3 Tips for Better Speed Bow Performance

Posted on September 19, 2013



Shoot the Perfect Arrow

Every arrow and broadhead/fletching combination will perform differently out of a particular bow. This occurs due to several factors, including: the archer’s unique shooting torque, the bow’s nock travel, shot vibration, windy shooting conditions, use of certain bow accessories, and so on. In other words, every setup has an accuracy “sweet spot,” and you should do all you can to find it.

The way to do this is to experiment, take lots of notes and keep an open mind. Try different arrows, fletching styles, broadheads and point weight. These all affect the balance of the arrow and can enhance or degrade shooting consistency. Eventually you’ll draw some noticeable conclusions and arrive with the most accurate configuration.

Finding this sweet spot can be as simple as increasing the arrow’s front of center (FOC). Easton recommends 10 to 15 percent weight forward for hunting arrows. If you don’t know how to compute FOC weight, visit www.bowonlyoutdoors.com/tech.html. Then input your arrow’s specs in the FOC Calculator.

If you are shooting less than 10 percent weight forward, you should consider a switch from 100 to 125 grains points, or four-inch vanes to two-inch. This simple change will alter FOC by 2 to 3 percent.

Also, realize that speed bows come with a longer power stroke, a variable that gives them greater energy to propel the arrow. However, with increased “arrow time” comes theoretically more arrow vibration, and any anomaly in arrow movement can seriously disrupt the arrow’s normal flight pattern, ruining accuracy.

This is why arrow spine consistency is so important (spine relates to the arrow’s “flex ratio”). If your arrows are not equal in spine, then slight imperfections will occur in arrow flight. This issue is magnified on a low-brace speed bow, simply because of its longer power stroke.

For this reason, matching your speed rig with top tier hunting arrows, those with exact spine specifications, becomes more of a fundamental need than a luxury.


Insist on a Smooth Draw

All speed bows come with aggressive cam systems that store pulling energy more effectively.  However, it doesn’t come without a price. Such systems can draw rather harsh (more firmly throughout) or create a “bump” in the cycle that feels awkward.

To increase drawing smoothness, it’s best to reduce draw weight until the cycle feels more fluid. This will alleviate muscle tension and keep you relaxed and focused on the shot, especially in tough field scenarios.


Don’t ever get caught up with the macho I-can-pull-70-pounds syndrome. Every bow is different, and you should let your body distinguish what’s the right draw setting for you. Most archers are best off backing down speed bow poundage by three to five pounds compared to a traditional setup.


The advantage of a speed bow, however, is that even with a sizable reduction in pull weight, arrow speed remains well beyond what your average setup can deliver.


Optimize Balance

Most speed bows are graced with inward sweeping handles, what engineers call a reflex design. As cool as they look, reflex risers aren’t the greatest foundation for forgiveness. First off, anytime you place the grip behind the limb pockets, it becomes easier to pivot the bow when torque does occur, which affects accuracy.

To lessen this torque factor, you should balance the bow as much as possible. This will help counter the force. For example, when you hold the bow in a loose hand, it may want to pull hard forward (called top heavy). In this case, you should add stabilizer weight to the string side of the riser, just beneath the grip.

For a bow without a threaded receiver in this position, you can use a V-bar device and attach it to the front of the riser (into the standard stabilizer receiver). Then add short stabilizers or counterweight to each side.

We’ve done a lot of shot testing and experimentation while monitoring bow balance. The way we see it, the more attention you give this area, the better your setup will shoot, particularly with fixed-blade broadheads.





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