Archery Competitions

Here is a list of the more local to me archery competitions coming up this year and possibly next year. These are going to cover the Eastern side of England. More competitions More »

Archery Classification Charts

Here are a selection of the Archery GB classification charts. These are split into indoor and outdoor as well for different bow types including compound and recurve as well as gents and More »

Archery Videos

I wanted to create a number of archery videos to demonstrate various archery topics from archery basics, tips and tricks, book reviews and archery equipment reviews etc. Sometimes a video is easier More »


Arrowsocks, Wraps and Easton Pin Nocks

I now have my hands on some second hand Easton ACE 520 arrows and I have decided to put wraps on these and add Easton pin nocks and small pin nocks as well as XS Wings.

This is the first time I have really built the arrows myself, usually I buy them ready made with standard straight vanes on them.
I have used Arrowsocks before for their mini wraps which I put on my arrows to show my name and the arrow number. As the service is so good I decided to use them again for the 120mm wraps, extra coloured adhesive tape and some silver XS Wings.

Arrowsocks Customer Service

As I am left handed I needed left hand XS Wings, silver was out of stock for a while but I only had to wait 2 weeks for new stock. In the XS Wings packet you get lots of adhesive strip, black adhesive tape and 50 wings. Anyway going back to the wraps I ordered the hexagon design in glitter silver (this is one colour throughout and does not fade between colours like the other ones). They were sent out the same day as I ordered them. There were a couple of printing errors on two of the wraps, but Arrowsocks sent me a whole new set a few days later – brilliant customer service.

Adding the arrow wraps

I removed the old vanes from the ACE arrows with a razor blade and then cleaned them with pure alcohol. I then used a green art and craft cutting board with a grid on it to help me align the wraps onto my arrows. This was all straight forward.

Adding the Easton nock pins

I then added my Easton nock pins with hot melt and then when cooled I pushed on my ‘crystal’ coloured nock pins, I got these from Aim4Sport.

The arrows were then sent to Aim4Sport for cutting and are now ready for the wings to be added.

Buying Second Hand Arrows

Never before have I purchased second hand arrows. The main reason being worried that the arrows could be bent and well used. I have a different set of arrows for indoors and outdoors and so far I have 4 sets of arrows lying around of which I use two sets. So yes my collection of unused arrows is slowly growing – I suppose I’ll be the one selling them soon.

I found out that my current 620 ACC arrows are now the wrong spine for me. They would be fine at my poundage of around 42-44lb if I had a standard draw length of 28″, but I don’t I am around 29.25″. This means I need a stiffer arrow and it now turns out I need some 500 spine arrows.

I didn’t want to go and buy 8 new ACC ones for around £110 (early 2017 prices) instead I decided to look on the 2nd hand market. Now with this sort of budget second hand I have the choice of X10 and ACE arrows. The problem with buying X10 and ACE arrows is that if you end up breaking or losing some and you need to replace them most archery retailers only sell them in dozens. Although I have seen bare shaft ACEs sold in 4’s. That’s not such a problem if you buy say 10 or 12 ACE or X10 used arrows but then the price is also going to be higher.

Buying online also presents a problem. It’s not just spine and the condition of the arrows you need to look at, but the arrow length as well. So the chance of finding a well looked after set of arrows, that are your spine and the correct length or longer can be tricky.

One thing to check is how your seller has measured the arrow as some people measure the correct way – throat of the nock to the end of the shaft, whilst others may measure the whole length of the arrow including the points – so be warned.

If the arrows are complete it’s also important to find out what points have been installed and which nocks and vanes. Although of course you may change these anyway. Knowing which vanes are attached are important for me being left handed as if they are spin wings or eli-vanes you have to install special left or right handed vanes. Another thing you want to check is that the owner has not used super glue to attach any vanes as that can be hard to remove.

When your arrows arrive check they have survived delivery and are all in good condition and not bent in any way by either using an arrow spinner or by just rolling them on a known flat surface.

The next thing is to adjust your arrow rest, button/plunger and centre shot and get them tuned to your bow.

By the way in the end I did find 11x Easton ACC 500 spine finished arrows on eBay.

Check out lots of new and used arrows on eBay.

