Recently, there were some things that had come to light here at Spot-Hogg.
We noticed a lot of top archers, and dare we say even professional archers
that are missing out. We also noticed a lot of big time hunters that are
missing out. Chances are, you might be missing out too.
We are talking about stabilizers. What are the right kinds? How should it
be balanced? How much weight? What about vibration absorption? Do I even need
one? Many of us have pondered these questions, but finding an answer is hard
with all the different thoughts and theories out there.
Early on, we learned that putting a stabilizer on our bow meant holding
steadier. Soon after, we learned that a heavier stabilizer meant holding even
steadier. Over time our bows got heavier and heavier. When we were shooting
spots it was awesome, we could hold like a rock. But, when we went hunting we
stripped off all the extra weight. Packing around a heavy bow all day was
bound to make one of our arms longer than the other. (We like the circus, but
it doesnít mean we want to be in one).
Amazingly, the steadiness that we had come to enjoy disappeared during
hunting season. Our holding patterns tripled in size, and so did our groups
(and that was before we even put broadheads on). So, it didnít take us long
to put back on that heavy stabilizer, and we learned to use one of our most
valuable pieces of hunting equipment, a bow hook. (We attach a bow hook to
our hunting belts so we can use it to carry our bows on our hips.)
Recently while hunting, one of us accidentally left his bow hook at camp.
And he had to pack his bow all day in his hand. What a mistake. People who
pack their bows donít hunt with 9-pound bows. Needless to say he nursed a
sore shoulder for two days. But, the thought of hunting without a stabilizer
never crossed his mind. When better to hold like a rock than when that big
buck steps in front of you.
We get asked all the time, "What can I do to upgrade my equipment?
What can I do to help me shoot better?" One of our number one answers is
put on a stabilizer. Most hunters either overlook it completely or have a
little 4 inch one on that is more for looks than function. Put a 10-12 inch
one on and you will add 10 yards to your effective distance. It matters try
It is not just the in hunting area that people are missing out. In the
competition arena so many have just plain overlooked the value of the right
weight distribution. Iíve heard too many comments like; itís too cumbersome,
or all you really need is to put on just enough weight to balance your bow,
or you donít need all that junk to shoot well, or stabilizers makes my arm
We were recently talking with some professional archers who were oblivious
to how much difference a properly weighted stabilizer could make. We gave
them one of our stabilizers to shoot and needless to say they both went out
and got similar stabilizers. (Making it that much harder to beat them.) And
these are top archers who were missing out.
The search for the best stabilizer started several years back. We looked
for information everywhere. There just didnít seem to be a lot of information
out there that had any real logic behind it. So, it left us with really no
other alternative but to educate ourselves.
In our search for the best stabilizer, we had the option of using about 7
different kinds. Some of which were borrowed from friends. As we tried each
stabilizer it became quite obvious which was the best.
What we found was, the ones with all the weight out on the end, were by
far superior. Our holding patterns went from large, fast and jittery to
small, slow and smooth. Sure, we had the nifty adjustable stabilizers and the
ones with noise and vibration dampening abilities. But the ones that helped
us hold the steadiest was also the most simple. It held the weight as far
away from the hand as possible. The further away from the hand and the more
weight we added, the steadier the sight picture became.
However, this caused a new problem, when we would shoot our bow, all that
weight out front would cause our bows to dive to the floor when the shot was
executed. So some of us added the dreaded V-bars. This allowed us to put
heavy weight out at the tip and use the leverage of the V-bar to create a
nice balance. This stabilizer set up holds steadier than anything we have
ever tried. We found that adding weight to the tip of the stabilizer and
V-bars, and distributing the weight as far away from the bow hand as
possible, really helps us hold steadier and shoot better.
To further understand this we had to look to the laws of physics and the
laws of inertia, in particular. The laws of inertia state that things at rest
tend to stay at rest, and with more mass at rest it takes more force to get
it moving. This explains why more weight in the stabilizer made the bow
steadier to hold and shoot. (It just plain takes more force to get it
bouncing around.) The laws of physics state that the less leverage you have
in a system, the more force is required to move the weight. Because the
shooter is the fulcrum (pivot point) for the stabilizer this means that there
is less leverage, as the stabilizer gets longer. This explains why, when the
weight is farther away it takes more force to get it to bounce around.
So it does make sense, if the stabilizer is long enough and the weight is
heavy enough, the force required to move it exceeds the force you are
applying and it wonít move. And if the stabilizer is RIGIDLY attached to the
bow, then the bow wonít be moving either. Resulting in a very steady bow hand
and sight picture.
The problem is that stabilizers of today have really focused a lot on
noise and vibration reduction. But thatís really not the most important
function. We can deal with a little vibration if we can hold steadier on the
target and during the shot execution. Wouldnít you? Besides, most of the bows
nowadays are a lot smoother and have more built-in vibration damping
technology than they used to. So the need for the noise and vibration
reduction stabilizers becomes less critical. These vibration reduction stabilizers
generally are not rigid, causing you to lose some of the stabilizing effect
while it enhances noise and vibration reduction. They are not always balanced
the way they should be either. The weight is not all at the end. So if you do
need these reducing stabilizers for your bow, try to find some with the
dampening devices at the far end of your stabilizer. (They will do a better
job of stabilization.)
Paying a little attention to a very underrated and overlooked accessory
can really help your shooting. So buy a bow hook and get some weight on that
bow. (In the right areas of course.) And stop missing out!