Archery Annoyances #18 – It’s Not About Speed
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Archery Annoyances #18 – It’s Not About Speed

August 9, 2019


(music playing) Mmm, this is good data. Oh hi! As most do know, archery is a very diverse field. There’s sport, there’s recreation, and there’s history and so on. The problem is that people outside the sport don’t really understand what archery is about. And they place value on peripheral things. This is why you get these really strange arguments how Olympic archers are pansies. And real archers are real men like Byron Ferguson or Howard Hill, or Lars Andersen. And by extension athletes know nothing about archery, because they use sights and stabilisers and stuff, that real archers wouldn’t use. If we are going to quantify how good an archer is, you’ve got to put it into context. For a target archer, there is only one thing that we use as an metric – our score. That is literally the only thing we are aiming for. There are other elements, that come with good form and technique, but at the end of the day, it’s about score. Archers are ranked based on their score. You can track an archers progress through their personal best and score progression, and their highs and lows. But it’s all about score. It’s the only way to compare yourself to other archers. When it comes down to the goal of archery, it doesn’t mean much if you can’t hit the target. The problem is that many observers will think that sport archery is slow and boring. And the huge followings of the viral archers like Lars Andersen are better examples of archery, and what archery should be. And therefore they are better archers. You see this a lot in the comments. “Oh, you’re jealous, because you’re not as good.” “And he’ll beat you anyday!” In what? Lars is an example of an person, who is very good at what he does. But, it’s not what I do. And I can’t compare with him, because we measure our ability in different ways. Because many commenters don’t understand the sport and competition aspect of archery, the idea of a score doesn’t really mean anything. And in fact, they probably don’t know how scoring works. So here’s a list of things that people often value more than score – Since we mentioned Lars Andersen, let’s talk about speed. Speed shooting is something that people do. albeit not very organised into a competitive format. It’s understandable that someone might want to see how fast they can shoot. Speed is a competitive element in many challenges and sports. However, it’s not really something, that is really useful in archery. Because speed often comes at the cost of accuracy. Shooting faster doesn’t mean you’re a better archer. It just means you are a faster archer. To make things more deceiving, people value speed with no regard to any other parameters that legitimise field shooting. If people are serious about turning speed shooting into a competition, you need to set common parameters for shooters to compare themselves against. That means you need to set the equipment requirements, the draw weight requirements, the distance to be shot at, the minimal requirements for hitting a target, and so on. If all you care about is speed, then you can just grab a 15pound bow and pull it half way and just drop arrows into the ground. A target archer doesn’t care about speed. They’ve got 40 seconds to shoot an arrow. The format and the equipment doesn’t lend itself to speed shooting. So it’s a comparison you can’t make. A target shooter is aiming for score. A speed shooter is testing how many arrows he can shoot in a set time. There is currently no format that requires both. Another thing that is overvalued is draw weight. I’ve already done a video on draw weight egos, but This is so common especially among young archers, that it deserves mentioning again. Shooting a heavier draw weight does not make you a better archer. It’s not an accomplishment. Especially if you don’t shoot anywhere near as accurately, or you don’t score as high. it’s literally just a number. And if you want to impress people with bigger numbers, do weight lifting. Unfortunately for you, archery does not have a discipline to see who can draw the heaviest bow. Something I see used as a measuring stick is distance, as in some bows can shoot further than others, or some people can shoot further than others. This actually is a discipline in world archery. It’s called flight archery. And the goal is to see who can shoot the furthest arrow. However these are sorted into classifications, and the records are held by bows specially designed for this competition. As far as target archery is concerned, we don’t really care, as long as we can make 70m, we’re fine. Finally, there’s style. Some forms of archery don’t look as cool as others. That’s actually a good point. It’s repetitive, it can be boring to watch, especially if you’re not into the whole admiring form and technique. So I get why some people place a lot of value into things like trick shooting. And legitimately – why not? It’s creative, it’s challenging, it’s fun. But it’s also not a competition. There aren’t many, if any professional trick shooting archers who go around and exhibit their skills. We don’t have a format, where we award points in the same way as gymnastics. When you think about it, a lot of these criteria could be turned into competitive formats. You could do a speed shooting competition. Or a coolest trick shot competition. However there simply isn’t enough out there to validate these as legitimate competitions that people actually want to compete in. The point, however, is that archery at its heart is about hitting a target. Modern competitions quantify this by using a point system. Nothing else is judged. If you come into archery, because you’ve been pulled in by the awesomest people like Byron Ferguson or Lars Andersen, understand, that as target archers we also think that Lars is very cool. However, we’re not jealous. We’re not any more jealous of him than a cyclist is jealous of a Moto GP racer. So my question for you today is – What are some of the things you’ve seen people rate in archery? This is NU Sensei, bringing you another archery annoyance.

