When it comes to archery, stability and accuracy are the two factors that significantly influence your performance.
And hitting your target right on the point requires a good amount of skill, let alone the right equipment that will put you in the best position to shoot accurately.
And with that, the question arises, what does a bow stabilizer do? Well, to give you an answer here — with technology increasing in arrows and bows, each emerges with a force that increases after your release.
Therefore, chances are once you take your shot, the vibration and sound interfering with your bow and arrow are higher. That’s where the bow stabilizer comes into play.
Now the information I just shared is a bit technical, and it might seem like unnecessary jargon. Therefore, I’d say stick along to find out why is a bow stabilizer a good thing for your bow, along with some benefits that it offers on the table and many more.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
- What is a Bow Stabilizer?
- Some Reasons To Get a Bow Stabilizer Right Away
- Some Drawbacks of a Bow Stabilizer
- Choosing the Bow Stabilizers
What is a Bow Stabilizer?
An excellent archery setup includes varying types of equipment that are crucial for accuracy, and one such simple accessory is a bow stabilizer that can help you with your accuracy.
In simple terms, a bow stabilizer is just a weight that is added to the sides, front, or back of a bow. Though there are a ton of stabilizers with different sizes and shapes, they all work towards the same goal.
And they work by decreasing the vibration caused by shooting a bow, plus they also help to stabilize the bow by incrementing the inertia and, in turn, improving your accuracy.
You’ll feel your bow a lot of light and unstable without a bow stabilizer, and this can lead to difficulty in keeping the bow steady and shooting.
Besides that, sometimes you need to hunt a target on sight, and getting close to it can be one hell of a frustrating task, especially if you don’t want to make any sound. Plus, getting the animal in your kill zone is not simple as a walk in the park.
That’s where you’ll need a bow stabilizer to increase your range by some yards and provide you with the accuracy you need to make the kill.
Therefore, if you are budgeting for some hunting gear, make sure that you have a bow stabilizer on the list, as it can prove to be really helping out in the wild.
How Does a Bow Stabilizer Works?
You can never hold your bow entirely still when you are at your full draw. The primary reason for this is because you are holding your bow away from your body, and anything that you keep away from your body without supporting it by your arms, you will tend to shake and vibrate a little bit.
You can practically experience this by holding a full bag. You’ll find that it is next to impossible to hold it entirely still. This becomes more aggravate when your muscles are under tension, and thus you tend to shake when your muscles are tired.
That’s why a bow shakes and vibrates a bit more without stabilizers.
Talking about the working mechanism behind a stabilizer, they use inertia, particularly in an intelligent way.
Hey, fair warning, a bit of physics class here…
As we know, things will require more energy to move if they are heavy. Besides that, bigger things will also face air resistance while moving, making it more challenging to move.
Bow stabilizers work with the first part of the inertia. As heavier things are reluctant to move, many people postulate to make the bow heavy.
However, that will make it harder to move and may increase the tension on the muscles, ultimately leading to an increase in vibration, given that the bow is heavier for the archer to move.
A better way to deal with this is by simply adding a weighted stick on the bow. That’s a bow stabilizer, a stick that helps in reducing the vibration by using a leverage effect.
Meaning, that due to the added stick, you’ll need more energy to move the orientation of your bow. Without a bow stabilizer, you can see that it is easy to deal with the direction, but you will need more strength due to the weight because of the bow stabilizer.
And since you’ll need more energy to change the direction of your bow, the vibrations will be contained. Now, you won’t find your bow not vibrating at all, but a bow stabilizer will reduce vibration to the most.
How About the Dampeners?
If you see a bow stabilizer, you might have seen a rubber knob located between the stabilizer shaft and the weight. The work of the dampener is a bit similar to a stabilizer, but here it absorbs some additional vibration.
You will not find a dampener on every stabilizer because some of them make the bow lighter. You should meticulously select the appropriate dampener in sequence with the correct weight.
You see, an adequately flexible dampener and the front weight collectively can create an optimal reception for the vibration.
In case you have a too flexible dampener and heavyweight, it can increase the vibration as your stabilizer will start to flop. On the other hand, if you have a too lightweight and resistant dampener, it won’t absorb the vibration required.
Thus, you should be aiming to select the proper dampener according to the weight.
What’s the Deal with Vibrations?
I’ve mentioned that vibration can lead to inaccurate shots. You see, the thing with vibrations is that you cannot correct them as you cannot predict them.
Therefore, they create a random discrepancy in your shot, and ultimately reducing your accuracy.
Whether you know it yet or not, but vibration is not only bad for your shots but your bow’s limbs as well.
Vibration after your shot has been released can be pretty intense, resulting in your limbs breaking. That’s why many archers, especially compound archers, use dampeners, and these dampeners are known as limb savers for the same reasons.
Dampeners and bow stabilizers can increase the lifespan and durability of your limbs as they can decrease the vibration to a great extent.
Besides that, vibration is not suitable for us as well, especially for our joints. Excessive vibration can cause a ton of joints problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. Many archers tend to ignore this as they have healthy joints, but you must go for a stabilizer if you have weaker joints.
Some Reasons To Get a Bow Stabilizer Right Away
If you are serious about archery, you should get a bow stabilizer, and here I’ll throw some light precisely upon that and why you should get one right away.
A Bow Stabilizer Increases the Stability of Your Shots
As I mentioned previously, the stabilizer adds some weight to your bow and balances it on your hands. This additional weight absorbs some vibration generated once the shot has been released.
So you can think of a stabilizer as barrel weight in a rifle, and the more the weight, the more it will stay on the target.
