Bow Stabilizers - Everything You Need to Know About This Mysterious Bow Accessory
- 08 Nov, 2016
Do you often think about how to improve your bow shooting accuracy? For many bowhunters this is a common thought as we spend countless hours in the backyard practicing different shot scenarios with our bows. One of the tools proven useful for improved accuracy is a bow stabilizer. Let's dive deeper into the subject to uncover exactly what a stabilizer is, and more importantly discover the functionalities of how a stabilizer can improve your bowhunting success.
What is a stabilizer?
Stabilizers typically look like a tube that protrudes from the end of your bow just under the hand rest, and they come in a variety of sizes. Target archers will use a long stabilizer, while hunters will use a more ergonomic design to improve maneuverability in the field. Stabilizers are made up of many different materials with the most popular components being carbon and ABS plastic due to their durability and lightness. A common stabilizer looks like this:
How do stabilizers work?
Now that we understand the general concept of a stabilizer we can begin to understand how a stabilizer works and the purpose it serves for shooters. The two essential functions of a stabilizer are:
- Vibration Control
- Balancing the Bow
1. Vibration Control
When a bow is shot there is a lot of kinetic energy created which can result in unwanted forces and torques throughout the bow. Having a stabilizer helps redirect that energy to the outward most part of the stabilizer. This is the reason many stabilizers have a rubber component toward the front of the stabilizer. This dampens the shock the shooter feels, especially in the hand holding the bow. When vibration is reduced, the bow becomes the quieter as well, helping to eliminate ducked arrows in the field.
2. Balancing the Bow
A stabilizer can also add weight at the end of the bow helping to balance the pitch axis of the bow. The stabilizer serves as a counterbalance making it much easier to handle when at full draw. As the stabilizer balances the bow it creates greater accuracy by slowing down the movement of your pins as well. The bulk of the weight on a stabilizer is usually found at the very front of the stabilizer to maximize the balance of the bow when shooting. Accuracy is an absolute must in the field, and on the range. When selecting a stabilizer the more length and weight will improve steadiness and create greater accuracy.
Which stabilizer is best?
As is often the case, it depends. There is no single "best stabilizer" - it depends on personal preference, the use case, and a number of other factors. The best thing to do when considering a stabilizer is to try out a variety of options and make an educated decision.
Personally, I prefer a very short stabilizer that is lightweight with a small rubber end at the end to dampen vibration and noise. I have found that my Axion stabilizer works very well for my specified needs. I shoot a very light bow so I do not need a lot of extra length or weight on the stabilizer to counterbalance the bow. These are the needs I have been able to identify by practicing with a variety of different stabilizers, and again I would recommend shooting with various stabilizers before committing to one you are comfortable with.
Bow stabilizers' claims are as abundant as politicians’ promises, so understanding which stabilizer best fits your needs is important. Remember to consider the main purposes of a stabilizer, always keep an open mind, and identify your personal needs and what feels right to you.
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