A Proper Grip Is Vital

To Avoid Damaging Your Bow, Learn To Hold It Properly

This issue, there are two items that come to mind for us to talk about. First, let’s look at the new peeps that have come out of the World Championships in Las Vegas. A couple of issues back, I talked about three types of peeps: the old-style peep with a rubber band tied to them, the three-strand peep, and finally the two-strand peeps. Now there is another peep that has hit the market, and it is very popular. This is the new, large, tunnel-style peep that you will see top shooters around the world using and, yes, they are even being used by hunters.

The object of this is to create a longer tube in which to focus better and to reduce any sun glare. It acts as a sunshield, due to its length. These new peeps have come out of Europe and have spread through North America in popularity. During one of the last world events, we noticed over three-quarters of the participants were using this style of peep over all others. We have been sending them to places as far away as Saskatchewan from our shop in BC.

Check them out, they are slightly more expensive than a regular peep, only due to the fact we had to import them from Europe, but I am sure the price will come down as more U.S. companies start making them. They’re a cool new product.

Now I want to write about a very common thing that happens in our shop, and that is the amount of bows we repair due to people torqueing their bows off the string from an improper bow hand set, commonly known as your grip.

Credit: Lowell Strauss.
Credit: Lowell Strauss.

Torqueing your bow off the string can occur when shooting with an improper grip, but it is most often done when archers draw down. It’s going to damage your bow, sometimes to the point it’s not worth repairing the bow, as the cost of parts and labour on an old bow make it worth more than the bow. Plus, once an older bow requires parts, we may not even be able to find them.

The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening to you is to learn from a qualified archery coach or a good shooter on how to hold a bow properly.

Holding a bow in your fist is not the proper way to hold it. I have done numerous articles on this topic, but it seems to keep happening.

Our first instinct may be to grab the bow, like a baby grabs onto a toy, and maybe this explains why shooters tend to grab the bow as they shoot or draw down. If you hold a bow with a fist, you will see how, when you are grabbing the bow, the bow flicks to the left on a right-handed shooter. It can be such a violent motion that the strings do not line up with the groove in your cams, thus de-railing the bow. This not only causes poor shooting, but it can be dangerous so it’s worthwhile to learn, as the hand is the first and last thing to touch the bow.

When drawing down, we instinctively squeeze the bow as we are letting it down, and that grabbing instinct causes the strings to once again not go in the groove of the cam. The new, large cams of today’s new super-fast, aggressive bows make this a common occurrence. Be careful with these larger cams, as they are the most common to have this happen to. I would much rather see my customers shooting their bows and not have them sitting in my shop waiting for parts. If we fixed 30 bows in a month, I could say that over half of them were either dry fired or had been torqued off the strings. Having an arrow in it when it occurs does not save anything on a torqued-off bow string.

Observe the proper grip: the knuckles are at a 45-degree angle and the shooting hand is relaxed with the first three fingers tucked under to act as a consistent wedge between the fingers and the bow handle. The bow is pulled into the thenar eminence muscle only (that is the muscle under the thumb.) Do not hold the bow in any part of the area bellow the pinky finger and the other two fingers.

Good luck, and happy shooting.