Stabilizer increments the bows inertia, which reduces the motion during shooting. The added weight of the stabilizer slows down any movements you may get while shooting, and this facilitates aiming steadily without constantly altering the bow.
A Bow Stabilizer Increase the Accuracy of Your Shots
Now, as the stability of your shots is more, your shots would be more accurate as well. This is particularly more apparent in the long-distance shooting. Your shots will drift slightly less with a bow stabilizer attached.
Shooting a 70-yard target can be pretty challenging to both veterans and novices. With the help of a stabilizer, you can get the optimum consistency and accuracy in your shots. Without a stabilizer, shooting can be much more difficult, especially at long distances.
Since a bow stabilizer also helps decrease vibrations, it will help you shoot more accurately, as vibrations can cause you to wince your shot and lead your arrow off its target.
A Bow Stabilizer Absorbs Vibrations
Another biggest advantage of using a stabilizer is that it absorbs vibrations. When you are drawing your bow, there is this energy built on the limbs, and this energy is transferred to the arrow when you release it.
However, not all energy is passed on, and some are retained in the form of vibration. You’ll find many bow stabilizers with built-in materials to absorb this residual vibration, but the ones without any materials have a different design that does the same job.
Talking about the design, such stabilizers have long rods that offer more surface area, which allows the vibration to spread and travel out. Thus it decreases the effect of vibration felt by the archer.
A Bow Stabilizer Reduces Noise Offering Better Concealment
Another excellent benefit a stabilizer puts on the table is noise reduction. This may not seem like a big thing for archers out there in competition or range, but it means a lot to hunters in the wild.
You see, too much noise is the difference between a missed opportunity and a better shot. Remember I mentioned the built energy transferred to the arrow upon release? It is this released energy that can cause a deafening sound, spooking away the animal before even landing the shot.
Therefore, a good quality stabilizer can help you with that as it will significantly diminish such noise while shooting.
A Bow Stabilizer Offer Protection To Your Wrists
If you are spending a long time hunting or archery, you should pick up a bow stabilizer for physical health.
Since you are spending most of your time shooting arrows, the force can sometimes cause injuries to your writs. But with the help of a bow stabilizer, you can save your arm from more damage.
Some Drawbacks of a Bow Stabilizer
Okay, enough of accentuating on the positive; let’s look at the negatives as well.
It Adds Extra Weight
As imperative as a bow stabilizer is, the additional weight that you have to deal with while hunting can drag you, especially during times where you have to cover a long distance.
The bow stabilizer can increase the weight of your bow by around 74 g (2oz) to 340 g (12 oz), which can make your entire hunting experience a tad bit complicated.
Bow Stabilizers Length
Sometimes choosing the best length for the bow stabilizer can be a daunting task. You can face many scenarios during hunting where you’ll need different measurements of the bow stabilizer’s length. Thus, you might be constrained to carry more than one stabilizer each time.
Loss of Traditional Skills
Traditional archery can provide an ethical way to use a recurve bow without attaching new accessories such as a stabilizer.
And according to a school of thought, using a bow stabilizer is nothing more than cheating as it moves you away from putting more effort to practice and learn the skills.
It’s true, as even with all the best and perfect accessories, you cannot be the perfect hunter or archer, though they can be used to fine-tune the skills you already have. You just need to put in the effort to learn them.
Choosing the Bow Stabilizers
When you are selecting a bow stabilizer, there are two imperative factors that you should keep in your mind, and they are the weight and the length of the stabilizer.
When you are looking for the correct weight for your stabilizer, you should start out with lighter ones if you are a beginner till you get a better hold of what weight would be optimal for you.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to choose a front stabilizer with around 5 oz of weight, given the length is approximately 6 to 12 inches. This is a checkpoint for new archers, and from this point, they can play around to see which one works wonders for them.
The thing here is to get the optimal weight to have the correct balance between the bow and the weight. Though the more weight you’ll have, the more stability it will offer, but ensure that you are not adding too much weight as your arm will fatigue faster while shooting.
The length of your bow stabilizer mainly boils down to your needs and what you want. That said, it’s worth paying attention that there is some restriction to length when you are competing. Therefore, make sure that you are reading all those rules and regulations before purchasing a bow stabilizer. This is, of course, under the assumption that you are planning to enter competitions.
As a general thumb rule, you should play with a 6 to 12 inches bow stabilizer, and if you are more into freestyle shooting, you should go for a longer length with a rear stabilizer.
On the other hand, if you are more towards hunting, you should ensure that you ponder the situations you’ll be in. In the case of ground or tree stand blinds, using a long stabilizer can prove to be challenging.
And for such cases, many hunters will go for a 12 inch or less stabilizer to get good maneuverability.
So Should You Buy One?— Closing Thoughts
Your bow will work just fine without a bow stabilizer, but if accuracy, balance, and stability are what you are looking for, you should definitely get one. Not to mention the added benefits such as reduced noise and less vibration.
Getting a bow stabilizer is a matter of personal preference, and you should understand your type of archery and bow very well before making an informed decision.
A bow stabilizer is also suitable for your arms and wrist, offering better safety. Overall, a bow stabilizer is an excellent accessory you can try. You can always experience these merits by trying the bow yourself.
That was all for today, and I hope to see you, folks, in another informed guide on my website. Thanks for sticking out, and till then, keep hunting and fishing.
My name is Walter Williams, and I’m a bowhunting addict. That’s right, I said addict. After my father gave me my first Samick Sage bow at age 17 my love for this hunting discipline has continued to grow.