Heeling the bow - What is it???

tony08

New member
I'm currently working on my bow hand - trying not to be a gripper. The shots go a whole lot better when I don't and the sequence feels lovely but old habits die hard.

I use a Winstar II and the shape of the (somewhat angular) black handle dictates how best to position my hand. The contact is all on the thumb side of the lifeline but seems to be, nevertheless, a large(ish) area. It seems to run from the 'V' at the top to the *ahem* heel of my thumb (the bottom of the big fleshy pad that is just above the wrist).

Is this heeling?

Thing is, it feels very comfortable and seems to provide a stable platform for the handle to push against at full draw. If I try to move the contact zone more 'outwards' towards my thumb, then less of the handle is in contact but it becomes very uncomfortable and doesn't feel as good.

So am I "heeling" the bow? Sorry if this question is basic and stupid but I would be grateful for any advice, as I can't find a description of this anywhere.

Regards
Tony
 


greygoose

New member
I'm currently working on my bow hand - trying not to be a gripper. The shots go a whole lot better when I don't and the sequence feels lovely but old habits die hard.

I use a Winstar II and the shape of the (somewhat angular) black handle dictates how best to position my hand. The contact is all on the thumb side of the lifeline but seems to be, nevertheless, a large(ish) area. It seems to run from the 'V' at the top to the *ahem* heel of my thumb (the bottom of the big fleshy pad that is just above the wrist).

Is this heeling?

Thing is, it feels very comfortable and seems to provide a stable platform for the handle to push against at full draw. If I try to move the contact zone more 'outwards' towards my thumb, then less of the handle is in contact but it becomes very uncomfortable and doesn't feel as good.

So am I "heeling" the bow? Sorry if this question is basic and stupid but I would be grateful for any advice, as I can't find a description of this anywhere.

Regards
Tony
Hi Tony,
My opinion is that to facilitate repeatability your hand has to be in the most comfortable position. There is a seemingly constant quest for many people to find a grip shape that really suits them. I have ended up making my own to suit my hand and damaged wrist only. Now much more comfortable and definitely enables higher scores.
Greygoose
 


mk1

It's an X
Supporter
Heeling is a nautical term and I've always thought having most of the pressure at the point just above your wrist and therefore pushing up and is the opposite of what would in dancing terms be called toeing :scratchch :mischievo

Best just to keep a good focus on even balanced contact and maintaining pressure forwards using that part of your hand that is mainly on the thumb side.
 


chemistry

New member
My understanding of the term is that you heel the bow when you position your hand/grip in such a way that you distribute the pressure unevenly around the pivot point and so push 'down' i.e. in such a way that forces the bottom limb away from you and the top limb towards you.

In essence it's the vertical version of torquing (which I understand gernerally refers to movement in a horizontal plane).

I
I < pivot point of grip/riser
I

I
I
I < If most grip pressure is here = heeling the bow

I could be completely wrong, but that's my two pence worth.
 


tony08

New member
Thanks guys. In my case I think the pressure is fairly even. When I get it right the bow seems to jump off my hand and drop down (no fancy rotation alas).
Well, that's when I'm not stealth-gripping the thing.
 


Thunk

Well-known member
Ironman
Heeling is a nautical term and I've always thought having most of the pressure at the point just above your wrist and therefore pushing up and is the opposite of what would in dancing terms be called toeing :scratchch :mischievo
QUOTE]


Now I'm confused! :boggled:

In nautical terms, 'heeling' is what a sailing craft does when it leans over to one side from the pressure of the wind in the sails. I'm not sure the same explanantion applies to any archery use of the term...

I think the answer is to feel the pressure from the bow on the 'heel' of your thumb; that is, the fleshy pad bit extending from your thumb down to your wrist. The alternative is to have your bow hand angled slightly downward so that the pressure is all on the web between your thumb and index finger; in this situation the bow is balanced on the webby bit like a seesaw which is obviously not conducive to a good shot!
 


BorderBows

New member
My understanding of the term is that you heel the bow when you position your hand/grip in such a way that you distribute the pressure unevenly around the pivot point and so push 'down' i.e. in such a way that forces the bottom limb away from you and the top limb towards you.

In essence it's the vertical version of torquing (which I understand gernerally refers to movement in a horizontal plane).

I
I < pivot point of grip/riser
I

I
I
I < If most grip pressure is here = heeling the bow

I could be completely wrong, but that's my two pence worth.

That seems about right...
Though not all bows have the pivot point in the same place, some are high in the throat, and some are below the centre of the throat. so its not the same for all risers...
 


tony08

New member
I think the answer is to feel the pressure from the bow on the 'heel' of your thumb; that is, the fleshy pad bit extending from your thumb down to your wrist. The alternative is to have your bow hand angled slightly downward so that the pressure is all on the web between your thumb and index finger; in this situation the bow is balanced on the webby bit like a seesaw which is obviously not conducive to a good shot!
Yeah, exactly. I feel there's less stability and far less comfort when the whole pressure is on the "webby bit" but it seems as if some archers advocate it?
Perhaps it's a case of where the main pressure falls, like chemistry said. It should be on the pivot point and not above or below it.
 


mk1

It's an X
Supporter
Heeling is a nautical term and I've always thought having most of the pressure at the point just above your wrist and therefore pushing up and is the opposite of what would in dancing terms be called toeing :scratchch :mischievo
QUOTE]


Now I'm confused! :boggled:

In nautical terms, 'heeling' is what a sailing craft does when it leans over to one side from the pressure of the wind in the sails. I'm not sure the same explanantion applies to any archery use of the term...
Occhh away Thunk Yer not confused at all - but maybe I am a little what with the push of the bow leaning too much on one bit of the hand and not where it should be.

"The heel of a palm is a region close to the wrist, over a thick, fleshy part of the body of the hand."
 


chemistry

New member
Yeah, exactly. I feel there's less stability and far less comfort when the whole pressure is on the "webby bit" but it seems as if some archers advocate it?
Perhaps it's a case of where the main pressure falls, like chemistry said. It should be on the pivot point and not above or below it.
Rick McKinney's book "The Simple Art of Winning" has a great little section in it showing in clear diagrams where some of the top archers take the pressure on their hand, i.e. on the fleshy part at the base of the thumb, along the lifeline, etc.

If you are really curious then you could do worse than get hold of a copy and have a look.

chemistry
 


Leolivi

New member
Since we are talking about hand position:

Is it OK to leave the finger wrapped around the grip all the time? I am still shooting a wooden trainer bow, and sometimes if i stretch my fingers they end up being hit by the arrow.

So i try to hold the grip, but with no pressure at all. The bow will still fall down forward and be held by the sling.

About the pressure point of the hand i always feel that if its too much on the thumb side the bow tends to slip. I try to put pressure between the bones that are on the palm of the hand, that lead to the index and thumb. That way i can get the bow to balance without using any muscles of the hand. Is that what you guys mean by the heel of the thumb or am i placing the grip too much towards the palm?

You know, when i first started archery i really got the impression that it was quite simple. Then with time i realized that i knew a lot of stuff i should be doing, but i just wasn't doing it, cause it was too many different things to remember at the same time.

Now i realize that not just that, but there actualy a ton of things i don't even know i should be doing. And i still can't do some of the things i know... Great sport. I just love it more and more...
 


chemistry

New member
Don't 'stretch' your fingers! A relaxed hand, with the fingers lightly curled around the bow is fine - what you want to avoid is gripping/grabbing the bow.

Sounds like you are on teh right track, but if in doubt best bet is to ask a club member or members...

chemistry
 


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