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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings:

Ok here is my situation. I went up to LL Bean in maine and went to their archery day camp and enjoyed it so much I went back and bought the 30lbs draw bow. I know it is a fairly cheap type of bow but I think I probably should have gone to 20 lbs as it is harder for me to pull back and then I get a horrible slap on my forearm and had to buy a very long arm guard to help me with deflecting the pain.

Well then I saw the 50lbs break down bow on a thread here last night. I was like dang, if I have a hard time pulling the 30 all the way back how the heck can I do the 50. But then I noticed he didn't seem to be pulling it all the way back he just seemed to pull it back half way or maybe a quarter of the way and let it fly without going full extension. Is that my problem? Am I trying to pull it too far back and that is why it is kicking my butt?

The other problem is that I'm left eye dominant and right handed so I was told to pull with my left hand which i'm not nearly as string with. So am I just doing it wrong or should I switch to right handed even though I'm left eye dominant? I don't want to sacrifice my accuracy but struggling here! Thanks for help!
 

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Like ANY weapon, there is both a learning curve and strength-building exercises required. Most folks are simply not as strong as they think they are because they compare themselves with other soft people around them. Further, there is a difference between "show muscle" and working muscle in the real world. One is pretty in a tight shirt, the other pulls fence posts out of clay soil for a living. Just mess with a farm boy and learn the difference.

With the bow, most beginners mistake the draw as a "hold the bow out and pull back the string with brute force ". No true archer does that. They "push and pull evenly" in one motion, thus leveraging their pulling force. Also, with a compound bow, a quick snap will get past the max can weight to the considerably less hold weight. No such luck with a recurve. One just must be strong enough to do it.
 

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If you're slapping your forearm everytime,you are holding the bow wrong,in a sense.After building up with practice,you'll be able to keep a slight (very slight) bend in your arm and wrist,instead of locking it out straight,which will provide the clearance needed to not get slapped (I know that feeling all too well and it stings like nothing else).

The poundage is of coarse how many ft lbs of force that is required to pull back to the holding position.The higher the poundage,the harder the pull,the faster (fps) the arrow,the further distance and accuracy as well as penetration of the target.

When my 13yr old took up archery at his school,he had the same trouble you face.Hard to pull and slapped everytime which really threw off his accuracy and made him "scared" of the bow,the long armguard helped with that,he still struggles with the recurve,but has greatly improved.Since then,we've moved him up to a compound bow set at 45lbs with a trigger release.Thanks to the cams of the compound,he can get past the "break point" to the holding position much easier and eliminated the arm slap all together.

Now after being in archery for close to 2 years,he has won two local competitions between seven schools with his recurve and has robin hooded an arrow at 40 yrds a few months ago with his compound,it just took awhile for him to build up,find his form and lots of practice to get there.His recurve for school is a 25lb draw.
 

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Practice, Practice, Practice......

The more your practice the less you will need the arm guard and the stronger you will become. I would suggest a Compound that you can adjust the draw weight on. set it to something you can handle and the more you use it you can adjust it up as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a standard bow I guess they are called Recurve? The compound is the one with the pully type system right? I might go to one of those. I may also try to switch to pulling with my right hand I know I'll do better but was told that since I'm left eye dominant it will throw off my accuracy. Any thoughts on that?
 

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I would try and stick with a left handed bow if you can. Grab a dumbbell about 20 lbs or so and do some lifting exercises to build strength it's kind of a rowing motion. I'll look for a link for you.
 

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Bows are all about form. I used a compound for decades until I transitioned over to a crossbow a couple of years ago. If you can consistently use the exact same anchor points with every shot your form will improve dramatically. The same fundamentals apply with a bow that apply with a firearm. Trigger control, sight alignment and breath control. set up pins for 20 yards and in, 30 yards and 40 yards. Don't clutter your view with 10 different pins. I used a sliding sight with one pin. You can kill a deer with less than 55 lbs. but I usually considered that a minimum. If you are shooting a lighter poundage get a good 80% letoff, single cam bow (less wall and very forgiving) and keep the string clean, no string leaches, spiders etc. Maybe just a knocking loop, a peep sight and a kisser button to help with your anchor point. This will increase your speed a great deal. Get a good carbon arrow and have a pro shop set everything up for you. They'll check your draw length, arrow spine and even paper tune everything so it's all optimized. When you are done have your setup chronographed. 300 feet per second is a good rule of thumb for a target speed, but 260 and above will get the job done. I took deer with an old Bear compound bow lobbing aluminum shafts at 240 f.p.s.

Archery is a blast, but practice is paramount. I miss my compound bow days. I'm glad I can still get out there though.
 

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At full arm extension rotate the point of the elbow of arm holding the bow outward. It will help with string slap. Also check and make sure your string is the right height/distance from the riser. If it is low (too close to the riser) you cannot help but get string slap.
 

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https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...=mZ68BGVJt-uSc7Cdanl66w&bvm=bv.47244034,d.dmQ

Try starting here if beginning archery. Great resource for compound shooting. Most of the basics are the same between traditional and compound shooting. I don't agree that blind practice is a with while investment. Blind meaning practicing with no direction or coaching. This will just turn bad habits to your muscle memory. Go find a coach, you'll be tons better for it.

Here is a great eye on cross dominance in shooting.

http://www.huntersfriend.com/eye_dominance_issues.htm
 

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if you are left eye dominate, you need to stick to shooting a left hand bow to ever have reasonable accuracy. you need to stick with the lower poundage, and get that full extension. you will get more arrow speed shooting a light poundage drawn fully, than a heavy bow half drawn, and better accuracy as well, because a half drwan bow has no anchor point, and a "floating anchor" will never be accurate. if you are hitting you're arm with the string you are locking you're arm, thus throwing you're elbow in and in the way of the string. try the "push/pull" method, push with the bow hand as you pull with string hand, and spread you're shoulders to attain that max draw length, keeping a slight bend in youre elbow (out) You may get some soreness in muscles you never knew you had, but that means you are doing it right, as archery muscles are ones you dont normally use. Keep practicng this daily, it'll come
 

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I have to disagree on the left eye dominate must shoot a left hand bow. At least if you are shooting instinctively (no sights) you will be shooting with both eyes open and focusing on your target only. One of my best friends is left handed and right eyed and is one of the best recurve shooters in the state many state titles to prove it. It is kind of like throwing a baseball just focus on you target shoot small miss small.
 

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If you are left eye dominate you best stick with a left hand bow. You want the dominate eye directly over top the arrow at full draw. thats impossible to do if you shoot right handed. It will take some shooting to get the bowshooting muscles built up, 30# should be easily attained. You so far have done right with the bow purchase. Many have trouble with string slap, most likely you are locking you're elbow, and doing all the drawing with you're string hand. This is why its straining you, and string slapping the crap outta ya. Push with you're bow hand while pulling with the string hand, this distributes the load some, allowing you to pull heavier weights, pluss that elbow wont get locked, and the string slap goes away. practice up close at fiorst, and just practice form. Read all you can, nd watch videos, even better is an experienced coach. Beware though, there are lots that think they areexperienced that have terrible form flaws. Go to a big Traditional archery shoot and walk the course watching shooters. You will quickly see what kind of form gets the hi scores. have fun !
 

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You'll work your way up to higher with practice, I know because I'm 15 and pull 70. And if it's a traditional bow you aren't supposed to hold it back and aim you are supposed to "feel" the shot. It's instinctive shooting.
 
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