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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Help with Thumb Ring tuning (Now with video/picture)

Hey all!

I have been playing around with thumb ring and release exclusively for awhile now but recently decided it was time to dial in my groupings. I also started to notice a significant fish tail on my shooting and figured it was time I sorted that out. I got out the wax paper and set up for some paper tuning. I also brought along a test kit.

The result is mind boggling and has set me into a spiral of frustration. Every shot through paper produces a huge, sideways tear that's nock right at short range. I changed spine, changed bows, changed from ring to glove, varied from high, middle, to low hand positions to try and account for torque, changed shaft thickness, shaft wood, and changed anchors. Nothing I do changes the flight and yes, before someone mentions it, the arrow is on the right side of the bow (I am right handed). The sole exception is when I clumsily switch back to three finger draw (it's been awhile) and, boom, bullet hole.

My bow: Grozer Scythian 58lb biocomposite
Normal Arrows: 55-60lb Tonkin Cane Bamboo, straight 4 fletch

Also tested with: 30lb Fiberglass "camp" bow with 30-40 lb spine arrows (cedar).

I have also used with my bow while testing: Both cedar and boo from spines 40 all the way up to 80 in 5 lb increments set in 2 fletch helical, 4 fletch helical, 3 fletch helical, and 4 fletch straight and in 5/16th and 11/32nds thickness.

On slow motion video, I can see the arrow kicking out knock right and coming out of the bow in a very bad sideways flight. Something I am doing in relation to the thumb release is causing this but there isn't enough information on tuning thumb draw for me to figure it out on my own. Any suggestions you all might have would be most helpful as this thing has got me plain stumped.

Thanks in advance!

-B
 

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Try shooting off the other side. My friend has been doing this for quite a while with good results.
 

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j-san = Jason
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Are you relaxing your thumb when you initiate the release? I find my thumb release shots get wild if I hesitate on the release and pluck the string with my thumb because I didn't let it go slack. I try not to use my thumb to hold the string, but use the index and middle fingers instead. I leave my thumb slack and let it flop open when I relax tension on the fingers locking the thumb closed - not unlike that of a single jaw mechanical release.
 

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I never tune my arrows for thumb release. But I second j-san's opinion. Fish tailing is likely to be caused by poor release. On the other hand, proper technique should allow you to use wider range of spine on the same bow.

Western text always describes thumb release as flipping a coin which implies deliberate and jerky movement of your thumb. Try relaxing your muscle and let the string tension kick your thumb open. 58# is more than enough to do the job.

Chinese text refer to proper release as "like a dragon-fly taking-off from water surface, it leaves no ripple."

Just my humble two cents.
 

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Shooting with a thumb ring is a very different animal. If you post a video of yourself shooting, we might get a better idea of what is going on.
 

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This is happening because it is not a centre cut bow and the arrow must travel around the handle to get to the target. If you were shooting a traditional recurve with a centre cut arrow rest the paradox would not happen.
 

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Mammoth Hunter
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I've trained Kyudo and shot thumb ring for years. Probably what's happening is that when you are locking your hand against the arrow and pressing it into the bow, you're doing it in such a way that causes the arrow's tail to kick out on release. This can be quite a significant source of movement at the initial stages of a shot, and if you relax your hand so that you're not pressing so hard into the bow, you may find a change in the way the shot goes off.

Also, I should add that this tail kick is normal for some of the very low-profile fletches used in Korean traditional archery, for example. In the case of those arrows, it can sometimes take 20 yards for them to get straightened out towards the target, but the low-profile fletches reduce drag which makes it easier to shoot the long distances attained in Korean traditional archery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys! Finally had a chance today to run some more tests. I shot off the other side of the bow and got a good, straight flight and learned to lesson the pressure of my hand against the arrow in the process. I know I could just stick to shooting it that way but that isn't the traditional way of doing so and I am going for a historical technique. I was able to release the pressure on the arrow but still got a sideways tear though, interestingly, with my lightest weight bow the tear got smaller.

I have thought about it being a release issue (not fast enough or too fast) but keep in mind the tears are very consistent even as a vary the speed and style of my release. Is it possible that the arrow is kicking out to the right but is actually bouncing off the riser and going nock right?

Could there be a torque issue that only crops up when the arrow is on the right side of the bow? Or am I maybe anchoring the string out of position? Just trying to look for more stuff to test out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I made some videos from various angles to best capture release and bow position. I had a bit too much sugar today and am a bit shaky, other than that this is felt like a relatively normal style for me.

Video

Also attached is a picture showing you how awful the 6 foot out flight is on paper. My bow is pretty efficient and throws an arrow at a good clip. I am wondering if the proper arrow for this technique is a very lightweight but very stiff, like 2 times or more than needed. Any thoughts?
 

