Easter Archery Montage – Apr 16, 2017

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Here are the details for this week (Monday April 10 to Sunday April 16).

This week, I shot 249 total arrows, most of them outside at 70m. It was a somewhat light week, but I did finally get my heavier limbs back and shot them all week.

On Friday, while doing some standard form analysis videos this weekend, Norm got a little carried away as the camera man. So, I started learning how to use iMovie and did some bad video editing:

17966633_10158449561550177_3908952955817920575_oSince we don’t have a spotting scope yet, I set up my Nikon D40 DSLR camera with Opteka 500mm lens on the shooting line as a substitute on Sunday. It actually worked pretty well, but was kind of awkward to look through. Here’s a photo of the target at 70m.17917753_10158450292680177_4110825817831911333_o

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Later on Sunday, I went exploring the field course at The Archers of Caledon, and managed to break my first arrow. Lesson of the day; always adjust your sight before shooting the next target, especially if it’s at a different distance!

 

 

 

Also, I took some photos of Norm, here’s one of the better ones:

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String burn, no Sunburn, yet

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Yesterday was a pretty gorgeous day at the range. We shot lots of arrows, we finally weren’t alone outside, and the weather was great (which is probably why we weren’t alone 😛 Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, my head wasn’t rotated enough or I was anchoring too far back, so now I have some string burn on my chin. String burn is a lot like carpet burn, it’s caused by friction. In this case, the string of my bow striking or grazing my chin as I release.
vlcsnap-2017-04-03-08h26m28s101You can see a little in the photo how the string is sitting against my chin, but off to the side.

IMG_20170402_162416I did also shoot a practice 720 round yesterday, my first of the season (and only third ever). I was pretty satisfied with the first half, a 260/360, which is about where I had been expecting to be at the start of the season, putting me on track for a 520/720. But something happened in the second half that caused me to shoot much lower on the target. My group sizes were still about the same, just lower. With not as much 70m experience, it took me a while to figure out how much to adjust my sight by. And by the end of the half, I had only scored 190/360, for a total of 450/720 (still technically a personal best though!). I’m still not sure what caused the drastic change in my arrow flight, I could be a change in air pressure or wind, or more likely I was just fatigued. Either way, I know I need to get stronger and train / practice a lot more. But as the weather warms up, I’ll be out at the range a LOT more, shooting 70m rain or shine!

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My Weekly Arrow Count for Mar 26, 2017

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Here are the details for this week (Monday March 20 to Sunday March 26).

This week, I shot 575 total arrows, all on my lighter old limbs. Since I don’t know when I’ll get my SF Elite limbs back, I’ve tillered down and tuned my bow to my old limbs, giving me about 36lbs draw weight on my old 24lbs limbs.

The weather is starting to be consistently warm enough to shoot outside, this week I was able to get out once and shoot 30 arrows outside before my fingers started to get cold.

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Beginning Physio / Physical Training

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A few weeks ago, Norm and I went to see a physiotherapist recommended by a fellow archer. The assessment went well and we identified a few areas for me to work on. Today, we got our programmes and did a walk through of each exercise. I’m really happy to get started on this, and the timing works out pretty great since the indoor season just ended. For now, most of my programme consists of stretching, and some basic core and shoulder strength exercises.

End of the 2016-17 Indoor Season

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This weekend’s MICA (Multi-Sites Indoor Championships of the Americas) tournament marks the end of my first season, and first indoor season, of archery. It’s been an incredible experience that I won’t soon forget! I was involved in several charity events, set new personal bests under tournament conditions, learned a lot about myself and the sport, and met so many new friends who are just as passionate about archery as I am. I even drove 8 hours just to go to an archery store and try out some high end equipment.

Since starting archery lessons with the Level 1 course at the Ontario Centre for Classical Sport back in May of 2016, I have shot in 8 tournaments, 3 charity events, and 2 leagues. I was disappointed with some of my performances, and elated with others. I was even able to win a gold medal at the 2017 Ontario IFAA Indoor Championship and place fourth with a to-date personal best at the 2017 Ontario 10 Ring Championship!  I just have to keep reminding myself that progress isn’t a smooth line or curve, but rather a very bumpy one, with lots of peaks and valleys. As long as that line keeps trending upward, I’ve got nothing to worry about. Overall, I’m very happy with everything I’ve learned and incorporated into my performance.

Starting this week, I should be starting a physical training program that should help build my strength and endurance, which will help me to perform better at longer distances, higher draw weights, and during the tiring multi-day and back to back tournaments this summer. I’m really excited to start the program and get stronger, but not nearly as excited as I am to start shooting regularly outdoors at 70m! Norm and I have talked about doing early morning (ie sunrise) training at the range before work. As much as I enjoy sleeping in, I think this is something I can make an exception for.

Although this blog has become a bit of a personal journal, which I’m only a little sorry about, I will try to make more interesting posts over the summer. But, since this blog is as much for me as it is for you, you should expect to see weekly arrow count summaries and occasional thoughts continue to appear.

