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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
At 8:30 in this video


the wedge shape that is commonly advocated for recurve shooters is shown.

However, a shoulder alignment where the shoulders are perpendicular to the target and the bow arm is at an angle to the body is what is typically advocated for compound shooters. One advantage I see for this is better string clearance for the bow arm. It also shortens your draw length.

Like this where the circle is the head, the vertical line is the shoulders, and the angled line is the bow arm (other arm not shown and bow not shown).

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Recurve shooters all wear arm guards because the string travels past brace a good bit and this wedge shape puts the arm closer to the string.

When I shot barebow recurve, this wedge shape was advocated by many place and by Olympic archery coaches.

Why does this change once you introduce letoff, a release, and a peep sight? (things that olympic recurve shooters don't have)

Once I went back to compound, I kept the wedge alignment, but it meant I preferred longer brace height bows, had to wear an arm guard when wearing heavy layers, and my draw length was 1 inch longer than people expected. I've tried both, and the only difference in my shooting out to 40 yards is that my draw length shortens and I don't have to be concerned about arm contact. I shoot both styles with a straight arm.

edit: a lot of people call the wedge a closed stance, i'm not sure how much sense that makes because the advocates of it often say to stand with your feet in an open stance and then rotate your torso to achieve this, it is easily do-able with a neutral stance and just involves a sense of pushing towards the target a bit more

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It's mostly the colossal holding weight vs the compound. 45 to 50lbs and on up for a competitive male olympic shooter and as high as 40lbs and probably more for women too. That poundage alone simply demands this "inside the bow" bone alignment in the upper body. That's just to get the arrow out of the bow period without a collapse/rip/grab/yank, much less if you want to hit anything on purpose.

Only a few months ago, I finally called it a lost cause on my 30+ year struggle with olympic recurve because I'm simply unable to get into this alignment. Primarily because of limited neck movement, but just generally my anatomy won't permit it on the back end too. I just can't get my head twisted around that far to the left and get my right arm that far around, even with the scapula fully seated against my spine. Even with 16lb training limbs, because I can't do this "barrel of the gun", I'm utterly unable to develop a repeatable shot on the recurve/longbow.

But the compound, as we know, is specifically designed to work around that limitation with the letoff feature. It also has a much reduced string angle, which allows anchoring further back on the face even when shot with fingers. And nowadays, because it's shot with a d-loop and release aid, it can be made to fit practically any anatomy and work around any physical situation you can think of.

So for most of us, a more "outside" alignment is where we end up, and generally that's just because we can. And for many others like myself, because we have to.

As for the string-hitting-the-bowarm thing, I don't know if that's the right excuse for a more outside alignment or not. There seems to be controversy about that; some say you shouldn't fix that with "poorer" alignment (pronate the elbow instead, etc) but others say that's a legitimate workaround. Also, many compounds now come equipped with string stops and higher brace heights in the 7"+ range, which should allow more inside the bow alignment.

So I'm not prepared to speculate on whether thwapping the bow arm is simply shooter error or not. I suck so bad as a shooter, I can't say my experience is a good guide. I use a string stop on a nearly 8" brace height bow (supra focus XL) and I'm just barely able to shoot it without an arm guard. But if I take off the string stop, an arm guard is mandatory, no matter what I do with the bow arm or alignment.

So I won't say anything about that one way or the other.

But simply put, the compound is so much more configurable to fit the shooter than the recurve bow is, which in turn makes it much more permissive about more "outside the bow" upper body alignment. I don't think that's controversial....

lee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It's mostly the colossal holding weight vs the compound. 45 to 50lbs and on up for a competitive male olympic shooter and as high as 40lbs and probably more for women too. That poundage alone simply demands this "inside the bow" bone alignment in the upper body. That's just to get the arrow out of the bow period without a collapse/rip/grab/yank, much less if you want to hit anything on purpose.

Only a few months ago, I finally lost my 30+ year struggle with olympic recurve because I'm simply unable to get into this alignment. Primarily because of limited neck movement, but just generally my anatomy won't permit it on the back end too. I just can't get my head twisted around that far to the left and get my right arm that far around, even with the scapula fully seated against my spine. Even with 16lb training limbs, because I can't do this "barrel of the gun", I'm utterly unable to develop a repeatable shot on the recurve/longbow.

