Problems Tuning Genesis Bows

QandA logoI get a lot of requests for help and I am glad to provide what I can. One of my readers upbraided me for this because I have been more than a little adamant that archery coaches shouldn’t “work for free.” So, I am being somewhat inconsistent. There are a couple of reasons I do this. For one, I am still trying to learn how to “coach remotely,” so I embrace opportunities to do that. Second, there is so much need for help in the archery coaching community. The main reason, though, is that people are turning to me because they can’t find the help they need. Not that that help isn’t available in every case but that it has been made hard to find. (I really, really, (really) wish the archery organizations would embrace coach support wholeheartedly instead of the current “train ‘em and drop ‘em” approach.) Until such resources are more widely available I will continue to do as much as I can to help those coaches who seek it.

Today’s topic comes from a reader of this blog who seeks help tuning Genesis bows. Here’s his email:

I’ve been darn near driving myself insane trying to learn to understand and tune a bow, specifically the Genesis.

A little background: I’m Level 2 certified wanting to do level 3. Just having trouble finding a training that’s close and works with my schedule having five kids of my own. I’ve read many of your books and in fact own 4-5 of them as resources for me and our coaches. We have a very large NASP program of 95+ in our elementary school from grades 4-6. We’ve been doing NASP for 5-6 years. We’ve won a team state championship in our second year and some individual championships. I’ve not done anything to the bows except yoke tuning and nock point tying 3/8˝ high of zero on a bow square and the occasional serving repair at the local archery shop. Perhaps I should be tying the nock even higher.

I’ve talked to other coaches and have picked up a few tips/suggestions regarding bow tuning and done far too many hours of research. Most coaches, since we’re competing against them, I believe are a bit guarded about sharing too much info. However, it seems almost all of our bows make arrows kick to the left for a RH archer no matter what I do.

For bows that seem to have cam lean I’ve tried rotating the bottom limbs, fiddled with the ATA length by twisting strings/cables, and replaced bushings in the cams. Regardless, I still see arrows kicking typically.

I realize that when pairing archers with bows that are not their own in a program it is not a one-size-fits-all situation. However about 50% of our archers have their own bows and I’d like to be able to tune them properly but cannot figure it out.

Also, once we begin shooting as a team we have enough bows for those who don’t own their own bows to each use one of ours thereby allowing us to individually tune. As NASP has grown it’s become more competitive and I’m wanting to keep up but feel we’re being left behind and want to keep our kids competitive and give them every chance possible to win. I’m willing to do whatever it takes we just don’t know what that is when it comes to bow tuning for the Genesis. If you understand these bows I’d be willing to pay you good money for a private bow-tech clinic if you’re ever in the area, not joking. 🙂

I just read the below link where you mention attaching a guide to bow and arrow fitting to the article regarding but don’t see the text document mentioned. Perhaps it would help.

Any guidance or assistance is greatly appreciated!

And here is my response:

* * *

The document mentioned in that post was attached to the email sent to the correspondent, not the post. I have attached it to this email in the hope it might assist you.

Everything I am going to say from now on applies to right-handed bows. If you are dealing with a left-handed bow, you have to switch left and right. ;o)

Your kids arrows are flying to the left and you can’t tune it out because the arrows are too stiff. The “Genesis formula” (my term) is to make a bow and arrow combination that can be shot by a great many people. So the bow has zero letoff, which allows it to be shot by people with widely different draw lengths with no adjustment (not so with a bow with letoff) and an arrow that is too long and too stiff for people with short draw lengths so that it will be long enough and not too weak for people with longer draw lengths. But arrows that are too stiff for a particular situation will fly off to the left. Arrows that are too weak, will fly off to the right. (Remember that left and right directions have to be switched for left-handed archers.) Since most youths fall into the shorter draw length category, most arrows used for the Genesis (especially the “Genesis Arrow” are too stiff and will fly to the left no matter what you do to the bow.

This is because the farther you draw a bow, like this one, the more energy is stored in the bow. The more energy stored, the more energy is given to the arrow when shot and the stiffer the arrow needs to be to receive it. (Imagine a whippy thin arrow being shot from a very stout bow–the arrow might break upon release!)

“So, in tuning, we set up the bow and tune the arrow.”

So, in tuning, we set up the bow and tune the arrow. (Little tweaks of the bow may take place for fine tuning purposes, so this is just a generalization.)

The hard thing with kids is that they are still growing. If you fit them for arrows (see attachment) “correctly” they will over the next six months, grow an inch or half an inch and their draw length goes up accordingly and now they arrows are too short (for safety) and too weak (as the bow is now “stronger” because it is being pulled farther). What we recommend is to fit arrows to youth’s bows that are one spine group stiffer for each extra inch of length you choose. By choosing to use an arrow that is 2-3 inches longer than usual, if you didn’t choose a stiffer shaft, the arrow would be too weak. But with those stiffer shafts, when the youth grows and needs a stronger arrow, that extra length allows the arrows to be shortened (making them stiffer) while still being long enough for safety.

