A stabiliser is all too often relegated to last place when budgeting for equipment. The simple fact is that stabilisers can have a dramatic effect on how a bow performs. Maybe not in a laboratory, or in a shooting machine. But in the human world, the less than perfect “oops, I didn’t mean to do that” world of real shooting. In tense, difficult conditions, the right stabiliser set up can save your score.
If we all shot perfect shots, every time, stabilisers wouldn’t matter. But since we are not all shooting machines, stabilisers should be given every bit as much consideration as the bow you are fitting them to.
There are two primary functions of a stabiliser, and one secondary function.
• Improve Forgiveness
• Improve Aim
• Control Vibration.
This is one of the primary functions of a stabiliser. When a shot is executed, the bow should remain as stable as possible while the arrow is pushed through the bow. When a bow is drawn, all sorts of uneven pressures are built up in the bow. At the moment of loose, all of these pressures are released, all wanting to push the bow in different directions.
If this movement was exactly the same each time, as if shot from a machine, it could be argued that it wouldn’t affect accuracy.
But since some of these pressures that build up are generated from your contact with the bow (e.g. grip contact, string contact) they are not the same every time. In fact, they can be drastically different! (e.g. a bad loose). This is where the word ‘forgiveness’ comes into the equation.
The act of suspending weights at a distance away from the bow makes it harder for these forces to move the bow off line. The greater the weight, the more forgiving the bow becomes.
If you are a follower of archery trends, you will have noticed in recent years how the best archers are using more and more weight on their stabilisers. Unfortunately, many stabilisers currently on the market can not handle this weight. If the shaft of the stabiliser is too weak (too flexible) the effect of the added weight is neutralised due to the whip of the rod.
The CERTO and AERIS stabiliser feature ultra stiff carbon shafts that can accommodate heavy weights if so desired. The CERTO rod in particular features a 100% unidirectional, pure carbon shaft for the maximum possible rigidity.
It should be obvious, even to the uninitiated, that a perfectly balanced bow will aim steadier. Some bows, even without stabilisers, can be surprisingly well balanced. But rarely could a naked bow be called perfect. Since the way a bow is balanced is most critical at full draw, it is hard to measure exactly where the balance point should be. It will certainly be different from the braced position. Therefore experimentation of weights between front and rear/side rods will affect your aim and is a key part of the tuning process.
As to how much weight is used? This can be quite a subjective and individual aspect to stabilisation. Generally, a heavy weight load out will ‘slow’ your aim. A lighter load out will be more responsive. E.g. if you drift out of the gold with a light set up, you can return more quickly to the centre. This might sound good, but you probably drifted further out than you would have done with a heavy load out in the first place…
Also, consider how your aim responds in different situations. E.g. What happens when you are nervous? Or on a windy day? Your optimal indoor set up could be different to your optimal outdoor set up.
On balance, we feel that advantages of heavier weight load outs out way the disadvantages. With one exception – Physical strength. If you over do the weight, and you do not have the physical conditioning to cope with it, your technique will suffer and your scores will drop. Technique is king! Never compromise!
So be sure to select a stabiiser that can accommodate heavy weights should you desire to experiment.
The secondary function of a good stabiliser is vibration control. We regularly see stabiliser tests with heavy emphasis on vibration dissipation. You know the ones – Those frequency charts that look like they are measuring seismic activity. It seems this function of a stabiliser is being given disproportionate attention. The fact is that bow design today has progressed immensely from bows of 5 years ago. They are inherently low vibration pieces of equipment. So while we don’t want to marginalise the importance of vibration control, in regards to stabilisation, it is a secondary function.
So although we feel vibration control is a secondary function, we still wanted to design a stabiliser that feel great! We have included a shorter, wider end weight damper, so it could work effectively with heavier end weights. We have also included an internal foam damper towards the base of the stabiliser.
Taking all of the above into consideration, we believe we have created the most effective stabiliser system on the market today.
We hope you agree.