From the Lions' Den - A freestylers' journey.


Ok, ok, but please stop taking me so literally!

Just about every bit of clothing I own comes from SD (online) I know they do sizes for the more generously proportioned amongst us. But 'on the high street'? No chance.

Let's just accept that a) I've not yet collected all the gear needed for outdoor compos & b) even with them, there is a point at which 'weather' overcomes 'fun'.

So no regrets.

They did actually run the Griffin Open, the results email started with 'I hope you all got dried out eventually' & 'obviously, no records were set'. Looks like less than 20 took part across all ages/disciplines.

Yes, I'm looking for at least one more compo before the indoor season starts but the candidates aren't even in this county so that might be a no-no. We'll see.

There is a chance (50/50?) that there will be a clubnight tomorrow, and a slightly-lesser chance for Sunday. It'll be good to shoot anything again after 10 days!


I'm with you on the weather overriding fun. I was wearing all the appropriate gear on Sunday, and still got soaked to the skin, even in a raincoat which has withstood Floridian rainstorms. 'Twas indeed no fun at all after the second 'shower' (read drenching - I'd have been drier in the bath). It ended with 6 of us sheltering under a golf umbrella while the home team went and hid in a container (which they didn't let us know about, btw), and us calling them names for not calling it off. On the bright side, I had to clear out my kit bag so thoroughly afterwards to get it dried out that I found a set of badges I thought I'd lost 12 months ago.


...On the bright side, I had to clear out my kit bag so thoroughly afterwards to get it dried out that I found a set of badges I thought I'd lost 12 months ago.
<mumbles something about linings & clouds>


No, I haven't forgotten about the 'wee mod' I mentioned - just needed some half-decent pix of the finished item.

The thinking went like this:-

1) This damned 'shelf' on my tab has sharp edges!


2) Getting an EXACT anchor point consistently is possibly the most important aspect of my form to work on right now.

So after a bit of thought about what an improved shelf should look like, I mixed small slices of Milliput & molded them over the top & sides of the shelf. Then the 'nipple' on top. Dry, file/smooth, a lick of acrylic & voila....

Designed to both sit against the inside of my jawbone & slide smoothly away on release. Seems fine on static tests, locates accurately & comfortably - but of course the only proof that matters is on the boss!

(...and maybe a lick of glossy laquer, the matt acrylic (Model paint) is losing the war against my goatee already!)

Stay tuned, sports fans ;)


Did this for another thread, due to shooting being in an ongoing state of precipitation-induced non-cooperation, so thought ''let's have it 'ere too, just as a reference point'' ;)

QUIVER/BAGS Easton QH 100 black&red with custom twin-belt, carabiners, puller, cloth/Mybo roll-up bow bag/Easton rod case/Avalon sight case/Arrowhead 2XL chestguard (& L'il Aslan ;) )

RISER WNS Axiom alpha 25" black - Cartel ZX229 button, Stark dual magnetic rest, Cartel top rod, self-modified grip (Milliput & Wilson tennis racquet grip-tape)

SIGHTS Avalon Tec-X Olympic black w/red knobs, extended sight pin, currently Infitec Square pin but will be Axcel Curve RXF 'Sjef' (0.019" Green ordered) next Friday ;)

LIMBS Samick Ideal 70" 36# black - adding the same in 44# next Friday, initially just for SPT exercises.

STABILISERS Fuse Carbon Blade 33" long (6oz, damped), 15" sides (4oz, damped), 5" Extender.

V-BAR 'Mr Jin' QD adjustable, red

STRINGS both Flex Supra 20-strand BCY X. Main is Black/Red, spare is Black/Grey. Tied nocks by Merlin, red. Regularly waxed with Flex Sense & Feel (Black Forrest).

STICKS Mybo Hailstorm 600, 28 3/4", 100gr points, AAE 1.75" vanes, MAC wraps & decals.

MISC Modified Decut Rugbii Tab, on its' 2nd facing now. Fivics Rainbow armguard (Purple as they were o/s in black :( ). Very unsatisfactory bowstand ('magnetic' legs which fall out too easily & a string-holder which randomly rotates around the shaft). Scope & 'Pod from eBay, no complaints so far.

So my 'thang' is 90% Black, with some red & white permitted. I dress in black w/white trim too! (Sod club colours, they just ain't me! Anyway they only order about once every 4 years.) (...AND.. the club I'd like to transfer to, their colours are black with white trim anyway :) )

- It does restrict the choice of limbs though, when at the very least they have to be black on both faces.


