So, you’re slowly getting the hang of archery and decided you need a bit of a change. Now, whether you’ve decided to go professional or whether it’s out of simple curiosity, you’ve found yourself with a brand-new bow stabilizer but no idea how to balance a bow with stabilizers!
Don’t worry, if you’ve found yourself in this situation, then this article will provide you with a simple guide on how to balance a bow with stabilizers and will walk you through what exactly a bow stabilizer can do for you, as well as help you decide whether you need one.
Before we get into how you can make use of a bow stabilizer properly, it’s important to get some context on what exactly a bow stabilizer is and what having one can mean for you, your bow, and your archery. After all, how can you know how to install and make use of a bow stabilizer properly if you don’t know what it’s supposed to do?
If you’ve seen a professional archer in a competition or may be engaged in a hunt, then you’ve probably noticed something protruding from their bows and wondered what in the world that thing was. As a side note, how someone could accidentally stumble into a hunt and come out just curious about a thing poking out from the hunter’s bow is a bit of a mystery, but no judgment here.
As you now probably know, given that you’re currently reading this, is that that thing sticking out from the front of the bow is called a stabilizer. “What does it do?” Well, to put it simply, a bow stabilizer, well, stabilizes the bow! Kidding aside, bow stabilizers perform several functions that aid in increasing the overall performance of the bow and the archer.
While models, designs, and the materials stabilizers are made from can vary from one stabilizer to another, their basic functions remain the same. That is, they are meant to absorb the vibrations in the bow during the shot to reduce the recoil felt in your hand. Doing this also means that a stabilizer dampens the noise produced at the shot.
As its name suggests, bow stabilizers are meant to balance the bow through the addition of weight. That additional weight below the grip allows the bow to remain straight and consistent with your precision and accuracy.
Speaking of accuracy, stabilizers also help you aim by settling your sight.
Another thing stabilizer is designed to do is reduce torque in the bow. As you release the bowstring, torque increases due to all the energy. What the stabilizer does is to allow the bow to resist that torque by way of adding weight right at the front.
Really, there are many advantages to having and using a bow stabilizer. And now that you know what it is, the next logical question to ask is if you need one.
Do You Need A Bow Stabilizer?
While you may not be walking into random hunting grounds and observing those that use bows for game hunting very often, you have for sure seen professional archers using stabilizers. In fact, unless they are competing in a class that outright forbids stabilizers, you’ll be pressed to find a professional target archer who doesn’t use one! But does that mean that everyone who uses a bow should also be using a bow stabilizer? The simple answer to this is no, definitely not.
We’re sure you’ve noticed that you’ve managed just fine without one, and a bow will continue to do what it does with or without the aid of a bow stabilizer.
Again, that doesn’t mean you can only use one if you’re a professional archer or a hunter, of course. Given the many advantages there are to having a stabilizer, even one that is casually into archery and wants to tighten their groups can make use of one. Essentially, whether to use a bow stabilizer or not is very much a personal choice.
If you’re a hunter, and you’ve noticed that the game near you tend to freak out even with the slightest noise, then you may want to invest in a stabilizer to dampen the vibrations and make your hunt that little bit less frustrating.
If you want to go professional, then you want to start figuring out what stabilizers work for you. There’s a reason why all of those athletes on the shooting line are fitted with one, so unless you plan on only competing in classes that don’t allow you to use them, you’re going to want to start experimenting!
If you’re simply into the hobby, then you have the luxury of choice, but again there are only benefits that come with using a stabilizer! That said, how does one make use of a stabilizer?
Nearly all Olympic recurve or compound bows are designed to accommodate a bow stabilizer. There is a threaded accessory hole you’ll find right below the grip where you attach or mount your bow stabilizer to the riser back. That said, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to bows and stabilizers.
And before you find the perfect one, experimentation is a must! That’s why it’s good to know what a stabilizer does, so you can tell if any difference in your shot is a positive reflection of the setup or not.
Of course, you’ll want somewhere to start, and that start should be figuring out what your balance ratio is. You can figure this out by observing the pressure you put on the back of your bow. The more force exerted during the pull, the more weight you’ll need in the front. If you pull hard and have too little weight at the front, then pulling an accurate shot will prove to be difficult indeed.
On the other hand, if you don’t exert much pressure or you’re a static shooter, then too much weight on the front of the bow will cause it to dip–again, a problem when you’re trying to be accurate.
Once you figure out your balance ratio, go check out a few models and try out the ones that match you and your needs the most. After a few trials and some getting used to shooting with a stabilizer, you’ll find the perfect one in no time!
Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!