My First Frostbite

As a club we decided to put on our first Frostbite (since I have been at the club anyway). I decided that the 1st Saturday in January every year is a good date – easy to remember and just after Christmas so everyone should be around for it. Well it wasn’t frosty, a bit misty though but the turnout was good with people we haven’t seen shoot for ages suddenly appeared.

In the end 13 of us shot, I only expected about 7 people. It was about 7-9 degrees so not exactly cold. Shooting 6 arrows again did feel difficult, we must be fitter than we think in the Summer. A lot of people didn’t know their sight marks for 30m either which made for some interesting shots in the first few ends.

We stopped after 3 ends and sighters for hot drinks and then continued on. Everybody enjoyed it and I finished with 291 on my recurve, shame I didn’t break 300 – I will next time! We may even do a frostbite round every month over Winter instead of keeping it to what we thought would be an annual thing.

I have ordered the Frostbite badges from Reading Archers for the people who scored over 200, as the badges only start at 200.

Portsmouth 543 again

This weekend I managed to injure my knee by twisting it coming off a ladder at home. Very painful and difficult to walk although it did not stop me shooting a Portsmouth round on Sunday at the club and hobbling around.

It turned out that on the first nominated Portsmouth round of the year I managed to equal my Personal Best of 543 again! Even though I felt the score was higher when I shot it. I don’t like adding up as I go, as I think doing it may put me off.

Got home and entered everyone’s scores into Golden Records and it turns out that it saw the score as a Personal Best even though the score was the same as a previous one but because I scored 1 more gold this time – 24 instead of the previous 23.

What does it take to get over 550 and not just over 550 for a Portsmouth badge but 554 for a C classification!

Portsmouth 534 Score

At last it’s time to go indoors again for the 2016-2017 indoor season. It was getting dark too quickly outside, we barely had time to set up and shoot for an hour before it was dark during the week at the club. The weather also seems to have turned in the UK with darker days, even more wind and rain.

So we had our first Friday night indoors and all went well with a little bit of tuning. The hardest thing was remembering where the shooting line and target line were.

On Sunday we had our first Portsmouth nominated round. We had a few problems setting up as the back stop netting props had disappeared we think the builders who overhauled the sports storage room used the wood in the walls whilst doing the re-fit. So new ones need to made up.

I scored 534 in the Portsmouth, a personal best for me, my previous best was 526. I shot 22 tens out of 60, although I did have some 7’s and the odd one lower than that. But it must be possible to hit 60 nine’s and so score 540 plus the odd 10 thrown in for good measure – so score around 550+. But it’s all really about being consistent when shooting 3 arrows.

Shooting a Second Detail

This indoor season we have also decided to do second details in order to slow down the shooting, otherwise it felt like a marching band shooting 3 arrows, collecting, returning and shooting again.

The good thing about having a second details is that it gives everyone a competition feel, it also puts 4 people on a boss so makes the shooting more social. It also as I said slows the shooting down. It seems to be working OK after 1 week.

Jolly Archers Autumn Shoot 2016

I have only ever taken part in indoor archery competitions until last Sunday when I took part in my first outdoor competition. Louise and I went to the Jolly Archers shoot at King’s Ripton, Huntingdon. I decided to play it safe and shoot the Bristol II which is 72 arrows at 60 yards, 48 arrows at 50 yards and 24 arrows at 40 yards, so 144 arrows in total + sighters.

I could have shot the Hereford round which starts at 80 yards – maybe next year.  Louise bought their line tent, and I amazed how everybody had the same tent, even down to the colour! Everyone had green, although apparently you can get them in grey. I think if you don’t have a tent you’d look out of place.

It was certainly different to be shooting 3 arrows, swapping details then shooting another 3 – it was like being indoors again.

The 60 yards was bit dodgy, but my sight marks for 50 yards were way off so my 1st end at every new distance was quite a low score. But in the end I had 1020 out of 1296. A 2nd class score, and probably the maximum you can get anyway. That’s a 7 score average. My 60 yard distance average was 6.5, 50 yard was 7 and 40 yards average was 8 per arrow.

We both came away with 1st place medals, but it seemed like so many people got medals, hardly anyone was missed out. I think the problem is with having all the different age ranges, genders, distances and bow types. There just too many variations – then there are the team awards.

An enjoyable, but a long day (the toilets are about 200 yards from the shooting line, plus the breaks weren’t that long).

