Correct Grip On The Bow

tony08

New member
I've been told that one should use a sling and let it dangle (which seems to make sense) but looking at some Olympic images I've noticed archers "pinching" the bow from the side, with their bow hands almost horizontal.

A bit like this, but I've seen even more extreme examples:
BBC SPORT | Olympics 2008 blog

Is this considered to be technically the best way to hold a recurve? It seems that apart from a small, smooth groove there should be no more need for a handle.

Regards
Tony
 


Murray

The American
Ironman
American Shoot
The bow is not pinched it is simply resting against the thumb muscle. The fingers are simply lightly resting around the grip. Best to get a coach to work with you on the correct bowhand position (or check out the archers reference! Archer's reference - pdf in the download section)
 


phil_r_58

Supporter
Supporter
Ironman
No, I think you will find they let their fingers fall into a relaxed curl, rather than tensing them to make them stand away from the bow. I know when my hand position is good, as my fingers relax loosely onto the bow, they touch certain parts of the riser. If the position is wrong, the fingers don't fall onto the same parts.
 


The Meggy

New member
That picture does make it look a bit like his hand is near horizontal but I don't think it is. Seen from directly in front, or from behind (archer's perspective) I think you would find his knuckles were at approximately 45 degrees to the vertical. You can see that the grip is going down the centre of his thumb muscle. Although his index finger curls in front of the grip, I'm sure he is not pinching the grip, and that his fingers are essentially relaxed - you can tell that on the follow-through when the bow will (should) jump forward pushing the fingers aside, and then be caught by the bowsling (which he is clearly using).
 


tony08

New member
Thanks guys. I still think some hand positions look very close to horizontal but as I can imagine that it may be uncomfortable to handle a bow like this, I'll have to put it all down to an optical illusion.

And here's me thinking I'd discovered the next level in bow gripping development.
 


Robin the Hood

New member
No, I think you will find they let their fingers fall into a relaxed curl, rather than tensing them to make them stand away from the bow. I know when my hand position is good, as my fingers relax loosely onto the bow, they touch certain parts of the riser. If the position is wrong, the fingers don't fall onto the same parts.
... :scratchch ...and there lies the key to consistancy Phil...:thumbsup:

Paul....
:veryhappy
 


phil_r_58

Supporter
Supporter
Ironman
Thanks guys. I still think some hand positions look very close to horizontal but as I can imagine that it may be uncomfortable to handle a bow like this, I'll have to put it all down to an optical illusion.

And here's me thinking I'd discovered the next level in bow gripping development.
There was a movement in the 70's to what you describe, an almost horizontal grip. So nothing new in that idea. One person I knew actually designed a riser with the grip designed to accommodate the style. 90% or more of that riser was then adopted by a famous(ish) bowyer who then produced one of the best selling bows of the period for his employer, from my friend's design. My friend was so appreciative of the professional bowyers compliments, he gave him a casting from the original wooden sand box mold to work with. And the ******* bow was born shortly after.

That would be when the Friskney bowmen indoors series was at the Golden sands ballroom complex in Mablethorpe, with around 40 bosses or more in the line to accomodate the entries. Us field archer compounders were always banished to targets 40 plus. Only 3 or 4 of us were shooting wheelies at that time, GNAS did not recognise wheelies then, 1974/5 ish.

Keeping the bow hand horizontal was very draining, as it required a lot of physical effort, and it was very easy for the hand to go over horizontal, and be pointing slightly down. The theory was that it gave minimal riser contact and reduced torque as well as reducing heeling/palming of the riser too. Theory good, in practise, not so good. Tried, tested, no real benefit, dumped and we moved on. Like so many seemingly good theories & ideas of old.
 


tony08

New member
The theory was that it gave minimal riser contact and reduced torque as well as reducing heeling/palming of the riser too.
Interesting Phil,
Not too far off what I was thinking. I figured that any move towards a horizontal hold would be to accomplish minimal contact. Just that it looked to me that some archers were doing that. Some don't seem to have any fingers, below the index, anywhere near the handle. In fact they even seem to be closed/ curled towards the palm.:scratchch
 


Black Arrow

New member
and yet...

Although if you look at the the 4th pictures of Park Sung-Hyin in the photographs link at the top of the olympic forum she has a very odd grip with all the fingers curled back in the palm. It looks as If she has a cut out in the handle that she is resting the index finger knuckle on and the whole hand is held very high. It seemed to me that a couple of the chinese girls were also holding the bow in a similar way.
 


MarkH

New member
Thanks guys. I still think some hand positions look very close to horizontal but as I can imagine that it may be uncomfortable to handle a bow like this, I'll have to put it all down to an optical illusion.

And here's me thinking I'd discovered the next level in bow gripping development.
I agree with your first coments and Black arrows comments. I've been watching this from the start and many archers have very highly rotated bow hand, to the extend where the index finger is inside the bowgrip, not wrapping around. Alan Wills is nowhere near as extreme as some. Also look at how high the forefinger knuckle is above the arrow shelf on some of the Chinese and Korean ladies (see the ladies team finals)! The camera angle is straight on.
 


Hellboy

New member
I've been told to place the grip on the soft bit of the hand below the thumb and to relax the fingers. Coupled with a good loose that took me ages to gain my bow spins nicely until the bottom limb reaches my face. Half the trick is to have the confidence to believe your bow will not fall to the ground and explode into little pieces.:devil:
 


The Enigma

New member
Ironman
Your own grip should suit you and be comftable, you can try different hand positions until you find one that is correct for you, dont forget the people at the olympics have been shooting for a while to getwhere they are and shoot alot of arrows a day. so the best way to find out about hand positions s to try them. . . if you like the look of the one people use at the olympics give it a go
 


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