Reagan Trent March – What would you do if you were on the line at full draw, the crowd is quiet, the only thing you hear is the 11 steps in your head when suddenly, a piece of your bow breaks off and flies across the range? Would you know how to fix it? Having your equipment up to date and working properly is a crucial part of your archery journey. At the start of mine, I didn’t know what to do. Thankfully I had coaches who taught me how to properly take care of my equipment. Small changes can make a big difference. Let me tell you all I’ve learned about keeping your bow and arrows in tip top shape.
Your Genesis® bow’s cable and string should be waxed regularly. If the string feels dry, is frayed or starts to show discoloration, or fuzz, it needs to be waxed. Personally, I wax mine about every two weeks and before every tournament. Doing this regularly can help prevent frayed or broken strings and or cables. Synthetic waxes are commonly preferred, but some archers choose to use an all natural beeswax. I like to replace my bowstring after every season. Between practice and tournaments, it can get pretty worn. When you get your bow restrung, be aware, the string could be stiff and shooting could feel different. If your nock point on the string isn’t in the right position after being restrung, it could create bad arrow flight. You may need to have it looked at by the person who restrung it for you. Practicing consistently will help break in the new bow string and help you get used to it.
Arrows have a way of tricking you into thinking they’re fine when really they’re not. The unmodified Easton® 1820 arrows are what is required for NASP®. You should check your arrows every week to see if they’re straight. An arrow inspector tool helps tremendously, they’re easily found online for purchase. You’ll know if the arrow isn’t straight if it wobbles on the tool. If it is not straight, you can ask a coach or take it to someone who specializes in fixing archery equipment. Before every shoot, it is important to check the shaft for any holes. Little scratch marks should be normal, but if you can see through the shaft, that’s a problem. I like to number my arrows so whenever I have an arrow that doesn’t go with my grouping, I can check to see if it’s the same arrow every time. Some archers prefer to have separate arrows only for tournaments that they know are performance ready.
It’s important to always look at the fletchings and nocks on your arrows. Fletchings stabilize the shaft on your arrows in flight by causing them to rotate as they leave your bow. The condition of your fletching should be checked to make sure they are adhered to the shaft and there are no rips or tears in them. Your nocks should be centered with the odd color fletching when on the bow. They should fit snug underneath the nock point. On the shaft, the nock must be positioned tightly so it doesn’t come off when you release. Run your hands over the nock to see if there are any spurs, if you find any, file them down gently or replace the knock completely. I keep extra nocks in my bow case as well as extra arrows just in case I need one.
An arrow rest provides extra support for your arrows for the duration of your shot, giving you a chance to aim. It should be firmly seated in its slot between the riser and the grip of your bow. Check and replace your arrow rest as needed to make sure the flipper portion stays in working order. You can easily replace them yourself, make sure you have the right rest because they are dependent on whether you have a left or right handed bow. The only tool you’ll need is an allen wrench, you simply pop it out from the hole in the backside of the riser. Flip your bow over and insert the new rest, making sure it is securely placed.
Taking care of key components will keep your bow in top condition for years. All it needs is a little extra care here and there. Another piece of equipment that is crucial to take care of is yourself. Not only take care of your bow and arrows, take care of your health and well being. Without you, your bow can’t work properly. Take rest days, ice your sore spots, clear your mind, and relax. After that, it’s back to the grind.
~Reagan Trent is a 2023 student contributor~