The Shot

There you are, at full draw, your anchor is solid and your back tension is strong, (Fig. A).

Something in your mind triggers the release and the string slips from your fingers. As it does so, the string rolls off the fingers and moves slightly to the left for a right handed shooter. No longer is the string and arrow nock lined up with the limbs, it is off center to the left as the energy stored in the limbs accelerate the arrow.

This off center rolling off the fingers, off center arrow rest, and force being applied to the nock causes the arrow to bend, first away from your bow arm, (Fig B), then as the power stroke continues, it begins to rebound the opposite direction, (Fig C), away from the riser.

As the arrow clears the bow, it goes through several more cycles of this left and right oscillations, (Figs D,E,F) dampening with each cycle until they cease, and the arrow is finally flying straight as an arrow. No pun intended.

This bending during the shot is called archers paradox and explains why a bow with no arrow shelf at all can still shoot a properly matched arrow straight, even though it's not even close to the centerline of the bow.

Many factors effect this paradox and all must be in "tune" or harmony with each other or bad things start to happen. In a well matched system, these oscillations are equal and cancel each other out so as the arrow stabilizes in line with the direction it was originally pointed.

If the arrow is too weak or stiff, the oscillations are unequal, the arrow will swing more to one side than the other, causing the arrow to plane off line in that direction, away from where it was pointed. This mis-matched situation may be hardly noticeable with field tips or target points, but broadheads will magnify the problem greatly!

Next, let's take a look at the factors involved with properly tuning your equipment and adjustments to make that will get them flying correctly.