As I head off to Vegas, I was originally just going to post something quick on Facebook, but I realized that I had more to say then a short post. Maybe you hate blog posts, but I’m not a fan of reading super long winded posts on social media, so if I have more than a short paragraph to say, it goes here for you to read at your leisure.
I’ve had a lot of people ask about me shooting compound in Vegas. I made the decision, back in the middle of the summer for a variety of reasons. I know there are a lot of people who will disagree with me on some of this, so bare with me and realize these are my personal opinions. To me, Vegas is and always will be a compound centric tournament. The format creates high pressure for compound archers, and shooting in the “bowl” is truly a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else. Unlike Kings of Archery and other Vegas style tournaments, recurve archers in Vegas score arrows exactly the same way they do in World Archery events, unlike compound. To me, Vegas as a recurve archer is just another tournament, nothing special.
In fact, when I began to think about Vegas this past summer and whether to shoot flights or Championship, I realized how much I didn’t enjoy Vegas as a recurve archer. If I shot flights, I didn’t feel any pressure, and it essentially felt like practice to me. However, if I shot Championship, I was surrounded by a lot of people who don’t speak English, or I don’t know at all. With that in mind, I decided why not shoot Vegas with my compound, so I could have fun and shoot with all my old friends. When I made this decision I still hadn’t shot my compound, as I was recovering from an injury and prepping for Nationals with my recurve. I knew I couldn’t touch it before October, when I was back from World Field.
I honestly didn’t give much thought to the bow I would shoot in Vegas for a variety of reasons. I figured I’d just pick something up from the basement and roll with it, as I knew I wouldn’t be spending much time “training” for Vegas with Lancaster and indoor nationals on either side and needing to keep up with my recurve. One day in the fall, R asked me which company had the highest female contingency for Vegas. He said, why not shoot whichever bow pays the most, since you have no contract and can shoot what you want. I laughed and said it didn’t matter as I was just going for fun and wouldn’t be winning.
However, that got me thinking. There are quite a few new bows that have come on the market since I made my switch. There was one bow in particular that I really wanted to try, so I reached out to a few people to see if anyone had one I could borrow to try out. Well as we all know archery circles are small and quickly a few other friends learned I would be shooting Vegas with a compound and hadn’t yet picked a bow. Before I knew it I had 8 or 9 bows to choose from, yet no time to shoot them!
In all seriousness, one of the main reasons for this post is to thank each of you that sent me a bow to try. I’d name them all here if I wasn’t afraid they would get a million requests from people after reading this. Archers in general (and especially female archers) rarely get the chance to test out many different bows and cams at once. Pro shops don’t keep bows in our shorter draw lengths in stock and very few stock target bows to begin with. I know I’ve never had such an opportunity in my career, and I’ve spoken with a few others who say the same. I can’t express how much these lended bows mean to me. I truly feel like I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am very thankful for this.
With that said, I had a lot of choices, but little time between recurve training, work, and being sidelined from training this winter to spend a ton of time with each option. So how did I choose? Basically, I set each bow up quickly (if you’ve been shooting compound long enough you can eye ball starting point for most bows), and I shot 20-50 arrows out of it. If I felt like I struggled to shoot it in any way, I put the bow in the no pile and moved on. Do I think some of these bows I put in the no pile are great shooting bows, and ones I might shoot my best scores with? Yes, but with the time I had this was the approach I had to take. I didn’t have time to spend getting used to a draw cycle I didn’t like, trying to get the holding weight up to where I like it, or spending hours tuning it to work with my shot and my 2312s.
You may be curious which bow I picked, but you will have to wait until Vegas. What I will say is the bow I selected is not the bow I would have guessed prior to my testing. It is not the bow I was dying to try. And it is not blue or orange 😉