Monday, December 11, 2017

2107 Indoor Barebow Championship - Part 1

The mother of all Barebow tournaments in Southeast Asia...

Shortly after the 2017 UPM indoor open archery tournament, Michelle and I have been mulling the idea of heading up to Bangkok to compete at the Indoor Barebow Championship. It's actually a side-event organized concurrently with stage 2 of the 2017  Indoor Archery World Cup.
We gave it much thought and decided that it was an event not to be missed. The fees in Singapore Dollars is considered as very expensive. We paid SG$200 per entry and at SG$400 (RM1,205), shooting at such an event is simply no child's play.
Prior to this, I have been told by an experienced archer from Singapore that the minimum score per round to qualify for the elimination rounds was at 240/300. So, having heard that, I didn't raise any expectations.

Working with new equipment

The saying goes: 'Never bring a knife to a gunfight' and such is the principle if you want to compete in a technical tournament. 
We have the very experienced Thai archers and a team of Chinese archers from Chengdu competing this year.
The Singaporeans who took part were no threat as they were very new to the sport. I transited from traditional archery to barebow by procuring a Spigarelli Revolution 25 Barebow riser. 
Took me about three months to get familiar with the new gear and truth to be told, the barebow riser is not as forgiving as my Hoyt Satori traditional hunting bow. And in such a technical tournament, the archer who has an Olympic recurve bow shooting background would have a great advantage.

Samo's Spigarelli Revo 25 Barebow Riser
Having a go with the Spiga Revo 25 at a range in Bangkok...
During training, my average score per round was at 200-220. There were bad days when I shot at 150/300. To shoot well with a barebow where an arrow rest and a bergen button is allowed, you have to master your shooting form. If you have bad form, the arrows will fly everywhere.
Since I shoot with a split-finger style, my aiming method is rather unique. On a good day, the arrow will land on where I look, usually on the yellow ring in a 40-cm, 10-ring target face. And at a distance of 18-meters, it's a daily challenge to be consistent. 
All that said and done, we planned our trip in such a way that we have a day's head-start before accreditation and the event's official practice...

The logistics

I picked a hotel in Bang Kapi, which is rather near to the Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. The distance from the hotel to U-convention center is roughly about 4.6km. This means we don't have to rush at all during the qualifying rounds.
All we need to do is to pack our lunch from the hotel.
Michelle had booked the flight to Bangkok on a weekend which is Saturday. Official practice and athlete's accreditation is on Sunday.
This means we have a full day in Bangkok where we can shoot at a local archery range. The place in mind was Archery Thai near the outskirts of the city.
I have scoped the hotel in Bang Kapi, we picked a tourist hotel at Lat Phrao Road near the Ramkamheng University.
This is an interesting place with a choice of really good local food. Our primary aim is to experience the Indoor Barebow Championship, the secondary task was a honeymoon to celebrate 13 years of marriage...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Hoyt Satori

The Hoyt Satori review on my YouTube channel

Hoyt's latest hunting recurve bow...

When Hoyt archery announced their 2017 line-up, a couple of takedown recurve bows were dropped. 
Among them were the Hoyt Buffalo, Tiburon, Game Master II and Dorado. These were the bows using Hoyt's Formula limbs.
With some input from Fred Eichler, Hoyt's collaborator in recurve hunting bow designs, the new riser that came out for this year was the Hoyt Satori.
Instead of having multiple models, the Satori is sold as a system bow. You don't get the complete kit, but rather a choice of having a 17", 19" or 21" riser.
This year, the changes are apparent. No more Formula series limbs for the Satori. 
Hoyt uses the Grand Prix series limbs for the Satori which is available in short, medium and long configurations.
So, if you are a tall person with a long draw, a 21" riser will increase the bow's AMO length to 66". 
The standard wooden limbs for the Satori is sold separately so, that said, you will have to source for the riser and limbs together. One thing that was kept was the rolldown bow bag which is pretty cool.


I opted for a 21" riser and got a pair of standard limbs. This was back in March when the bow arrived in Malaysia through my dealer Excella Archery. 
What I don't get with the Satori, is a string. For this, I opted for the Flex Archery 18-strand flemish twist string (64").
Once I had the bow set up, I shot it off the shelf. It was dead accurate straight out of the box and I must say that I am very impressed with the Satori.
To take it to a higher notch, I trained with this bow and took it to the Thailand Princess Cup archery tournament. It took me as far as the 1/16 elimination rounds.
For a traditional bow, the performance is unquestionable.

Shooting the Satori at the range

The ILF limbs set up in seconds

can briser in blackout finish

The Satori can be rigged to hunt and there are a couple of good accessories that you can add onto the bow's riser.
The ILF limbs are really versatile with a 5-pound increment from 35-60lbs. If you want to shoot off the shelf at 3D tournaments, the 35-lb limb is perfect. To get the best out of it, Hoyt had also introduced the Carbon X-tour traditional limbs for the Satori. This takes the shooting experience to another level. The carbon laminated limbs with a bamboo core are out of this world in terms of smoothness and speed. I paired the Satori with the proven Easton Axis Traditional carbon shafts and use a spine higher to shoot 3D targets as well as paper target faces.
So far, I have nothing bad to say about the bow. This is the bow that I will bring for trad meets around the country and hopefully, for IBO shoots in the US someday...

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...