Thursday, August 3, 2017

Defining Barebow

*The video from Samo's YouTube channel

The blurred line...

There are many people shooting barebow in Malaysia long before I discovered archery. Most of the pioneers would lay low and hardly took part in competitions.
What is interesting, is the fact that barebow archery has gained keen interest from the traditional archery community here in Malaysia. 
Even so, if you lug a modern takedown recurve target bow to a paid range, people would generally frown at you. You'd probably fall under the category of people who howl at the moon and practise some gong-banging ritual.
Again, there are many interpretations on barebow archery. Most of the folks here would lump a guy with an Asiatic bow and a guy who shoots a minimalist modern target recurve together. 
But they missed out on one point: trad archers either shoot off the shelf or with their hand as a rest.

Trad vs Barebow

Two years into archery and countless of local tournaments including two international gig, I saw the shortcomings of being a trad archer. 
You shoot off the shelf, you better be good to maintain consistency and narrow down the variable.
With an arrow rest and a plunger, you reduce the margin of error. But, that said, it's the credo: "Its the archer, not the bow" that determines your advancement in a tournament. Having seen the numbers, trad archers tend to drop out as the tournament reaches a climax. At a trad/barebow meet, the barebow archer would be triumphant.

Going full barebow...

The odd are building. How to reduce it? Well, inevitably, it will be going down the path of setting up a full barebow rig and shooting three-under. You get the picture...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Easton Axis Traditional Carbon Arrows

Shooting the Easton Axis Traditional Carbon Arrows with my Hoyt Satori

If you shoot modern trad bows...

I first came to learn about the Easton Axis traditional carbon arrows two years ago. It was mainly through websites and the social media channel.
While the product may not be new, some Malaysian archers have already been using this carbon arrows.
I found it as an excellent match for my Hoyt hunting recurve bows. While searching for this particular product, I came across a series of disappointments.
The pro-shops here in the Klang Valley don't sell them. Some of these so-called pro-staff I had encountered have not even heard of such a product.
Worse still, some shops wanted to charge RM1,200 for a dozen. The excuse: not enough quantity for a single order.
So, fast-forward to the 2016 Thailand Princess Cup, a trip to the Thai Archery store in the outskirts of Bangkok solved the problem.
I bought a dozen, have it built to my liking and shot them at my range in Subang Jaya.
The bow: a Hoyt Tiburon, arrow spine, size 500 and bow limbs were rated at 35lbs. 
Straight out of the box, the Axis is an excellent shaft. It was meant primarily for hunting and its hidden insert technology is meant for deeper penetration onto a game.

Shooting off the shelf...

Most of the local archers I know would need some sort of tool to help them reduce the odds on the shooting line. Hence, the arrow rest and plunger.
My rig, on the other hand, is totally minimalist. Just a rug rest and a side plate. And the Axis, which is built with a 4-inch feather vane, does its job.
Shooting off the shelf means more chances of making mistakes in a competition. But, my primary usage of the bow, is to put meat on the dining table. So, my take on this is very different from the competitive archer. 
Although I have taken the Axis to numerous local tournaments, learning to shoot well on a trad bow is a humbling experience.

Landing a clean shot with the Axis on the Hoyt Satori
For what it's worth...

The Axis is not for everyone. If you shoot a target recurve bow, it looks totally out of place. Those who love Western trad bows like the longbow, single-piece and wooden takedown recurve would appreciate this carbon shaft.
It's tough and it could take a real beating before it gets shot to bits. I have broken one and lost another. So far, no complaints. If you are one of those who is willing to spend some money for quality goods, the Axis will be there for you, yielding plenty of fun!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Famous for the 'wrong' reasons..."

A video from NHK's "Second Time in Malaysia"

When the past catches up with you...

I stopped writing about food more than two years ago. Excessive eating and uncontrollable carbo-loading led to a massive weight gain and the only way out: was a cold turkey.
The decision I made came with dire consequences. But once I made up my mind, that was it. I have no regrets walking out of a chore that has no benefits to my health.
After years being out of the scene, I was contacted by Tomoko Kurahashi, an editor with a Japanese magazine based in KL.
We met a couple of years back when "Food Trail" became a book. It was a weekly column in The Star where I worked as an editorial staff with the Metro section. 
Kurahashi's team interviewed me for an article. 
Later, she asked if I can help a Japanese TV crew to introduce some local food. 
A show director from the Japanese Broadcasting Company or NHK came for a scouting trip sometime in February. 
We made contact and I showed him around.
Then, came a television crew and I spent half the day with them on their recording session. It was a great learning experience for me and I was told that the program was slotted for June in Japan.
It was a hour-long series and my interview will be dubbed in Japanese.

So, to cut the long story short, the guys in Japan had sent down a DVD on the program. 
Miho Tanaka, the go-between person told me that the show had quite a high viewer rating in Japan when it was aired. That's just good enough for me. At least my work was recognized internationally.