Valentine Shoot Entry Form

On Sunday 11th February we will be hosting our second competition shoot of the indoor season, a mixed round of a Worcester in the morning followed by a Vegas after lunch. As usual it will be held at Pool Academy Sports Hall. Download your entry form here. Please try to get your entries to us in good time. Any remaining spaces after the closing date (3rd Feb) may be given to our club members.

The Worcester face
The Worcester face
The Vegas face
The Vegas face

Do bear in mind that these are smaller targets than the usual Portsmouth face, so it is that bit harder to hit the middle. The Worcester is a special black target face with a white centre and scoring 1 to 5. The Vegas is a triple face with the centre of a 40cm face, so you can only score 6-10.

Despite the focus of the small targets we try to keep all our tournaments friendly, and newer archers will be made just as welcome as the champions.

We need your help!

Following the great news of our grant from Sport England, we have been looking sources of top-up funding and have applied to the Aviva Community Fund. This relies on voting from the public, so please vote for us, and get your friends and family to do so as well! Here is a link to the page on Aviva’s website,

You need to register on the site, but this is easy and needs only minimal information. You get 10 votes, which you can use all on one project or spread them out. Clearly we would like all of them! The closing date for voting is 21st November. This might seem a way off, but it isn’t, so vote now! 🙂

No shooting on Saturday 18th November

The annual chicken show at Ludgvan Community Centre takes place on Saturday 18th November, so we won’t be able to shoot. I doubt the organisers will be impressed by a bunch of people turning up with bows.

Have the afternoon off, or even better, maybe spend some time practising some exercises and drills at home!

Portsmouth Competition 26th November

As usual we will be hosting our Open Handicap Portsmouth at Pool Academy. This year it is on Sunday 26th November. We will use the same format as has proved popular in previous years, where archers shoot half a Portsmouth round in the morning. Over a leisurely lunch break we calculate handicap allowances for everyone based on their score in the morning round. After lunch everyone shoots a whole Portsmouth round. A Portsmouth is 5 dozen arrows shot at 20 yards at a 60cm target face.

The allowances are then added to everyone’s scores to work out the final positions. The lower your score in the morning round, the higher your handicap number and the higher the allowance that is added later. The idea is that if everyone shoots to exactly the same standard in both rounds then everyone will lend up with the same score. The handicap system rewards those who do better in the second round, rather than those with the overall highest score.

So what’s to stop people deliberately shooting worse in the morning? There will be awards for the highest combined scores as well as the handicaps. Also, anyone who deliberately shoots badly in the morning is unlikely to shoot well in the afternoon. If you practise bad technique then it tends to stick, and it is hard to undo that later!

Download the entry form. This shoot is usually fully subscribed, so please get your entries to us early. The closing date is 19th November.

Summer Warwick Competition

To mark the end of the outdoor season we normally do a short competition of some sort. This year we decided to do a Warwick based on the system we use in our Open Handicap Portsmouth, where archers shoot half a round, we work out handicap allowances from those scores, then everyone shoots a whole round and we add the allowances. Prizes go to the people who improve the most, and not necessarily to the person with the highest score.

We have done pretty well with the weather this summer, but our luck ran out on Saturday! It was drizzling as we put the targets up, then it started coming at us sideways from the targets straight into our faces. Despite this, twelve hardy souls kept going and shot through the rain. We even had a barbecue in the middle, huddled under a gazebo between two containers!

Hardy though we are, we did decide that a whole Warwick after the food was a bit much, so did 1 dozen arrows at each distance instead. Our little event was won by our youngest member, Charlotte Badcock, who gets herself a shield trophy to take home.

A lot of us found it instructive, e.g. “if you can shoot in that you can shoot in anything”, “we must be all mad”, “I need new waterproofs”…

Grant funding on the way

Archery clubs need a lot of equipment to function, and whilst any individual item isn’t that expensive it all adds up. There are bosses, stands, bows and arrows for beginners in a range of different sizes amongst many other bits and bobs. A fair bit of our current stock is wearing out and is due for replacement. We have heard that we have been successful in applying for two grants.

ArcheryGB have given us a sum to pay for video equipment and a laptop to make it easier for us to offer video feedback in coaching. This is a really useful tool, because whilst a coach can suggest ways to improve your form, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself. With the new equipment we will be able to do live feedback as well as after the shot.

We have also been offered a large grant from Sport England towards new bows and a long list of other kit. Sport England said the fund was oversubscribed by nearly five times, so huge thanks have to go to Marcus and his partner for compiling a good bid.

No shooting next week!

