From the Lions' Den - A freestylers' journey.


Well that is a coincidence. I have been waiting for a month for a pair of limbs I purchased from the Netherlands. It is not the fault of the supplier - but what a joke the postal service is. It is PostNL - you know the same people that lost/delayed to postal application votes for ex-pats living on the continent - so they could not vote in the European Elections.

I would not hold your breath for your kit. I will post the full sorry saga in another post.
I got an email today saying my order had been dispatched & that I would get a track-and-trace link in the morning.

I spent 12 years in NL, their postal services were always pretty good, even getting stuff from UK (Sports Direct), France & Germany.

- Looking forwards to hearing your own sorry saga though.


Friday Update

I have a tracking link from ParcelForce, which says my Dutch package has arrived in the country & will be delivered on Monday 24th :D

I also made a small order to Merlin today as I discovered that I've managed to lose my (only) finger sling on Wednesday :bawling:

- So to make the most of the postage charges, I've ordered:

2 slings - 1 red 1 black

A spare string - Flex BCY-X, black & red

AAE Elite Plastifletch - EP16 - 1 3/4" vanes - 12 red 12 black (I did rip a vane shooting through the clicker, remember ;) )

Bohning Fletch-Tite Platinum - Obviously!

Arrow Letter Decals - A, F & Numbers (for the compo in August)

Now that wouldn't have been too bad for a mid-month order, but on checking my account I discovered that my (relative) frugality on payday had resulted in having a bit more left than expected. I did consider rewarding myself with some fancier food & a few tinnies but thought I'd check up on some of my 'wishlist' items first. When I discovered that the only UK shop with Fuse Blade extenders at a sensible price only had 2 left in stock... Well, what would you have done? (Especially ?15 cheaper than anywhere else!)

So, I have 3 orders on the way now. Without having to face the prospect of beanz-on-toast for the next fortnite :)

I even have enuff left to buy my 252/50 & 3rd class badges, which I'm confident of nailing before next payday :poulies:

Anticipation is SO sweet, innit?



Traditionally BCY-X would be seen as a bit harsh on a recurve, particularly on budget limbs. I can't remember if you've said what you shoot now but might be worth checking what the manufacturer says. I shoot red/black on recurve too. Homemade 8125G though. My compounds are run wot you brung. Orange and black. When I change strings it'll either be red/black or green/black.


Active member
I shoot green/black on my recurve and longbow, it makes a big difference to my sight picture especially indoors but I’ve never tried red/black so I’d be interested to hear how that goes for you.



Traditionally BCY-X would be seen as a bit harsh on a recurve, particularly on budget limbs. I can't remember if you've said what you shoot now but might be worth checking what the manufacturer says...
It's the same string I'm using as my main, only that is black/silver (Oakland Raiders colours!). It's 20 strand too, which is higher than 'normal' for 38 lbs but I have soft, sensitive hands/fingers and found the 12-strand on my first bow a bit much for them. Anyway, I'm expecting/hoping to be on heavier, less-budgety limbs before the end of the outdoor season. (I have my eye on 46 lb WNS Delta C3's - Yes ofc they're Black!)

'Colour scheme' has always been important to me in my sporting career so extending it into archery just seems natural. Black is my base colour but I 'allow' red as a complimentary & some white for highlighting. That goes for attire too!

Karl, from what you've seen so far, do you think there's any danger of me not saying 'how it goes'? ;)

- but because I'm a true X-Dom, the string doesn't appear in my sight-picture at all - not that I've ever noticed anyway!

(I'll be starting my Saturday SPTs shortly so I'll have a good look then.)

My Dutch package has now made it to the delivery depot in Newcastle so I'm expecting it around lunchtime on Monday. SPTs are about to get 12% tougher :faint:

The store in question is they have been great with comms & seem cheaper than a lot of UK shops. Would use again :)


Talk about making life harder for y'sel...

I ended up running about 10 minutes late, mostly 'coz my left eye put up a mighty struggle against having a contact lens inserted (I only use them for shooting). I was already 'mentally preparing' for having to remember to hold on to the bow again, after 6 months of using a finger-sling. Arrived to find the beginners' course targets already set, and 25yd & 30yd targets on 'the pro side' - I had intended to set my 60yd right back towards the bank, to makes misses easier to find, but had to settle for what was already there. Then during bow assembly discovered to my horror that I hadn't put my stabiliser in the car :(

- I've been shooting with one every time I've shot since about the 4th week of my beginners' course so to say the bow felt naked, light & just generally weird would be a definite understatement!

