When it comes down to bow maintenance, you should treat your bow, whether recurve or compound, with the utmost care, just like your car. If you want to keep your bow in good shape while ensuring smooth performance, you are required to do daily checkups and upkeep maintenance.
Whether you are naive or a professional archer, you should understand that this sport is completely based on how you use a certain set of equipment to stay at the top of your game. To do that, you have to keep maintaining your bow to enhance its longevity in both performance and appearance.
People often get confused when maintaining a bow as it contains many different parts, which makes them question where they should start? With so many parts, it is challenging to find the right checklist that ensures you maintain every part of the bow, from limbs to string.
It does not matter whether you are a novice player or professional or someone in between. Once you start exhibiting what you have learned throughout your archery training, you will understand the importance of maintaining your bow. Then you will make time for cleaning, repairing, and general maintenance. To help you upkeep your bow, here are some tips that you can use to improve the performance and longevity of your bow by keeping them in good shape.
1️⃣ A Well-Tuned Bow Is A Key To Successful Archery!!
Well, let’s start with this remarkable fact that keeping your bow well-tuned will assist in higher performance and longevity. Not to mention, before you go on buying your favorite bow on the market, there are several things that you should know, like the exact draw length and suitable draw weight.
On top of that, you should understand how to tune your bow to maintain its performance and life. Because even after purchasing your dream bow, it won’t be worth much after a year or two unless you maintain it properly. Although it is pretty surprising how quickly a well-made bow can fall apart or fall into disrepair.
And, if you don’t maintain the bow, it won’t be as effective as you thought. So, if you are a naive archer and want to start today, any archery range or a bow tech at a local sports shop near your home can help you with all the requirements.
2️⃣ Examine And Listen To Your Daily Bow Maintenance
Before you start archery practice for the day, you should take some time and inspect your bow for regular wear or any damage. That means if you feel something wear while inspecting your bow or during archery, you must stop right there and examine your bow for any damage.
However, even the simplest thing can reduce the performance of your bow and, in some cases, might even lead to severe damage. You should know that the root cause of such damage is an irregularity in inspecting your bow, and even if you don’t find a problem, you should consider getting it checked by a bow tech. So, here are some things you should do before and while you’re training.
✔️ Inspect The Edges Of The Riser
You should thoroughly inspect the riser area that attaches to the limbs. These areas of the bow experience the most pressure when drawing a bow. A quick glance would ensure that they are properly screwed together. However, if you are using any compound bow, ensure that there is no single bolt that wobbles.
While in the case of a takedown bow, you ensure that limbs are tightly screwed. Usually, the limbs do not wobble from their place, and if they do, you should take a bow tech and get it checked.
✔️ Ensure A Stable Grip
It should feel secure when you hold the bow in your hand, as most grips are usually craved on the riser. So, it is better to ensure that there are no gaps or cracks on the riser grip. On the other hand, some attachments or fitments are glued on the bow using an adhesive material, which can sometimes wobble or loosen.
✔️ Ensure The Riser Is Safe
Every part of a bow is essential, but in the case of a riser, it plays the most crucial role in your bow’s performance. Usually, it is the center of every bow that unites every part of the bow. That means even if you don’t have any problem with the riser, it is most likely to cause issues in other parts of the bow. So, before drawing your first bow, it is better to look at the following things.
✔️ Inspect The Accessories While Installing
Usually, the riser contains the majority of attachments that assist you in performing well during your training. Accessories include arrow rest, stabilizer, bow sight, cable guard, and quiver fitment. And you have to check every add-on to ensure:
All of them are screwed or attached tightly because wobbling accessories will be of no good as they will affect the performance of your bow and make it more dangerous. A wobbly arrow rest can launch your arrow in different directions, which is a bad thing for you as well as the people around you.
No sign for erosion marks. When you use your bow more often, you may notice that some bow parts are worn down. This is often seen on your arrow rest, but if you see any cracks or breaks on a whisker biscuit or a containment rest, it’s time for you to upgrade or replace the worn-down part.
3️⃣ Watch The Bow String
Among all the bow parts, the bow string requires time to time replacement as they often tend to wear down and attain damage easily. So, you should replace the bow string more frequently as soon as you notice any signs of wear and tear.
