Deben Archery Club

Archery for All, Young or Old..

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BareBow Archery

A form of Recurve Archery, which uses the same basic "modern" bow, however the level of assistance with aiming and stablisation is very limited, if not done away with completely. It looks like a barebow archer is using a plain recurve bow without a sight, clicker or stablisers, however the bow is adapted in cirtain allowable ways, with weights etc.


Barebow archers often use a sight picture which includes the target, the bow, the hand, the arrow shaft and the arrow tip, as seen at the same time by the archer. With a fixed "anchor point" (where the string is brought to, or close to, the face), and a fully extended bow arm, successive shots taken with the sight picture in the same position will fall on the same point. This allows the archer to adjust aim with successive shots in order to achieve accuracy.

String Walking

One area of barebow archery that is quite hard to get your head around is how do you aim, almost every archer has picked up a bow without a sight, usually on beginners course or have-a-go, and shot at a target 10 yards away, using what is called the Gap aiming system (even is you didn’t know it had name). In the Gap system the archer picks fixed point on the face [e.g. corner of the mouth] and then lines the tip of the arrow up on part of the target [e.g. the centre of the gold]. Once this has been done a few times it can be seen where the arrows are going and the point you aim at on the target can be adjusted. For example, if they are all high in the white, then aim the tip on the white as the bottom of the target.

This system works for a nice short target where you can move around the target face, using the bands of colour as a reference, however as the target gets further away this becomes harder. So many if not all barebow archers use a different system. They pick a furthest distance they want to shoot, say 70m, and set their bow and arrows (Length is important to change the aiming point) up so that shot from their normal reference point with the fingers right underneath the arrow hits the target in the centre. The next stage is moving the fingers on the shooting hand down the string so that the arrow drops on the target. By knowing the amount to move the hand down the string for each distance you have a system for shooting set distances that much more repeatable than Gap Shooting. The way archer judge the amount to move their hands ranges from counting the number strands of serving with their nail to counting the stiches on their finger tab.