Nevertheless, all this faded almost to insignificance compared with the effects of the wind. It was almost 180* from the prevailing conditions my sightmarks were set for, and quite a bit stronger & more gusty than of late. It deffo surprised me that I ended up having to use a whole 10 points less of vertical, and all the way right on horizontal, to get centered.

Still, I stuck with it. Despite yet again being the only freestyler present (of 9 shooters).

Posted a 697 Windsor, my third & final qualifier for my 3rd Class award :cloud9: My 'most satisfying end' was a 9-9-9-9-9-7 @ 40.

But it's now official - the club captain hates me!

No 'well done', no 'congratulations', on hitting my first major milestone. Just a gruff 'OK, I'll put it in' as he folded the sheet into sixteenths & stuffed it in his pants pocket. What I was thinking at that point is deffo :censored:

So photos of my shiny new badge will have to wait. I don't even know until when. And I missed my 2nd 252/50 by 20, mostly due to poor early scores while adjusting to the wind. No extra sighters during a round, ofc.

OK, I can't be too 'down' - despite the 'complications' I did shoot well enough. But it could have felt so much better with more positive feedback from 'the club'.


Monday update

My Dutch order arrived intact at lunchtime :)

I've just had my 1st 2 sets of SPTs with the 40lb limbs and YES it does make a very noticeable difference to the 'burn'. Very glad I took this intermediate route, giving my old bow a new lease of life as a training aid, rather than 'saving' the money & going straight for 46lb limbs.

Nice to have my own bow square at last too.

The Easton chestguard, despite being the biggest they make, is still quite a snug fit. I think I now understand (half) the problems women have with bras ;)

Also got an email saying my Merlin order had been posted. Hoping it will arrive on Wednesday so I have a sling again.

Not too bad for a Monday!


I'm waiting for a spirit level to help set up the various sight axes on a compound and a new sight. My old one is a recurve sight that came with a compound attachment and weighs a ton. Not sure how I justified the expense to myself.


Wednesday 'early' update

So, all of my orders have arrived intact now :D

The new vanes are a tiny 1[SUP]3[/SUP]/[SUB]4[/SUB]", compared with the 2[SUP]3[/SUP]/[SUB]8[/SUB]" that was the 'factory fit' - I figured that as I'm mostly shooting at medium to longer ranges these days, I may as well take the advantages of reduced drag/higher speed/lower arc (hence less wind effect) now. Or at least, to try it for m'sel before spending a small fortune on a higher-end set of arrows, certainly for next spring. (I fancy either A/C/Es or CX Nano Pros, which are near-as-dammit the same price).

I've stripped 3 of the Avalon Classics so far, I'm hoping to do a bareshaft tuning check during tonight's range-time. I started taking off the first (ripped) vane with my trusty craft scalpel, but realised very quickly that a) it would take FOREVER to do them all & b) it would be well-difficult to avoid any damage to the shafts. So, a quick YouTube search later, I've pulled my potato-peeler out of the utensil drawer & had a go with that. WOW! What a difference! Very quick & easy to not only remove the bulk of the vane, but also to clean up every trace of glue with ZERO damage to the shafts.

So don't buy overpriced stripping tools or risk your shafts with a Stanley blade - just grab your 'umble spud peeler! (pivoting lengthways type)

Talking about Blades - now that I finally have a Fuse piece to examine, have to say that I'm more convinced that ever that getting a complete set-up will be a good idea... and not so far away! I've taken the plunge & put up my 'spare' HOTAS joystick & my Oculus Rift (which was an under-used gift anyway) up for auction on eBay, which should allow me not only to buy the rods from Croatia early next month but also to get a v-bar to complete the set-up. I have several 'possibles' to consider, from an OTT Bee Stinger Elite to a 'budget' Fivics. All are 'QD' as I'm starting to resent the amount of assembly time I need compared with the barebow peasants ;)

I'm hoping that not only can I borrow the club fletching jig tonight, but also to 'requisition' enough serving thread (any colour except black!) (red preferred) to make 4 nocking points - 2 for the new string- which will become my main once it's shot in - and 2 for the training bow which currently has those 'orrible brass things on. Gonna try to learn the 'Korean' method as shown here:-


If I can't get some from the club, well it's just gonna have to be minty white dental floss in the short term.