Here we are in the car at the end with our medals:

louise and daniel jolly archers-medals

W&W WiaWis ACS Nano Stabiliser Review

I had been using Mybo Aeris long rods and short rods for a while. My short rods are 15” and so quite long. I also had some problems with the V bar and extension moving around whilst shooting. So I had been looking out for some used HMC 22 stabilisers. I found a whole set on eBay and decided to watch them and then have a bid on them. IN the end they went for only £40 less than buying them new. But after seeing the HMC 22 sets they are still quite thick, so would still catch the wind a bit. I then learnt that Win&Win had also released a new version of the W&W WiaWis ACS Nano stabilisers.

I liked the fact that they had also released matching extenders and v-bars. I decided to order the 10” W&W WiaWis ACS Nano short rods, 4” extender and the carbon v-bar from Merlin. The delivery was super quick as the items were in stock. I decided to keep my Mybo Aeris long rod, although I may change the long rod at some point in the future.

When the items arrived in the box they certainly didn’t look like I’d spent nearly £150. But the items soon add up. But as soon as I had opened the items the build quality looked amazing. These things look like real quality. What I couldn’t quite work out is why the Mybo Aeris cost more than the new W&W WiaWis ACS Nano short rods.

win and win wwiawis acs nano

Everything arrived in nice tubes and plastic tubs. Each item arrived with some nice transparent thin washers to help everything screw together tightly. You don’t get any extra weights with them, just the standard ones. Although extra ones can be ordered for a few (£) pounds each, if you can find them. This was a bit of a shame as you get a few with the Mybo ones and you can configure them how you want on the Mybo short rods.

Putting the v-bar, extender and short rods was really easy and they all looked really good. I just had to remove one of my weights from the long rod to balance it all up. You balance the setup by turning your bow upside down and placing your finger about an inch along the extender from the edge of the riser, and make sure it balances.

I also decided to weigh the WiaWis setup when it was attached to my Mybo long rod and compare that to the setup with the Mybo short rods. I also weighed each individual items, here are the findings:

Mybo Aeris 30″ Long rod + Mybo Extender + Mybo V-Bar + Mybo Aeris 15″ short rods = 980g
Mybo Aeris 30″ Long rod + WiaWis Extender + W&W CX2 V-Bar + 10″ W&W WiaWis short rods = 750g

Mybo Extender = 90g
W&W WiaWis Extender = 60g

Mybo V-Bar = 50g
W&W CX2 V-Bar = 50g

One nice thing about owning the matching long rod is that the long rod has an extra long thread allowing you to get rid of the v-bar connector, as the long rod can then connect directly to the v-bar, saving around 40g in weight.

But how do they dampen? Well, no very well indeed is the answer. There is no comeback after release, no shake, no wobbles. I love them, worth every penny. Plus they are thin, and take up less space in my kit bag.

If you want to have a closer look at the W&W WiaWis ACS Nano stabilisers I have created a video review on YouTube here.


win and win wiawis acs nano short rod setup

w&w wiawis acs nano extender

win and win wiawis acs nano extender



Trying out different Archery Bows

This week a few of us travelled to Grey Goose Archery near King’s Lynn in order to try out some new bow types. We had never been to the new Grey Goose Archery centre, which is in a disused quarry several miles outside King’s Lynn. Upon arrival the set up looked good, with lots of car parking space, a static caravan with toilet facilities. There were also some nice A frame picnic tables to use and two shooting areas.

We attended their ‘Pay and Shoot’ night which occurs on a Tuesday and Thursday night at 6.30pm until 8pm or whenever it gets too dark which for us was about 7.20pm in mid September.

Sean had managed to get hold of a left handed compound bow, it’s always difficult to get left handed items it seems – no-one ever stocks them. There was also a 16lb longbow and 40lb longbow, a right handed American Flatbow as well as horse bow which felt like 20lb-25lb.

I started off with the compound bow, which I had never shot before. With some brilliant instruction it was easy to get shooting. We used thumb triggers, I think these were the most complicated part of shooting a compound. My bow did not have a peep sight and only a standard hunting type sight. But the arrows did group quite nicely. There were two things that I did wrong – the first was to grip the bow, which I thought you did with a compound, although the grip should be the same as a recurve grip. The other thing was that I started off using my thumb as the trigger and actually pulling the trigger as opposed to having the trigger half way down my thumb and squeezing it. A couple of times it went off when I was not expecting it, but I soon got used to it.