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  1. hhhmm.. maybe Traditional archery have a bigger target than target archery.. Like in short distance war.. That's my humble opinion..

  2. Speed shooting as a disipline would be pretty cool if it was formalised say most targets hit/points scored at 20 yards in 10 seconds.

    Power could be tested by looking at penetration depth against ballistic gelatine or similar but it would be a test of the equipment more than skill.

  3. The only form of archery that I can think of where speed is important is ski archery or archery biathlon. The whole object is to get around the course in the shortest time possible whilst shooting a number of ends at 4 16cm hit/miss targets at 18m located at points along the course. The time taken to shoot is included in your overall race time and each miss incurs either a 1 minute time penalty or a lap of a 150m penalty loop, so to have any chance of winning you need to be both fast and accurate.

  4. personally, as a barebow field shooter, I do get a bit competitive. i'd like to shoot as well as, if not better, than a target recurve shooter. I do shoot faster than them, BUT I have less to think about. Just sick the arrow on the target and loose. I have shot target recurve; you have to make sure your anchor is spot on; string picture, is my shot level? how about my sight? You really cannot hold each style to the same standards. One day I'll outshoot the target archers using barebow; but I will never think I'm BETTER than them. It's just my personal best that goes up. Respect to anyone who can shoot, really.

  5. A better analogy would be tour cyclists being told they're jealous of x-game mountain bikers 🙂

    Fortunately this isn't an annoyance we really have to deal with anywhere other than online. Everyone who walks into our club, even first-timers on a "try archery" day, don't seem to think the point is about flips and trick shots – indeed, even the neophytes are fascinated and impressed by precision and consistency at the longest distances, and seem to "get it."

    Just know-it-all youtube and reddit commenters primarily make these silly claims about "not being as good" or being "jealous"

  6. I myself shoot target,compound target,traditional and I hunt archery and it has always made me laugh when people try to compare any of these disciplines with one another. I always enjoy handing my winex and tab to one of my compound mates when he says it's easy to hit x's with all that gear on the bow. They soon learn otherwise lol. Each of these forms is a form unto itself and all are enjoyable and complement each other, I let people shoot my bows all the time especially the young kids,exposure to the different disciplines only grows the sport.

  7. I shoot horse bow .target bow . barebow. Compound bow. cause they are all fun . if I want to loose a lot of arrows in a short time and just enjoy the exercise. I grab the horse bow. depending on how bad I want to hit yellow constantly. I grab the barebow .or target bow . or the compound . like I tell every one who asks about shooting traditional and hunting . if I want to hit something with greater certainty. put a sight on your bow n practise . if you want to hunt with a trad bow . practice a lot more . and it's not ethical beyond 18 meters . and closer would be better.

  8. We can move archery to something like 3-gun competition, where both speed and accuracy matter. I've been wanting this to happen. It would be exciting for spectators and require a high skill set for archers. I'm sure specialized equipment will be developed like in 3-gun and target archery, but i think it will help progress the sport and equipment. It will likely involve 1 bow, but there will be something more than watching people stand still still shooting arrows 🙂

  9. Having only been in archery for 9 months, who is this Lars Andersen bloke? Can he shoot 1440? I think I'll avoid looking him up 🙂

  10. I think a good comparison is to that of throwing darts. No matter how fast, hard or amusing you throw a dart, the only thing that matters is accuracy, and your score, in the end.

  11. Yeah well you suck. Because you can't drive a rocket ship as far as I can throw a tomato
    (meant to be a joke comment. but I'm not funny)

  12. I have just learned archery and while most (all be me) do it for the scores, I know that I'm not good so as long as I get it in the pink or blue rings (on the targets we use) I'm happy just to do it for the exercise.