- It does restrict the choice of limbs though

Bow for the misses. Limbs I wrapped in the thinnest car-wrap I could find:

Wrap the inside of the limb unstrung, the outside when the bow is strung. This will keep the influence from stretching the wrap to a minimum.


Well-known member
If limb performance is less important than looks then I understand. But any weight additional on the working part of the limb will affect performance.


About what does it cost, per bow, to do that?
Costed me about €10 for some scraps from the local wrapper.

If limb performance is less important than looks then I understand. But any weight additional on the working part of the limb will affect performance.
Agreed. You may need to re-tune your bow after applying. The impact on performance depends on the wrap you're getting. I got the lightest, thinnest wrap they have in the shop.


It's not a biggie, really - there are all-black limbs penciled in for various stages over the next couple of years.

More than anything else, I just wanna get out there & shoot (it's been 11 long days now) but the forecast for Sunday is hardly encouraging :(


Chances of shooting today - maybe 50/50.

Even if it's a "yay", it'll be cool, grey & breezy, with light rain showers almost a certainty.

N'e'r mind, after 14 days it'll just be good to let a few (dozen) fly.

(And finally range-test the modification to the tab thumb-shelf)


I made a slight error in an earlier post, it's not next Friday I'm going to Merlin, it's the Friday after, 30th. Hey, I have no problem accepting that I'm a sinner!

- With a small addition to the previous 'shopping list':-

TWO Carbon Express X-Busters, 600 spine, full length, plus 3 x 120gr points.

Reason - I managed to score 5 X-Busters for a bargain price from one of the FB archery groups!

(So one to make a set & one as a spare)

I'm confident that 7 (plus a spare point) will get me through the indoor season OK, I've only ever 'lost' one arrow indoors, in my early days when not only did I miss the target but also found a gap in the safety net & whanged the back wall of the gym. Even then, because those arrows (Avalon Classics) were still full-length, once I knew my draw I was able to shorten them & bring the broken one back to full-use with a new point. (The carbon was splayed back nearly 3" with the now-flat point in the middle of the 'rosette'. It was a wall-ornament in a friends' house for nearly 2 years!)

I think I'm going to strip the vanes from the five & re-fletch them all to 'my' colours (Red Cock, black Hens) using Bohning Zen 4", borrowing the club cutting & fletching jigs to complete the work. MAYBE treat them to some wraps if there's something I like in stock too.

Yes, the aesthetics of this sport are very important to me, as is every other aspect of my life that I can (afford to) 'customise'.

At heart, that's why I have an wee bit of an aversion to those bows with too many wheels & cords - whilst I admire the technological innovation they represent, and permit me to be blunt here, they are OOGLY!

(And for exactly the same reasons, longbows in general are GORGEOUS and I've seen some that are heart-wrenchingly beautiful.)


Hi All
The weather is hit and miss at the moment but we will try a 2pm start today if the sun keeps on shining. Also the field is still very wet in places so boots or wellies is a must and can members who do not need to be near the field please park in the car park as the only place that can take cars is the gravel area by the lock-up!
So, a more-leisurely-than-normal superbrunch* then an afternoon of bog-snorkeling then!

I won't even complain about 'indoor rounds' today, boggy ground in boots is just so fatiguing with FMS & is to be avoided if at all possible.

*(From the top) 2 soft-fried eggs on 2 slices of Lorne sausage on 2 slices of wholemeal bread, fried in bacon-grease. 2 Irish-recipe pork sausages, 1 slice of black pudding, 2 rashers of smoked bacon, 2 fried tomato quarters & a handful of horizontally-sliced fried mushrooms. HmmmHMMMMMM!


(Posted late due to the 'forum issues')

A short but not quite unpleasant session. Weather totally as forecast. Plenty of gusts, minor dowsing. Not as much squelching as expected though, so I'm grateful for even small mercies.

I shot my first-ever Portsmouth - Well, I've shot a 60cm target at 20yds plenty of times but until today with zero regard for recording scores.

By the time I was halfway through my sight was hard up against the top & right stops & I was still having to aim off.

Impressed with my tab mod though - my groups are definitely tighter now that I have more feel for the precise anchor position.

...and I did end the day with a new badge to add to the growing collection :D

I actually shot 443. CERTAIN it would have been above 450 with fat sticks! (Soon pussycat, soon;))

Feeling extremely drained right now - and am very well 'medicated' to boot - so perhaps an early night is in order.

