First outdoor tournament of the year for the older one. She is a “bowmen” class and that means she really can’t compete in the big national tournaments that have Cadet and Junior programs only. Technically, she can shoot in those older age divisions, but the shooting distance starts at 60 and you have to pull a pretty big bow to shoot that distance. Locally, one (or maybe two) of the JOAD clubs has set up an outdoor series. This includes shorter distances for the younger divisions, including 30 for bowmen.
Like all archery events we have attended outdoors, you have to deal with the sun and the wind. This was no different. Our car thermometer said it was 101. She had ramped down lessons over the last month, so this was her first event in at least a month. She shot outside at the park and she got reps in on the side yard. She used her new Easton outdoor arrows. She ended up in third place.
Headed to our outdoor shooting range and was greeted by some morning rain. The younger one kept shooting.
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.
Working on her shot sequence. Working to get the elbow down during transfer and expand. Getting used to the Hudl Technique app and the iPad camera mount.
We returned to Bear Creek Lake park for our outdoor range. She began by shooting at 30m.
It was hot and dry out there. Because the USAT Qualifiers are beginning soon, we needed to get a handle on how well she could shoot at 60m. The USATs only have the Cadet and Junior divisions. Cadets shoot at 60m and Juniors shoot at 70m.
We moved up to the 40m target and had to adjust her sight, but even with the sight at it’s limits, she wasn’t able to use it to aim at the target, she had to use it to aim at the trees way behind the target.
The angle of her bow means she is shooting in an arc to reach 40m. The sight is also practically useless for this distance. I think she would have to increase the draw weight of her limbs to shoot 40m with less arc and that would probably be another increase to get to 60m. With this information, it doesn’t look like we would be getting much out of the USAT Qualifiers this year and will consider Outdoor Nationals where she can shoot at 30m.
The title of this post is a rare combo of words for our location. There haven’t been a lot of USAT outdoor tournaments and this may be the start of something for the area. To be clear, this is not a qualifier, but follows the same format. I hope the tournament continues.
She had a tough day. Missed the bale several times and was definitely getting frustrated with herself. That frustration affected her performance. She finished second but it was not her desired performance. We are shaking it off and looking forward.
The short range has safety, protection, and shade.
And there is enough room to shoot side by side.
Picked up a new target on sale at Cabelas. It works great for her private range.