Archers everywhere use stabilizers for both hunting and target archery, but many don't know what a stabilizer is for and what makes a good stabilizer.. In Deer Creek Archery's opinion, stabilizers are best used to reduce vibration and to increase rotational resistance so that the bow holds steadier during the execution of your shot.
First, stabilizers are about adding stability (who would have guessed?) to your shot. This is accomplished by adding weight to the end of a rod that points away from the middle of the bow. The basic rule of thumb is that the further the weight is away from the pivot point of your bow (your handle), and the more weight is on that stabilizer, the steadier your hold and the more accuracy you achieve. So, how long should your stabilizer be? The answer is that it should be as long as you are able to comfortably maneuver, control, and balance at full draw, given your application. By no means does that mean you need a 32" rod with 15oz. on the end. In fact, while you do hold steadier with more weight, you should never have so much weight that you sacrifice technique. If you can't hold your bow and maintain a perfect body alignment like a "T," then that bow is too heavy! But don't worry, even a few ounces just 6-8" from your riser can dramatically increase your performance. We would encourage you to test a stabilizer before you buy it to ensure that you are getting a good fit.
The second reason to use a stabilizer is to reduce the noise and vibration of your bow. The bow's resonance after a shot breaks can be largely eliminated use rubber or other sound and vibration dampening elements such as gel, sand, etc. This quieting effect makes your bow have that much sought after "dead in the hand" feel and reduces the sounds that animals might hear when your shot breaks, thus giving them less time to react and evade your shot.
Whether or not to use a rear bar is also a matter of preference. Many hunters use them, and just as many hate them. The trade off is about balance and maneuverability. The more weight you have on the bow makes it hold steadier, and adding weight to the rear of your bow to counteract the stabilizer in the front absolutely keeps the bow more balanced, but if you can't crawl toward an animal you're stalking or climb into your tree stand because your stabilizer is digging into things, it's worthless! What works for you may vary from your friends, so come on in to Deer Creek Archery and test some out. We have some of the best stabilizers on the market from Stixx to Axion, and a host of accessories for your convenience.
For a more detailed look at stabilizers from one of the most renowned coaches and instructors in the archery game, George "Griv" Ryals, we would send you to his website at this link to read his article on the topic
There are many different kinds of stabilizers out there, and which one you like best is a matter of personal feel. We hope that this Technical Tuesday article has given you some things to consider when buying a stabilizer.
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