One of the common questions asked, and a common habit in beginners is whether or not the bow should be canted. and by canting, I mean angling the bow with your bow hand. This is one of the most iconic techniques portrayed in archery. Mostly because of how heroic it looks. It’s normal for people to replicate a form they have seen in popular culture. Generally speaking, canting the bow is more commonly seen in traditional archery. And even then, it’s not universal. In the sport, target archery style, it’s generally not used. People who tilt the bow, mostly do it out of comfort. The key behind archery is consistency and many people find it easy to draw back to their anchor point with a specific head position and bow angle. Canting the bow also makes it less obstructive in acquiring your sight picture. However, it also changes the trajectory of the arrow due to the way the arrow now interacts with the bow. Normally, a vertical bow will result in an arrow going straight ahead. Tilting a bow to the left, will arc an arrow to the left. Tilting to the right, will arc it to the right. This interaction becomes more complicated if using an Olympic style bow with a rest and plunger button. This altered trajectory isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it is essential to note that the greater the distance, the greater the effect. It’s one thing to be constantly shooting one target at one distance, but if you are shooting at different targets at variable distances, such as a target round, or field event then not adjusting for your bow’s angle can cause inconsistency and missed shots. The reason why basic archery form is taught using a vertical bow is because it removes a variable. Assuming the bow is tuned and the arrows match, the only adjustment you need to do, is for elevation and this applies to modern and traditional archery. Whilst some people cant the bow in the shot process this is generally seen, in modern target archery as a form fault. The main reason behind this is that it is very hard for someone to replicate the same position for every shot. Remember, you are working with three different axes. This one… this one… and this one. Now, it’s fairly easy for most people to get the vertical and horizontal consistent. But, getting this angle consistent is very difficult. Having it off by a few degrees between each shot has a significant effect on the result. Most target shooters don’t intentionally cant their bow. Rather, it’s something that creeps into their form subconsciously and the effect becomes more pronounced as it becomes a more natural part of the shot process. It’s so subtle, that the archer probably doesn’t realise that the bow is slightly off centre. I’ve seen archers develop this as a bad habit both towards the right and the left. Myself included. This is one of those things, those really small things that can explain why your shooting is suddenly horrendous. And again, it’s not because the cant is the inherent cause it’s because you are not shooting the way you normally do. A related problem is the tendency to tilt the head. Now, like tilting the bow this inherently isn’t a problem. Many people do find it easier and comfortable to shoot like this. However, as with canting the bow this can cause problems because it is difficult to replicate the same position with each shot. The reason your coach may push your head back straight and push your bow to the vertical position is because this alignment eliminates variables that may be causing inconsistencies. Going back to the question. Should you cant the bow? If you are a target archer, the answer is generally no. The reason behind this, is because you are aiming for a precision grouping over a spread of different distances. and you want something that can be simple to use and easy to replicate. This is the reason why most Olympic style archers shoot with a vertical bow. Additionally, much of your equipment, if you are a freestyle shooter using stabilisers and sights and plunger buttons is reliant on you using a vertical bow. If you are not a target shooter then it depends on what you find more comfortable and easier to replicate. Remember, the key is consistency. If you are having trouble getting it right each time you may want to use the straight bow for easier reference. If you do choose to shoot with a canted bow, know that it takes a lot of practice to make it part of your muscle memory. This is NUSensei, I hope you have found this helpful thanks for watching and I will see you next time.