None of us is unfamiliar with the concept of paradoxes. Generally, when a statement contradicts the results or is widely unacceptable, it is given the name of paradox. However, this term has made its existence into archery as well.
While considering the issues you need to tackle in archery, most beginners find it hard to grasp the concept of the archer’s paradox. But the exciting part is that you get familiar with the issue over time as you practice and learn your way through.
It is a concept backed up by physics, and it still exists today. However, you can find a lot of alternatives like a compound bow which are free from this. Yet if you have any other bow in your hand, it is time for you to understand it.
What Is Archer’s Paradox?
Have you ever seen a fish moving in the water? If yes, then you must have paid attention to its tail moves. When the fish proceeds forward, its tail points in every direction but straight. Still, the fish can go ahead without any visible problem.
So, when the bow releases the arrow, something similar happens. An arrow from the longbow may aim in a direction different from the target, yet it manages to hit the aim perfectly. This is why the paradox term is used to explain this phenomenon.
This process is based on the bending of the shaft of the arrow. There is also a term spine used to express the degree of the arrow shaft’s stiffness. It is basically the resistance of the arrow towards the bend it is approaching.
Why Does Archer’s Paradox Happen?
Many people find it hard to think that something like this happens during almost every aim that an archer takes. However, this does not imply there is no reason behind it. The concept of this phenomenon is not actually as complex as the process may sound.
The reason behind such an absurd movement of the arrow is the different speeds its different parts acquire. The cause of such a difference is the push of the force that applies on the back of it because of releasing the string. As the push is applied for the back, this part tries to move faster than the front one.
It can also be said that the arrow acquires a little amount of energy that leads to its bending. This energy is responsible for all the curving and twisting. The energy is transferred from the string that remains attached to the arrow even after being released.
In physics, such a process is termed as oscillations, and here are the factors that are the real cause of these oscillations of the arrow.
- As the string pushes the arrow after the release, the whole thing comes down to the pull of the bow’s string.
- The obstacles that come in the path may end up giving different directions to the bow.
- The friction between the string and ht archer’s finger also causes some deviation. The string will be deflected to another side to that in which the fingers of either hand are released. The arrow goes in the direction the string is stretched towards due to the increased friction.
Aspects Affecting The Archer’s Paradox
Since the phenomenon is pretty prominent, several factors can affect it. All of these are related to the choice of the equipment that you have made.
- Type Of The Bow That Is In Your Hands
It should not be a secret that the bow you have chosen for the archery will significantly determine the result. However, it does play a major role in the arrow’s movement. The curve attained by the one released from the traditional bow will move side to side. The string goes around the finger to reach the resting position.
- Stiffness Of The Arrow
The natural stiffness that the arrow has because of its length and material has a considerable impact on it as well. The stiffness may require you to pay attention to the manufacturer and the brand you have chosen to purchase it from. In addition, the flexing can be slowed down depending upon the stiffness. So it becomes necessary that there is some flexibility to allow the gripping and hitting into the target.
- The Technique Of Flexing
Flexing technique matters as the back need to be able to get over the riser. With your technique, you need to ensure that the shock that occurs after the string is released is adequately absorbed. The behind will inevitably be receiving more energy, yet you can have a technique that will assist you in aiming.
- The Flexibility Of The Boom
You cannot have an arrow that is not flexible at all. For turning back to the intended direction, the arrow shall move. You can choose the level of flexibility that suits your hand the best.
Effects Of The Archer’s Paradox
You may wonder, as it is an unavoidable process, how it may affect the arrow’s trajectory. Hence, you need to pay attention to the whole releasing process for the same purpose.
We only see that the arrow releases as soon as the string is released. However, there is much more going on in the microseconds. The released string takes a while to attain its mean position or, in other words, the positing, which implies the resting one. This can be compared to the vibrating motion.
The same vibrations hit the arrow continuously, which affects its angle. The arrow gradually attains that original angle as the string does the same. Once the arrow is launched towards the actual target, it bends inward because of inertia.
This inertia results from the change of the angle taking place during this small period. The angle was set at a lower value when the string was stretched entirely as there was no particular contact between the two. However, after being hit by the string, with the sudden jerk, the angle changes. Now the arrow wants to go back to the lower angle it had before.
As mentioned earlier, the arrow’s stiffness or spine plays a huge role in the wobble it will face. The wobbling tendency of the shaft will allow it to stand against the inertia, thus giving a helping hand. However, if the arrowhead is comparatively heavy, it will help the arrow by not letting it move away from its destined trajectory.
So now you can imagine how much the quality and the type of equipment you choose will affect the complete aiming and shooting process. This phenomenon is already beyond human control, and to make it worse, some human errors can make it much more problematic. For an absolute beginner, getting the hang of it may be trickier.
How Can You Deal With Archer’s Paradox?
Since you know what archer’s paradox is, it is time to know what things will help you deal with it. Firstly, you need to throw this thought away that archer’s paradox will stop you from becoming a good archer. By keeping a few factors in mind, you shall be able to get over this issue within no time.
- The Right Spine Can Help You Reduce Archer’s Paradox
You must have understood the importance of the spine of the arrow by now. Thus, by getting the right one, the issue can be resolved petty effortlessly. Moreover, it will let you aim with the same angle time and again.
- Practicing Will Let You Master The Art Of Aiming
Does it ever happen to you that once you start to encounter an issue frequently, it does not seem to trouble you anymore? The same thing will happen if you decide to take some practice shots, as they will help your conscious mind remember the hitting place. In this way, you will be shooting at the target by keeping previous positions in mind the next time.
- Choose The Modern Bows That Will Not Let You Worry About This Issue At All
The easiest solution would be eliminating the cause of it. Though it may not be practical for everybody, it is still an option. The makers understood long ago that beginners need something to make archery easier for them. Hence, this led to some of the bows with little to no archer’s paradox.
If you shoot the arrow from a recurve or compound bow, it will take the straighter path, eliminating the whole curving process.
- Get A Bow Stabilizer
If the above solution is not what you are looking for, then you can try using the best bow stabilizer. As the name indicates, it serves the function of keeping your bow stable for you.
- Speed Of Release Will Change The Game For You
Naturally, an arrow released with a slower speed will have more paradox. Hence, releasing it at a faster pace will help you.
It is no doubt that handling a bow can be tougher than handling a firearm. With many factors already affecting the whole process, archer’s paradox may make things a lot more complex for anybody. However, it is not impossible for you to overcome this issue, and there are many practical solutions to help you out.