How a couple of strips of tape can help your archery?

What you need is a length of card board about 3 foot 6 inches in length and about six inches wide. This may sound a little Blue Peter but it does work. (For anyone who was not raised in the UK, Blue Peter is a long running TV program famous for making stuff with double sided sticky tape, especially in the early 70s and 80s).

3 colours of tape and card board

The idea is similar to the concept I shared the other week with using a bamboo pole to help distance.

My practice bosses as 3ft tall so by making the card 6 inches longer I can attach the card on top of the boss.
In my example I applied a strip of grey tape down the centre of the cardboard along its length.

Grey tape

I then added 6 inch strips of black tape alternating so you had a strip of black then a 6 inch gap showing grey.

Marking out 6 inch sections

The idea being to alternate black and grey so the archer can us it to aid distance and aiming. Some might want to use 4 inch sections but I keep it to 6 so it ties into the bamboo cane method.

White tape

The last thing is to apply a strip of white tape down the centre of the black and grey tape. Cheap masking tape works perfectly for this.
The white tape is what you will be shooting at. The coloured tape is there to aid in distance judgement and to act as a contrast.

Card on the boss

So how do you use this?

Fix the target to the boss and then at 5 yards shoot a set of arrows. I normally shoot 4 arrows in a set when I’m practicing.
I start at lower part of the boss, bottom 6 inches and try and get my arrows in a vertical line gradually moving up the boss and in the white tape.
When I’ve reached the top of the boss I repeat the exercise but moving down from the top of the boss.
The focus is on you being able to put your arrows in the white tape consistently.
When that’s done I move back to my next distance and repeat. I’ll usually do this to about 15 yards or so. Reapplying white tape when needed.
Past 20 yards I focus on my arrows being in the silver or back tape. The way I look at it is if I am in the tape at this distance I’m hoping I should be in the highest score zone when shooting on a course.
The technique is not that dissimilar to one my first archery coach used to use where they would dangle a coloured ribbon down the boss and aim for that.
If you really want to challenge yourself try replacing the white tape with string and ensure each of your arrows are touching it.

So why do this?

Not all scoring zones are central to the boss. If you look at different target faces or 3Ds the height off the ground varies. You might be shooting a deer 3D where the kills 24 inches or more off the ground. With the next target being a 3D crocodile where the highest scoring zones inches off the ground.
I recall one championship where the paper face ermine was on ground level about 8ft away.

Paper Ermin

So this technique helps you focus on keeping your line and adjusting for height.

It also aids you in bending at the waste, sometimes called tea-potting. If you recall the children’s nursery rhyme “I’m a little teapot” that is where it gets it name from.

By the way the keen eyed among you will notice the target doesn’t have the white tape on it. This is because I took the photograph and then realised I hadn’t applied the tape. So I went back and applied it so you had a photograph of what it should look like.

Thanks for reading.

Chat with Cody Greenwood at the TradLab

The TradLab

For those of you who don’t know Cody Greenwood he is the founder of Tradlab ( over in the USA. He has a background the field of analytics and is now focusing this expertise on traditional archery.
He has been working with the guys at The Push on a series of podcasts looking at arrow flight and the elements that effect it such as number, size of fetching, etc.. These are well worth listening to, offering some great advice and suggestions.
For those interested here is a link back to the Push article I wrote a while back.
anyway lets get started.
Rob – For the readers who might not have heard of you Cody, how about introducing yourself and explaining how you first got into archery?
Cody – I have a background in Continuous Improvement.
Rob – that phrase brings back memories of my university studies of engineering. Sorry please carry on.
Cody – I have been shooting archery since I was old enough to draw a bow. I hunted as I grew up and my passion for Archery has consistently increased with every year. I have just begun to get into the competition side of Archery.
I am developing as I now start to tackle the mental side of Trad.
Rob – the mental side is a whole new ball game that is often overlooked with some trad archers.
Listening again to the podcasts which you did with the guys at The Push, you said how you wanted to put something back into the hobby. So why set up the Tradlab, isn’t there enough information out there for people?
Traditional Archery changed for me last year at IBO Worlds. Dewayne Martin turned to me and said 95% of what you learned about Traditional Archery from the internet is false. I spent the afternoon shooting with those guys and during that time I realized he was correct.
A close friend who also competes spent countless hours Coaching me as I had to unlearn so many things.
I was shocked at how much time I had wasted trying to learn from the “Internet Archers”.
Rob – wow that is quite a revelation. Maybe a flip side of this is some of those internet archers believe they are being beneficial. YouTube has been a massive success over the years for people who want to share advice and ideas.
I have to say I do agree in some ways, as with my coaching hat on I’ve spent a few sessions with archers, helping them unlearn bad habits. Some of which they have picked up from YouTube.
Do you think its partly down to not being able to identify easily what is appropriate or right?

What a great quote – from the TradLab pages

I set out to expose this and TradLab was a result. I am using my skillset from my profession to test equipment and theories.
Rob – kind of a like a mythbusters approach in some ways?
My ultimate goal is to get people to go to the large shoots.
Rob – i think you are selling yourself short there Cody. I think you are trying to provide evidence based results to help the community as a whole.
A lot of what you covered in the podcasts are of benefit to hunters, field archers and social shooters.
Rob – Do you find the analytics of archery as interesting as actually shooting?
No absolutely not, I would much rather shoot versus study and test.
As a matter of fact I fear that I may be encouraging some to tinker in excess. We need to develop ourselves as Archers not constantly tinker with equipment.
Rob – My old coach always said, “Learn to shoot before you tinker with anything.”
As a coach myself I have often seen people tinker with there set up believing it would help, when in reality they would be better focusing on their own form or shot sequence.
My goal is to leverage my analytical base to save others from having to test with one factor at a time trial and error. This should enable them to focus on their shot versus testing.
Rob – I have to say the inner nerd in me loves to track and record stuff for improvements in future so hearing that someone else is also doing this makes me happy.
Where do you see yourself going with your archery and the TradLab over the next few years?
The future of TradLab is not clear to me at this time. I know I want to add more value than I take from this community.
My primary goal is to give back. If it turns into a sustainable business that adds value I will apply effort and time. If I find that TradLab becomes anything less than value add for the Community I will stop. I do not have any revenue coming in from TradLab at this point.
I do know there is a lot of bad information and products in our community. I will articulate this through my testing.
On my site I have limbs that sell for $800 that perform worse than $400 limbs. I want people to see this and make good product choices.
Rob – I can appreciate that sentiment. I’ve always tried to be unbiased in my reviews so people can have the facts and make their own minds up.
Rob – How can people get involved if they want to?
People can contact me through my website, instagram or my facebook page. They can also reach out the folks at Push archery.
I am always interested in theories or new product testing.
Thanks for taking the time to go through this. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you the best of luck with the TradLab. Looking forward to more reviews and research over the next few months.
For those interested here is a link to The Push (
Thanks for reading