A month ago, the younger one had withdrawn from the shoot. We returned to practice this weekend at our outdoor range. She proclaimed she was so excited to be able to shoot again. And overall it went really well. She was appropriately distracted by various bugs and a fearless little bird she named “Tinee”, but she completed more ends than I expected. We were out there for almost four hours because the older one was getting ready for her second state games.
Panda Ears, Hoyt Cap
We worked on form, as every archer does during every practice, or at least that is what every practice has been for these kiddos. Maybe Mackenzie Brown gets to do something else with her practice time at this point.
Understandably, her form was a little rough. I decided to use Hudl Technique with her. I was hoping to slow things down so I could see it. I’ve used Hudl with the older one and I also wanted to make sure the younger one knew she was special too.
It was easy to see at 1/4 speed even if it is hard to see your iDevice with full sun. I shared it with her and she felt like she could keep her bow arm extended and work on her draw arm elbow.
Meanwhile the older one was getting her site ready for 30-20-10 distances that the next tournament uses. She was doing her sport and I didn’t have to pay too much attention other than recording her site positions.
Having a camera helps, but we also record them in her archery journal so that when we get to a tournament, we have backups.
She really likes this Shibuya site. There are more expensive models, but this one works for her. Since she started using it, we are both seeing more of them around, probably some sort of cognitive bias. At Salt Lake, Steve Anderson spoke to the archers at breakfast. Later, we saw he was shooting a Shibuya too.
There summer is winding down. School starts again in a few weeks. That means the outdoor season is winding down and the indoor season will be ramping up (with a lot of overlap). I think the Byrds sing a song about this.
So many things for this archery season. She added a sight. She added a stabilizer. She got a new, heavier poundage bow. She got a new plunger. She went out of state. She shot 40cm. She made an archery-BFF. She got outdoor arrows. She got a new practice bow. She is rebuilding her shot sequence. She survived some friends leaving her team. She got a new mentor. She trained with and survived her sister. She started shooting with her mom. She fought with and then made up with her dad.
She has worked on her form since SLC, but early in the tournament, her fast shot returned. She fought it some and went with it on other ends. She improved over SLC, but didn’t reach some of the scores from early in the season.
Overall, the season isn’t easy to chart. With her equipment changes and target size changes, it’s not easy to compare scores from 40cm to 60cm.
It was a year of some podium finishes, some off days, a lot of practice, a lot of work, a lot of stress, and a lot of growth. She has more of the same in front of her for several years in and out of archery. Keep at it kiddo.
Her coach suggested some outdoor arrows. That means breaking free from our standard aluminum arrow. Indoor arrows can have a wider tube (“shaft”) and for recurve use feather fletchings vs plastic vanes. This could mean soliciting lots of opinions and getting advice from different range staffers or messaging with Lancaster Archery. Instead I took a recommendation from the excellent Easton Archery Podcast and decided to focus on the Carbon One. Her coach agreed, but now more questions. Arrows aren’t like picking a soccer ball, you could select the Adidas Tango and then the next choice is color and size. With arrows, the dimensions of choice include size, shaft weight, spine @28″ span, length, fletchings, and point weight. She is not ready for a clicker (which assists in the shot sequence and will alter the arrow length), so we don’t know how long the arrows should be nor the shaft weight. These will be the first two questions a tech will ask you. Her coach let her try some different sizes Of Carbon Ones, but they were mostly cut to work with clickers. When she shot these short arrows, her coach said they were “porpoising”, which means wavering up and down. That means longer arrows are required.
It is hard to avoid the complexity of the Easton Arrow Selection Chart. Despite a lot of work to make the chart user friendly, you have to know a lot about you, your bow, and your setup. This is a moving target for a young archer.
The Easton Selection Chart
Her coach suggested getting a couple of weights and testing them out. We have three each of 1000 and 1150 with the recommended tip. The Easton tip is 70, 80, or 90 points, which is a unit of measure for weight. The tip breaks off at various places to change the weight.
They are attached with hot melt which is a glue that is applied with heat versus a cement glue. The plastic vanes are attached with a slight offset.
The only thing in common with the aluminum arrow is the Easton G Nock (no pin).
These thinner arrows shoot faster (they stick into the bale further) and shoot farther (her misses were further down the range). This sounds complicated, and we are at the novice stage. I suspect this is why there is a lot of “follow the leader” in arrow selection or “buying from the top of the list” – if you notice that Brady Ellison uses the Easton X10 (their high price arrow), and you purchase it, you don’t leave room for too many excuses with your equipment.
What is the difference between a riser of one family and a riser of another family? I don’t know if it is tremendously different as a purchaser of equipment. Here’s the Prodigy XT and the Horizon Grand Prix. If we don’t look at their profile with different lace structure patterns, I see a lot of similarities in the arrow platform, the stem, and the thickness of the bow. I understand that the Prodigy has a variation of ILF that I haven’t quite understood. I miss the old apple logo from Hoyt (which may be part of Easton’s old offerings, more here).
The younger one is doing pretty well shooting with her (left) hand me down kit (Hoyt Grand Prix Horizon Pro 25″ – still available even with model year turn over) and with a splash of black accessories, the bow doesn’t look like it used to when the older one used it for a palette of ocean colors.
But wait, who is that in the background? Have we found a home for her right handed bow?
The Prodigy XT 25 arrived and a whole bunch of other stuff. Time to get this hand me down process started. First, time to build up the older kid’s bow with the help of her coach. We adjusted tillers and checked for staightness.
Her coach had some used limbs we could buy and that means her draw weight poundage is going up. These limbs are made of wood. That seems appropriate for her for now. Future choices include all carbon, foam, and even bamboo. Sometimes it feels less like innovation and more like product specialization. Although, the only perspective I have is that of the customer.
Then, on to the refitting of her old bow (Hoyt Grand Prix Horizon). Black and teal seem to be an acceptable scheme for the younger one. A teal left handed quiver goes with her new-to-her riser. More work to do…
After a little coaching and encouragement, the younger one tried the left handed practice bow and her groupings changed. Yes, another left eye dominant daughter, as feared. What to do? It means another riser, quiver, finger tab, and possibly new fletchings. Then, there is the buy nice or buy twice dilemma, but almost in reverse. Did I want another JOAD starting bow?
I decided to go another route. I would upgrade the older kid’s riser and do a hand me down program. The younger kid would get the electric teal Hoyt. It was after the ATA trade show and that means the official roll over of models of bows. Just like cars, bows have a model year and retailers may want to get rid of them for a discount. I found the Hoyt Prodigy XT 25 and it was 26% off. Now to think about limbs…
Eye dominance is an important part of archery. With your head slightly tilted or even straight up and down, the dominant eye should be closest to the string. After dozens of checks, we felt mostly confident that little one was right eye dominant. Big one is left eye dominant and we found out after shooting a while.
After working with her coach at practice about her groupings always being left of center, he thinks she might be left eyed dominant.
Ugh. Could mean new equipment, a lot of it – quiver, finger tab, riser, sight.