I put the time in. It’s pushing out a spine that I would have needed 43# to tune even ten years ago.

Unfortunately for strong folks a higher draw weight can mask some terrible technique flaws so they will argue that they shoot better on 47# while smashing a solid 520 18m :unsure:

Yup

Stretch
 


LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
I'm at "Gonna shoot higher poundage than those wee Korean girls, even if it kills me!" ;)

I reserve the right to change my mind as many times as I want as my career develops.
 


Emmadragon

Supporter
Supporter
I normally shoot with a 24# bow (26# limbs, wound right down), but lately, because of injury, I've been using my 20# limbs. well, we had a fun shoot on Saturday at 65yards for ladies, and I was consistently in the general vicinity of, or slightly further than, the target. Considering I was shooting barebow, it was incredibly windy, and the target was a 4 inch wide stick, I was pretty pleased with that. So no, high poundage isn't necessary.
 


Stretch

Member
:unsure:The Korean WOMEN shoot with close to perfect form and at least 200 arrows everyday. Why is that your target? (Unless you are the same).

Smells like machismo bullshit to me. Without control you might as well quit now.

I’m 6ft 5” and close to 200lbs (not all rippling muscle -granted) and I am quite happy shooting a bow around the lowest poundage shot by Korean women. They are better than me.

Stretch
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
It all depends on your success criteria...
Do you want to shoot one arrow well from a bow that meets your own idea of what constitutes a bow. Or do you want to shoot 200 arrows well from a bow that meets your own idea of what constitutes a bow.

What constitutes being overbowed for 36 field targets, a rove or a flight shoot and for a target competition are not the same thing. A hunter would probably consider themselves lucky if they get more than one shot in a day.
Del
 


Last edited:

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
A higher poundage bow will give you a flatter arrow trajectory.

This is useful in field shooting unmarked distances; the effect will be that a misjudgment of the distance will not be so catastrophic due to less drop of the arrow.
 


Rog600

Member
Yes, I've started telling people the weight of the limbs as it usually shuts down the "how much are you pulling" conversation pretty quickly if I'm shooting 90m; "is that all? I'm shooting such and such pound and can't hit yadadada...." Etc etc.

There's a great ethos at our club driven by excellent coaching regards appropriate draw weights. I came down a little in preparation for the indoor coaching season after a fairly meagre outdoor season, but the reduction in draw weight was compensated with an improvement in form which found nearly an inch in draw (that I'd had previously but lost through one thing or another). Started hitting MB scores at the club with new, lighter set up.

The really important thing here, though, is junior draw weights, growth spurts, increasing draw length, becoming overbowed, and them getting miserable and giving up. I wonder how many juniors the sport has lost because they have been deliberately overbowed by over-ambitious, self-aggrandizing coaches (this happens and you can see those children all shaking like ********-dogs on the shooting line in the afternoon at tournaments) or juniors who have a growth-spurt but whose parents either don't understand the implications on draw weight and form or don't see it before the junior has decided to pack it all in and play tennis.

Better to measure your juniors' draw length regularly and manage their draw weight before it undoes all their hard work and that of their coaches. I'd sooner the kids shot a light bow, come second or third in comps but still be shooting with great form as adults, than being junior one-season wonders never to be seen again.
 


robert43

Member
1 major problem I find out with archery there is a lot of people with my d*** is bigger than your d*** with draw weight & length too often.
I am now shooting compound ( 85%) of the time 52lb @28.5" & recurve ( other 15% ) when not so serious 35lb @28.5" & I get a thats all from some people & my response is I guess I am was well endowed as you
 


KidCurry

Active member
I’m 6ft 5” and close to 200lbs (not all rippling muscle -granted) and I am quite happy shooting a bow around the lowest poundage shot by Korean women.
I think this is a misconception, not by you, but a lot of people, that you need to be big to pull heavy draw weights. Mete Gazoz, who would probably blow over if he sneezes he is so light weight, draws 52# and Mauro Nespoli draws 67#. These archers are not over bowed. I don't ask archers what weight their bows are and I don't remember ever being asked what mine is before shooting barebow. I do get asked where my point of aim is at 90m and when I reply it's point on gold I sometimes get asked then, but I think from a technical enquiry not a macho thing at all.
 


Stretch

Member
That is precisely the point. Volume of arrows and good form trump everything else. Control is king, queen, rook, bishop, and Knight in this game.

Stretch
 


dottorfoggy

Member
My coach
1 major problem I find out with archery there is a lot of people with my d*** is bigger than your d*** with draw weight & length too often.
Same as my coach say. He prefer to teach girls for this reason, they are more focused on techniques and not on materials like limbs quality or arrows.
I can clearly see the difference in my form when shooting 1000 arrows/week then when I'm in sleep mode 🤪 with 150/200 per week's. Without control, 24# or 60# have the same mess result
I'm shooting 46# and it's my limit, where in the high training period, I can have the full control of my movements.
 


Kernowlad

Member
I started on 50lbs they went up to 55; that was doing target archery and for the big rounds, it started to hurt.
So I dropped to about 52lbs, switched to field and am totally comfortable with it.
What felt like an inconsistent draw cycle was almost certainly just me but on those occasions it does feel like a hard draw, I just pull it through.

As mentioned the flatter trajectory is handy if our distance judgement is poor; which mine is.
 


Top