But the compound, as we know, is specifically designed to work around that limitation with the letoff feature. It also has a much reduced string angle, which allows anchoring further back on the face even when shot with fingers. And nowadays, because it's shot with a d-loop and release aid, it can be made to fit practically any anatomy and work around any physical situation you can think of.

So for most of us, a more "outside" alignment is where we end up, and generally that's just because we can.

As for the string-hitting-the-bowarm thing, I don't know if that's the right excuse for a more outside alignment or not. There seems to be controversy about that; some say you shouldn't fix that with "poorer" alignment (pronate the elbow instead, etc) but others say that's a legitimate workaround. Also, many compounds now come equipped with string stops and higher brace heights in the 7"+ range, which should allow more inside the bow alignment.

So I'm not prepared to speculate on whether thwapping the bow arm is simply shooter error or not. I suck so bad as a shooter, I can't say my experience is a good guide. I use a string stop on a nearly 8" brace height bow (supra focus XL) and I'm just barely able to shoot it without an arm guard. But if I take off the string stop, an arm guard is mandatory, no matter what I do with the bow arm or alignment.

So I won't say anything about that one way or the other.

But simply put, the compound is so much more configurable to fit the shooter than the recurve bow is, which in turn makes it much more permissive about more "outside the bow" upper body alignment. I don't think that's controversial....

lee.
thank you for you response and the way in which it was put

i shot 45 to 55 lbs recurves with the wedge alignment for years barebow to where it became second nature. some folks advocate the outside alignment with a recurve (g fred asbell does), but folks that shoot like that typically do not hold very long at all at full draw (with some downright snap shooting).

i'm now experimenting with other alignments with a compound, but if i switch, i'll really have to hammer in the muscle memory not to resort back to the wedge when a buck walks to my stand and i go on semi auto pilot

i think part of this is that getting whacked in the arm with a recurve is unpleasant, but downright dangerous with a compound because of the energies....i never had a fear of the string with the recurve but know if my 60 lbs compound gets my arm that it will swell and create a hematoma....got whacked by an 80 lbs jennings carbon extreme so bad once that i was bleeding (dumb, overbowed teenager)
 

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Well, I went and did a quick study of Brady Ellison who is my go to guy for current recurve shooters. To me his shooting form is really solid with both a recurve and compound and you can see the couple differences that take place in his shooting form when you see him shoot both types of bows. With his compound he has a text book compound shooter form and most of those fundamentals exist in his recurve but there are slight differences in his grip etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I went and did a quick study of Brady Ellison who is my go to guy for current recurve shooters. To me his shooting form is really solid with both a recurve and compound and you can see the couple differences that take place in his shooting form when you see him shoot both types of bows. With his compound he has a text book compound shooter form and most of those fundamentals exist in his recurve but there are slight differences in his grip etc.
so there are two schools of thought with recurve then it seems?
 

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thank you for you response and the way in which it was put

i shot 45 to 55 lbs recurves with the wedge alignment for years barebow to where it became second nature. some folks advocate the outside alignment with a recurve (g fred asbell does), but folks that shoot like that typically do not hold very long at all at full draw (with some downright snap shooting).

i'm now experimenting with other alignments with a compound, but if i switch, i'll really have to hammer in the muscle memory not to resort back to the wedge when a buck walks to my stand and i go on semi auto pilot

i think part of this is that getting whacked in the arm with a recurve is unpleasant, but downright dangerous with a compound because of the energies....i never had a fear of the string with the recurve but know if my 60 lbs compound gets my arm that it will swell and create a hematoma....got whacked by an 80 lbs jennings carbon extreme so bad once that i was bleeding (dumb, overbowed teenager)
I've also tried it both ways, with a more inside alignment. For me, a more inside alignment actually makes it harder for me to pull through the shot on compound. If I setup and draw more like I used to on recurve, I "run out" of back muscle movement during the final part of the shot and I start activating small muscles to finish the pull. For reasons I've not really tried to figure out, mainly because I've never found a more inside alignment to have any benefits on compound.

So I end up with the more "parallel to arrow" upper body alignment on compound and that's much more repeatable and comfortable. But I'm also old, worn out, lots of limited movement and very little strength, etc., all the old-people problems, that makes it worse.

