Rancho Park Archers

The Hot Spot for Los Angeles Archery: Lessons, Advice & News

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Best Archery Shops in Southern California

Source: Airman Magazine

After new archers have been practicing the sport for a while and gain some basic knowledge about the equipment and what they want, they soon want to buy their own. The first question though is, “Where can I buy archery equipment around LA?”

Unlike other sports, you can’t expect to find a decent variety of archery equipment at local sport stores such as Big 5 or Sport Chalet, if they carry any at all. Nor could you expect decent help from the people working at those stores. Most wouldn’t know the difference between a recurve and a longbow.

So where do you go in Los Angeles to shop for archery equipment? If you don’t want to order online, there are shops in or near Los Angeles. But which place is worth your time and gas money to go to?

To provide some guidance for new archers, and even some experienced ones, I’m taking a poll and asking Los Angeles archers to rank some of the local stores based on their experience.

This list is by no means comprehensive, feel free to mention additional stores you like in the blog’s comments section.

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Superheroes vs. The Olympians

I don’t know about you, but I cringe whenever I see an archer with bad form. This is mostly because I’m an archery instructor.  As an instructor, I’m trained to stress form a lot when I teach beginner archers.  It is an integral part of learning the craft.  Lately, archery has become very popular in movies and TV.  So, I thought it would be interesting to see how the Superheroes match up to the 2012 Olympian Archers in a head-to-head competition of form.

Yes, I know the Olympian’s are FITA shooters and not traditional shooters but there are some fundamentals that apply across all archery styles.  With that said, let’s get to the fun stuff and see how the Super archers compare with the Olympians.

Hawkeye (left), Brady Ellison (right)

First, let’s compare Hawkeye of The Avengers with Brady Ellison, who won silver on the men’s archery Olympic team this year.  Hawkeye’s form is all off.  His right elbow is rotated inward and his shoulder is pushed up.  Not to mention that he is wearing two arm guards.  Did this guy even get a lesson in archery?  Brady’s left arm, his bow arm, is straight.  The left elbow is not rotated and his shoulder is down, relaxed.  His right arm and elbow are straight back and in line with his bow arm, unlike Hawkeye’s chicken wing which is pointing upward.  Ellison’s grip is precise, while Hawkeye’s grip is too tight.  Not sure if you can compare the grip of a FITA archer with a bare bow archer. FITA archers don’t, to my knowledge, grip the bow as much as they let it rest there.  The finger sling catches the bow when they release.  Bare bow shooters have a firmer grip.

Oh Jin Hyek (left), The Green Arrow (right)

For our next round, we have Oh Jin Hyek, Korean’s gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics going against Green Arrow from the CW’s upcoming Arrow TV series.  Hyek’s anchor, the point at which the fingers of the draw hand touches the face, is solid, right under his chin.  Green Arrow’s anchor is non-existent.  Now, I’m a traditional shooter and my anchor point is the corner of my mouth. I don’t see him anchoring anywhere.  No anchor point equals no consistency and a really bad aim.

The Green Arrow’s bow arm is bent in comparison to Hyek’s fully extended arm.  When the bow arm is bent like that, you can’t get the push-pull effect that is needed to steady the bow arm. When the arm is fully extended, your skeleton supports the weight of the bow resulting in less strain and a stable form. When the arm is collapsed the form becomes less stable because you’re using more muscle to keep a steady aim and push against the weight of the bow.  Hyek’s right elbow goes straight back and is horizontally in line with his bow arm.  This is perfect form.  The Green Arrow has collapsed his form making it very difficult to shoot consistently.

Khatuna Lorig (left), Katniss Everdeen (right)

In this round, it’s teacher vs. pupil. It has been reported that Khatuna Lorig, USA’s 1992 Bronze medalist and fourth place finisher in the 2012 Olympics coached Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games.  I’ve seen the movie and Katniss is pretty good compared to the other Superheroes, however in the picture in this analysis not so much.  Katniss has her right elbow sticking way out.  It should be behind her, as shown in her mentor’s picture.  Unlike Khatuna, Katiness does not even anchor her draw hand, leaving her unsteady and ultimately unable to shoot that bullseye she shot in the movie.  Between you and me, I think Khatuna made that shot for her.  What do you think?

All in all, I think our Superheroes have their work cut out for them.  I mean if you are going to portray an archer at least do it accurately.

Duel in the Desert Trials and Desert Open Coming Soon

If you’re a competitive archer looking for a challenge, there’s a tournament coming up in the Southern California area you might want to check out.

In October, the Duel in the Desert Trials and Desert Open will be held at the El Dorado Park Archery Field in Long Beach.

The event is hosted by the United JOAD and Southern California Archers and is a Star FITA and IPC recognized tournament. It will take place on October 6 – 7, 2012.

The trials are a competition for a spot on the team that will represent California in the Duel in the Desert, an annual team competition between California and Arizona which will take place on November 10 -11 in Arizona.

If you’re not aiming to be on the team, you can still shoot. And, since this is a Star FITA tournament, you can get a special achievement pin from FITA if you shoot a certain score. There are pins starting from 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, and 1400.

For further details (e.g. divisions, rounds, etc.) or to sign up for the competition, visit the State Archers of California site.

Archery: The Ultimate Sport

When I hear the phrase ‘Ultimate Sport’, the first thing that comes to mind is Mixed Martial Arts or the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Archery is not the first thing that comes to mind, and I love the sport.

All athletes have their opinion of what the ultimate sport is, usually it’s theirs. How one defines the ultimate sport varies from person to person. A martial artist will probably have a different idea of the ultimate sport than a marathoner. One’s ideal sport involves skill and head to head competition. The other’s ideal competition is between him and himself, a test of his mental and physical endurance.

So what about archers? Why might archers think of theirs as being the ultimate sport? In the following video, the International Archery Federation (FITA) makes their argument for why this age-old sport is the ultimate sport.

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