Overdrawing a recurve bow is possible. It depends on how much draw weight you are using. The joints of a recurve bow are flexible, and the limbs curve easily, so overdrawing isn’t an issue with a recurve bow.
The recurve’s joint system intends to only bend up to 90 degrees before snapping back into place. It implies that if you attempt to draw back on the string too much, the recurve bow will completely break, or the limb will shatter off.
When drawing your recurve bow, consider the following factors in mind to prevent an incident:
- Using a string that is way longer for the length of your bow’s string might result in bending or breaking issues. If this occurs, extend your string by an additional inch until it fits perfectly.
- The bow may bend or break if you shoot too much at once. Try not to shoot more than five arrows per minute when overdrawing—you’ll be fine!
Remember that overdrawing a weighted recurve bow may cause tiredness in the archer’s hand and arm. When you bring the bowstring back to the arrow release point, it has greater tension than usual.
Always keep your draw weight within the suggested range for your bow model to prevent this scenario. If your bow is difficult to draw, consider increasing the anchor weight or adding weight to the bow’s limbs.
The easiest way to understand overdrawing is by looking at it as an extension of your shooting form. To overdraw your recurve bow effectively, you need to know what this means to adjust accordingly!
What is an overdraw in archery?
An overdraw is a distance the bowstring is pulled back past the bow’s brace height. Although World Archery specifies a maximum permissible overdraw measurement of 6cm measured from the neck of the grip, the amount of overdraw you have is practically indefinitely changeable.
Numerous individuals will twist their bow to some degree. If this torque is constant, there will not be a change in their outcomes, and they may never notice any consequences. In the 1980s, compound archers found it familiar to position their arrow rests below their grip to lessen the bow’s adverse torque effects.
You can determine how bow-hand torque affects your shot by gently gripping and twisting your bow once at full draw, aiming as usual, and firing. However, suppose your bow-hand torque applies a little different amount of torque than usual. In that case, the arrow may strike the group to the left or right.
You will likely find that the arrow shot while torquing the bow will hit further to your left or right. It usually depends on how you twist your bow than your other arrows.
Your arrow shot is where the overdraw comes into play; there are multiple explanations for how an overdraw eliminates the effects of bow hand torque. One reason is that if the contact point of the arrow is directly above the archer’s wrist, the end from which most of the opposing force originates.
Having this kind of situation will reduce the effect of the torque, and when this hypothesis arises, it continues to be an entirely plausible explanation for how the overdraw works.
Another theory indicates that if you torque the bow to the right, a rest position behind the grip will relocate the arrow an equal distance to the left. It results in canceling out the right-hand movement, an equal and opposite response.
Whichever theory you like is acceptable since both describe the same effect and work collaboratively. This kind of theory indicates a vital aspect, a “sweet spot,” between the bow and the point of contact with the arrow that may avoid torque effects, but where precisely is this place?
Unfortunately, the precise area you should put your rest varies depending on the bow, arrow, and archer. To enjoy the full effects of the overdraw, you must figure it out for yourself and your specific equipment.
Since the 1980s, overdraw has risen and fallen in popularity, with many individuals believing its disadvantages outweigh its advantages. However, it has gained a following throughout the years, and several renowned international archers have won tournaments using one.
An overdraw may not be for everyone; still, whether you feel an overdraw is suitable for you or not, it may be good to try one to see what impact it can make.
What are the benefits of overdrawing a recurve bow?
You use an overdraw to draw the arrow back from your bow faster and more accurately. By utilizing an overdraw, you can shoot a bow more quickly and efficiently than if you were to use only a traditional draw stroke.
The benefits of using an overdraw are:
- An overdraw allows you to draw the arrow back faster and more accurately without relying on muscle memory or other physical cues. It means you don’t have to look at your hand or face while drawing. Moreover, it helps keep your focus on what’s happening in front of you.
- A quicker release time allows you to shoot before your target can respond, giving you an instant edge over them.
- An overdraw lets you shoot with more power, which means that if you hit something with your arrow, it will hurt more and last longer—preventing damage from being done by others!
- An overdraw will also help you shoot farther because it uses less force on the string when pulling back that arrow.