I know I don’t often write about the tournaments and scores I shoot (and I think that trend will continue), but since this is an end of season summary, how about .. a summary? (most recent at the top)

Tournament Position Score Average Arrow
Multi-Sites Indoor Championships of the Americas (MICA) results should be available in May 515/600 8.58
2017 Canadian Regional Indoor Championships 11th 504/600 8.40
2017 Ontario 10 Ring Indoor Championship 4th 532/600 8.87
2017 10 Ring Feb. Club Shoot, OCCS 1st 513/600 8.55
2017 10 Ring Club Shoot, Archers of Caledon 4th 493/600 8.22
2017 Ontario IFAA Indoor Championship Gold 268/300 4.47
2016 10 Ring Dec. Club Shoot, OCCS 1st 509/600 8.48
2016 10 Ring Oct. Club Shoot, OCCS 3rd 447/600 7.45

And finally, just because I have the scorecard next to me and was just doing some analysis of it, here are some interesting things about how I shot yesterday at the MICA tournament:
18 x 10s, 21 x 9s, and 21 x 8s or less. That’s 65% of the arrows in the gold! m1af2a93a
I shoot on what’s called a 3-spot target, which only has the innermost 5 scoring rings of a standard 40cm indoor target. During the MICA, I shot 2 misses, which wasn’t much fun, and gave me the impression that I wasn’t shooting as well as I actually was. In the first half, I finished with a 251/300 which is pretty normal/average for me to shoot these days, but that’s with a miss. In the second half, I finished with 264/300 which is pretty good, but I also had a miss there too! So really, I was shooting very well, except for  three or four bad shots on the day. If we were to give those misses each a score of 8 (which is slightly under the average arrow score for the day), that would have given me 531/600. Which is only one less than my personal best! It just goes to show that even with a few bad arrows, you can still perform very well, and you shouldn’t let it get you down! You just have to keep shooting strong, confident arrows and not worry about the bad ones. In addition to the individual scored round, there was also a team round. It was my first team experience, and it was so much fun! Thank you Dakota and Elise for teaching me the team format, and leaving me plenty of time to shoot my two arrows 😀

My goal was to shoot 270/300 by the end of the season, and I did it! I’m routinely shooting 250s and quite often 260s now as well. Using the ratings system shown on archerysorepad.com, I’m hoping to begin my outdoor season by shooting in the 520/720 to 550/720 range, and by the end of the season, my goal is to shoot a 600/720!

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Our Road Trip to Lancaster, PA

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Very early on the morning of March 9th, Norm and I drove eight hours down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to try out some new equipment at Lancaster Archery Supply (LAS). The weather was great, aside from some gusty wind and some snow squalls on the way home. The border crossings were smooth and quick. And most importantly, the staff at LAS was outstanding. Spuds helped us out for around five hours on Thursday while we tried out different riser and limb configurations, and Moose spent a couple hours with us on Friday while we tried out various accessories and finalized our purchases.

IMG_20170310_104913On Thursday, I put about 40 arrows on this setup. It’s a 27″ W&W Nano Max riser with long W&W Wiawis One foam core limbs, and a set of Doinker Estremo stabilizers. It felt fantastic! The limbs were quick, and the riser + stabilizer balance felt really good in my hand. When I swapped out the limbs for my lighter draw weight SF Elites and took some weight off of the stabilizers, I noticed that my bow hand wasn’t as stable anymore and would occasionally slide up the grip. Maybe I was just getting tired .. maybe I just needed to modify the grip .. I’m not sure.

IMG_20170310_103113On Friday, I shot a Hoyt bow. It’s the same Doinker Estremo stabilizers, but with a 25″ Hoyt Formula Faktor riser and long Hoyt X-Tour limbs. This bow also felt fantastic! There was something different though, and I’m still not sure what it was. Maybe it’s the geometry, maybe it’s the material or manufacturing process, or maybe it’s just me. But this bow just felt better for me. I think if Hoyt had offered a 27″ version I would have bought it on the spot. But, they don’t, so I’m going to have to take a little more time and do a little more research to figure out what my next bow will be.

Just to be sure, I shot the W&W bow again after shooting the Hoyt bow to get a decent comparison. I’m still leaning toward the Hoyt, which is interesting because before trying these, I was leaning more toward the W&W bow. But, because of the Formula system, it will be a little more of a financial investment.

Also on Friday, we tried out several accessories. Norm tried a variety of long rods and decided to buy a set of B-Stinger stabilizers, while I was very satisfied with the Doinker Estremo set, but could only buy the long rod because of our duty free limits. We also tried a couple different sight apertures: the Shrewd Flex Recurve Scope and the Titan Recurve Aperture. Norm and I both really liked the larger diameter aperture, but he had trouble seeing the small 1mm dot we were testing with. I bought a nice blue Shrewd Flex (that matches my blue Shibuya Ultima RC sight) and I’m really enjoying it.

Overall, the trip was well worth it. All of the staff at Lancaster Archery Supply were amazing and we were able to try out some equipment that isn’t often kept in stock at shops around here. Thank you so much to everyone involved in making this trip happen! We will definitely be back.