AccuBow | Pre - During - Post Archery Training
What is it?
AccuBow has been purging the world of social media since around late 2015 and has been peaking the interest of every and any bowhunter ever since. What it is, is an Archery Training Device that is simple, easy and extremely effective if used right. It really is a revolution in archery training because it can be used virtually anywhere! We were fortunate to get our hands on one to play with for a couple days thanks to Matt over there at AccuBow and being the Archery Expert/Bow Tech here at BlackOvis, I had to see if this was worth it and what all the fuss was about. Before I dive into my experience with using the AccuBow let me just explain my situation since it will obliviously differ from most.
I'm a father of two cute kids and live in an apartment with my beautiful wife. Since being in an apartment, I can't exactly practice shooting my bow at home, and with our hands full with two kids, it's hard for me to get to a range. Especially at a decent hour. About 4.5 years ago I used to run a Local Bow Shop where I shot every day, all day, honing my skills, techniques and overall form. I had a ton of help from local Pro Shooters and of course the owner that taught me everything I know now. When that shop closed, unfortunately so did my ability to shoot all day. Somewhere between it all I also picked up a nasty habit and have since been able to kick it... shooting a Back Tension. This has been hands down the best decision I ever made when it came to perfecting my form and shot sequence but at the same time over the last couple of years has been a bit of my trouble because Back Tension is a style of release that requires a ton of training and shooting to stay consistent with muscle development.
How does it work?
Now that we've familiarized my history and shooting style, it's time to talk business. The really unique and cool aspect about the AccuBow that drew me in was the fact that it ranges anywhere from 10-70 lbs and is easily adjusted my spinning or releasing tension off of the Dial on the bottom "Cam" of the bow
There isn't exactly a way to tell what poundage the bow is roughly without a scale so it's simple a matter of spinning it, drawing it back, spinning it, drawing it back until it felt about perfect! One thing to keep in mind though is that the poundage is going to feel different for everyone. I have a short draw (26.5") so where I set it might be 45 lbs but if I hand it straight to a friend who for let's say his draw length is 29", the bow will stack the weight faster since the Resistant Band has to stretch farther, making it more like 50-60 lbs. If you plan on sharing this through the family, I'd suggest finding the resistance you like best then marking the band with a sharpie or what not for quick and easy placement.
Packed full of features, the AccuBow is truly an Archery Training Device.
- Resistant Dial - Adjust from 10 - 70 lbs
- Laser Sight - Responsive feedback on training and endurance. (Batteries included)
- Level Bubble - Helps build endurance on holding level on those long shots
- Dry Fire Rod - 100% Safe to dry-fire (Perfect for beginners, new releases or what not)
- D-Loop Attachment - Easily use the AccuBow with any Release that you currently own.
What's the best way to use it?
When it comes to using the AccuBow, there is a couple different ways that you can use it. These all utilizing the built in Laser Pointer.
This is what they had on display at the ATA show, with their "AccuBow Challenge". For the challenge, the AccuBow was set at 25 pounds of resistance and they asked challengers to draw the bow back and hold at their anchoring point. They then had to hold the laser within 3 inch, 2 inch, and 1 inch rings for 45, 35, and 15 seconds, respectively, without ever letting the bow down. The goal of the challenge was to not let the laser bounce outside of the target at any point. Out of about 450 challengers, only 45 people were able to complete the challenge. People that did it varied in all shapes, sizes, and gender. Thus, proving that strength in the gym, does not necessarily translate to strength and accuracy behind an arrow. The AccuBow can be used at lower poundage holding for long periods of time to train a different set of muscle fibers and improve stamina, stability, accuracy, consistency and allow someone to start shooting tighter groups at their current draw weight. Users really want to challenge themselves to build on the amount of time they can hold at given draw weights while being able to keep the laser within the target and as they progress, increasing the resistance or reducing the target size are all ways to keep improving one's ability.
The second method is great for either trying to increase your poundage or simply rehabbing a shoulder injury Simpy use the AccuBow for sets and repetitions with brief 3-5 second holds at your anchoring point. Try to contain the laser within your target for the entirety of the hold. Use the AccuBow at higher settings and focus on building your way up in poundage and decreasing target size from week to week. The AccuBow should be used at a weight that allows you to complete 10 sets of 8-10 repetitions (3-5 second holds). The resistance band at 70 pounds has no let-off, so it is much more difficult than pulling a 70 pound compound bow with 80% let-off. I currently shoot 68 pounds, but have a difficult time training with the AccuBow at 50 pounds.
Lastly and probably one of the most important is Form Training The AccuBow is a great insurance policy for any release manufacturer or archery shop as it has the ability to be dry-fired without damaging the bow. Instructors, range supervisors, release manufacturers, etc. can put an AccuBow in somebody's hands if they have never picked up a bow before and teach proper mechanics with a product that looks and feels like an actual bow so that they don't risk that user dry-firing an expensive bow or flinging arrows into the ceiling/walls of their range. Hence it working great in my apartment...Furthermore, many archers suffer from target panic, buck fever, poor focus, rushing their shot, etc. The AccuBow allows users to draw, hold, and aim the laser steady on a target just as they would aim their pins steady on a target. Users can focus on keeping back tension, expanding through their shot, and following through without worrying about where the arrow goes (which is usually the cause for most poor shots; people want to see where the arrow goes and forget to release and follow through with proper mechanics). In practicing your form and smooth release with the AccuBow, you can develop good habits that will become second nature at the range or in the field
I get it, it's "pretty", but does it work?
Definitely. There isn't a single shooter on this planet who doesn't want to improve. There are definitely some that act like it but when it all comes down to it, the $150 that it cost has easily saved myself in both the cost of Gas + Range Time. Bear in mind, this does not replace actually practicing, but go shoot your bow at 60 yards for a half hour, hang it up, give the Endurance Training a go for a week (Every Day) and then when that weeks done, go out and shoot a round at 60 yards again. You'll really be blown away at how the AccuBow allows you to aim better, longer, and more consistent, which is exactly why we all practice in the first place right?
The AccuBow isn't for everyone but for the above average shooter that is looking to take his/her technique and form to another level, this is the perfect choice. I used this for a week... one week... and saw results the first time I picked up my bow. I can't wait to see how tighter my groups get at longer (80+ yards). When it comes to shooting your bow, you're only going to shoot as well as you practice. If you had something, like the AccuBow, that made you more confident in your shot sequence this coming hunting season, the question you should be asking is why not?
I'll be posting some before and after shot patterns at 100 yards at the end of summer so be sure to check back at the end of August for the "proof"!