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Evening update

Let's get the negative out of the way first, shall we?

It was only when I asked "So when can I expect to get my (3rd class) badge then?" that I was told "Oh, you have to order that yourself, the club only keeps 252 badges".

WHY THE F*CK didn't they tell me that when I put my first qualifying score in? GRRRRR! I could have ordered it & had it by now if only they'd told me. Guess I'll have to wait until I make my next online order to a shop which does them (I don't think Merlin does) which could be August now. Should I get all 3 class badges at once, just so I don't have to wait next time? ...Probably.

So, apart from that, it was an easy-going & enjoyable evening. The weather was damned-near PERFECT, warm & sunny with almost no breeze whatsoever.

7 of us shot a 'Stafford' round (6 dozen @ 30 meters to an 80cm target, 10-zone scoring) & I posted a 465, coming 4th to the top bare-bowers at the club. The funny part was my target-mate beat the club coach by 2 points, posting a 507. Well actually, it was the coaches reaction that was funny, and pretty much unrepeatable. Good job there were no juniors about!

I'm happy with my performance on a totally new experience, it was very satisfying to KNOW that a good shot was going to hit the gold and that even the occasional bad one was still on the face. On one end I had 2 X's, the first time I've done that outdoors :)
It was only whilst unstringing that I realised I had my limbs on 'upside down' :jaw-dropp - but thankful that no-one else noticed. Wonder if that cost me any points?

I did manage to borrow the clubs' fletching jig, it's an upright 'Arten', a weird-looking thing (compared with the big-name ones in the shops) which has obviously seen a lot of use, I'll post a pic or two when I try it out in daylight. Unfortunately no-one had any serving thread so it's off to Boots 2moz to get some floss.


I wonder if your club has had such low turnover that they aren't used to new starters. Might explain why they don't tell you anything, everybody already knows. Or maybe you're like some force of nature that they have no idea how to deal with. "He wants what? Nobody ever wants that. What do we do. Shhh he's looking at us, act normal". 😁

We don't keep many badges as a rule either. However, most people are only interested in the 252 badges and don't give two hoots about indoor/outdoor class. If there is enough demand we'll order a stock though.


"Force of nature" LOL yeah, I guess most of my RL buddies would agree with that! "The Lion" is a very suitable, and highly descriptive representation of my character & personality. I'm comfortable with that.

Agree with the rest of what you said too Chuffa - as far as I can tell, there has only been ONE new archer who has stayed with the club after the beginners courses since my debut 3 years ago - despite them running 2 courses a year. The current batch, who will be on week 4 on Sunday, consists of 4 very young girls, grandchildren of the captain no less, and 2 teenage boys - one is also an X-dom being 'forced' to shoot left handed. Yes, I've had a quiet word that there are other options but I'm doubting he'll stay after the course.

Here's the club fletching jig, have you ever seen the like?

So it's gonna be an afternoon of fletching, nock-tying & SPTs for me - after a BLT ;)


First-ever fletch completed :D

(Before wiping the top-n-tail glue off ;) )

I'd have had more done by now, but had a visitor. Knows nothing of archery, but was happy to salvage the old vanes from the bin to try an idea for a fishing fly.



The fletching jig shares the same clamp that I have with my jig. If the bottom plate was removed it could be used horizontally and look like the one I have. Quicks own jig( bright yellow) looks like it is a later model so does away with the clip that holds the shaft in place.


An enjoyable day despite the most challenging conditions so far.

Most bailed out & shot 20yds, but I need to learn how to compensate @ 60yds with the compo coming up in just 5 weeks time.

Scores were 30 points down on last week, that's how 'bad' it was!

... But I came away smiling because the only other guy with the cojones to shoot with me, Stuart, the dude who beat me by 50 points in Wednesdays' Stafford, was TROUNCED by yours truly today

Only downside, by the time I got home, I was in so much pain I could hardly get out of the car :(

5 hours & 4 Tramadol later, I'm still too stiff & sore to pick up a dropped top rod. Hope 'ma pup' doesn't decide it's a new toy!

Here's a piccy of the little :censored: as I haven't anything else to show today - I don't take a camera to the club, for many good reasons.

He's called 'Merlin' (or often, 'Mister Bloody Merlin') & he's the world's cheekiest dog. He has his own FB page & I think he has more friends than me. Only weighs 10 lbs but has the heart of a Lion!

