Pet Peeves: #1 Finger Atop the Arrow

I visit a number of stock photo sites looking for interesting archery photos. There are any number of themes I see that give me the willies. This post and the next are on two of these.

Stock photography is a practice in which photographers take photos and offer them for sale through stock photography agencies. This business used to be confined to well-heeled advertising agencies and the like, but with the advent of the Internet, it is now available to all: all customers and all photographers.

So professional and amateur photographers alike can take photos, upload them to a stock photography site and let the site sell them for them. The site allows customers to use search engines to find photographs they like. I search the terms “archery” and “bow and arrow” along with others.

But many purveyors of archery-related stock photos seem not to be deterred by their lack of knowledge about archery. Take this photo for example:

Does anyone shoot in business attire any more? It doesn’t matter as the expected sales of this photograph are about business folks “hitting their targets,” as in sales targets, or growth targets. However this guy has a death grip on the bow, has four fingers wrapped around the bowstring and is torquing the string so much that the arrow has lifted off of the rest.

There are a great many of such photos available.

One of my pet peeves is archers wrapping a finger over the arrow, ostensibly to keep it from falling off the rest. This is a time honored practice as indicated by this print, made in 1892.

So, if it has been around for so long, why is it not an acceptable practice now?

Good question.

The problem now is two fold: #1 over time the downward pressure on the arrow rest will cause the rest to distort and/or break. Odysseus in the etching had no such problem because the arrow rest was his top bow hand finger; #2 is that this behavior masks things we need to correct. If a student draws his bow sans arrow finger, and the arrow falls off of the rest, either there is something wrong with the rest or there is something wrong with the archer’s form. Not allowing the arrow to fall off and expose the problem allows the archer to continue to practice “doing it wrong.” (This is also why I do not recommend the “Whisker Biscuit” rest to young archers. The arrow cannot fall off of the rest, so all kinds of incorrect practices are tolerated.)

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under For All Coaches

3 responses to “Pet Peeves: #1 Finger Atop the Arrow

  1. Let it also be noted that the “all business” archer is holding a bow constructed for a right-hand archer and also apparently for a youth archer, while he is apparently a left-handed “business expert”. Looks like someone snagged their neighbor’s child’s bow for their “professional” photo shoot. Makes me cringe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The more you look at these things, the more you cringe.

    Like

  3. morehice

    too fun! I’m glad you put stuff like this in your blog.

    I have two other objections to using the fore-finger over the arrow:

    #1 the grip is then too high

    #2 the main reason the arrow jumps off the rest at all, in my experience, is that the back of the draw hand is not straight enough, and/or the fingers too deeply hooked, and the string is getting rolled during the draw. I’ve never yet been convinced that a finger-separator on the tab is better than teaching an archer to hook the string correctly in the first place.

    Carolyn

    ________________________________

    Like

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