Leverage - Weight And The Art of Stabilization

Since the sport of archery began, we archers have been trying to improve our scores. Most of us have tried numerous technologies but find after a short interlude that we are back to ground zero.

Most of us have the problem of being able to hold still and get the shot off while our pin is somewhere in the gold. The physiological effect of watching your pin dance around the eight ring is not my idea of a good time, and I doubt many of you reading this enjoy it either...... Well, all is not lost!

Your bow at full draw (its dynamic position) has a natural position it wants to rest in, however that position may not be the best position for your hand and grip style.

How many of you have seen your pin at full draw want to bounce up and down, or maybe move from side to side? To a large extent, these movements can be
GREATLY reduced by your stabilizer, sidebars, the amount of weight used, and the length of those bars ..... and VERY importantly where that stabilizer system is positioned on your bow.

What we are trying to do is set the weight out at the distal end, where leverage can work. If you have attached weights next to your riser, you may want to take them off, and instead of having them on your bow place them on the far (distal) end of your stabilizer.

For most folks, as an example, if you have 2oz on your front stabilizer, you may wish to have ~ 4-6oz on your side rod/s.... all things being equal and the leverage arm being in the straight line. Of course, nothing is simple and your side rod/s most likely will be at an angle, thus changing the length of the leverage arm, which alters the amount of pressure and where that holding pressure is on your grip (that is the secret).

What we are doing by the shifting of weight and where that weight is applied is
externally changing the bows tune. We are changing where the bows pressure is applied to your hand. When this is done correctly, you will notice a marked difference in the bow's behavior pattern, many times the bow will be quieter as the bow is not fighting the stabilizer, the stabilizer and bow are working together as one system giving you a very stable shooting platform.

Side Bar Mounts
Whether you are using a compound or recurve it is important that you use an
adjustable mount set up. The reason this is important is by using the adjustability you can set the weight in the exact position needed for maximum effect for your particular grip and bow.

With all the setups I have done, I can honestly say that a very slight movement of the stabilizer mount, up or down, or side to side, can have a dramatic effect on the bow's behavior and pin movement. By the same token, the amount of weight applied
can alter a system that is "pretty good" to one that 'I have never held this still"

How its Done
Once you have your stabilizer attached and your side bar/s installed, try to have a 1 to ~ 2 to 4 ratio of front weight to rear weight. This is just a start.

Come to full draw using your release or if you are a finger shooter your tab. Take note of what your pin is doing (all this can be done against a wall as what we are ONLY interested in is pin movement).

  • 1) If your pin is moving up and down, move your side rod/s up or down ... what you are doing is changing the length of the leverage arm, which in turn increases or decreases the amount of backward shift and pressure on your bow grip and the angle of that grip in relation to your hand. There will be a sweet spot where the bow is in full contact with your grip and the bow is not fighting itself, it is resting at full draw in balance.
  • 2) If you are having your pin move from side to side, you will want to move your side bar/s in or out. This will draw the bow into your hand or away in relation to which way your bow may want to cant or torque in relation to your hand position. There are times when limb lien can cause this side-to-side instability and the placement of the side rod/s and the amount of weight on those rods can help this.

Don't be afraid to experiment, as this is not a process that is not done in a few minutes, it can take quite a while, but once done, you will notice a vast improvement in your holding ability. Remember you are changing the way your bow behaves in its dynamic position so that it fits you. You will also note that even though the amount of weight may not be what you are used to when set up correctly you don't tend to notice that weight, it is because that weight is not just weight for weights sake, but an entity that is altering the bows position and balance point in your hand, making the bow and you one unit, instead of you fighting the forces of your bow in its natural dynamic position.

Why Side Rod/s are Important
Many of us like to use just one main stabilizer and for some this may work, but for most it is not necessarily the best option.

If you use one stabilizer rod, that stabilizer (lever arm) will always be trying to pull your bow down. If your bow already is designed being top heavy you will find that you are fighting to keep it level, not a good thing ..... you never want to feel as if you have to exert force to make your bow shoot right, it should rest at full draw in a comfortable position without you trying to make it feel right.

The other downside to a single front rod stabilizer is if you use a lot of weight you may get wobble and bow droop. This is because you have a fulcrum point (your bow) and weight, but once the weight increases significantly the once solid fulcrum point starts to lose out to the weight at the distal end, and the distal end starts to approach being a fulcrum, hence you can get wobble. With a side bar/s, the weight at the end of the long stabilizer is counterbalanced against this.

Try this out and if you are having issues please call Doinker at 661-948-7900, we will gladly help you.


Doinker Bill