Standard bow setup for “fingers” shooters is to have the bottom of the top nock locator 1/2” above square. The purpose of this is to launch arrows a bit “nock high” to avoid clearance issues with the arrow rest. Genesis bows are not what one would call high precision bows, so some cam lean and other less desirable attributes are to be expected and really don’t contribute to your issues. The problems you are having are likely due to just arrow shaft stiffness mismatches.

I hope this helps.


PS We are working on a series of e-booklets explaining all of this and the attached document is to be part of that, from which we expect to make a little money ($1.99 per booklet?), so I ask that you don’t share the document SMFAwith your colleagues. Of course, if you learn the knowledge provided in it, you will be free to share that with your fellow coaches. ;o)

PPS We have done bow maintenance and tuning workshops before and we might be able to set something up if you would like (we are not so far from one another geographically). There are, however, people in your community who might be able to provide this service cheaper (we need to recover travel and lodging costs, etc.). The purpose of this e-booklet series mentioned above is to provide much of the information you need. I also strongly recommend the book “Simple Maintenance for Archery” by Allan Anderson and Ruth Rowe. It contains step-by-step instructions for many of the tasks need for tuning and maintenance (with photos!). It is now out in a second edition (photo is of first edition).


Filed under For All Coaches, Q & A

6 responses to “Problems Tuning Genesis Bows

  1. John Hull

    Okay, I understand the concept of the NASP Program wanting all things to be equal and thus the same bow and arrows and no sights or releases for the youngest to oldest participants. But whoa, I have archery students that are 5′ tall and those that range up to 6’4″ and the NASP Bow is not equal for all. The short archers have a point of soon that can be dead center on the target while the tall shooters have to aim up to 8′ in front of the target. Also, the tall shooters can’t get enough draw length to establish proper shooting form. Unless I’m missing something, there needs to be a way to make this equal for all middle and high school shooters. An I missing something… Is there a way to make the draw length longer, to allow, if nothing else to track proper form? Thank you.


    • What you are saying is that some people have physical gifts that make things easier for them. Can we not equalize these out?

      Well, many have tried and none have succeed. Youths are broken into age groups (usually annual) but then we find out that people born in the beginning of the year have an advantage over those born late. We have broken youths up by gender. We have tried handicapping systems. None of these works to equalize the physical abilities kids bring the shooting line. Maybe we should make winning an losing more personal? I wish I could answer your question. The NASP people are trying with standardized equipment. Maybe those with longer draw lengths need to have draw weights limited. That would be a compliance nightmare, however.

      If you have any ideas I am open to them. (I have written on this topic. See “Competitive Age Categories” in Archery Focus, Issue 13-6.)


      • John Hull

        I think the NASP Program is super in the world of archery. What I’m saying is that, as in every sport, you have kids that have physical advantages, and in the NASP Program that is true as well. In this case however the 5’4″ archer has a far better chance of learning the proper archery muscle memory than those that are 6’4″. Draw length is my major concern as it affects the ability to properly teach back tension. To me, archery is a mind, as well as physical, sport and without being able to habitize proper form you will frustrate more kids and run then out of the sport than if they don’t win every time they shoot in a competition. I love teaching the 5’4″ archer as much as the 6’4″ archer, but want to teach them all proper form. At 10 and 15 meters arrow speed is not the problem, repeatability is, draw length of the Genesis bows needs to be increased. In the ASA 3-D Tournaments there are arrow speed limits for each class and in the unknown distance brackets everyone shoots their bow at the maximum speed they can, in the known distance, they are shooting much slower, as they know what distance to set their sights for (ie 10 or 15 meters point of aim for every NASP competitor). I love the sport, I can’t compete with the pros, but at 69 I’m still trying to perfect my form and to teach the kids to do the same. Thanks for listening.


      • John, I love your passion!

        I am 6’3″ and really can’t shoot a Genesis bow with good form as there isn’t enough draw length for me, so there will be physical limitations no matter what.

        I think the key lesson is that we all bring different physical gifts to the field and archery outcomes are not just determined by physical gifts. Yes, very short and very long draw lengths really limit what one can do, but in the end archery is not a sport hat requires one to be tall, or quick, or fast, or strong; it just requires one to be able to focus and relax under the tension of the draw. So, think about another sport like professional baseball. Is anybody complaining that Aaron Judge has an unfair advantage because he is the size of a small mountain? I haven’t heard that. But I do know that taller, stronger players have larger strike zones and pitchers will learn how to take advantage of his size while he is trying to take advantage of his size.

        And … I am 71 and no longer am trying to improve on my form (if I had a practice facility a little closer, I probably would). So, I am putting my archery energy to the best use I can, like through this blog.

        Cheers from Chicago!

        On Sat, May 5, 2018 at 7:42 AM, A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



      • John Hull

        Thanks, appreciate your response. Judge still has to hit the ball, catch the ball land throw the ball, with good form.


      • Exactly … and then there is Ichiro who was the complete opposite to Judge. With kids I like to focus on the fact that archery is a path to self-knowledge: you learn about yourself when shooting arrows. All the rest is just for fun.

        Cheers, and if you feel like writing for *Archery Focus*, anything that helps archers or coaches to get better, email me at

        On Sat, May 5, 2018 at 7:59 AM, A Blog for Archery Coaches wrote:



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