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TRADITIONAL ARCHERY RELEASE AIDS
How do archery release aids work?
Archery release aids use a combination of the string, string arm and fingers to release an arrow. A string is attached to both ends of the bow by means of loops (loops are usually built into the bow, but can also be added). The rear loop is called the ” nocking point ,” or sometimes just “N” for short.
The string at the front is called the “string pointer,” or sometimes just “P” for short. At some point along its length, about 6 inches from each end of the string, it has a small loop in the middle of the string where it attaches to itself. This is called an “S-bend.” The release aid is attached to the string at one of these two loops.
A release aid’s mechanism is not unlike a simple clothespin, or other spring-loaded clamping device. To draw and hold the bowstring, you pull on it until it reaches an S-bend in the middle of the string that will accommodate your fingers and stop the string from slipping from your fingers. This holds the string in place at that point of tension.
When you have a nocked arrow, you can check to see if it is properly placed by looking down the arrow as best as possible and seeing that the fletching (the feathers on the end of the shaft) are positioned exactly where they need to be, which is at the nocking point of the string (the loop on the bow). Then you draw back to your anchor point.
When you are ready to fire the arrow, you will be holding it with your fingers in that position of tension on the string.
The release aid then clamps down over your index finger and releases it when you squeeze the trigger. The bowstring snaps forward, propelled by the force of your draw at full draw length. As it releases, it flings the arrow down range with great speed.
How did archery release aids come about?
The short answer to this question is that they have been used since before anyone keeps accurate records of their use. The long answer is that they have been used since archery became a sport, and were refined over the years. There is no definitive history of their development, but there are some who point out that Christopher Scott makes claims to having invented them in 1962.
Most accept the date of 1991 when Hardy Rugh demonstrated his invention at an IBO conference, and archers began using them shortly thereafter. Today, there are many brands and styles of release aids available to the modern archer.
What types of release aids exist?
Today’s release aids come in many shapes and sizes, but they generally fall into three categories:
- The first is a simple strap with a buckle that has the ability to tighten or loosen to accommodate different-sized hands and different preferences.
- The second category of release aids is a strap, with a buckle, but it has a spring-loaded clamp that tightens around the wrist when the buckle is engaged. These are called “Hook & Loop” releases by most manufacturers. This style of release aid became popular from 2009-2012.
- The third category is the “trigger” style release aid, which has a trigger-style buckle, but no strap to hold it in place on the wrist. All of these styles have their pros and cons (and archers tend to be pretty passionate about what they like), but today’s archers are well versed in their use.
What are the benefits of using release aids?
Obviously, they allow the archer to hold the string taut until you are ready to fire your arrow. This is what allows you to be consistent so that each shot feels exactly like every other one. Consistency is highly prized in an archer. The aid allows the archer to be consistent because it allows the string to be drawn to a shorter space than would be possible otherwise. Having this consistency means that an archer can train his or her muscles to draw at exactly the same distance every time, which is much easier for them to learn.
How are release aids attached?
They are commonly attached by looping the string through the flat part of the buckle, and then drawing the string back until there is enough slack in it to wrap around your wrist. When you let go of the string, it wraps around your wrist and cinches down when the trigger releases. Some styles attach to an archer’s hand by slipping their fingers though loops or onto flat surfaces that will not interfere with the bowstring.
What are some of the benefits and pitfalls to using release aids?
Obviously, the main benefit is that they allow an archer to draw a shorter distance than would otherwise be possible. This means it is much easier for them to learn to hold their draw for a longer amount of time without moving when hunting. The shorter distance also makes it easier for them to shoot with the bow flat, instead of holding it up.
One of the pitfalls is that many people do not know how to shoot with their release aid. This means they must learn all over again without one. Another pitfall is that every archer has a different preference, which can lead to an archer switching back and forth between shooting with or without one before settling on their preference.
A third pitfall is that most release aids tighten gradually with the string. This means if you do not want to fire your arrow for some reason (e.g., you spot game at the last second), it will tighten on its own and be ready to go when you are.
One benefit of this is that you don’t have to worry about resetting your release aid.
How do you attach a release?
Most release aids come with very extensive directions, so read the manual before attempting to attach it to your bowstring or wrist. Many of them can be attached in seconds simply by looping the string through the flat part of the buckle and then wrapping it around your wrist. The release aid will tighten when the string is let go.
How do manual release aids work?
A simple strap with a buckle can be tightened or loosened around your wrist to fit you comfortably. The strap has a second buckle at one end, which you attach to the loop on your bowstring. When you are ready to fire your arrow, release the string and let it draw the buckle down your wrist, tightening the strap on your arm. There’s no need to reset if you do not want to fire; simply tighten the straps again, and you’re good to go.
What are the best release aids ?
The best release aid is the one that works for you as an individual. Some people like to tighten their wrists as much as possible, and others prefer a looser wrist. Gloves can help to fix this problem – archers who wear them when they shoot tend to have firmer wrists than those who do not wear them when they shoot. The best release aid is the one that you will wear when shooting.
How did it become acceptable to be seen using a release aid?
Shooting with a release aid used to be considered cheating because it made it easier for an archer to shoot their bow, and therefore many people went out of their way to avoid doing so. Nowadays, they are common and acceptable, but there is still a minority of people who think they should not be allowed at all.
Best to buy releases ?
The best releases are those that you will use when you shoot. This means you should buy as many as you can afford to try out so that you can find the one that works for you. Do not let anyone else choose your release aid, and do not buy a release because it is less expensive than another kind; rather, buy the one that fits you the best.
Why do archers use releases?
Archery releases are generally used to draw a bow back with greater ease, allowing for longer periods of holding a drawn bow. One might also use a release because it allows them to hold a drawn bow more steadily, especially in the case of a recurve or compound bow . Hunters and competition archers may also find that using a release aids in accuracy.