Adam from Wales Archery has written this weeks Improve Your Game article on when to upgrade your kit. It's important to know during your archery journey!
In this Improve Your Game when to upgrade your kit, we explore the different elements. Adam from Wales Archery gets asked this question a lot, here are his answers. It does depend on what piece of equipment we are talking about so I will list each of them below and giving the reasons why and the benefits.
No matter the bow style you are shooting, the most important thing to remember is that you have to be able to control the bow. There is no point in going up in bow weight for your form and technique to suffer.
When looking at going up in poundage and upgrade your kit, the normal amount of bow weight to go up by is 4lb. Normally 2lb doesn't give you enough and 6lb is normally too much. It does depend on the individual, however. In terms of time frame again everyone is different. Some people are ready after only three months, whilst other people can take six months.
Do not feel the need to have to rush going up in weight. If you jump up poundage too soon it can lead to many problems in technique and form. Things such as short drawing, inconsistent anchor, hunched shoulders and the list goes on.
Take care when looking to upgrade arrows in particular. If you go up bow weight 4lb or more the chances are that you will need to new arrows. This is due to more energy being delivered into the shaft.
If you have an arrow that is setup correctly for your bow and you go up bow weight the extra energy can lead to clearance and contact issues. This will result in poor arrow flight and groupings. Please also take extra care when purchasing arrows or upgrading kit from another archer. Just because they work for someone else shooting a similar weight to yourself, it does not mean they will work for you.
Aside from bow weight we also have to include draw length and the archer's release. If any of these are not exact, the chances are that the arrows will not work for you. Have a look at the article below about finding the correct arrow spine.
Stabilisers take vibration out of the bow. They reduce the amount the sight pin moves and stabilises the bow in your hand.
There are two mind sets when it comes to stabilisers. One being to start with only the long-rod then add the side-rods later on. However, the other option, and the one I prefer, is to add the long-rod and side-rods on together. This is because the side-rods help balance the bow back and stops just the weight of the long-rod forcing the bow down. This is especially true for compound where most setups run one long-rod and one side-rod.
I would recommend getting the sides rods on sooner if you only have the long-rod. Stabilisers take vibration out of the bow, reduce the amount the sight pin moves and stabilises the bow in your hand.
It will take you some time to get used to having stabilisers and what they do once upgrading your kit. After you have gotten use to them at around six-twelve months, come down to the shop and try out the next level. Have a see for yourself how much better they feel.
When we are talking about pressure buttons, my honest advice here is that if you get a button to start with like the Shibuya DX you won't need to upgrade your kit it for years to come.
That being said, if budget did not allow when you purchased your bow this is one of the first items I would upgrade as soon as possible. The reason being is that a good button has nearly twice the adjustment of cheaper buttons allowing for a much better and precise tune.
Sights deal with a tremendous amount of vibration, a good quality sight won't rattle loose. Providing your sight is not falling apart or missing parts this is something I would leave. Look to upgrade your kit around twelve months in due to other items taking priority for recurve.
For compound archers this is a very important bit of kit as a starting sight will not allow you to adjust your third axis, which is crucial if you want to improve your accuracy.
Here is a video of a sight comparison between a high end sight and a less expensive one.
Most of us, whether we are shooting recurve or compound, generally get a lower end rest to begin with. When we are upgrading, depending on the rest style chosen, what we get is more tune-ability with greater adjustments and smoother motions.
Arrow rests are higher priority pieces of equipment to upgrade sooner on compound bows to get more tune-ability.
It's also important to talk to your coach when you want to upgrade your kit. They will be able to give advice, know your routine and your strength. Upgrading your kit is personal and needs to be done on your journey, not someone elses.
Thank you to Wales Archery for their continued support.
For more Improve Your Game articles, have a look here!