I then moved onto the 16lb longbow which was good fun, although it got a lot more serious when trying the 40lb longbow as that required more of a meaty pull and gave a little kick when fired. Finally we only got one end with the horsebow as the light was fading fast. The horse bow was also great fun and for me like a really big rubber band.

I can see why people really fall in love with horsebows, as they are such good fun and can be purchased for around £100. It was great to finally try out some of these bows, especially the compound, as hardly anyone seems to have a left handed one that they could let me have a go with. Would I buy a compound? Probably yes, maybe for fun in the garden or for target archery. The only downside is cost. I priced up a range of entry level accessories you need to put on a compound (including target sight and scope) and arrived at £450 just for the accessories and arrows not including the actual compound bow. So I think a budget of between £600-£800 is required to set one up.

So all in all a great night out at Grey Goose Archery and it was nice to visit a different archery ground. We have also talked about going back with more people to make it a social event.

Here are some images of Mike and Louise trying out the compound and longbows. No pictures of me, as I took all the photos.

louise on compound

mike on compound

mike on horsebow

mike on longbow


mike loading the horsebow

How to make an archery shot trainer (Formaster)

Archery shot trainers and Formasters have been around a while and are not a new thing, but they can be expensive to buy at around £20+. I have managed to make my own archery shot trainer for around £4 each.

What you will need:

• Scissors
• Hammer
• Soldering Iron (optional)
Grommet/Eyelit Kit from eBay UK (£4) or Grommet/Eyelit Kit from US
• Eyelits/Grommets (£2)
Nylon Webbing (2.5mm wide) from eBay UK (£3) or Nylon Webbing (2.5mm wide) from US
Paracord 550 1m length from eBay UK (£1) or Paracord 550 1m length from US

I purchased all my bits from eBay UK, the links above will take you directly to the search results on eBay.

There is also a video I produced on How to Make an Archery Shot Trainer on YouTube.

Depending on which of the two designs you decide to make, you will either cut a single length of webbing to 80cm or 2x40cm lengths. Below is an image of the 2x40cm lengths.

archery shot trainer partsNow punch the holes in the webbing for the grommets. You can do this by either using the hole punch that comes with the grommet kit or use a hot implement like a soldering iron to make a big enough hole for the grommet(s) to go through. You could always heat a piece of metal on the stove/hob to burn a hole through the webbing. Whilst you have the hot piece of metal, heat the ends of the webbing that were cut so that the ends do not fray and unravel.

Now attach the grommets/eyelits to the webbing holes and secure in place with your grommet kit and hammer.
Next take the paracord and half it in length and tie a knot at one end. Next thread the paracord through the eyelits, and knot the paracord again around the grommets. This should leave you an un-knotted end that will loop around your bow string.

homemade formasters archery shot trainerAdjust the length of the paracord depending upon your draw length. When the paracord is attached to your string leave about 1 inch between the string of your bow and your finger tab. Doing this will make sure that when you fire any arrows they will not go further than around 2m. Any longer and your arrows will fly further.

Make sure you do NOT dry fire your bow. The weak spot in the train will be the grommet area, make sure this is securely in place. The responsibility of this build is firmly with you, I cannot be held responsible for anything that goes wrong with your bow when following this build.

There is also a video I produced on How to Make an Archery Shot Trainer on YouTube.

Half Metric Round Shot

This Sunday we shot our first Half Metric round. I knew when I looked at the round it was going to be confusing to set up with everyone wanting to do different versions and so different distances. Plus then you have to stop half way through and change all the 122cm targets to 80cm targets for the last two distances.

The strange thing was that we all started spread out along the shooting line from 70 metres to 60 metres and below but we all slowly seemed to be squashed together when the last 1.5 dozen arrows were at the 30m distance and we all stood together. Plus shooting at a 30m distance meant all our arrows were tightly packed together in the gold on the targets.

One of the other strange distances was the Half Metric V, which is a junior round really and is 30m, 20m, 15m and 10m. We didn’t have distance markers on the floor for less than 20 yards so the 15m and 10m had to be measured out.

I think we all enjoyed it though, and it’s good to try out new rounds. We will do it again in September.