hey guys i just got a new hoyt turbohawk. it is already very balanced without a stabilizer. if i shoot it without a stabilizer will it have any effects on my bow or should i get a small stabilizer? thanks, jake
1. By adding weight below and in front of the center of the bow it can help to reduce torque, reduce cant, and improve bow balance. The longer the stabilizer is, the lower it is mounted, and the heavier the end weight the more effective it will be. For a hunting bow there is limitations to how long and heavy you want to go but it can still help. Also by simply increasing the mass weight of the bow you may feel more steady.
2. The rubber parts or isolated mounting system of the stabilizer can reduce vibration, which translates to two things, a smoother feeling bow and a slightly quieter bow.
In the end it is all personal preference. Try a couple and see what you like.
Limbsaver Module stabilizer has the best vibration dampening of any shorter stabilizer I've used. More modules can be bought and added if you want more weight forward for balance. The more modules, the better dampening too. See link for one on ebay right now. They're not cheap but they hold their value well and are very adaptable. Any I see for sale on AT usually sell right away if they're reasonably priced.
If you just want dampening from it in a short one just get a limbsaver, they have been proven to be the best at getting rid of vib. If you want some effect on shooting better you have to get out in front of the bow with some weight and then if you are just hunting or shooting the hunter class in 3-d you have limits on length.
Just from my own experience:
Whether or not your bow is "balanced", there are 3 potential problems to correct or adjust: any felt vibration, noise level, and holding pin still on target.
When I got my present bow I put a 6" Limbsaver stabilizer on it and it was completely worthless. I got taken in by their marketing. With it on or off the bow there wasn't one tiny bit of difference in anything. Then I put a string stopper on the bow and that eliminated any small vibration it had.
Quieting the bow was done with catwhiskers. Limbsaver String Leeches or similar didn't make any difference but the catwhiskers did.
Last challenge was "stabilizing the bow" ie: getting the pin to hold still. There's a lot of issues relating to that problem but one thing that helped was the stabilizer solution I wound up with. I know that companies advertise their particular stabilizer as a "do all" that fixes all 3 problems, but I'm a little skeptical of that and personally had good luck dealing with each problem individually.
Draw length, total weight of bow, muscle strength, form, holding weight all play a part in keeping your pin still. I experimented with all of them. One thing that worked very well in getting the pin to hold still was putting a blank stabilizer rod on, then adding and subtracting weight on the very end of it until I got the perfect combination. I limited the rod to 12" due to hunting, and adjusted the weight within that parameter.
My bow was also balanced in the sense that holding it out (bare bow) with a loose hand it would stay upright, not tipping to one side, forward or backward. But I shoot way better and am much more comfortable shooting with the modifications I made.
So to answer the question: "Do I need a stabilizer" the answer is probably, but go into it with some knowledge of what problem you're trying to solve. Attempting to solve one problem with a solution that works better for a different problem won't give you the best result.
Whatever solution you chose, test it with critical awareness and ignore marketing. Put it on, shoot a while, take it off, shoot a while and see if there's any strong difference.
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