Recurve Target Archery

In Recurve Bow, the archer holds his bow with the hand opposite his dominant eye. This hand is called the bow hand and the arm is called the bow arm. His opposite hand, the one in line with his dominant eye, is called the drawing hand and is the one that draws the string of the bow. This hand is often called the bow holder or the string elbow. People whose dominant eye is the right eye hold their bow with their left hand and face the target with their left side. They draw the string and release the arrow with their right hand. Some turn or tilt their heads and aim using their right dominant eye. People with their left as their dominant follow the opposite.

There are several steps involved in shooting an arrow effectively using the recurve bow. The first step is achieving the correct position. The archer’s body should be perpendicular to his target and the shooting line. His feet should be a shoulder-width apart. An ‘open stance’ is used by more advanced archers. In this stance, the leg that is farther from the shooting line is positioned at a distance of half a foot or a whole foot length in front of the other. Each archer has his own preferred stance.

In loading a recurve bow, the string is released and the bow is brought down to a position where it is pointing to the ground. The shaft of the arrow is placed on the arrow rest that is located at the bow window. The back of the arrow is then slid into the bowstring and ‘nocked.’ The ‘nock’ is a small plastic part of the arrow located at the edge and is characterized by a V groove. The classic arrow has three vanes and it should be placed in a manner wherein one vane is pointing away from the bow. This particular vane is often in a different color and is sometimes called a cock-feather or and index fletch.

When in position, the bow is held by the bow hand while the string and the arrow are held by three fingers of the drawing hand. The arrow is positioned between with index finger on top and the next two fingers below it. The string is usually drawn by the first or second joints of the fingers. The bow is then raised.

The technique in raising and drawing is often done with one smooth movement and is distinct with each archer. Upon raising the bow, the string is pulled back by the back muscles toward the face and rests at an anchor point which is usually the corner of the mouth or chin. This anchor point remains constant from one shot to another. The bow should be kept at a solid vertical by the bow hand and arm. The bow arm is stretched out toward the target but the elbow should be checked that it is not hyper-extended. This could cause the string to snare and scrape the inside of the elbow or the wrist.

The archer’s stance should form an erect T when the string is drawn. Most modern bows have a mechanical clicker that clicks when the archer has achieved the proper draw length. The arrow is then freed by relaxing the fingers of the drawing hand. After the release, the archer should be mindful of the recoil of the bow and should follow through with his body. This could indicate inadequacies in his form or technique.