Looking back over my battle with olympic style, though, I was never able to get into alignment. Even when I was a young man. And with Frank Thomas standing in front of me watching my every move, he gave up on me before he even tried to correct my alignment....
So I'm "doomed" to be a compound/release aid shooter.

lee.
 

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Very simple reasons here.... Most compound shooters don't want to learn how to properly shoot a bow. They just don't care. All they care about is going outside to kill something. The compound bow is a very forgiving instrument that doesn't require a lot of form or practice.

Yes, there are exceptions. My comment is for "most shooters".
 
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Very simple reasons here.... Most compound shooters don't want to learn how to properly shoot a bow. They just don't care. All they care about is going outside to kill something. The compound bow is a very forgiving instrument that doesn't require a lot of form or practice.

Yes, there are exceptions. My comment is for "most shooters".
No, that's not the reason. This is a tired old wives tale from The Good Old Days when the compound bow was the Red-Headed Stepchild of competition archery, behind the Pinky-Extended olympic recurve bow.

The "barrel of the gun" is olympic recurve pedagogy (and rightly so), not compound. The compound is its own animal, and, even though it's only about 60 years old, it's developing its own Best Practices. Especially now that it's becoming a first-class citizen in target archery disciplines (now only banned in the olympics), we're discovering that it's not even supposed to be shot like an olympic recurve. And it shouldn't even try to emulate the olympic recurve.

We shoot it differently because we can, but as we learn more about it, we're learning that some of the differences are important and are becoming Best Practices specific to the compound. This difference in alignment is one of them.

lee.
 

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I appreciate lee's points, and they mostly stand up to scrutiny here (in spite of our many differences on other topics). But the Poet is correct when he talks about what most shooters are interested in. I remember the first time I saw a compound used in a tournament. It was the Fresno Safari in 1966 (still the largest outdoor tournament in the world, I'm told). There was a shoot-off for the championship, one guy with a compound (the only one in the tournament so far as I recall), and the other guy with a recurve. The crowd watching was abuzz with disdain for the compound guy - he shouldn't even have been allowed to shoot with that thing, much less win our championship. But win he did. Who knew it was the future we were all watching?

I recall the VP of marketing for Ben Pearson Archery telling me that he thought archery was a dying sport prior to the invention of the compound. Again, who knew?

The sport completely changed with the advent of the compound, and grew it did! Most buyers of compounds fit very well (imo) into the Poet's description - they just want to get into the woods to try to kill something. They don't care about good form, or the opinions of forum participants. Practice? Nah, that's for somebody whose aim is to pick up a piece of pewter or bronze on a Sunday afternoon, not gut a buck. Mostly, they don't even pick up their bow until late summer. At least that seems to be true after the newness wears off.
 

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No, that's not the reason. This is a tired old wives tale from The Good Old Days when the compound bow was the Red-Headed Stepchild of competition archery, behind the Pinky-Extended olympic recurve bow.

The "barrel of the gun" is olympic recurve pedagogy (and rightly so), not compound. The compound is its own animal, and, even though it's only about 60 years old, it's developing its own Best Practices. Especially now that it's becoming a first-class citizen in target archery disciplines (now only banned in the olympics), we're discovering that it's not even supposed to be shot like an olympic recurve. And it shouldn't even try to emulate the olympic recurve.

We shoot it differently because we can, but as we learn more about it, we're learning that some of the differences are important and are becoming Best Practices specific to the compound. This difference in alignment is one of them.

lee.
Of course it is but it needs to be taught in compound shooting as well. It very simply works and works well ESPECIALLY for new shooters.

If you are shooting compound and NOT using the barrel of the gun, you will beat yourself to death and tire out much more quickly. This can lead to various stresses and strains that can have a real impact on the mind.
 
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Of course it is but it needs to be taught in compound shooting as well. It very simply works and works well ESPECIALLY for new shooters.

If you are shooting compound and NOT using the barrel of the gun, you will beat yourself to death and tire out much more quickly. This can lead to various stresses and strains that can have a real impact on the mind.
That's just simply not true. The barrel-of-the-gun is simply not required to shoot the compound bow at any level.

