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Technology Corner Tip Details Available

Category: Compound

Question for the Technician:
I am trying to figure out wether or not I need to have a stablizer for my bow?
Technician's Answer:
When it comes to stabalizers, this is very much a personal choice type of thing. Stabalizers really serve two basic functions:

1. Reducing vibration in the bow after the shot - Basically the stabalizer, especially when used in conjunction with a vibration dampenning device such as a doinker, works to dissipate the shock vibrations which occur upon release. The faster the vibrations are dissipated, the better the bow usually feels in your hand and the nicer the shot feels. It is possible with a lot of vibration to cause injury over time as well (not a huge concern but possible depending on how much you shoot). Overall though, this purpose is more in terms of how the shot feels rather than performance.

2. Adjusting the overall balance and reaction of the bow - By using different stabalizer configurations and using different weight configurations as well, you can actually get the bow to react upon release in different ways. Again this does not have as much to do with a performance boost as with how the shot feels. Keep in mind though, that if the shot feels good, you are more likely to do a good shot on your next one. Adding mass to your bow though can be helpful in terms of stability in your shot. Too light a bow has a tendency to be jittery and hard to keep on the gold even with the slightest wind. Too heavy a bow has a tendency to gain momentum off the gold when a stronger wind hits and makes it harder to bring it back onto the gold before release. Basically you need to find what is best for you. If you find your sight in the wind is dancing all over the place, add some weight. If you find however it sweeps slowly back and forth and is hard for you to stop it and hold it in the gold, you probably have too much weight. Keep in mind though that similar symptoms can occur from form issues as well so as with everything in archery, it isn't always cut and dry.

I'd recommend next time you are on the range, borrow a stabalizer from a friend and give it a try to see how the shot feels to you. Play with different configurations and see what works best for you personally.

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Note: The technical tips present here are the opinions of tip's author and do not necessarily reflect what is best for any particular archer.

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