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Are you shooting right handed? I am thinking the arrows may be too weak. Have you tried to tune them with the usual 3 fingers release?

What do you think of the Scythian Biocomposite bow handshock and speed wise? I wish to get one too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right handed. I haven't done a full tune with a 3 finger release yet. Keep in mind, I have been devoted to thumb ring for over 2 years now and its pretty tough to go back and forth between the two release styles for me. I will say that with 3 finger release has a much better arrow flight.

The Scythian has decent speed, 3rd highest in his biocomposite line and low hand shock. All depends on what you are looking for out of a bow.
 

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Mammoth Hunter
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What made you choose the Scythian when they're like the only Central Asian nomads who shot with a three finger draw?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What made you choose the Scythian when they're like the only Central Asian nomads who shot with a three finger draw?
1.) My turk bow broke due to a flaw and I needed a replacement for a competition. The Scythian was what he had in stock so I went with it and have loved it ever since. :)

2.) I don't think how Scythians drew their bow is so settled and, given their diversity and large temporal range, they likely evolved their style as much as they evolved their bow (there are lots of different kinds of Scythian bows with vastly different construction techniques).

In my personal opinion and experience, I find it highly unlikely the Scythians used a true three finger draw simply because the bows were very short. They probably used a highly modified pinch draw. Some historians think they may of used two fingers. Point is, there is as many interpretations as there are people talking about it. :)

But, that's off topic a little.
 

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Right handed. I haven't done a full tune with a 3 finger release yet. Keep in mind, I have been devoted to thumb ring for over 2 years now and its pretty tough to go back and forth between the two release styles for me. I will say that with 3 finger release has a much better arrow flight.

The Scythian has decent speed, 3rd highest in his biocomposite line and low hand shock. All depends on what you are looking for out of a bow.
I think you need to try a much stiffer arrow on your Scythian. Its a fast bow so 80-85# arrows should be right for fingers. Thumb release usually requires even stiffer arrow. These slow motion videos show what happens when a weak arrow was shot using the thumb release. The rear of the arrow hits the riser due to not bending away fast enough resulting in nock left flight (for left handed archer).


 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think you need to try a much stiffer arrow on your Scythian. Its a fast bow so 80-85# arrows should be right for fingers. Thumb release usually requires even stiffer arrow. These slow motion videos show what happens when a weak arrow was shot using the thumb release. The rear of the arrow hits the riser due to not bending away fast enough resulting in nock left flight (for left handed archer).
What his arrows are doing in this video are EXACTLY what my arrows seem to be doing in flight. I would think if it was related to bow speed I would of noticed something when switching to the 30lb camp bow or switching to my 45lb fiberglass Hungarian (arrow speed out if it is slow as hell).

If it has something to do with the physics of the thumb ring just needing very highly spined arrows, then it would fit right in line. I think I have some boo shafts in the area of 90+ lbs. I will have to knock some up and check if there is a difference. Thanks for the post.
 

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What's your draw length when shooting with the thumb release? What are the length of arrows. My mates are shooting 75# - 80# 32" arrows out of their 45#@32" korean bows. I would start with arrows that are around 30# over your bows draw weight at your drawlength.
 

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After looking at the video I reckon there is too much tension in the index finger. I would suggest trying Lock 69 square. Relax that index finger and hold the string with tension between thumb and middle finger.
 

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For what it worth.

A leather thumb ring offer control far better.



The rigidity of horn or plastic or metal interferes with the feel of release:

thus deadened the fine motor control.

Such are my the limited experiences . . .

John
 

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I have a very similar looking leather ring, didn't work for me at all. I couldn't find a definite release point if that makes sense, with a plastic ring the release is a lot more "crisp" and faster plus the leather did hurt my thumb after some time.

It took very long and many different rings to eventually find one that fits. It is a cheap korean plastic, a friend imported a bulk load as they are not available outside Korea.

edit: for arrow spine I agree completely with the others' posts, you can't really go too stiff. My arrows (I even bareshafted them, something which most thumb shooters never do it seems) and they are quite a bit above the figures Stu Miller would recommend. And act weak some still...
 

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I'm going to dig this one up as I have the same problem.

Grozer Biocomposite Scythian 47# at 28 inches. All the time my arrows hitting with nock right. And they feel very woblly after hitting target at 3- 5 meters. Using thumbdraw.

I have other short reflex bows such as Hungarian, Turkish by other companies and I get excellent arrow flight from these.

The only thing I can see being different between these bows are odd handle shape on Scythian and (what I feel is the probable reason) Grozers Scythian has a wide arrow pass area whereas the other bows have it much more narrow.

I'm shooting 55# spined wooden arrows (cut to 30 inches) with my thumb drawn to about 29,5 inches. I also tried 60 -65 spined arrows which they seem to fly straighter. But I would think that a wider arrow pass would need a weaker spine not stiffer?
 
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