The Scott May Daredevil Stunt Show is on at the rugby club over the holiday weekend, including a performance from 3pm on Monday. This means we will not be shooting on Monday. This is swiftly followed by a circus from Wednesday through to Saturday. They will be setting up on Tuesday, so we will not be able to shoot on Tuesday or Thursday, either.

We will be back to normal on Monday 4th September.

Buying your first equipment

Like most clubs, we have a range of basic bows and other kit in varying sizes to suit beginners, but sooner or later everyone wants to buy their own equipment. Some are itching to start buying right away, some can take longer to raise the money or just decide what they want. The thing is, there is a huge choice out there, so how do you decide?

The first thing we always say is please don’t buy the first thing you like the look of on eBay or a dealer’s website. It really is important (honestly) that you get the right size bow, at the right draw weight, and the right size arrows to go with it. Other bits and bobs like tabs and bracers are less critical, but still come in a wide range of styles and sizes.

The consequences of buying the wrong kit could just be that it doesn’t work very well and you end up having to pay out all over again for stuff that does work. In the worst cases, badly-made or poorly-maintained equipment can be dangerous. There are many second-hand bows that are shown strung back to front, for example. Have they been shot like that? The bow could be damaged. Arrows that are too weak could snap as they are shot and there is no telling where the bits are going to end up. There are some good deals to be hand on used equipment, but you need to know what you are getting. If it is enough money that you would be upset about losing it then don’t!

Talk to your coaches. It is best, if possible, to go to a specialist dealer who will take the time to measure you up properly and let you try out different things until you are happy. Most dealers are good like that. A few are not, but experienced archers will usually know which is which. The good dealers generally have short shooting ranges where you can try things out. This is so you can find out what fits best, but also so the dealer can check everything is working as it should.

Arrows, in particular, can be tricky. The spine charts published by the manufacturers are generally pretty good, but the actual spine that works best for you might be different. Better quality limbs are more efficient and faster than cheap ones, even at the same draw weight, and will need stiffer arrows. It also depends how you shoot. I once heard both sides of a dispute between an archer and a dealer where the archer claimed he was sold the wrong arrows because they were not what Easton’s chart recommended, but the ‘wrong’ arrow actually worked better with his technique.

Talk to other archers. Most people will let you have a look at what they use or even try it out. That will help to give you an idea of what draw weight you want, and ho well different things work in practice.

Beware of reviews. They can be useful, but any review is only one person’s opinion and they might not be entirely unbiased.

The people who know best are generally the ones who won’t focus on particular makes or price points but will do their best to find kit that suits you. Listen to them!

Archery Big Weekend

Along with many other archery clubs around the country, we are offering everyone the chance to try it out in June. Even if you have never picked up a bow before, this is a great opportunity to try out a new sport and make some new friends. Archery is a great sport for anyone from the age of 8 upwards.

We will provide all the equipment you need, and there will be plenty of club members to hand to show you how it works and talk about the whole experience of archery.

Come and meet us at Hayle Rugby Club. There are three sessions you can join in with:

Friday 16th June from 5pm to 8pm
Saturday 17th June from 10 am to midday and 1pm to 3pm.

Have a quick go for 50p for 12 arrows, or spend half and hour with a coach for £3 for some more detailed instruction.

We are moving!

The outdoor season is almost here, and as from the beginning of April we can look forward to the feel of the grass under our feet, the warm sun and gentle breeze on our faces, and the distant thwack of arrows hitting the gold. Well, sometimes it might be mud, rain and gales, and arrows in the grass, but we usually do OK. There has been a question mark for some time over our use of our original ground at Hayle Football Club, because they wanted to sell their larger field to a housing developer to raise funds to improve the club. Between us we have looked at ways we might be able to fit in on the main pitch, but it is a smaller field and there isn’t room for the safety areas required by ArcheryGB rules. We have shot on the short practice pitch regularly, but at restricted distance and without being able to allow compound bows to be used as they require the full overshoot distance regardless of target distance.

So, we started looking for other possible sites. This isn’t easy as finding a level field that is large enough and has parking space, toilets etc. is quite difficult in this part of the world. Thankfully, Hayle Rugby Club have a nice big field and were happy for us to move there. This will only be a temporary solution, as Hayle RFC themselves are planning to move to a new site up the road, but we are optimistic that enough space can be found for us. Thanks to all at Hayle RFC for being so accommodating, and we look forward to a good partnership with them.

Thanks must go to the football club at this point as they have provided us with an outdoor home since the club was formed in 2000, and we wish them well with their development plans.

Full details of our outdoor schedule can be found here.