- An overdraw will make for quieter shots because it allows for more time between releasing each shot so that sound doesn’t carry as far away from where we’re aiming!
If you want to use this technique, consider that adding an overdraw might make your bow less forgiving. Extra caution is necessary while shooting shorter arrows.
When you pull back the bow, it is needed to watch out that the arrow does not come off the rest because if it does, the end will likely be behind your hand when it is released.
How can I know if I am using too much draw weight?
Experiencing tiredness and pain in your arm might indicate that you are overdrawing your bow. Snapping the string of your bow is another obvious sign of overdrawing.
When choosing your draw weight, always consider what pounds you can comfortably handle and shoot. Another indication that your draw weight is too high or too much is when you are shaking at full draw.
Excellent guidance to know if you are using too much draw weight is when you can shoot comfortably at least twice as many arrows during practice as you would in competition.
If you usually shoot 72 arrows for score and about 60 arrows during practice, aim to shoot approximately 270 arrows to get used to your draw weight.
However, this question has no clear answer. Every archer has a different draw weight capacity, physique, and shooting technique. Consequently, assessing your draw weight using the correct archery equipment is crucial.
For instance, most recurve bows have a bow weight measuring instrument that you can use to calculate the ideal draw weight for your bow. For convenience, you can also get a bow scale on Amazon.
Better accuracy is not a necessary guarantee for an archer with a higher draw weight. So that you don’t put too much pressure on your muscles, it’s crucial to strike a balance between the draw length and the bow’s weight.
Moreover, safety is always a priority in the range of draw weight you must use. It would be best if you consider what your body can physically handle without the possibility of getting injuries.
How much draw weight should you get?
Forty pounds is the minimum draw weight required if you want to hunt a game with a recurve bow. For beginners, the recommended is 20 to 25 pounds. If you’re going to do target shooting, drawing weight of more than 30 to 35 pounds is enough.
Draw weight is usually the force required to draw the bowstring over its range of motion. If you are a new archer and it is your first time using a recurve bow, always aim for the lower draw eight range to feel more comfortable while adjusting your draw.
As you gain more experience using recurve bows, you will gain more strength and get to handle more draw weight. At that point, it will be easier for you to take heavier draw weight.
Here are some essential tips to remember when choosing a draw weight.
- You can use draw weights of 40 pounds or higher for hunting the most common game (deer, elk, and turkey) with a recurve (preferably 45)
- If you want to hunt for grizzly bears, oxen, or cape buffalo, you’ll need 55 pounds or more.
- Any draw weight will suffice for target shooting with a recurve, including 25 pounds.
- Choose a recurve weighing 40 pounds or more if you intend to use it for hunting and target practice.
You will rapidly adjust to increased draw weights; what first seemed challenging will become much simpler after a few hundred arrows. Be patient and avoid overtraining; your muscles will adapt swiftly.
How to choose the correct recurve bow draw weight for you?
A great technique to determine a suitable draw weight for a recurve bow is to try it out. Take some classes, rent a bow, or go to the range and experiment with various weights.
You can see the draw weight on the lower limb’s face, usually in pounds. For example, 32 pounds at 30 inches suggests that a weight of 32 pounds will be on the string when pulled to a length of 30 inches.
It is important to remember that a higher draw weight does not necessarily result in more accurate shots since a stiffer, sometimes heavier arrow is required. Heavier arrows move more slowly.
A typical rule of thumb is to add 2 pounds of weight for every inch overdrawn. Similarly, underdrawing an inch might result in a loss of around 2 pounds of draw weight.
Remember that you should be able to continue firing after shooting the arrow a few hundred times. Reduce the weight if your muscles get weary after a few shots. After a given number of arrows, you will better understand what you can manage and what suits you.
It is also worth noting that shops have a more excellent knowledge of them, but you should not depend exclusively on what they believe is best for you.
Beginners need to choose a draw weight that is simple to execute. As you get more experience shooting recurve bows, you will build strength and be able to draw heavier weights.
Keep in mind that overdrawing is not for everyone. It may be possible for you to perform this technique, but you must first consider your level and style. Regular practice and determination are essential to perfect this technique.