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).


Riding for the Brand in Barebow Archery

By Mark V. Lonsdale, Shaft Shooters Archery

I’ve been running Hoyt Exceeds with Velos limbs for both Indoor and Outdoor training and competitions this season. I’m averaging 4,000 arrows per month since last August, so a total of almost 40,000 arrows with no issues and no complaints. Got ‘a love Made in the USA.

Hoyt Exceed, Velos limbs, Easton A/C/C shafts, Yost tab
Gold at the California State Outdoor Championships


Concentration in Archery

Mark V. Lonsdale

When you have attained a good grasp of correct form and shot process in archery, focus & concentration become critical. The 50 meter Barebow target below is a good example of where a momentary lapse in concentration resulted in lost points. We jokingly call it “the arrow that hates you” but in reality, it is the archer and not the arrow at fault.

At 50 meters, a score of 54 equates to a 9 average, which is good in any outdoor archer’s book. But a small lapse in concentration threw the 7 high right.
Barebow backyard practice. Bow is a Hoyt Exceed with Velos limbs.

Concentration is like a muscle in that it must be flexed, practiced and exercised regularly. At the beginning, telling yourself to concentrate is a useful conscious thought process, but with time and practice an archer will automatically click into the zone as he or she steps up to the line.


Barebow Competition in California

By Mark V. Lonsdale, Barebow competitor

It’s official. Barebow is alive and well in California. The recent California Outdoor Championships included Recurve, Compound and Barebow categories. Barebow, alone, had eight divisions including Men’s and Women’s Cadets, Seniors, Masters 50+, Masters 60+, and Masters 70+. Juniors also shot Barebow on Friday.

State Archers of California Outdoor Championship in Sacramento: 25-27 June 2021

This was the first State Archers of California (SAC) event to roll out the new Barebow 1440 format. All four rounds are shot at 50 meters, with two rounds on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Rounds 1 and 2 are six ends of 6 arrows. Rounds 3 and 4 are 12 ends of 3 arrows for a total of 144 arrows / 1440 points. The 50-meter distance was adopted to conform with the US Open and other international outdoor Barebow match formats with the thinking that State events should be a training ground for National and International events.

The hope, now, is that the Barebow archers attending the SAC California Outdoor Championships will go back to their clubs and spread the word that Barebow is back and with a new format.

Barebow bales at 50 meters

For those not familiar with Barebow rules, a target Barebow is essentially an Olympic recurve bow without the sights, clicker, or stabilizers. That said, any trad recurve, long bow or stick bow can be shot in the Barebow divisions. For the most part, Barebow archers shoot three fingers under and set up their bows to be point-on at 50 meters, or “lollypopping,” holding 6 o’clock on the 9 or 10 ring.  So dust off that Barebow, or go out and invest in a new one.

Barebow Masters 50+ division

Last but not least, big shout out to the SAC board, match coordinators, judges and volunteers who made all this possible.

See you on the field


Selecting the Correct Arrow for Barebow

By Mark V. Lonsdale

After considerable research, including talking with my former coach and the Easton reps at the Vegas Shoot, I settled on the Easton RX-7 23s for future barebow shooting. Up until now I’ve been experimenting with the Easton Ballistic XX75 2213s which seemed to work well from my 40 pound Hoyt Xceed.

Initial testing with an assortment of 20-year old Easton Ballistic 2213s

The RX-7s are a tappered shaft well suited to indoor barebow shooting. They are compatible with Easton 2315 Uni Bushings, one piece 100 grain bullet points, Easton 3D Super nocks, and Beiter 19/1 insert nocks.

Arrow components fresh from Lancaster Archery, including 5″ right wing, Trueflight, shield cut feathers.
Easton RX-7 23-420s

Fletched up a half dozen shafts last night so will begin testing and tuning this week. The final component that I’m waiting for is a Zniper arrow rest.

Hoyt Xceed 25″ riser with Carbon Velos limbs


Barebow Break-in

By Mark V. Lonsdale

With the sun shining, today was the first day to get some arrows down range with the new Hoyt Xceed barebow. Still breaking in the string and getting a feel for the weight and balance, but initial results are encouraging.

Hoyt Xceed with Carbon Velos limbs running Easton 2213s
Working with an assortment of Easton 2213s with 125 and 145 grain field points. Also experimenting with the cock feather at 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock.

I have Easton RX-7 RX23 tappered shafts on order, which should be in next week. These are the ones I would like to ultimately use for competitions, but for now, the 2213s are definitely working well.

Hoyt Xceed 25″ riser with Carbon Velos long limbs


Barebow Stabilizer Weights

By Mark V. Lonsdale

While barebow rules do not allow the long stabilizer rods used in Olympic archery, they do allow for a stabilizer weight below the grip. The only requirement is the bow with stabilizer fit through the 12.2 cm (4.75″) ring. This necessitates that the weights sit close to the riser.

To meet this requirement, Hoyt has developed integral weights molded to fit the Xceed riser.

Riser weight designed to fit the Xceed riser
Installation of the two halves
Seven Allen bolts are used to secure the two halves of the Hoyt Riser Weight

The Riser Weight adds 32 oz of weight below the grip adding both balance and stability to the Xceed barebow.


Barebow versus Traditional- Part 3

By Mark V. Lonsdale

For those of you new to archery or barebow shooting, “Barebow” is now a very popular form of competition archery and growing every day. So what is the difference between traditional archery and barebow?

For me, traditional archery has been centered around my Black Widow bows, such as my PMA-III and PSR-II, shooting off the shelf with no sights. This is a pure form of traditional barebow archery.

Black Widow PMA III takedown recurve

Now, the type of barebow this series of articles is centered around is the barebow division being shot in events such as the Vegas Shoot and Lancaster Archery Classic. For this, and going by the World Archery rules, an archer can shoot his or her Olympic target bow, less the sights, clicker, and long stabilizers.

The rules require that the entire bow must fit through a 12.2 cm ring (4.75”) – or the same size as the gold on a target. This still allows for stabilizer weights but they must be below the rest and sit close to the riser. In this manner they will still fit through the 12.2 cm ring while giving the bow vertical balance and stability after the shot.

An example of a Hoyt riser weight designed for the Hoyt Xceed riser.
Stock image of riser weight installed, thanks to Hoyt Archery

For this project I selected the Hoyt Xceed 25″ riser and Hoyt Carbon Velos Long limbs. These both arrived this week. The first step was to assemble the bow, after reading the owners manual, and then string it to get the initial stretch or creep out of the string. I do this before putting twists in the string just to give the strands a chance to stretch equally.

With no twists, this produced a brace height of 8 inches, but the Hoyt manual recommends 8.75″-9′.5″ for a 70″ bow with long limbs. The next day, 20 twists produced a brace height of 8.5″; 30 twists measured 8 5/8″; 40 twists 8.75″ and 45 twists 9.0″ — so have settled on 9.0″ for now. As you know, it will take at least a 100 arrows for the string to settle down – so that is next on the list.

Initially I will be running a Beiter plunger and Hoyt Super rest, but plan to go to a Zniper rest when it arrives from Lancaster.

Hoyt Xceed riser with Hoyt Super Rest and Beiter plunger

Fortunately this form of barebow competition shooting has been around long enough for others to have done significant experimenting in real world competitions, and then generated a good number of books and videos. So rather than “re-invent the wheel” I am taking the advice of past and present barebow champions, plus watching the videos from the 2019 Lancaster and Vegas shoots.

More to follow….