Hardest lessons to learn in archery – Why does my arrows comes off the rest

I’ve had this question come up a couple of times recently, so I thought I would put a quick reply up now in an attempt to help people out.
“Why does my arrow keep flipping off my rest or bow when I draw up?”
Okay there can be a few reason why this can happen, so I’m going to pick out the three most common ones.
  • Twisting of the bow string.
  • Throwing your bow arm.
  • Damaged rest.
Twisting of the bow string is probably the most common of all reasons the arrow flicks off your bow and occurs normally about mid draw. when you are drawing up.
When you are starting to draw up your hand is gripping the bow string, as you draw the string back you twist or rotate the string, this twisting results in the nock moving and arrow flicking off the rest. So if I explain this from a right handed archers perspective. A right handed archer with the bow held in your left hand, will draw back the string and in the process will twist the string effectively rotating it counter clockwise. This rotation is what causes the arrow to flick off the bow.
A solution to this is to ensure you are not gripping the string too tightly, try relaxing your fingers, before drawing up.
Throwing your Bow arm – Sometimes when people draw up, they end up “throwing” their bow arm, this can be due to you drawing up too quickly or enthusiastically. As you draw up you move the bow arm quickly and then abruptly stop when at full draw, however, the momentum flicks the arrow off the rest. I’ve seen this quite often with young children who are quite excited and energetic in their draw cycle.
The solution is to slow down your draw sequence, being more controlled in the draw, with less rapid movements.
I have also seen both of the above examples being as a result of the archer fighting the bow in some way, possibly because they are over bowed or not comfortable in their draw technique.
Hoyt rest

Hoyt rest on Sharons’ old bow

Damaged Rest – If you are using an arrow rest on your bow it is possible that the rest has become damaged and is no longer holding the arrow on bow. This problem isn’t that uncommon especially if you are using something like the Hoyt plastic super rests.
Close up of Hoyt rest

Close up of Hoyt rest

There is nothing wrong with these rests and I use them on my beginner bows and Sharon used to use these rests on her bows and would often replace them, sometimes in the middle of a competition if she saw it was wearing or damaged.
For this reason it is worth carrying a few spares in your quiver just in case  you need to replace them.
Okay, so these are some very quick tips and advice, I hope this helps and thanks for reading.
Remember to wax your string

Remember to maintain your string

Remember to wax your string

Remember to wax your string

Just a quick post about strings and keeping them in a god condition. With the outdoor season now in full swing I have been shooting in a new string over the last few days and thought it worth reminding people that waxing your string is pretty important, but often forgotten.

Before you start make sure the string it clean of any mud or grime. Also make sure it is dry, lets face it, we live in the UK and it maybe the start of Summer but it can still rain.
Applying the wax helps to bind the individual strands of the string together and protects the string from wear,tear and fraying.

Apply the wax liberally

Apply the wax liberally

Some people use a piece of leather to rub the wax in to the string (Sharon does, but that is because she has sensitive skin and sometimes finds her skin can crack on her fingers, especially when gardening).

I tend to just use my thumb of forefinger, running them up and down the string. The friction causes the wax to soften and seep into the string.

I use my fingers to rub / melt the wax

I use my fingers to rub / melt the wax

If you have string silencers (string spiders, puff balls etc.) make sure you wax up to them as the strands can often separate there.
I try to remember to wax my string every other time I shoot the bow. I know some will use beeswax, but I’m just using the Easton string wax here, which I carry in my quiver.

N.B. another tip is to carry a spare string in your quiver that is shot in and ready to use, just in case you need it on a shoot.

While waxing the string you can also check the condition of the severing and ensure that is not wearing either at the nocking point or the limb tip loops.

Hope this helps and as always thanks for reading.