Even though modern bow strings are made of complex polyethylenes, they still perform like the ones used long ago. That means they are likely to fray and snap when used too often. So, here is a list of things you should consider to get the best out of your archery training.
✔️ Use Soft Wax To Maintain The Shape
One of the best ways to save the hassle and protect your bow cable is to use bowstring wax. People often debate how frequently they should apply wax on the bow cable? Some archers say it is best to wax them after every session, but it will affect the quality of the string.
While others would say, you should wax them after a few sessions, which is probably the best advice as it would work for every archer. So, when it comes to waxing the bow string, you should do it once a week to maintain the integrity of your bowstring.
✔️ Carefully Examine Your Bow String
Some of you might not even find this important. However, when you see any fray threads or any section that looks different from the rest of the bow string, you should immediately replace the string or visit a bow tech to do the same. You should know that drawing from a fragile bow string might be dangerous for you and the people around you. And repairing it is not something you want to hold for any round.
When inspecting your bow string, make sure to check every part, including the edges. If you have a recurve bow, consider looking at the nocking point along with the area where limbs are attached or tied to the bow string. However, in the case of compound bows, consider checking the D-loop and the area near the edges.
You have to ensure that the string is aligned with the cams, not leaning left or right. In case if it does, you need to see a bow tech, and before that, you should also check the cable has been securely fastened to the cable guard. As mentioned above, if you notice that some part of your bowstring looks different or atypical, you should consider replacing the string as soon as possible, or if you have a compound bow, you must visit a bow tech to get your string replaced.
✔️ Use A Bow Stringer
In case you have a recurve bow, it may take you a while to master your position and shoot with good form. Therefore, a bow stringer is preferred the most during archery training as it prevents the limbs from injuring you when you draw the bowstring. So, whenever you practice archery from a recurve bow, it would be best to use a bow stringer to prevent you and your bow from attaining any damage during the training.
✔️ Hear The Sound Of Your Arrow Release.
When you notice your bow is vibrating a lot and making noise, either your bow has attained damage, or the bow string is loose. So, it is better to carefully review your bowstring to ensure all of them are tight and in good condition.
4️⃣ Place Your Bow In A Dry And Safe Place
Now you know that most damage a bow can attain during training or when in use, so people often wonder how to store them, which is another important aspect to consider to maintain your bow. To help you out, here are some tips to remember while storing your bow.
✔️ Buy A Bow Case
Nowadays, naive and professional archers consider buying a takedown bow because they are convenient and easier to store and transport. But when it comes down to purchasing a bow case, there are usually two types of bow cases: hard cases and soft cases.
Soft cases are manufactured using durable fabric and can be transported easily. However, if you are traveling more often, you need a harder case as these are made from hard plastic and will protect your bow the most due to their sturdy build. The best thing about these cases is that they will protect your bow while traveling from one place to another.
✔️ Ensure Your Entire Bow Is Clean
When you practice outdoors, your bow will likely attain grime or dirt on the bowstring, limbs, riser, and other accessories. You would be amazed to know how your bow can get gunky even when you don’t practice in bad weather. So, it is better to clean up your bow after your session.
✔️ Heat Factor
Heat can have a significant impact on the bow’s quality as it can delaminate the fiberglass wrapped on the limbs if exposed for too long. So, whenever you decide to toss your bow inside your truck or car, remember to get it out before it’s too late, even when you left the windows a little open.
Apart from that, you also need to be careful about the storage spaces because they can get pretty hot, and you probably don’t want to take out your bow with some serious damage.
✔️ Hang It Up, If You Don’t Want A Case
Well, it might be easier for you to toss your bow into the corner of a garage or under a shed. But you need to build something up like a string or cam. It would be better for you to hang it a little high so that it stays away from your pets, kids, and other people. It will especially be away from getting any grime or dirt on them.
5️⃣ Go To A Professional Archer
Have you ever heard about “Repairing a thing in time saves the hassle of replacing it?” It means preventing any collateral damage is way better than fixing it. So, you need to take preventive measures to save your bow from any damage and tune it up well to stay at the top of your game, just like bringing your truck or car to the garage once a year and getting it reviewed by experienced personnel to tune it up fully.