What a new shooter needs to be taught is the appropriate starting point for the compound bow. Which is not the "barrel of the gun", or much worse, NTS and etc., a-la the olympic recurve. The compound bow isn't even shot with fingers anymore (apart from the remaining, but sadly quite small, freestyle limited community), which completely changes the requirements on the back end. And that in turn, affects everything else in the shooter's form. It's almost half as long, it has a hard stop on the back wall, the holding weight is a fraction of that of the recurve, it's shot with a peep sight, and on and on.

It's a totally different bow with a totally different shot.

So a new shooter needs the benefit of compound bow pedagogy (such as it is, anyway), not olympic recurve. Yes, 30 years ago, it was thought that compound shooters had to use barrel-of-the-gun and other olympic style form and shot method elements, but we know better today.

lee.
 

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I appreciate lee's points, and they mostly stand up to scrutiny here (in spite of our many differences on other topics). But the Poet is correct when he talks about what most shooters are interested in. I remember the first time I saw a compound used in a tournament. It was the Fresno Safari in 1966 (still the largest outdoor tournament in the world, I'm told). There was a shoot-off for the championship, one guy with a compound (the only one in the tournament so far as I recall), and the other guy with a recurve. The crowd watching was abuzz with disdain for the compound guy - he shouldn't even have been allowed to shoot with that thing, much less win our championship. But win he did. Who knew it was the future we were all watching?

I recall the VP of marketing for Ben Pearson Archery telling me that he thought archery was a dying sport prior to the invention of the compound. Again, who knew?

The sport completely changed with the advent of the compound, and grew it did! Most buyers of compounds fit very well (imo) into the Poet's description - they just want to get into the woods to try to kill something. They don't care about good form, or the opinions of forum participants. Practice? Nah, that's for somebody whose aim is to pick up a piece of pewter or bronze on a Sunday afternoon, not gut a buck. Mostly, they don't even pick up their bow until late summer. At least that seems to be true after the newness wears off.
Agree, though this "what most shooters want" isn't a well-defined category. That can mean almost anything, because there are almost as many types of shooters as there are shooters period.

The main difference in terms of the "right" and "wrong" way to shoot each bow is the pedagogical history. The olympic recurve bow's history is much longer and deeper, and has had the attention of coaches at the olympic and other elite levels for far longer than the compound bow. It's been taught and researched at the university level for quite a while too, long before the compound bow was even invented (to my knowledge). So the "right" and "wrong" ways are much more clearly defined on oly; and I can personally attest to the failure of having to try to shoot it the "wrong" way simply because my physical limitations don't permit me to do it the right way (namely barrel-of-the-gun among others that I can't do).

The compound bow, OTOH, is only about 60 years old period. Not only that, it has gone from a hillbilly backwoods curiosity to a (almost) first-class citizen in target archery in practically only half of our lifetimes. Even so, even though the Best Practices on compound are still being worked out, we've learned a lot about things like "correct" form and shot execution, etc. about it in the meantime. Yes, what is "correct" and "incorrect" on the compound has much wider error bars around it than the olympic recurve does. But we already have good basic guidelines for what are good methods and not so good, in general.

At the very least, it's not possible anymore to say that recurve alignment is "better" than the more outside-the-bow alignment that is far more common on the compound than recurve alignment. But add to that the drawbacks of it, namely the much reduced forgiveness of varying anatomies of it, even the string-thwapping-the-arm-thing, and you've got a good reason not to try to force recurve form on a compound shooter....

lee.
 

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Very simple reasons here.... Most compound shooters don't want to learn how to properly shoot a bow. They just don't care. All they care about is going outside to kill something. The compound bow is a very forgiving instrument that doesn't require a lot of form or practice.

Yes, there are exceptions. My comment is for "most shooters".
Hey, I can agree with this.....Saw it when I worked for a archery shop. Another, father had me instruct his son. Well, his son wanted to do his way, not mine. I got him to shoot my way and took pictures of the targets. Also took pictures of the targets doing it his way. My way proved the better. He complained to his father and then I showed him the pictures. Came; "It hurts doing it his way." I explained; "Your using muscles differently. Once you get use it you won't get tired or hurt. Father; "Do it his way or stop shooting." Boy quit for a few days and then came back shooting. He did good........
 

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What's a compound? :D
 
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