  13. In the UK, the longbow (and by this I mean the English Longbow) is a popular bow to shoot. There are a few shoots that are Longbow only, some of which do have speed shooting, or trick shooting elements in their competitions. I'm aware in other parts of the world shooting is mostly metric to be contained within the world archery rule set but there are more elements out there. E.g. Clout shooting, shooting 180yds, or metric clouts of 165mtrs. There are LB shoots that shoot in two different directions, roving/shooting at the marks, field shoots. As I mentioned before some incorporate more fun elements as shooting through castle walls, my club hosts a shoot that has a 2D boar move across the field and archers have to try and hit it on the run, some does a speed shooting element.
    True these fun elements are usually for those that shoot English longbow.

  14. Could you agree that archery is a way for people to challenge them selfs trickshooting or speed shooting might be a way archers will challenge the selfs

  15. NUSensei,
    I like your two second intro graphic into all Archery Annoyances #xx – blah blah, videos now!
    Also, I am wondering if these are an outlet / forum to VENT {saving sanity before you burst}. I don't care if this is so – – – – –
    I still get really educated anyways!! 🙂 You state, "I hope this helps, anyway, this is NU S[…] YES, I AM GENUINELY HELPED.

  16. On Lars Andrson. I often come across his fans who believe Lars' style represent the true historic combat archery and that is like a point of pride for them.
    I know my medieval history, I have been shooting both compound and bare recurve for three years and I am a war vet.
    So I understand history, have bit of knowledge about archery and I know what's involved in a mass fighting better than all of Lars fan boys combined and let me tell you.
    Lars will not survive 10 minutes on medieval battlefield jumping around like a frog high on meth with his 15 pound bow.
    I just had to get that off my chest because there's nothing more annoying than Lars Anderson fanboy calling other archers sissy because Lars does "combat archery" 😑

  17. I honestly would like to see a speed shooting competition in archery, like the 25m pistol rapid fire in the Olympic Games.

  18. Target archer is a sport.. It's not trick shooting, it's not hunting it's not recreational… So like you don't compare football with rugby because they both use balls.. Don't compare the sport of target archery which is mostly about precision, form and technique with traditional archery or trick shooting archery.

  19. my specialty is studying the European medieval styles and being able to be disciplined enough to shoot, in a group, on command (i.e. "noch, draw, release), and put it in an area to rain down arrows on your enemy. also to stop an oncoming opponent before you may have to draw a sword or mace etc. its a form of history study. not "target" or "trick/speed". totally diff thing from both of those. my 2¢. cheers&aloha
    BTW….in a zombie apocalypse…body shots dont count 😉

  20. whenever people ask:
    How fast can you shoot?
    In response I always say: when you think a bullet you think speed, when you think an arrow you don't relate it to speed but to accuracy. because in the end archery isn't about speed, it's a process that you take your time to get the best results.

  21. As a bow hunter almost every time I go to the range all I hear guys talk about is arrow speed. I have actually been asked when using my longbow or re-curve "how can you kill anything with a bow that slow?"

  22. Well….horse archery does have some legitimate requirement for speed shooting. I accept that's a pretty niche form of archery, though 🙂

  23. For a speed competition to work, accuracy would have to remain a factor. A competition for such, I think, might have shorter time limits, but allow far more arrows. Then again, I'm not sure if I know enough about scoring for any of my ideas to work.

    On the subject of distance, I know, because of this video, that they have set bows for such, but I think a lot of people are more thinking of distance without such a restriction. In that case, the only winners would be people using those long bows that have to be braced with your feet and drawn with both hands, the ones that were used against the Spartans, like in the movie 500. But then again, I suppose that's why there's restrictions on what bows can be used in a distance competition.

  24. my god whats with the background scraping sound? unusually loud, its like there's blowing wind everytime he's talking loudly

  25. I think people are mistaking what archery was used for in the past and what archery is today. And while it can be argued that its still used in hunting and maybe in survival situations its not nearly as common as in the past and more importantly there are more superior ways than archery to do this like having a gun for example.