Similarly, getting your bow thoroughly inspected through a professional every year would be best for you. He or she will check the bow from top to bottom and carefully look for any inconsistencies or alignment problems with the bow. Unless you are an expert archer, it won’t hurt if someone looked closely at your bow and found any problem associated with them.
6️⃣ Never Dry Fire Your Bow
Even when your trainer tells you not to dry fire your bow, you should never do it because there are some things that are often left out, so you should know what it is by reading on.
Almost every archer knows what dry fire is? But we will still define it. It is a situation when an archer draws back the bow and releases it without placing an arrow. Usually, this kind of situation happens only in two ways.
- When people don’t know anything about dry firing and consider their bow made of premium material. So, they often dry fire the bow without an arrow.
- Some people do know about the dry fire but often get confused when placing the arrow in the bow. So, when they release the bowstring, it tends to affect other parts of the bow severely and might even lead to complete disrepair.
Now you know that dry firing is really bad for you as well as your bow because it can put you and other people around you in jeopardy. For instance, the cable or string can snap, and even other parts of the bow can detach and hit you or someone standing near you, or even worse could happen you never know. So, it is better not to be that guy who becomes the reason for hurting yourself or your loved ones.
Not to mention, you also need to be careful with your bow and those times when you lend a naive bow. Particularly, they are new to this sport and don’t know how to use it when it comes to shooting an arrow. So, they are likely to dry fire the bow more often, so be careful when you hand over your bow to a novice player. In such scenarios, you are likely to be late when they have already drawn the bow and released it before you say anything.
In case someone does dry fire your bow, it’s better to review your bow immediately and be careful when you use it the next time. If you are not good at inspecting the bow, you should look at the limbs and riser. According to science, dry firing a bow releases kinetic energy, which usually gets transferred to the arrow while shooting.
Still, when there is no arrow, the energy gets distributed in the entire bow. You should know that this kind of energy can really cause some serious damage to the bow, like losing the limbs, cams, cables, and so on. If it helps, look from top to bottom for any alignment issues or cracks. Otherwise, it is better to see a bow tech and get it tuned up.
Apart from all this, there are two additional tips that every archer should consider before moving to the next tip.
- One should always shoot arrows that are of right spine and weight. In case if you own a sturdy and heavy bow, which means it would be exerting loads of kinetic energy into your arrow.
That means if you use a flexible or too light arrow, your bow will be producing a lot more energy than it’s expected to. So, you need to ensure the arrows are of perfect weight and sturdy enough to withstand the kinetic energy.
- Before you release the arrow, ensure the nock is in good shape. Even though it might sound a little insignificant, it is the most crucial thing. For instance, when you shoot an arrow, the nock transfers a lot of kinetic energy to the entire arrow and ensure a good flight.
That means an arrow nock must be strong enough to handle all the energy. So, it is better to look for cracks or chips before shooting an arrow if the arrow nock falls apart. Again, the bowstring is likely to push against the bow. And once again, you have dry-fired your bow even if you don’t want to.
Additional Tips For Better Maintenance
Before we sum up this entire maintenance guide, here are a few additional things you should remember to keep your bow in good health.
- Children Can Easily Outgrow The Bow
When youth archers grow, their style of drawing the arrow and maintaining good form is likely to change. That means it’s time for you to buy them new equipment as the previous one won’t be as good as you thought would be sufficient for honing their skills.
Plus, if you are a parent, you should keep yourself from quotes like one bow size will fit all, but in reality, it does not. In other words, having an improperly tuned bow can be dangerous for your child.
So, it would be great for you to visit a bow tech, find the right equipment for them, and ensure that as they grow older, they need new equipment to level up their game. You should know that using archery equipment that suits the individual needs is highly safe.
- Be Mean If It Comes To Your Bow
Even though humans love to share and let others borrow their things for a while. But you should know that the way you release your arrow would be unique, and your bow is likely to be aligned with your shooting style. That means whenever someone touches and tries to shoot from your bow, and they are likely to damage the bow with their different shooting style.
Although bow maintenance is dependent upon how often it is used. You should remember that time invested in maintenance is never considered a waste because it will save your bow from getting severe damage even when you don’t use it often. So, these are the tips that one should consider for maintaining their bow as it will assist them in tuning them up and prolong their life.