Archer's Paradox: What is It and How to Deal With It (A Quick Read)
Do you find yourself frustrated by the archer’s paradox? Know that you cannot stop it but there are ways you can minimize this phenomenon and shoot with greater accuracy. Learn more about it here and start shooting with better accuracy!
If you're into archery or a bowhunter, you're likely familiar with the phenomenon known as Archer's Paradox. And this has nothing to do with the paradox mod in Minecraft!
In short, it's the tendency for an arrow to veer move off course after being released from the bow. While it might not seem like a big deal at first, this paradox can have a significant impact on your accuracy and shot placement.
In this short blog post, we'll take a closer look at some light physics behind Archer's Paradox and some of the best ways to deal with it. We promise it won't be a boring lesson and by the time you're finished reading, you'll have a better understanding of how to keep your arrow points flying straight!
What is Archer's Paradox?
In short, the archer’s paradox is when your arrow travels in a wobbly motion and appears to be pointing to the left or right of your target, even though you know you aimed the arrow point directly at the target. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re a perfectionist!
This occurs the most in recurve bows or longbows and to some extent in compound bows. You don't have to worry about this in you use crossbows. In traditional bows, when you release the arrows, the arrows have to move around the bow and are pushed away from the bow during the process. This causes the arrow to bend away from the bow when it is released.
This bend creates a strain within the arrow, which obeys Newton's Laws and pushes the arrow in the opposite direction. As you can see in the above figure, the arrow moves in a wobbly motion to hit the actual target. As you the see, during the motion the arrow creates two joining points on its axis. Now, if this point is in line with your target, you will shoot it, otherwise, you will miss it.
The key to understanding this effect is to realize that the arrows are not actually aimed at the target--the archer only needs to create an imaginary line with the bow and arrow with a point in space in front of the target. The archer must try and control the wobbly movement so that the arrow stays on track.
What Causes Archer's Paradox?
There are a few different factors that can contribute to Archer's Paradox. Due to the construction of any traditional bow, the arrow released, always flies in a wobbly movement. You cannot stop this bending of the released arrow but there are certain factors that can cause it to increase.
One of the most common is an incorrect arrow spine in relation to the draw weight of your bow. The arrow spine is essentially the stiffness of the shaft; if it's too stiff or too flexible, it can cause the arrow to veer off course. Also, the arrow should be perfectly balanced to avoid getting veered off course.
Another common cause is incorrect nocking point placement. The nocking point is where the arrow meets the string; if it's not placed in exactly the right spot, it can cause the arrow to rotate in flight and lose its trajectory.
Finally, poor form can also lead to increased bending of the shaft. If you don't release the arrow correctly or if your follow-through isn't good, it can cause your shot to go off course.
Whenever you draw your bowstring back, the string actually pushes on the arrow ever so slightly, causing it to veer off course. To compensate for this, you have to have a correct release and a steady follow-through. If you lose balance, your arrow will go off course.
Take a look at this slow-motion explanatory video:
How to Deal With Archer's Paradox
Now that we know what causes archers paradox, let's take a look at some of the best ways to deal with it.
The first step is to make sure that your arrow spine is correct for your bow setup. You can usually find this information in your owner's manual or by contacting the manufacturer directly.
Once you have the correct spine, make sure that your nocking point is placed in exactly the right spot. A good rule of thumb is to place it 1/8" behind the back of the arrow rest.
Finally, work on your form and practice until you have a consistent release and follow-through before you head out for game hunting.
Check out this Insider resource about Archers Paradox highlighted in TV shows:
Archer's Paradox can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to ruin your shooting accuracy. By taking care to choose the right arrow spine and placing your nocking point correctly, you can minimize its effects. And with enough practice, you'll be able to shoot consistently and accurately despite any paradox-related challenges!
And, when you want some practice, you need to have the best arrows for your setup. So, if you are a bowhunter, looking for the best arrows, we have got just the thing for you. Tap the button below and check out our top choices. Whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed.
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