    People need to snap out of this simplistic thinking and see that archery is a diverse sport and people have different reasons for entering it and most may care little about how it can help them in their everyday life. I think one reason for this simplistic reasoning is that for a novice a modern bow still looks like the traditional bows in shape and its easy to think that people are using it to revive the past when that may not be the case.

  26. All the extensions on a recurve bow will enable you to listen to music while you shoot your bow and turning the little knob on the side allows you to choose which channel. This is called bow tuning !

  27. You could probably form a good competition for speed shooting. Give the archer a certain number amount of arrows to fire in the quickest time possible, and have each scoring hit on the target determine the amount of time that is reduced from their total.

  28. Explain this please–Why if I get all serious and spend time on my shots I always get a varied amount of success yet, if I just go out to throw a few arrows down range at a target to pass a few hours I find I'm more accurate. Is relaxation and not taking it too seriously somehow aiding my technique?

  29. We have a speed shooting division in our living history group's archery practices. 60 seconds to shoot as many arrows as possible at a standard sport target/25 yards. Score still matters. I find I score better if I shoot at a normal pace instead of trying to dump a ton of arrows downrange, but that's shooting a 46# composite recurve, wood shafts, natural fletching.

    One thing we do measure unofficially, is how damn pretty a well made longbow or horsebow looks.

  30. Yes I am late to this one, but it seems the point is comparing a one of the best US rifleman Lones Wigger Jr to Jerry Miculek one of the top speed shooters. Both were or are great in their expertise but not necessarily better than the other.

  31. "Unfortunately for you, archery does not have a discipline to see who can draw the heaviest bow"

    Hey, NuSensei, I have an idea!

  32. What is it called when there is a course that archers run around, stopping at certain points to shoot at targets. The whole thing is timed (i assume they had to do the course in a certain time frame) and was much more interesting to watch from a non archers perspective than other styles of archery i have seen.

  33. What about How much arrows can you throw in one single pull? I have seen a guy with an almost toy plastic looking bow and alumin(i)um arrows doing this kind of competition and the result was arrows no sticking to the target past 13 arrows. Ir looked like virtually impossible to fit any more arrows in there but they kept adding more.

  34. Thank you for your interest in helping people realize archery annoyances I used to think I was being over critical when I was getting annoyed with some of the things you've brought up on your channel …. I'm primarily a bowhunter but I also love to just shoot my bows in my spare time (recurve's and compound). And like you the only person I try to impress his me as long as I can make an ethical shot I'm very happy

  35. The only problem with this video is the assumption that speed shooters are inaccurate.

    First I will say it is very obvious that you have a bias: accuracy by accident or design

    1. Perhaps we aren’t as accurate as a recurve but only at the same rate as a recurve is less accurate than a compound

    2. Many speed shooters may not count the specific points but they do measure,
    Less than 5 = miss (yeah that actually is a higher standard than precision shooters)
    5-8 = hit
    9-X = critical
    I for one used a 32/30 recurve and had an average of 9.3 (back then I did count specifically) with 1 arrow every 3 seconds at 50m
    So we do definitely measure and have standards, your bias may mean you never bothered to learn it, but that’s not our fault.

    3. Lars (Because he was so heavily mentioned) is also incredibly accurate, more so than precision shooters, the point people should have learned is to know your bow well, for example my compounds string spins left so I can counter with my pinky finger holding the bow, it’s that level of understanding and being one with the bow that was more important.

    4. Speed shooters are like the traditional longbow members, yeah we’re the weirdos and damn proud. Mostly we’re there for fun and self improvement, I’d be very interested to see you do a video about the archers that always try to flex off about their scores even when the other person is just there to become better, now perhaps it’s the club I’m at, very relaxed and there for fun, not the stick in the mud, elitist, firing squad I’ve seen in other clubs, but speed shooters have a purpose.

    Just a few points because as bad as you think the video from lars was, the backlash and tribalism from precision biased archers is worse because like I said, speed shooters are accurate, so why you lying to make it sound worse than it is?

    Now I get that this video is old and perhaps you saw an influx for a little time, but don’t become the thing you seem to despise: a spreader of misinformation.

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