Not THIS early, but maybe not far the other side o' ye witching hour.

Netflix'n'chills until then ;)

FOOTNOTE - I actually hit the sheets at 23:30 & stayed there 'til 08:30. Must've needed it!


Due to another 'iffy' forecast for Wednesday, coach has announced that the range will be open Tuesday from 18:00 :D

- So I've spent the afternoon swapping out my Tec X sight for my old SF Axiom one, as I don't want to mess with the settings of the Avalon as I'm planning to be shooting 70m with it on Sunday.

With the Axiom, I now have the space to get high enough & right enough to shoot for the X at 20yds. I've long since done my non-patented mod to the sightpin of the Axiom, and it takes the same fibre pins as the Infitec on the Tec X.

- Yes, I have a taste for the Portsmouth now. At least for the badges! (At least on a mid-week shoot ;) )


You know, I could have sworn I saw a post from you saying that you were intending to go to Merlin soon, but can't find it now for the life of me...sigh. I just wanted to say, if you mean the Loughborough one, I'd give them a call first to see if their shop is properly back in action. I went in last Tuesday to be greeted by almost no stock at all, while they re-build their showroom displays. All their stock is still there, but you have to select what you want from their webshop and then they go and find it for you. I was most dissatisfied, I was looking for a bit of a browse at my own pace, and instead felt like a damn nuisance. Admittedly, they're not my favourite place anyway, but it seems like every time I go in they do something else to pee me off. If you're coming from the north, I'd recommend Custom Built Archery at Newark instead, they're a much more enjoyable shopping experience.


No Emma, I'm visiting Merlin in 'Durham' (Bishop Auckland) as it's 'only' 52 miles away, NEXT Friday. I've been coordinating with Ollie in Loughborough & Andy in Durham for weeks to make sure the bitz I want are waiting for me in-store. The 'Sjef' version of the Curve sight isn't even on their site, they very nicely ordered one in especially for me so top marks there :D


More testing tonight!

After a bit of thought (inspired by post-football boredom!) I've been at the Milliput again, and have extended the height of the 'nipple' (REALLY need to find a better word for it than that!) on the thumb-shelf of my tab. Guessing about +3mm, I didn't measure the first time, just doing it by trial-and-error really.

Here's a brace of pre-sanding/painting pics of the 'improved' design. I've tried it out with the 'morning' session of SPTs & found it's now tall enough to find the spot under the jawline where there's a 'tender' point - I suspect caused by 'dental root issues'. Anyway it's very small & not actually painful but does give me a much more accurate reference to a consistent anchor point, which is the purpose of the exercise after all.

I also spent an hour with needle-and-thread, making sure that my chestguard not only fits as well as I can make it but will also not move. Checked with both shooting-shirt alone & with a sleeveless fleece on top - if it's colder/wetter than that, Lion will be staying in the den!


I'm thinking the club should have more '24 hr notice' shoots after tonight - there were a whole TEN people shooting tonight :D

Don't know how to divide it up between PERFECT conditions, the new 'fin' on the tab (knew I'd find a better word eventually!) & sights that I could aim at the gold;

but I managed 26 points better tonight than Sunday :D

a 469 Portsmouth, hence I can trade in my 425 badge for a 450 on Sunday.

Yes, a bit sore that I didn't make the extra 6 points for a 475 but it gives me something to go for next midweek. (Hoping to be shooting WA70 again on Sunday, the forecast is great. Monday too, apparently - coach prefers to shoot on bank holidays than do all the usual stuff. Good on 'im!

Took ages to get home though, there were THREE serious accidents on the A69 while we were shooting, Air Ambulance jobs all. Road closed for 14 miles. Had to divert via one-track country lanes up to the 'Military Road' & come home 'the back way'.

'The pup' was glad to see me though - or just very hungry, more like ;)


This is what the finned tab looks like after shaping/smoothing/painting. Still think the acrylic model paint wears off too quickly though, might be worth getting some enamel (eventually!)

It has definitely improved the 'feel' of my anchor point, I don't think it needs any further extension now. Slides smoothly away on release too, far better than the original naked shelf - which did actually abrade my chin-skin to the point of bloodiness (despite my goatee) before the mod.


I have noted with joy that there always seem to be 'a decent number' of guests reading this thread. If it helps any of you to decide to take up the sport, or to change disciplines to Freestyle, or even to avoid ONE of the many errors I've made, then the whole exercise will have been well worth it.