Press "Enter" to skip to content

Examining the Bow Stabilizer

When you think of archery most of us think of the equipment is as basic as it gets – a bow and an arrow. This is true to a certain extent. Archery is a simple pastime that uses a lot of equipment and some are a little more mystifying for newcomers. Most people are clear when it comes to the bow itself, however the bow stabilizer is a piece of equipment that only the experienced archer will recognize. Basically, if you want to shoot accurately over a long period of time, the bow stabilizer is essential equipment.

A stabilizer serves two main functions. Number one is to hold the bow steady and more stable, hence its name. Number two is that there is less vibration and hand shock. More on this in just a moment.

Firstly we should examine what a stabilizer is made of so we can understand how it works. In the past they were made of metal. Metal is a rather heavy material and although you want to add some weight, because this is what keeps the bow stable, you don’t want to make it too heavy. Carbon or AMS (Alphamethylstyrene) plastics are preferred these days|. The rigidity of carbon means that it performs properly while its light weight makes it comfortable to work with.

A dampening device allows the stabilizer to perform its second function, that of reducing the vibration through the bow from the force of releasing the bowstring. The dampening device will most likely be made of rubber although other vibration absorbent materials may be used. By putting the dampening material away from the end of the bow their effectiveness will be maximized.

The final device you’ll find on a stabilizer is a weight which will sit right on the end after the rubber material. The bow is counterbalanced by the weight which keeps the bow stable when it is being shot. {Aiming consistency is improved by the positioning of the weight at the front of the bow.

Stabilizers come in a range of lengths. The length of the stabilizer you need will depend considerably on the type of archery you plan on doing. In general, the longer the stabilizer you use the more steady your bow will be and consequently, the more accurate you are likely to be. Target archers use long stabilizers. Bowhunters, on the other hand, use shorter stabilizers because of the conditions under which they will be carrying and firing their bow.

Shorter stabilizers are used with shorter framed hunting bows due to the terrain you may be required to cover, long protruding pieces would be more likely to snag hindering progress as well as make more noise. Just the same, any extra weight on the bow would be accentuated the longer the bow has to be carried to the point where it would become extremely tiring.

Finally, we come back to the issue of reducing vibration. Any vibration experienced by the bow is going to be expressed as noise and when you are bow-hunting noise can prove to be one of your worst enemies. Repeated vibration eventually shifts other components on your bow affecting accuracy. Only around 75 per cent of the energy generated in releasing the bowstring gets transferred to the arrow. The rest has to go somewhere else and that is to the only other thing touching the bow, which is you. The accumulated shock that is transferred to your bow arm during a long day of shooting starts to hurt very quickly which will lead to shaking and reduced accuracy.

Having a stabilizer fitted to your bow is important in itself, but just as important is using a stabilizer that suits the kind or archery you will be undertaking. The sort of archer you are and your body type will also make a difference to the type of shooting you’re going to use it for. You have to weigh things up, as it were, look for quality and decide what is most suitable to you and you will be sure to be shooting quietly and accurately.

  • Partner links