Best decision I ever made, and the best 400 Euros I ever spent. (I was a 'cat person' for 30 years, he's my first canine, and a total delight.)


Euros? Was he posted from the Netherlands too? 
LOL No, I lived & worked over there from 2002 until 2013 - before FMS brought me low I was a damned fine industrial engineer, mostly big harbour & overhead cranes.

I wasn't there for the windmills & tulips though!

4:20 'til I die ;)


A BEAUTIFUL evening for shooting :D

Warm & sunny without being oppressive, just enough breeze to keep us refreshed, it would have been wonderful to let them fly at long range after several Sundays of annoyingly gusty cross-winds.

So why, I say WHY did the 'old guard' decide that the best way to take advantage of these almost-perfect conditions was to set up for a FITA 18m round?

- Jeez, I can't even set my sights for that close without removing the bar & moving it back up a hole or two! I admit, I came close to just getting back in the car & heading home to watch the Netherlands v Sweden from the start. My evening was saved when I saw that one of our intermediate (barebow) shooters was setting up for a 30yd 252 so I decided to join her. The fact that she's not unattractive had nothing to do with it. Honest ;)

Took me 3 or 4 ends before I had my sight set properly, the only mark I had for 30yds was for our usual two'o'clock 15mph winds so everything started high & right - including one that buried itself in the frame. So deep at 30 yds with 38 lbs that trying to wobble it out resulted in cracked carbon & a lost point. Just a week after I'd re-fletched & initialed/numbered them. :censored: :censored: :censored: :censored:

So, a quick switch to the Tyros. Only to find that despite my spare string (which I'm still shooting in) being an identical make & model to my main, it was somehow too narrow for the large G-nocks on the Tyros, which fitted perfectly to my primary string only a fortnight ago. At least 8 dropped off the bow during set-up before I modified my technique enough to get a decent draw.

Well, despite all the technical hitches I still managed a 254 on the first round. Good enough for the club but not good enough for me!

The second round, well that was most satisfying :)

Every end bar two with 3 golds & 2 ends with 4. Had I been using 'fatties' at least one of them, if not both, would have been the elusive '6 gold ends'. Good tight groupings too, with the odd 'loose one'. Well, I am still a bloody novice! Ended up posting a PB of 278 :cloud9:

Did I get the badge, and a photo on the club Facebook page? Did I f**k! El Capitano just grunted 'I haven't got the badges with me'. He whose MPV has at least 3 cases of bows, bitz & tools at all times. I don't know if I even believe him but I'm not really that bothered about the 30 yd badge anyway, having already got my 40 & half of my 50. I don't find 30 yds much of a challenge tbt, I'd much rather be shooting Windsors, Westerns, Warwicks & WA 70's - I'm not ruling out getting my 2nd class before the summer ends - but a stress-free evening with 'interesting company' seemed to be a good-enough use of my time, particularly as I'm currently in a LOT of pain from a bruised coccyx, dicey knee & a hip that makes bending over agony!

BTW I happened to look down the waiting line while all the scores were being handed in - only 2 people (including me) out of the 10 members present (that's damned-near half the club!) weren't using white Mybo Synergy limbs!

So, before Sunday my DIY task is to see if I can remove the pin-nocks from the Classics & fit them to the Tyros. They seem identical to me. At least I have 3 'spares' with the Tyros, I only ever had 6 Classics so they're now useless unless I get roped into shooting another Stafford. It's too early in my career to jump up to high-end arrows yet so the Tyros will have to do the job until I get some X-Busters for the indoor season.

....Or I could modify this months' budget plans to shoehorn in a dozen new Classics from Bowsports. Only ?55. I was planning on spending ?53 on non-essential car parts this month anyway, that can could get kicked down the road easily enough. It's only stuff for the 'advisories' on my MOT, which ain't due 'til next March anyway - new handbrakes cables & sump pan/gaskets/new oil.

Decisions, decisions ;)


Hmmm, dunno if I miscounted yesterday or just remembered the wrong number but I found this email when I logged in this morning...

Hi Aslan

Just a quick note to say well done for your round of 286 @ 30yds 252 club as this is a new club record on our new software that we introduced this year!


What a nice way to start the day :D

OK, we're a very small club (24 members) & records were reset when they started using the new software, and there are only 3 of us shooting 'Olympic' anyway....

...but I still have a nice warm buzz inside as I type this ;)