Archery – The Art of Repetition by Simon Needham from Crowood Press
Archery – The Art of Repetition is quite an old book now that was published originally in 2006, the version I have was printed in 2016. But it is a very well known book and a lot of archers know of it or have read it with its black and white front cover. Although it’s over 10 years old archery does not change that much. Sure some new equipment has been launched and some round classifications changed, but not much else has changed bows are still the same and the way we shoot is pretty much the same.
There are around 190 pages in Archery – The Art of Repetition with all images in black and white. The book is split into 14 chapters. These are starting out, choosing and using equipment, setting up your equipment, initial tuning, the biomechanics of shooting, fitness, competitions, training and practice, nutrition, making the most of your mind, arrow selection and preparation, making bowstrings, better shooting, fine tuning and top tips.
The first part of the book begins with talking about costs of shooting, joining a club and the basics of how to shoot a bow as well as health and safety procedures. Each part of the bow and its accessories are then discussed in turn and how you should get used to your accessories and be comfortable with them. Archery – The Art of Repetition then covers setting up the bow from scratch (recurve only) and the initial tuning of the bow, before the next chapter focuses more heavily on tuning the bow so that your arrows fly straight.
The next chapter then looks at the biomechanics of shooting and the physiology of the human skeleton and your arms and shoulders and back for shooting. Here they also talk about release of the bow string. Next its onto fitness, here they talk about general fitness and exercise. Chapter 7 is a small chapter on entering competitions and what to expect and how the shooting field is laid out and the type of rounds you may shoot. Parts of this chapter do seem a little out of date as they reference GNAS (now Archery GB) and FITA rounds (now WA rounds). Chapter 8 is all about nutrition, food, drink and a balanced diet – don’t worry this chapter is quite small. Chapter 8 introduces us to using your mind for positive thinking, making you believe in yourself, goal setting, mental training and concentration.
The next chapter is all about arrows. The different types of arrows, how to choose them, spine, length, cutting the arrows, adding points, nocks and fletches. There is then a small chapter about making your own bowstrings.
There are then chapters on fine tuning your groups by adjusting tiller, brace height and changing nock point height. The final chapter is on top tips, but this covers the Beiter center and alignment using lasers and a very old app on an ancient Palm pilot device. At the back of the book are tuning references, further reading and a glossary.
There are a great number of images in this book which breakdown the reading, as there is also a lot to read and digest. A lot of this you may already know, but I am sure there are parts you don’t know about, there is even string making in this book. Not something that a lot us will try to do.
Parts of the book seem outdated, so it could benefit from an update in certain areas. But in general archery form has not changed that much and 90% of the book is still current. There is a lot of information in Archery – The Art of Repetition but some chapters could go into even more detail. For that reason this book is for beginners and intermediate shooters. It’s the kind of book you would read through once but probably not return to.