Club Update #2024, Mar 2021


Welcome to autumn! Depending on the day temperatures are cooler, allowing us to stand on the main range without frying. Saturday morning shoots have moved back to 10am starts, and families of ducks are crossing the field regularly for a dips in the ponds (they've even found their way into the clubhouse – so much for our occupancy limit)!

In this message:

Participation Working Group

We've got one of the best ranges in the country, and we want you to use it more!

Our club is not just about shooting – it's a place to share an amazing sport with friends and family, and learn more about our equipment and how to shoot better.

We want to improve the club and make it more appealing to you and others who might want to join. We need your ideas!

It would be great if you would volunteer to join a new working group that we're setting up to develop and implement ideas to build participation.

What can be done to help you to shoot more? What can we do to encourage people to take up archery, or keep going when they join? What events would you turn up to?

If you've got ideas or would like to thrash thoughts around, please send me a note so that we can get the working group moving. Remember: it's your club – be part of its future!

The Golden Gong

After a year of COVID when most clubs suspended beginner courses, we had 30 people from 13 clubs register for the Golden Gong AND despite the rain, all but three turned up on the day. That's a pretty good strike rate!

Huge thanks should go to Phil Evans for coordinating the day, as well as everyone else who gave their time - it was especially good to see the small number of hardy stalwarts who turned up on the Saturday for the working bee as well as the Sunday to make the event a success. I'm not going to rattle off everyone's names, but thank you.

Yep, it rained. That happens but, for those who shot: hard core. Well done!

Who were these sodden superheroes, I hear you ask? Well, congratulations to: Solomon Kennedy, Rhiannon Evans, Alexis Evans, Darcy Rowlison, Shanti Rowlison, Tony Scognamiglio, Andrew Davies, Michael Grimm, Damian Juhasz, Michael West, Jennifer Evans and Phil Evans.

I'm pleased to see some of the Wednesday evening junior archers crew turn out. You guys killed it!

Distance Qualifications Reminder

Our new Recorder, Rhiannon Evans, has done a great job of getting across the details of her role. She's already made it easier to claim your distance qualification – simply take a photo of your qualifying score card and email it to her at This way, Rhiannon can check your card and let you know very quickly if there are any issues.

Rhiannon's also noted that the club's records of past qualifications are in some cases incomplete. Would everyone please take a moment to send Rhiannon an email their distance qualifications so that we can ensure that the records are up to date. This information is important for safety purposes and also to inform planning for club shoots.

If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement, please email Rhiannon and she'll sort you out. Distance Qualifications – Achievements I'm now shamelessly pinching material from Rhiannon's Recorder's Report that's attached to the minutes of our last general meeting (see below). First up, well done to Neil Rowlison for taking out the Division 1 bi-monthly medal, and to Marilyn Clerke for her Division 2/3. That's a pretty good effort for our club shoots where everyone is competitive, regardless of experience, due to the handicap system. Great job, folks! don't forget to come down to the next club shoot this coming Saturday when, from 10am, we will be shooting 72 arrows on the large target face at distances of: Division 1 – 50m, Division 2 – 40m, Division 3 – 30m. Please also join me in congratulating the following members for reaching the next stage in distance qualification. Each qualification reflects hard work and practice, and is well-deserved. Archer Distance(s) Bow Type Adam Munro 40m Longbow Chris Clarke 30m Compound Jeanette Easton 20m Barebow Recurve Jennifer Evans 20m Recurve Michael Brown 20m Barebow Recurve Michael Grimm 50m Recurve Neil Rowlison 40m | 50m Compound Rhiannon Evans 20m Recurve Teodor Mitew 30m Barebow Recurve

Club General Meeting

Sorry about the delay in distributing the minutes for our last meeting on 13 February – there were a couple of boring reasons that caused the delay, but everything is available for download from here!

Our next meeting will be at 10am on Saturday, 26 March. Please take the time to turn up to the club and have an input to the issues that affect us all. We need a diversity of views and value everyone's contribution, so I hope that we get to see you there.

The Tip

Today's Tip is from "the vault' of past tips". I had a couple of chats with people lately who want to build some new arrows, but didn't know about what it means to choose the correct arrow spine, or how.

Choosing the right arrow spine is very important so that the arrow matches the bow you shoot and will be accurate over all distances without changing the ‘windage' or horizontal position of your sight pin or scope.

The stiffness (or spine) measure is usually written on your arrow. A high number means a less stiff arrow; a low number means a stiff arrow. Choosing the right spine can significantly affect accuracy.

This is a bit lengthy, but it's worth reading.

Effects of Spine

As a bow's poundage increases, it needs a stiffer arrow. Too stiff an arrow will, for a right hander (reverse this for lefties) veer left while an under-spined arrow go right.

You might think that you can offset this using the lateral adjustment on your sight. This is only partly true.

Think of an under-spined arrow shooting to the right at 30m. If you move the sight to compensate, you'll be on point for 30m, but if you move back to 40m the arrow will still creep right, whereas if you move in to 10m the arrow will want to go left, so you might find yourself having to adjust your sight at different distances.

Also, you might find that your arrow will yaw or fishtail, which means that it will be less stable in flight – that erratic movement can also affect on-target performance, and how far your arrow will ‘carry' (the distance you can shoot).

Arrow charts

Arrow charts are available from most manufacturers that will help you to select the right spine for your bow. Here's one from Easton, and this on-line calculator from Victory is also really good (and compensates for the weight effects of points, nocks and fletches).

It makes sense to use the chart from the manufacturer of the arrows you want to buy, for certainty, although there is a standard for measuring arrow stiffness that most manufacturers follow.

Compound vs Recurve

Ideal spine varies between compound and recurve bows of the same draw weight. This is because compound bows have two stages of accelerating the arrow, as on release the string first moves through the less powerful ‘valley' from the cams' let-off, and gathers inertia before hitting its maximum poundage. With recurves and traditional bows, the full poundage pushes the arrow immediately on release.

So, compound bows need less spine (i.e. in review, less stiff arrows, or a higher number) than other bows of the same draw weight, which gives them an arrow speed advantage because the arrows are lighter.

Anyway, we're getting a bit detailed now. The important thing to remember here is to make sure that you use the right arrow chart – one for either a compound or recurve bow.

Draw Length and Minor Adjustments

Importantly, bear in mind that if you cut your arrows to suit your draw length they will be stiffer – this is accounted for in the arrow charts (they will ask what your poundage and arrow length is).

Tuning a bow and arrow to match is a process that's worthy of a separate discussion, but in simple terms, two simple ways to refine matching the spine to the arrow are to:

  • Increase the draw weight of your bow slightly to compensate for an arrow that is too stiff.
  • Increase your point weight if your arrow is too stiff (this "softens" the arrow spine). A good option here is to buy ‘break off' points, where you can snap off weight at the rear of the point to lighten it. This can help if you plan to gradually increase your draw weight, causing you to need stiffer arrows.

Now, grab your gear, get out to the range and have some fun.

Happy shooting!