Keeping Barebow Training Interesting

By Mark V. Lonsdale, USAA Instructor Trainer

Archery training requires hundreds of arrows per day, thousands per month, and tens of thousands per year. As such, many seasoned and aspiring competitors take every opportunity to train alone in their backyard or local public range, often without the benefit of a training buddy. To make the training sessions more interesting, there are a number of ways to change-up the routine of just shooting hundreds of 3- or 6-arrow ends.

Arrow Tracking: One very useful training exercise is to number all your arrows and record them in the margin of a clipboard. After each end, record the score for each individual arrow. The goal is to track which arrows consistently score 10s and 9s and which stray into the 7 or 6 rings. You may find that you have one arrow that consistently scores low so may be slightly bent. The ones that consistently score well will become your “first string” competition arrows. Most competitors will set aside eight or nine A-list arrows just for competition and then use the others as “beaters” for training.

Endurance Training: Instead of shooting 3- or 6-arrow ends at 50 meters, shoot 12 to build up strength and endurance. Shooting 12 also tests your ability to remain focused for all 12 arrows. Pay attention to see if your scores drop off as you feel the muscle fatigue.

Arrow Competitions: Take two sets of identical arrows with different colored nocks, for example, 6 red and 6 white. Then, shooting in ends of 6 or 12, have a competition between the two colors.

Arrow Competition with Red nocks versus White nocks. Red are winning in this image with 4x9s and 2x10s for a score of 56. Note: when you see an arrow out of the group, such as the one low left, note the number of the arrow to see if it consistently scores low left and if it may be bent.

Endurance Training: In a standard Barebow competition, the archer has 4 minutes to shoot 6 arrows or 2 minutes to shoot 3 arrows. To work on endurance and developing a subconscious shot process, try shooting 12 arrows in 4 minutes. This requires a continuous shooting process with little time for conscious thought.

Long Hold Training: Another aspect of endurance and strength training is long hold training. The standard shot cycle usually includes a 3-5 second hold, but to build confidence and endurance, try training with 10-second holds. This also serves to help prevent target panic and the feeling that you have to get the shot off quickly. Just relax and watch the point of your arrow hover on or under the 10 ring while counting to ten in your head.

Hold-off Training: To be able to shoot well in windy conditions, it is important to be able to aim off center. To work on this, even on a windless day, practice shooting a group to the left or right of the gold. Also take the opportunity to get out and practice on windy days to become comfortable in windy conditions.

See you on the range


2022 Vegas Shoot

3-6 FEB 2022

Registered and training for the 2022 Vegas Shoot. As of this date, over 1,000 competitors have signed up.

2021 was Championship only and all the Barebow categories were lumped together. Expecting great things for February 2022
Hanging with Spanky Brookes in the training hall.

Bring your “A” game an see y’all in Vegas


Easton RX7-23s

Barebow Archery

Shaft Shooters Archery

Yep, Barebow archers are a breed apart. We definitely seem to have more fun at championships than your typical Olympic recurve of compound archers.

Left to Right, Michael Ricacho, Mark Lonsdale, and Greg Wiatroski at the 2021 CA Indoor State Championships

The 2022 CA Indoor State Championships will be at the Tulare International Agricultural Center in January 8&9.

The Tulare International Agricultural Center. We couldn’t ask for a better facility for indoor archery
The dedicated match officials for the CA Indoor State Championships.

No sights, no stabilizers, no clickers, but Barebow competitors can still drill the 10s and Xs. Arrows are Easton RX7-23s


CA State Indoor Archery Championships – 2021

By Mark V. Lonsdale, Instructor Trainer /Coach

The CA State Indoor Championships are going on this weekend at the International Agricultural Center in Tulare, CA. Big shout out to the Stan Creelman, his volunteers, and the State Archers of California (SAC) organizers for putting on a great event.

Day 1 at the International Agricultural Center in Tulare, CA.
Barebow archery is growing in California with 30 to 40 Barebow archers at most events.

The 2022 CA Indoor Championships will be at the same venue in early January, 2022.


Indoor Barebow Archery Season

By Mark V. Lonsdale

Well, with the CA 2021 Indoor Championships this weekend and the Vegas Shoot in the New Year, it’s that time of year. As we move from summer into fall it is time to begin getting ready for indoor archery season.

While some archers have two Barebows, one setup for 50 meter outdoor and another for 18 meter indoor, others will be retuning their bows. The first choice is, “Do I stay with my skinny outdoor arrows, or opt for fatter indoor arrows?”

Some mornings just start better than others.

There are advantages to both. By staying with the skinny arrows such as X10s, A/C/Es, or A/C/Cs, you don’t have to change your tune but simply increase your crawl. But you may be pulling added poundage that is not needed for 18 meters. The advantage of going with fat shafts, such as the popular Easton RX7-23s, is cutting the line and getting the higher score. If two arrows were to hit the same place, one skinny and one fat, the skinny one may not cut the line for the higher score, while the fat arrow may pick up the added point. In the picture above, you can see where two of the RX7s cut the X ring, while with skinny arrows only one may score X.

My choice was to go with two identical Hoyt Xceeds – one with 38# limbs for outdoors and the other with 34# limbs for indoors. For 50 meters I’m shooting Easton A/C/C 3-28s with 60 grain points; and for indoor, Easton RX7-23s with RPS inserts and 125 grain screw in points (162 grains total).


Finishing Strong in Barebow

By Mark V. Lonsdale, Instructor-Trainer

Whether your plan to shoot 60 arrows, 100 arrows, or just 36 in a practice session, you should always try to finish strong. If you shoot your last end and throw one in the blue, then keep practicing until you can go 6 for 6 without throwing a bad arrow. Or if you have a minimum acceptable score, such as 50 out of 60, then shoot until you score 50+ so that you finish strong and with confidence.

50 meter Barebow training; 5 out of 6 in the 9 and 10 rings for a score of 56/60

When I first took up Barebow practice my first goal was to not throw arrows into the blue 6 & 5 rings. Now my goal is to shoot 8 or better on every round at 50 meters.

Remember, how well you shoot is directly related to how often you train, plus a little coaching.

Hoyt Exceed with Velos limbs and Easton A/C/C shafts


Team USA – Tokyo Olympics

Go Team USA and MacKenzie Brown for her 4th place finish at the Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 30: Mackenzie Brown of Team United States competes in the archery Women’s Individual 1/8 Eliminations on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
MacKenzie Brown, Team USA, 5th in the ranking round on Day 1, Tokyo Olympics

The Importance of Grouping in Barebow Archery

By Mark V. Lonsdale

Just to differentiate between precision and accuracy, precision is the ability to shoot good groups, while accuracy is the ability to get that group into the middle of the target.

So when a barebow archer shoots a good group, but not in the yellow, he or she should not be disappointed. A good group shows that the archer is doing everything correctly, but simply need to adjust his or her point of aim.

First group of the barebow morning training session at 50 meters, but up in the 7 and 8 rings. This is not uncommon when your muscles are fresh and you are shooting strong. The point of aim was the X so it is just a matter of shifting the point of aim to 6 o’clock on the 9 ring.
Adjusted point of aim at 50 meters and the group has moved down into the 9s and 10s.

With the examples above, and as the muscles begin to find their groove, the point of aim will return to the X. This usually happens in the first three or four ends of 6 arrows. It’s also not unusual that by the end of a demanding training session of 100+ arrows, or late in the day after three training sessions and 240+ arrows, that you will find you have to aim a little higher to compensate for muscle fatigue. But as long as the groups are good, then you are on the right track with a good, repeatable shot process.



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